This week, we’re going with a theme here at Friday Music. All of the songs are spooky, kooky, ooky, or otherwise Halloween-related.
First up: You know I had to start with this. The grand-daddy of Goth tunes: Bauhaus – “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”
To switch gears just a bit, here’s a short bit of music, originally composed for the Cliver Barker computer game, Undying. I’m a sucker for creepy choruses singing in Latin, so this one is a very effective mood-setter: Bill Brown – “Undying Main Theme.”
To switch gears even more drastically: I have a two-disc collection called “Ghouls With Attitude”, which is a collection of largely-awful late-50s to mid-60s Halloween novelty songs, forgotten by time. There are a few gems, however, and this is one of them. A tribute to LA-area horror host and Ed Wood troupe member Vampira, via a shakin’ little rockabilly tune: Bobby Bare – “Vampira.”
Now a little bit of blues-tinged metal from everyone’s favorite Satanist Who Sounds Uncannily Like Jim Morrison: Danzig – “Her Black Wings.” I really do prefer his early stuff, where it was all horror-themed wailing rock like this, rather than the sub-Trent-Reznor industrial he started experimenting with later.
One of my favorite second-wave Ska groups, with a spooky song that was used to great effect at the beginning of Sean of the Dead: The Specials – “Ghost Town.” Love the horns.
Hey, what would a Halloween-themed playlist be without some incredibly cheese-tastic German goth electronica? Let’s not answer that, and give a listen to Blutengel – “Vampire Romance.” Something tells me this song might be better if they had sung in German, rather than English…that way I wouldn’t be wincing at the lyrics. I like the music quite a bit, though.
A nice bit of semi-industrial which was used in the recent film Constantine–as I’ve said before: the film isn’t too bad, and the soundtrack kicks ass. This song isn’t included on the soundtrack (which concentrates on the brilliant score), but for those of you who have seen the film, it’s playing in the nightclub when Constantine visits. Celldweller – “Frozen.”
Another “Ghouls With Attitude” selection– I love it for the ‘bad girl’ vocalist. You can practically see the capri pants and heels. And a fuzzy sweater. Yeah. A tight sweater over an industrial-strength rocket-cone 50s bra. Er….where was I? Oh yeah, the song: Tarantula Ghoul and the Gravediggers – “Graveyard Rock.”
Some new-wave halloween goodness: I spent years trying to find this one, and a guy online had it, so I traded mp3s with him. This song was used in the goofy mid-80s sequel, Howling II: Your Sister Is A Werewolf. There’s a lot that’s bad about that movie. It stars the actor Reb Brown, who I will forever know as “Big McLargeHuge”, thanks to MST3K. The main villainess is Sybil “gratuitous tit shot” Danning. However, there are exactly two things I like about the movie. One: It has Christopher Lee as an occult expert who hunts werewolves, and two, there’s a scene in a “punk club” where Lee is watching some werewolves hunt their prey. On the stage of the club is a band, and they’re performing this song: Babel – “Howling.”
…and lastly a bit more new wave…sorta. This band started as a new wave act, and over the course of their career, morphed through goth, metal (ish) and industrial. This is one of the better-known songs, and it’s too perfect not to include: Ministry – “Every Day Is Halloween.”
There you go, kids. Don’t take any apples or unwrapped candy.