Halloween is just around the corner, which means it’s time to dust off your cauldron, hang up the cobwebs and perfect your ghoulish moves in front of the mirror.
But while you are off to a good start in preparation for the big night, aren’t you forgetting something?
Every successful Halloween party not only needs sinfully scrumptious snacks and frightfully fun friends, but also a killer Halloween party playlist.
Fear not, my fellow demons, I have conjured the perfect playlist for the most hellish night of the year. Here is a sampling of what is in store:
‘Always Something’ – Cage the Elephant
My cousin Zach first introduced me to Cage the Elephant when I was quite a bit younger, with the music video for “Back Against the Wall.”
If a bunch of demonic garden gnomes isn’t enough to weird you out when you’re, like, nine years old, then them coming back from the dead to carry out revenge against the lead singer sure will.
It’s a great song, though, and so is “Always Something.”
While “Back Against the Wall” is creepy based on the music video, “Always Something” manifests the same reaction through audio alone. Exploding right off the bat with an anguished scream and a guitar riff sounding like a distorted old horror movie theme, this song is perfect Halloween material.
Still not convinced? There is infidelity, murder and psychosis all packed into a mere 3 minutes and 40 seconds. I know. Impressive, right?
Similar: “They’re Coming To Take Me Away- Ha Haaa!” – Napoleon XIV
‘Mr. Doctor Man’ – Palaye Royale
These guys are a new discovery of mine. Hailing from Toronto, Canada (but currently headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada), this indie rock band offers up Britpop flavors with hoarse vocals that bite and cut at catchy lyrics.
Lead singer Remington Leith is the singing voice for Andy Biersack’s (Black Veil Brides) character in the rock movie “American Satan.”
Leith’s vocals are enough to warrant a spot on this playlist. However, this track, about a mad scientist and the people he experiments on, has a particularly Halloween vibe.
Similar: “I Don’t Feel Quite Right”- Palaye Royale, “Against the Devil”- The Relentless, “Let Him Burn”- The Relentless
‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)’ – Marilyn Manson
No playlist created for the creepiest night of the year would be complete without Marilyn Manson. It is truly amazing how Manson managed to take a pop song like “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” and turn it into the most psychotic, wonderfully creepy covers ever.
Starting off with a darker take on the classic riff backed by gross horror movie sound effects, it is really Manson’s command over dynamics that transforms this song into the stuff of nightmares. Cracked high toned vocals softly sang during the chorus, effectively portrays psychosis before his growling scream during the verses even sets in.
Similar: “This is Halloween” – Marilyn Manson, “This is Halloween” – “The Nightmare Before Christmas” cast
‘Thriller’ – Michael Jackson
The ’80s gave us some of the staples of Halloween playlists, so the inclusion of this Michael Jackson track shouldn’t surprise anyone.
This timeless ’80s dance will always be included on Halloween playlists. Forget singable lyrics and disco-influenced instrumentation, the music video is iconic.
My favorite part of the song is the deep-voiced narrator reciting the curse: “Darkness falls across the land; the midnight hour is close at hand; creatures crawl in the search of blood, to terrorize your neighborhood, and whosoever shall be found without the soul for getting down, shall stand and face the hounds of hell and rot inside a corpse’s shell … ” You can’t fight me on this one.
Similar: “Somebody’s Watching Me”- Rockwell, “Ghostbusters”- Ray Parker Jr.
‘Monster Mash’- Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers
This classic is a given as well, but some things bear repeating.
This G-rated Halloween doo-wop track’s fun storytelling is impressive. I mean, listen to the sheer number of accents and voices Pickett sings throughout the song. It’s a cute dance song that never actually tells you how to do the “monster mash,” but that leaves more room for imagination, I guess.
Similar: “Purple People Eater”- The Big Bopper, “Transylvania Twist”-Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers, “Time Warp”- Patricia Quinn
To listen to all of these and more find my “NDSU Halloween Party Playlist” playlist on Spotify.