So, you’re throwing a party and all the ghosts and ghouls are coming, but you need Halloween music (and there’s not a DJ for miles). Or perhaps, you want something to play while you constantly get up from the couch to greet trick-or-treaters at your door. Whatever your plans for Halloween, you’d like some dark tunes to help set the mood. We can help you with that. Behold, our version of the Top 30 Best Halloween Songs.
There’s a lot of death in Metallica’s album RTL. Standout tracks here are: Ride the Lighting (“Someone help me; Oh please, God help me; They’re trying to take it all away; I don’t want to die!”), For Whom the Bell Tolls, and Fade to Black.
If you like death rap or horrorcore, you can certainly check out acts like Gravediggaz or Necro. However, we prefer this spooky tune from the Geto Boys, which samples heavily Isaac Hayes’ song Hung Up On My Baby from the soundtrack of the 1974 film Tough Guys.
The best lyrics are from Bushwick Bill:
This year Halloween fell on a weekend
Me and Geto Boyz are trick-or-treating
Robbing little kids for bags
Till an old man got behind our ass
So we speeded up the pace
Took a look back and he was right before our face
He’d be in for a squabble no doubt
So I swung and hit the nigga in his mouth
He was going down, we figga’d
But this wasn’t no ordinary nigga
He stood about six or seven feet
Now, that’s the nigga I’d been seeing in my sleep
So we triple-teamed on him
Dropping them motherfuckin b’s on him
The more I swung the more blood flew
Then he disappeared and my boys disappeared, too
Then I felt just like a fiend
It wasn’t even close to Halloween
It was dark as fuck on the streets
My hands were all bloody from punching on the concrete
God damn, homie
My mind is playing tricks on me
The edited single version of Don’t Fear the Reaper was Blue Oyster Cult‘s biggest hit, reaching #12 on the American charts in November 1976. The song remains a staple tune on classic rock radio playlists. Mojo magazine ranked it #80 in the “100 Greatest Singles of All Time”. Rolling Stone magazine voted it #397 in the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”
And of course, there’s Godzilla, which speaks for itself.
Here’s some old-school Halloween music. These two themes from popular TV shows are short but fun. The first selection is kind of bittersweet, since the composer – Vic Mizzy – has recently died at the age of 93. He is best known for writing the theme tunes for the TV shows “Green Acres” and “The Addams Family” with its infamous rat-tat-tat-tat opening and punctuated with two finger snaps. He had to sing the theme himself, overdubbing his voice several times, when the production company refused to pay for singers.
Jack Marshall, composer of the Munsters theme, was an American guitarist, conductor, and composer. Trivia: Originally written with lyrics which were never actually broadcast with the show, but were used on a Munsters TV album – At Home With The Munsters (1964).
Love this one by Screamin’ Jay. The song was a success, despite being banned by some stores and radio stations. Up to this time, Hawkins had been a blues performer, emotional, but not wild. After this tune came out, he started appearing on stage, rising out of a coffin in the midst of smoke and fog, wearing a long cape. Fans loved it.
Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand comes from a line in the poem Paradise Lost by John Milton. The song has appeared in several films and TV shows, such as Hellboy and The X-Files (season two – “Duane Barry”), whose producer Chris Carter explained in the liner notes for the compilation album Songs In The Key Of X that the song was the direct inspiration for the anthology. It has also been used in all three films in the Scream Trilogy.