Over the years there has been more than a few great spooky albums with a distinctly Halloween feel to them. These range from gothic rockers to haunted movie soundtracks. There’s a brilliant interwoven connection between Halloween and music and it’s for this reason that Halloween parties are always so epic. Here’s a review of ten of the best Halloween album releases ever to grace the ectoplasmic airwaves around All Hollows Eve.
10. Alice Cooper Trash & Hey Stoopid
Ok, so this entry is officially 2 albums, but they came out back to back with a ramped up gothic feel. Alice Cooper’s Trash contains the classic Halloween track Poison and Hey Stupid followed that up with Feed My Frankenstein just two years later. With other track titles including Snakebite, Dangerous Tonight, House of Fire and Bed of Nails, these two albums are about as Halloween as rock ever got.
9. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
The psychedelic drippings on The Crazy World of Arthur Brown are perfect for Halloween. With tracks like Fire and a reworking of I Put a Spell on You by Screemin’ Jay Hawkins, along with a scary rainbow clown front cover, this is an album that was made to be played in the darker side of late October. Its opening song is Prelude/Nightmare and it even has a track that makes a great backdrop to a game of bobbing for apples in Spontaneous Apple Creation.
8. The Original Monster Mash
This sixteen track, big beast of an album by Bobby (Boris) Picket and the Crypt-Kickers, is another classic album for Halloween. Along with the song of the same name, it’s also got tracks entitled, Rabian – The Fiendish Idol, Blood Bank Blues, Graveyard Shift, Transylvania Twist and Monster’s Holiday. It was literally made for Halloween.
7. Tubular Bells
Created by Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells contains the title track from the film The Exorcist. It’s eerie, spectral and chimed with foreboding, which makes it just plain scary.
6. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack
The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack wasn’t much of a hit when it was first released, but it has stayed the test of time by becoming a cult Halloween sing along. With tracks like The Time Warp and Over at the Frankenstein Place, it’s got enough tongue in cheek horror melodrama to give Alice Cooper a run for his money.
5. The Addams Family Soundtrack
The Addams Family Soundtrack isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste. To start with it hasn’t got the sing along brilliance of the original TV show on it. It’s mainly the full original film score by Marc Shaiman, with a little MC Hammer, Addams Groove thrown in for good measure, so unless you’re a big Addams Family movie fan, this might not be the best album for you.
Again, apart from the amazing Ghostbusters track by Ray Parker Jr., this is pretty much the film score. However, if you combine it with the soundtrack from the second film too, which includes a Ghostbusters rap from Run DMC, On Our Own by Bobby Brown and versions of Higher and Higher, then you’ve got more than enough to add to your Halloween collection.
All of the other albums are great, but if you want pretty much every single Halloween song ever in one place, you can’t go wrong with Monster Halloween Hits. Its got songs from most of the other albums in the top ten, including the likes of Thriller, Ghostbusters, The Time Warp, Feed My Frankenstein, Ghost Town by the Specials and Psycho Killer by Talking Heads. It’s about as definitive as it gets.
2. Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
Looking like an early drawing for Joker in Batman The Dark Knight on the album front cover, David Bowie went fairly macabre for Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). The title song on its own is enough to make the album a great Halloween record, but with the addition of Ashes to Ashes, Fashion and Scream Like a Baby it is more than just a novelty entry.
Can there really be a top ten Halloween album list without Michael Jackson’s Thriller heading it up. Cueing it up for a Halloween party starter would add a bit of life to a morgue. In fact, if the video is anything to go by that’s exactly what it did. Other than the song Thriller, there’s not much that’s actually all that fiendish about the album, apart from maybe the beginnings of MJ’s morphing madness. Although, Beat It, Billie Jean and Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ are all a lot of fun to dance to wearing a shower curtain costume.
This guest blog post was written by Tuppence Magazine, dedicated to the best album reviews online.