There’s something about Halloween that makes people wanna party! Maybe it’s the cold, autumn weather. Perhaps it’s the scary decorations and costumes. Or maybe it’s the massive sugar high from all the candy. Whatever the cause, an essential component to any Halloween party is the music. That’s why I’ve created this playlist that’s good enough to wake the dead.
You’ll find all the creepy, spooky, and awesome songs to make All Hallow’s Eve simply wicked.
Plus, there’s a special bonus in the playlist just for Bean!
This Is Halloween – Marilyn Manson
Manson contributed this creepy cover to the Nightmare Revisited album, which also features covers of the film’s soundtrack from Rise Against, Korn, and Shiny Toy Guns.
Halloween – Siouxsie & The Banshees
Post-punk queen, Siouxie Sioux, along with her Banshee band, released this song from their 1981 album, Juju, which was inspired by dark elements. Their gothic lyrics make this song a great addition to this playlist.
Halloween – The Misfits/AFI
This song is awesome! The Misfits released this gem in 1981 as a single, while AFI later paid tribute in 1999 by covering the song on their All Hallow’s EP, which contains some epic tracks. More tunes from the Misfits to appear later on this playlist (’cause let’s face it, you can’t have just one!)
Dead Man’s Party – Oingo Boingo
Led by Danny Elfman (famous for his eerie music contributions to Tim Burton films), Oingo Boingo’s famous tune is perfect for any Halloween party! It’s ’80s funky sound just makes you wanna dance ’till you’re dead!
Ghost Town – The Specials
This favorite from ska legends, The Specials, has a spooky and mysterious vibe, contributed to the background vocals, and the synthesized ghostly sounds of the keys. Not only is it a good choice for Halloween, but it’s a cool song to listen to any other day of the year!
Surfin’ Dead – The Cramps
Featured on the soundtrack to the 1989 cult horror film, Return of the Living Dead, this creepy jam is like macabre surf rock. It’s zombie-centric lyrics about “brain soup” are enjoyably disturbing. “Do the dead..do the dead.”
Halloween – Dead Kennedys
In true punk rock style, this song talks about conformity, but while also containing imagery of Halloween. I especially enjoy the lyric, “You go to work today, you’ll go to work tomorrow, s**tfaced tonight, you’ll brag about it for months.” If your Halloween party is any good, this will probably happen!
Pet Cemetery – Ramones
This song by the Ramones was the title track of the 1989 Stephen King film, Pet Cemetery. This movie gave me the heebie-jeebies when I was a kid! However, I could listen to the Ramones gladly any time. The music video is great too!
Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
Talking Heads front man, David Byrne, once said that movie villains were “much more fascinating than the good guys.” Therefore, this song is written about..well..a psycho killer. With a killer bass line (no pun intended), this song is both memorable and danceable.
She’s A Zombie Now – The Meteors
Formed in the ’80s, London-based psychobilly band, The Meteors, have a massive collection of songs to choose from for this Halloween playlist. Their unique style, including horror themed lyrics, are definitely worth checking out!
Scarecrow – Strung Out
Fat Wreck band, Strung Out, fuses sounds of punk and metal, making for some pretty sweet tunes. This track, released on their 2000 EP, The Element of Sonic Defiance, is a favorite. If you wanna add more Strung Out to your playlist, I suggest also, “Bring Out Your Dead,” “Cemetery,” and “Vampires.”
Bella Legosi Is Dead – Bauhaus
This track released by UK band Bahaus in ’79, is arguably one of the first goth punk records. It honors horror film legend, actor Bela Lugosi, who portrayed the iconic villain, Dracula, as well as performed in many other classics. Fun fact: the song was recorded in just one live take!
Among the Dead – Tim Armstrong
From his first solo release, this song describes Armstrong’s life, including the early days of Operation Ivy, into forming Rancid. The beat both groovy and spooky for Halloween. Check out Tim’s latest projects with Jimmy Cliff, and his web series here on KROQ.com!
Dracula – Gorillaz
Off the group’s first album as a bonus track, this song is pretty irie. It’s got a sick little dub beat reminiscent of King Tubby. When its playing at your party, it’s time to grab a beer and kick it.
People Are Strange – The Doors
You can’t go wrong with the Doors on Halloween. The sounds of the organ, done by Ray Manzarek, give them some spookiness. Not only is this song a staple, but it reminds me of the ’80s teen horror flick, The Lost Boys.
Bat Country – Avenged Sevenfold
“He who makes a beast out of himself,gets rid of the pain of being a man.” This A7X video is inspired by the film, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, based on the novel by Hunter S. Thompson. The band’s sound evolved on this album, City of Evil, adding more metal influences.
Bark at the Moon – Ozzy Osbourne
How could you go wrong with the Prince of Darkness himself?! From his third album, released in 1983, Ozzy is still the man. And this song still continues to be awesome!
Science Fiction Double Feature – Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Phantom of the Opera – Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
The Gimme Gimmes are the go to guys for a great punk cover! This supergroup featuring Joey Cape of Lagwagon and Fat Mike of NOFX, has covered a variety of songs, including country, Broadway tunes, and even Japanese on their latest album! These chosen covers add a punk rock twist to some favorite show tunes.
Over at the Frankenstein Place – Alkaline Trio
Another band to cover a Rocky Horror Picture Show classic is Alkaline Trio. It’s off the tribute soundtrack album, Rocky Horror Punk Rock Show (which also includes the Gimmes Gimmes).
Frankenstein – New York Dolls
These glam/punk rock innovators released this monster track on their first studio album in 1973. The NY Dolls had a eccentric look, while creating some awesome rock songs, like this one!
Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell
Another essential Halloween tune is this ’80s jam by singer Rockwell. This paranoia-filled song features background vocals by Michael and Jermaine Jackson! The synthesized keys make me wanna boogie…and make sure no one is watching me..
Skulls – Misfits
Vampira – Misfits
Die, Die My Darling – Misfits
As previously mentioned, you can’t have just one song from the Misfits on Halloween, so I suggest these killer tracks. Just a few of my favs that happen to fit perfectly in the spooky spirit of All Hallow’s Eve.
Dragula – Rob Zombie
A KROQ fav, Rob Zombie’s tune is full of metal and gore. Zombie has also contributed his directorial skills within the horror genre, including film like House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. He has also been nominated for three Grammys, pretty impressive!
Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon
Ahh-oooooo! Released in 1978, this song from singer-songwriter Zevon is a classic rock standard, especially on Halloween. His only top-40 hit, is talks about a werewolf doing some unusual things, like ordering Chinese food, and drinking a piña colada!
Everyday Is Halloween – Ministry
’80s pop band Ministry released this club hit in 1984, and re-released it in 2010. The song about goth culture and acceptance. Ministry recently announced that they would be reuniting and releasing a new album in Spring 2012!
Monster Mash (Cover) – Misfits
Okay, just one more Misfits song! This Halloween playlist would not be complete without “Monster Mash.” Originally released by Bobby “Borris” Pickett in 1962, horror punk legends the Misfits (minus Danzig) recorded a cover in 1997, with bassist Jerry Only performing the lead vocals. The song was used in connection with the re-release of the 1969 stop-motion cartoon film, Mad Monster Party.
Halloween Spooks – Lambert, Hendricks & Ross
Featured on Kevin & Bean, this 1960′s jazz group song is one of Bean’s favorites! It’s been the subject of heavy debate on the show, because Kevin basically finds it to be awful. Some say it’s annoying, some say it’s hilarious. I personally think it’s a great KROQ Halloween novelty, and deserves a spot on this extensive Halloween playlist!
– Caitlyn Trudnich / KROQ-FM, Los Angeles