Making a Halloween Music Playlist? Deviate From the Norm!

Happy Halloween Week everyone! Always one of my favorite holidays.

Are you one of those people who loves to make a playlist for your Halloween parties or to scare trick or treaters as they come hit you up for their Snickers fix?

Well if so this post is for you, and for those of you looking to treat your ears to some new music, as well.

Year after year we hear the same ol’ Halloween standards….Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” “The Monster Mash,”  “One Eyed One Horned Purple People Eater” as festive, quirky pop tunes. Then there is the sophisticated setlisters who employ classical music.  Pieces like; Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D min,” Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mtn. King” and Orff’s “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana.

Lets ‘Deviate from the Norm’ this year….to borrow a line from Rush’s Geddy Lee and Neil Peart. Here are a few ideas that are not quite as trendy but every bit as scary and quirky.  Add some of these tunes to your Halloween Ipod playlist and you will be the coolest ‘evil’ DJ this side of Transylvania.

Scary

Everyone and their mother uses the theme from the Twilight Zone or Michael Myers Halloween movies.

Here is a modern take on the horror theme song genre. Try the end credits from Dexter…you know the serial killer who kills serial killers. Very haunting melody. The version here unlike the show has an extended drumtrack mix through the second part.

Quirky

How this song hasn’t become a Halloween classic I’ll never know. The Who’s tale of a creepy crawly spider named Boris is a great replacement for the overplayed “Monster Mash.”

Megadeth’s, “I Ain’t Superstitious” is a can’t miss, as well.

Rock Tunes

Any of the following would make a perfect addition to your playlist;

Black Sabbath…The demonic Metalers were masters of the tri-tone and chromatic power chord songs.

I would recommend “Black Sabbath” or “Electric Funeral” if you want heavy metal with a dark tinge but their super studio effected intro to the “Mob Rules,” entitled “E5150” will scare the kids right off your porch.

Most people when they think of Van Halen think great guitar but not so much spooky sounds.  Eddie, however, had a few tricks up his sleeve. Check out “Tora Tora/Loss Control,” “Intruder” and the prepared piano piece “Strung Out.” All would add a little edge to your Goul-list. My Van Halen pick, however, goes to the synth based “Sunday Afternoon in the Park.”

Classical

I hesitate to put these pieces on this list because they are ‘real’ music written by ‘real’ composers but not for the purpose of being dark, scary and Halloweenish where as the rock tunes above were. These are composers who have experimented with sound systems, emotions and humanity for much deeper reasons than being background for a bunch of frat boys in costumes drinking as much beer as they can on Halloween. That said I am here for you! I am here to offer you some new sounds and that is what I am going to do.

Charles Ives, “Hallowe’en”

Schoenberg, “Pierrot Lunaire”

Bartok, “String Quartet #4, 5th Movement”

Check back next year for a new list.

Related articles;

Perfect Pumpkins, A Halloween Song

The Bride of Frankenstein, Artwork

Classical Music for Halloween

What Good is Halloween Without Candy Apples

About mikeslayen

Guitarist/Instructor

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