So, it’s that time of year again. The clocks have gone back, the evenings are drawing in, and the high street seems persistent in bombarding you with the constant reminder that it’s fancy dress season. Supermarkets have their shelves stacked to the ceilings with all the necessary fake blood supplies, masks, costumes and novelty pumpkin associated items anyone could wish for. That’s right, it’s Halloween again people. Time to dress up, carve pumpkins, watch horror movies and eat way too many sweets. Or you could go one step further and throw a beast of a Halloween party? Decorate the house, get some disgusting Halloween themed cocktails on the go, invite some people round and get these tracks on. Here’s the ’10 Songs You Need at Your Halloween Party’ plus maybe one more classic…
1. The Specials – Ghost Town
Released in 1981, ‘Ghost Town’s subject matter looked at the hardship that faced Britain under Thatcher. The song went to number 1 in the UK and became The Specials biggest hit. The organ that lurks alongside the siren at the beginning of the track and the lyrics in the chorus have made this a common addition to many party playlists at this time of year.
2. Ramones – Pet Sematary
‘Pet Sematary’ was written by The Ramones especially for Stephen King’s Pet Sematary horror film, and was released on their album Brain Drain in 1989. Although it’s generally the typical jolly Ramones sound, again the lyrics tell a different story. “Ancient goblins and warlords come out of the ground/not making a sound/the smell of death is all around” Any music written for Stephen King; that’s Halloween gold right there.
3. The Misfits – Die Monster Die
With a title as full on as ‘Die Monster Die’ it’s obvious why this song earned a place on this list. The Misfits are the kings of dark, gothic, horror punk with their skeletal themed make-up and black attire. ‘Die Monster Die’ is a 2 minute snappy jab, where images of henchman, Monroe rising from the dead and evil mirrors are all placed theatrically in any listener’s head. It’s almost as though The Misfits can decorate your party for you, or decorate the minds of your guests at the very least.
4. The Cure – Lullaby
This next selection, and why it sits amongst these other tracks, is best understood after its music video has been watched. Robert Smith, The Cure’s frontman – with his dark hair, dark eyes, pale skin and vivid red lipstick – becomes immobilised by spider webs while lying in bed. At the end of the video he gets eaten by what looks like a giant spider too. Smith sings “there is nothing I can do when i realise with fright that the spiderman is having me for dinner tonight”. All sorts of creepy going on there.
5. Alkaline Trio – This Could Be Love
Don’t be fooled by the title of this song. The lyrics in this track have to be some of the eeriest and most bizarre ever heard from any band. Vocalist Matt Skiba breaks the chorus down into parts “step one/slit my throat,/step two/play in my blood/step three/cover me in dirty sheets and run laughing out of the house”. Earlier he explains “I shat the bed and lay there in it/thinking of you wide awake for days”. Dark, twisted, sadistic, genius, from the punk trio’s Good Mourning album from 2003.
6. The Computers – Halloween / Some Kind Of Hate
Recorded for the Record Store Day Release back in 2012, The Computers released their own versions of the two Misfits tracks. The Computers really add a sense of their own unique darkness in this combination release, and you also get that rock n soul vibe they have become known for, which is awesome at any party. This, alongside a shadowy influence that hones through, is perfect for Halloween.
7. Saves The Day – Bones
‘Bones’ by Saves The Day is next up. Chris Conley’s lyrics have always been distant from the sugar and spice and all things nice, so thats why ‘Bones’ is here to stay. As chirpy as the song sounds, Conley tells of being driven out of town by locals and having his face eaten by wolves. He doesn’t hold back as he sings “stare as the maggots eat out my eyelids/they’ll laugh about it tomorrow/when my body’s rotten and hollow”. Nice.
8. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand
This 1994 classic off the album Let Love In, has made many a movie and TV appearance – notably Dumb and Dumber. Despite not being a Horror movie, it doesn’t mean to say that this track shouldn’t be played at Halloween. Its dark bell toll and western feel sees this track as a stand out for any playlist. If it gets put on towards the end of your party, be warned. Expect some guy with a half-arsed zombie outfit, drunkenly dancing alone, thinking he’s David Bowie in the Labyrinth.
9. AFI – Total Immortal
Punk rock’s relationship with goth and horror has a long history, and AFI are commonly known to fall under all the categories mentioned. Sporting the makeup and dark clobber, AFI are an occurring addition to Halloween compilations. In ‘Total Immortal’, you start to understand the lead singer’s visions. Davey Havok sings “I hear them calling my name/I feel them gnawing out holes through flawless souls”. Music website, metalodyssey.net, called the All Hallow’s E.P a “Horror Punk Gem”. Make sure you turn this up to 11.
10. The National – Anyone’s Ghost
This track is probably the most relaxed song on this Halloween themed playlist, but it still fits in well with the others. As mysterious as this track is, it only adds to its appeal. This is the perfect song to stick on when everyone has gone home, full of drink and party food, and you’re the one left to clean up the puke that someones left thoughtfully in the hallway for you. Happy Halloween!
Bonus: Bobby Pickett & The Crypt Kickers – Monster Mash
Any Halloween party would obviously be naked without it, lets be honest.