Friday, October 28, 2016

Ultimate Halloween Party Playlist v. 4.0

Halloween is Monday.  Halloween parties will be happening this weekend.  Call me a necromancer who dabbles in ritual sacrifice and blood letting, but Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year.  

Last year, I added 26 more songs to my Ultimaate Halloween Party Playlist, bringing the total to 111, in a blatant attempt to appease Countess Bathory.  I have since learned both conversation medieval Magyar and Latin, so I can finally understand what she is saying.  "Bring me the blood of a thousand children!" she yelled to me last night, from the depths of her castle, already covered head-to-toe in other people's blood.  "Bitch, I don't have access to a thousand children, and, even if I did, it would be really difficult to gather them all together and fly them to medieval Hungary.  I can only give you more spooky songs on a Halloween playlist," I yelled back in my sleep.  "Fine!" she replied, "Just post it on your blog, and I'll pull it up after I'm done swimming in the blood of the daughters of the lesser gentry."  Then so it shall be.

I have added 13 more songs to the list this year, compiling the best songs for you to use either at a Halloween party to set the mood right or in the background on Halloween night, when you're dressed like The Butcher from this years American Horror Story, passing out candy and pig fetuses to the neighborhood kids while speaking in a gruff 17th Century colonial dialect, rambling on and on about consecrating this land.

Halloween is the one time of year when it's okay to embrace evil.  At any Halloween party or during trick-or-treating, you want there to be a certain level of creepiness, as well as some campiness, because Halloween is supposed to be a mixture of paganism, macabre, and fun.  As a result, the playlist below includes songs that have dark and evil themes, talk about monsters or the devil or witches or the like, mention the word "Halloween," or are just plain creepy.  My mix has a lot of heavy metal, but that's kind of expected, since metal bands are more likely to embrace darker subject matter than, say, The Weeknd.  That said, it's all pretty palatable, even to those ears that might not be used to wailing guitars and double bass drums.  

As always, you don't want to go too dark, like, say, Norwegian black metal, because you're going to lose your party-goers, or the neighbors are going to think you're really into church burning.  And if you are into church burning, you're probably not going to want to tip the neighbors off by blaring Dimmu Borgir out your front door while handing their children those little two packs of Starburst, even if it should be obvious from the fact that you're wearing all black (other than the goat's blood covering your face), wielding a battle axe, and loudly proclaiming your allegiance to Satan in response to the call of "trick or treat."

For parties, you'll probably want to mix these songs in with your regular party mix.  After all, who doesn't want to hear "Sign of the Wolf (Pentagram)" after "The Hills"?  For trick or treating, you're probably going to want to just go straight spooky, which probably means a heavy dose of Ghost, Pentagram, Misfits, and Black Sabbath.  Just make sure the songs you choose for trick or treating don't have any swears in them.  Parents can be real assholes about that.

With that, here are my recommendations for your Halloween playlist, in alphabetical order by artist, with comments where I felt it was necessary.  For your sake and the safety of your offspring, I suggest you add at least some of these to your Halloween party playlist, lest you'll become the Countess's dinner.

1-4.  "Highway to Hell," "Hells Bells," "Night Prowler," and "If You Want Blood (You've Got It)" by AC/DC
"Highway to Hell" is an obvious choice and a crowd pleaser.  "Hells Bells" has those instantly recognizable bells -- hells bells, if you will.  "Night Prowler" is a slower, creepy song that, several years later, serial killer Richard Ramirez (aka, "the Night Stalker") claimed inspired him, or something like that.  "If You Want Blood" was added solely to appease the Countess.

5.  "Demon Eyes" by The Answer

6.  "Helter Skelter" by The Beatles
This should be played just before or after "Look At Your Game, Girl" by Charles Manson.

7.  "Howling for You" by The Black Keys

8-11.  "Black Sabbath," "War Pigs," "The Wizard," and "Heaven and Hell" by Black Sabbath
"Black Sabbath" was inspired by a vision Geezer Butler had one night after reading a book about witchcraft that Ozzy Osbourne gave to him.  He woke up in the middle of the night, and a black figure was standing at the foot of his bed.  The figure disappeared, and when Butler went to get the book, it too was gone.  "War Pigs" is about war, death, and bodies burning.  "The Wizard" is about a wizard.  "Heaven and Hell" is the title track from the first Sabbath album with Ronnie James Dio as the lead singer, and it is awesome.

12.  "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" by Blue Öyster Cult
But do fear people who would actually vote for Donald Trump.

13.  "I Want Candy" by Bow Wow Wow

14.  "Howl" by JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound

15.  "Halloween Theme" by John Carpenter
Instantly recognizable as one of the more creepy horror movie themes.

16.  "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash

17.  "The Night Time is the Right Time" by Ray Charles

18.  "Spooky" by The Classics IV

19.  "I Love The Dead" by Alice Cooper

20.  "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" by The Cramps
I wasn't.

21.  "Am I Demon" by Danzig
No, no I'm not.

22.  "One Way Ticket" by The Darkness
You see, it's a one way ticket to hell.  And back.

23.  "Am I Evil?" by Diamond Head
"Yes I am."

24.  "A Nightmare on My Street" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
This is a classic late '80s rap song, playing off of the popularity of Freddy Krueger, who, for many of us growing up in the '80s, was the most terrifying of all the horror movie villains.  I should also note that I did, in fact, perform this with a friend for our elementary school talent show in fifth grade.  I was Freddy.  It was pretty awesome.

25.  "Dream Warriors" by Dokken
Speaking of Freddy, this was the title track to Nightmare on Elm Street 3:  Dream Warriors.

26.  "Season of the Witch" by Donovan

27-28.  "The End" and "People Are Strange" by The Doors
"The End" is one of the creepier Doors songs, which says a lot.

29.  "Hungry Like the Wolf" by Duran Duran

30.  "Murder On the Dancefloor" by Sophie Ellis-Bextor
In case you're spiking your Milky Ways with molly.

31.  "Trick or Treat" by Fastway
'80s metal band Fastway played the soundtrack to the 1986 the metal-themed horror film Trick or Treat.  This is the title song.

32.  "Kiss Me Deadly" by Lita Ford

33.  "Close My Eyes Forever" by Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne

34.  "Evil and a Heathen" by Franz Ferdinand

35-40.  "Monstrance Clock," "Year Zero," "If You Have Ghosts," "Ghuleh/Zombie Queen," "Cirice," and "Nocturnal Me" by Ghost
"Monstrance Clock" is about conceiving "Lucifer's son," and "Year Zero" is about Satan in general and has a nice gothic feel to it.  "If You Have Ghosts" is a Roky Erickson cover about having ghosts.  "Ghuleh/Zombie Queen" is about Ghuleh and a zombie queen.  "Cirice" is a sold song about souls merging.  "Nocturnal Me" is a new one about you, assuming you're noctural.  To be honest, I would suggest just including all songs from Ghost's three albums and two EPs -- Opus Eponymous, Infestissumam, If You Have Ghost, Meloria, and Popestar -- especially if you're looking for trick-or-treating background music.  They are demonic in a polite Swedish way.

41.  "Maneater" by Hall & Oates

42.  "Hallow's Eve" by Hallows Eve

43-44.  "Halloween" and "Mr. Torture" by Helloween
German power metal band Helloween obviously has the right name for a Halloween mix, and their song "Halloween" is included for obvious reasons.  I also chose to go with "Mr. Torture" because I like the song.  So there.

45.  "Friendly Ghost" by Harlem
This one's a little more light-hearted, to offset the vast majority of this list.

46.  "I Put a Spell On You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
I prefer the original to CCR's cover (which is still very good) because Hawkins adds a level of voodoo campiness that CCR just couldn't have matched.

47.  "Magic Man" by Heart

48.  "I Ain't Superstitious" by Howlin' Wolf

49.  "Devil Inside" by INXS

50-52.  "Killers," "Murders in the Rue Morgue," and "Number of the Beast" by Iron Maiden
It was tough figuring out just one Iron Maiden song to include, so I went with three.  The first two are from 1981's Killers album:  "Killers," which is essentially about someone being stalked and murdered, and "Murders in the Rue Morgue," which is not only my favorite Iron Maiden song, but is also based on short story by Edgar Allen Poe of the same name.  The third, "Number of the Beast," is a metal classic off of the 1982 album of the same name.  Because of this song, my children know that 666 is the number of the beast.

53.  "Thriller" by Michael Jackson
This is a no-brainer and should be played at every Halloween party for eternity.

54.  "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane
This is especially good if your partygoers are all on LSD.

55.  "Devil's Child" by Judas Priest

56.  "Hotter Than Hell" by KISS

57.  "Pretend We're Dead" by L7

58.  "Heeby-Jeebies" by Little Richard

59.  "Look at Your Game, Girl" by Charles Manson
Recorded when Manson was still trying to break into the LA music scene and before he started ordering his minions to murder movie stars and grocery store owners, this song comes across as an innocent folky acoustic song.  Then you realize it's sung by Charles Manson, and it becomes super creepy.

60.  "Evil Love" by Meat Puppets

61-62.  "Fade to Black" and "Creeping Death" by Metallica

63-66.  "Halloween," "Death Comes Ripping," "Mommy, Can I Go Out & Kill Tonight," and "Bloodfeast" by The Misfits

67.  "Shout at the Devil" by Mötley Crüe

68-69.  "Dead Men Tell No Tales" and "I'm Your Witch Doctor" by Motörhead

70.  "Spiderwebs" by No Doubt

71.  "Running Scared" by Roy Orbison

72.  "O Fortuna" by Carl Orff

73.  "Bark at the Moon" by Ozzy Osbourne

74.  "Dracula's Wedding" by Outkast

75.  "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker, Jr.

76.  "Satan's Bed" by Pearl Jam

77.  "Sign of the Wolf (Pentagram)" by Pentagram
Doom metal pioneers Pentagram have a good number of hard-rocking creepy songs, but this one is probably the most relevant to Halloween.

78.  "Zombie Zoo" by Tom Petty

79.  "The Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett & The Crypt Kickers
This is a classic Halloween song that should be played at least once at every Halloween party.

80-81.  "Fallen Angel" and "Flesh and Blood (Sacrifice)" by Poison

82.  "Halloween" by Matt Pond PA

83.  "Going to Hell" by The Pretty Reckless

84.  "Gates of Babylon" by Rainbow
The song is about sleeping with the devil.  And then paying for sleeping with the devil.  Probably because the devil gave you the clap.

85.  "Diablo Rojo" by Rodrigo y Gabriela

86-88.  "Sympathy for the Devil," "Dead Flowers," and "Paint It, Black" by The Rolling Stones

89-91.  "Soul Sacrifice," "Black Magic Woman" and "Evil Ways" by Santana

92.  "Li'l Red Riding Hood" by Sam The Sham & The Pharoahs

93.  "Witchcraft" by Frank Sinatra

94.  "Angel of Death" by Slayer
While I would generally recommend steering clear of Slayer at parties, there is no more appropriate time to let it loose than Halloween.  And you can always use it as a way to clear people out.

95.  "Bullet With Butterfly Wing" by Smashing Pumpkins
It just wouldn't seem right to have a Halloween playlist without a Smashing Pumpkins song on it.  I went with this one, not only because it starts by exclaiming -– wrongly, mind you -– that "the world is a vampire," but also because it's an awesome song.

96.  "Serial Killa" by Snoop Doggy Dogg

97-98.  "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" and "The Witch" by The Sonics
Halloween has room for garage rock, too.

99.  "Fell On Black Days" by Soundgarden

100.  "Wicked Garden" by Stone Temple Pilots

101.  "To Hell With the Devil" by Stryper
In case you are concerned that your playlist might be a little too devil-heavy, you can balance it out with this '80s Christian hair band classic.

102.  "Santeria" by Sublime

103.  "Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads
"You're crazy!"  
"That's what they said about Son of Sam."

104.  "Devil's Daughter" by Tax the Heat

105.  "Here Comes the Night" by Them

106.  "Killer On the Loose" by Thin Lizzy

107.  "Sinister Minister" by Township

108-109.  "Running With the Devil" and "D.O.A." by Van Halen

110.  "The Black Angel's Death Song" by The Velvet Underground
I have never done acid, but I assume this song is what a bad acid trip would have sounded like in Victorian England.

111.  "Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)" by W.A.S.P.

112.  "Burning the Witches" by Warlock

113.  "Got My Mojo Working" by Muddy Waters

114.  "If My Mind is Evil" by White Lion

115-118.  "Death Letter," "Dead Leaves and The Dirty Ground," "Little Ghost," and "Walking With a Ghost" by The White Stripes

119.  "Boris The Spider" by The Who

120.  "Friends of Hell" by Witchfinder General

121.  "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder

122.  "Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon
"I saw a werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic's / And his hair was perfect."  Great line.

123-124.  "Dragula" and "Living Dead Girl" by Rob Zombie

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