The Halloween Hit-List

October 28, 2019

You have a clever Halloween costume, don't be caught without an equally-clever Halloween playlist! 

Whether you are handing out candy, planning a party, or even just sitting in your living room alone with your cats, why not take it to the next level!? Great ghoulish classics are the perfect way to get in the spirit of the holiday(and yes, cat costumes are also welcomed)

We have so many ghoulish favourites that we decided we would dedicate this week's blog to compiling a list of devilishly good music for you, your friends and all the little Trick-Or-Treaters (and cats dressed like wonder woman) to enjoy. The following is a lost of our very favourite Top 20 songs.

1) MONSTER MASH - Every great Halloween mix begins and ends with the Monster Mash.  There is very little compromise here as it is easily the most universal of all the Halloween songs.  Plus it does a nice job in introducing the who's who of monsters, those that were guest-listed at this legendary mash.

2) THRILLER - First things first, Thriller is one of the most obvious choices on the list and so we might as well cut the to the chase and give Michael Jackson his due.  Make sure to listen to the full extended version of this song complete with the eerie spoken word bit at the end courtesy of film-noir master Vincent Price.

3) JUMP IN LINE - This is easily one of my favourites, the last song in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice where Wynona Ryder does a magical floating conga-line dance with Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, while Michael Keaton is busy getting his head-shrunk in a nether-world waiting room.  Playing this song will surely make you want to Jump In Line too (NOTE: There is no guarantee that your cat dressed as Wonder Woman will join you.)

4) DAY-O - On the subject of Beetlejuice, Day-O the Banana Boat song is also an important one to add in the mix.  If you are having guests over for dinner, ake sure you are serving soup while this song is playing in the background (the threat of a monster hand jumping out of the bowl will be enjoyable whether or not you scheme a way to actually make this happen).

5) GHOSTBUSTERS - Any excuse to play this song is a good one.  The biggest challenge you will have in including this song in the mix will be not watching the movie right after.  This song invokes so many amazing child-like memories, make sure not to trash your house while you are busy doing your imaginary-busting! (You will also be tempted to pull your table-cloth off while leaving "the flowers still standing. Although this is awesome, it is also discouraged.)'

6) SWEET DREAMS - I remember growing up with Disney-Halloween animations set to this song, and the creepy imagery has never truly left me.  Although the original flows better in most playlists, the Marilyn Manson is certainly creepier for anyone looking for spookier sounds.  Annie Lennox is haunting in her own right of course, something about that huge Scottish voice of hers as brilliant as it is unsettling.

7) SOMEBODY'S WATCHING ME - Recorded by 80s One Hit Wonders with Michael Jackson on vocals, this is a song that has stood the test of time (1984 robot voice and all.)  Frantically spoken-word verses with a ghoulish chorus gives the sense of a Halloween chase scene (getting chased by MJ? Yup that's scary enough for me.)

8) TIME WARP - This is one of those songs that is a little bit better with the video playing alongside it (mainly because the Rocky Horror Picture was so darned weird.)  Beware: If you play this song around any Gen-Xers, they will insist on doing the dance moves too.

9) THIS IS HALLOWEEN - The title song from Tim Burton's claymation masterpiece "The Nightmare Before Christmas".  Again, while the original version is certainly scary enough, Marilyn Manson also re-popularized the song with his cover of this song a few years later.

There are also two epic versions of this song and it is purely a matter of taste which is the better.  The 1970s disco original is certainly the groovier and more agreeable of the two, the White Zombie cover from the 90s by far the scarier.  If you are planning a dance party, definitely choose the KC & The Sunshine Band original (from those days when Boogie Men would actually Boogie!)

11) FEED MY FRANKENSTEIN - It wouldn't be a Halloween list if Alice Cooper weren't on it!  The most famous version of this song came from Wayne's World, just before Wayne and Garth headed back to meet the band backstage.  The raw energy of this song just might have you on your hands and knees declaring "We Aren't Worthy".  Excellent!

12) PSYCHO KILLER - This was the first big hit the Talking Heads had and remains relevant thanks to its eerie weirdness.  Like many David Byrne lyrics, the words only kind of make sense at a glance, which makes this song all the scarier.

13) MAGIC DANCE - David Bowie sang this catchy tune in the middle of Jim Henson's cult classic "Labyrinth". A favourite to many who grew up in the 80s, this movie was super-weird and totally matched Bowie's brilliantly unsettling energy as he dances in a cavern with trolls and baby that he kidnapped (Confusing? Absolutely!)  Out of context the song still sounds like vintage Bowie and is absolutely suitable for hopping around your living room to.

14) STAR TREK THEME - Halloween is also a nice chance to amaze ourselves with space, the final frontier.  We do prefer the original Captain Kirk version as it seems to hold the best sense of intergalactic wonder to it.

15) WEREWOLVES OF LONDON - This one is a bit of a stretch, but we do appreciate how they speak of Werewolves as well as the howling sound in the chorus.  Do take note, if you are playing this just for you and your cat dressed as Wonder Woman, there is a slight chance that your your cat will mistake you for an actual Werewolf and, while riding high on costume-inspired courage, attack you in self-defense. You've been warned.

16) BLACK MAGIC WOMAN - A nice guitar-led standard by Carlos Santana that conjures the image of cauldron's bubbling in the background. It inspires a mysterious gypsy-parlor vibe that might just inspire your to have fortune told by crystal ball (Today's Fortune reads that you are very likely to be reading a Halloween-Inspired web-blog right now.)

17) WE ONLY COME OUT AT NIGHT - We would be remiss to not include the Smashing Pumpkins in this list, a band largely associated with scary Halloween-type vibes.  Although Ava Adore was a bigger hit for them and also nice to include in a list, we went with this vampire-friendly deep track from Melon-Collie and the Infinite Sadness as it does a nice job in setting the town for a blood-sucking evening.

18) DRAGULA - Another Halloween-friendly artist is Rob Zombie, the long beard motorcycle-riding heavy-metal artist known for metal-thrashers and movie-slashers alike.  This song is certainly one of the heavier on the list and could certainly scare away some of the Halloweeners at your door (your cat will totally be into it of course.)

19) HEADS WILL ROLL - Recorded by the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, this has a great driving dance energy to it that mixes so well with Thriller that it was actually mashed-up and recorded together on an episode of Glee.  While both versions are similar, the original is a little less cheery and the better Halloween choice in our approximate estimation.

20) BATDANCE - The final song on this list could actually be a whole album, as Batdance is just the title track from an entire album Prince wrote for the first Batman movie.  Much like David Bowie, this is just one of many Prince songs that would generally fit into most Halloween lists, but this one tops ours with its link to the caped crusader.

That's it! Happy Halloween everyone!!


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