With Halloween right around the corner, you’re probably thinking about what songs to include on your killer party mix. But choose wisely– a bad song can kill a Halloween party faster than a swarm of zombies. For a Halloween mix that will truly slay ‘em, you can’t go wrong with Alice Cooper, Ozzy, and other classic rock gods. Don’t just add ‘Monster Mash’ or ‘Thriller’ to your iPod and call it a day. Make your party a hit with all the boys and ghouls by including our 10 Halloween Songs That Rock:
Donovan, ‘Season of the Witch’
Few songs have inspired as many B-horror movies as this psychedelic Donovan jam. 1972’s ‘Season of the Witch,’ from zombie-meister George A. Romero, tells the creepy tale of a housewife who dabbles in witchcraft. Then there’s ‘Halloween III: Season of the Witch,’ the infamous Michael Myers-less installment in the popular horror franchise. And who could forget the recent Nic Cage medieval turkey ‘Season of the Witch’? Oh, everyone? Whoever greenlit that dud needs to be immediately lashed to the nearest burning stake.
The Doors, ‘People Are Strange’
Halloween is basically a big excuse to dress up and act like a freak in public. Everywhere you go, people get a little straaaaange. It might be the full moon, or it might be the booze. (It’s probably the booze.) Sure, Jim Morrison was singing about free love hippies and LSD freaks. But you could also apply the lyrics to drunken revelers dressed up as Jack Sparrow and Lady Gaga’s male alter ego Jo Calderone.
Eagles, ‘Witchy Woman’
The lyrics to this Eagles classic describe a woman with “raven hair and ruby lips” who makes “sparks fly from her fingertips.” (Was Don Henley singing about Phoenix from the ‘X-Men’ comics?) Henley claims to have based the song in part on the bewitching beauties he met on the LA club scene. Play this song at your Halloween party if you want to put spell on that lovely lady dressed up as Sookie from ‘True Blood.’
The Ramones, ‘Pet Sematary’
The Ramones contributed this catchy track to the soundtrack of the Stephen King Halloween favorite ‘Pet Sematary.’ While it’s a cool, obscure track to include on a Halloween party mix, be warned: the lyrics kind of give away the movie’s premise of a cemetery that brings the dead back to life. (“I don’t want to be buried in a pet cemetery / I don’t want to live my life again.”) Good thing Joey and the gang didn’t compose a song for ‘The Sixth Sense’: (“The kid can see dead people / Specifically Bruce Willis / Because he’s a ghost / Oh, whoops – spoiler alert!”)
The Who, ‘Boris the Spider’
Bassist John Entwhistle does his best Boris Karloff impression on the chorus of this creepy Who favorite. Entwhistle came up with the song after a night of drinking and making up goofy names for animals and insects with Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, which might explain why is voice is so scratchy. Someone give that guy a lozenge.
Warren Zevon, ‘Werewolves of London’
While some may think that ‘Werewolves of London’ is a tongue-in-cheek trifle, it’s actually a cautionary tale. Zevon sings of a werewolf-infested London where vicious wolf-men mutilate helpless old ladies and show off their perfect hair over frosty pina coladas at Trader Vic’s. Seemingly on an endless quest for a plate of beef chow mein, these “hair-handed gents” have been known to run amok in Kent, though lately their howls have also been overheard in the Mayfair district. It’s a world gone mad, where werewolves howl around kitchen doors and seeing horror film legend Lon Chaney Jr. walking with The Queen is a common occurrence.
Alice Cooper, ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’
The title track of Alice Cooper’s classic concept album, which took listeners on a journey through the nightmares of a kid named Steven, is the perfect kick-off to your annual ceremony of terror. (Vincent Price’s ‘Black Widow’ monologue needs to be mashed-up with his ‘Thriller’ dialogue yesterday.) And for truly kitsch-y Halloween fun, check out Alice’s performance of ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’ on ‘The Muppet Show.’ The monster chorus behind Alice are some of the creepiest creations to come out of the Jim Henson Workshop.
Ozzy Osbourne, ‘Bark at the Moon’
The video for this head-banging classic featured Ozzy as a Dr. Jekyll-esque mad scientist who turns into a howling beast after ingesting a formula. It’s time for Wolf-Ozzy to make a comeback. Maybe as a guest on ‘The Talk,’ Sharon Osbourne’s terrible daytime gab-fest? He could get into a debate with Leah Remini about the pros and cons of feeding your kids a vegetarian diet. And then he could tear her arms off.
Blue Oyster Cult, ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper’
While many have assumed this classic rock staple is about a suicide pact (the whole Romeo and Juliet part is probably responsible for that interpretation), guitarist/vocalist Buck Dharma revealed that the lyrics are actually about eternal love. Though, for Christopher Walken, the song is all about the cowbell. Specifically, needing more of it.
AC/DC, ‘Highway to Hell’
Angus Young has said that ‘Highway to Hell’ is actually about the drudgery of life on the road. (As Sartre said, hell is other people. Particularly if they don’t bathe.) Still, that didn’t stop dumb people from assuming that AC/DC are devil-worshipers on a literal highway to the underworld. (Who is paving this highway? Is it federally funded? What is a rest stop on the highway to hell like? The mind boggles…) Pair it with ‘Hells Bells,’ and hope that the power of Bon Scott’s vocals doesn’t invoke an actual demon from the bowels of Hades.
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