So you have a Halloween party coming up and want to put together a great themed playlist. You have Thriller, Ghostbusters, Monster Mash, and….now what? We’ll help you fill out your playlist with some fun and unexpected tracks to keep both the theme and the party going. We are using a simpler top-10 format and keeping our comments minimal. Once again we are also tapping into the vast musical knowledge of our fellow blogger Treacherous Friends. Please use the comments to let us know about your own Halloween-themed favorites!
I’m a HUGE Halloween fan. It might be my favorite holiday. I tried to pick songs that are accessible and party-friendly, and most have lyrics that relate to the holiday’s themes. Sting’s classic ode to vampires, “Moon Over Bourbon Street” is the perfect way to end your party and usher your guests out into the spooky night. Happy Halloween!
- “A Nightmare On My Street“, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.
- “Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive“, Men at Work. With its opening of clock tower bell chimes and the clip-clop of horse hooves, this will get the mood started.
- “All You Zombies“, The Hooters.
- “Cemetery Gates“, Pantera. The southern thrash-metal fan at your party will love it.
- “Death And All His Friends”, Coldplay.
- “Scarecrow People/ Poor Skeleton Steps Out“, XTC. Both songs are pure party fun. You’ll think of someone playing the xylophone on skeleton bones in the latter.
- “Zombie Zoo“, Tom Petty.
- “Monster“, Lady Gaga.
- “Ghost Town“, Adam Lambert. These last three will get the dance party going.
- “Moon Over Bourbon Street“, Sting.
DJ: I prefer “Cemetery Gates” by The Smiths actually. Decent overall list, probably could do without 8 & 9, but a little Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince is always welcome.
TF: So you’re the guy still listening to Coldplay. I was wondering who that was. I do love the XTC & Fresh Prince inclusions, and “All You Zombies” is an underappreciated classic.
I am not as “spirited” about Halloween as you, although I do love a good themed song list. I was tempted to go for the obvious Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein” or real old school with the classical gem “Danse Macabre” by Camille Saint-Saëns, but wanted to search a little.
- “Don’t Fear the Reaper”, Blue Oyster Cult. Old school creepy classic with plenty of cowbell.
- “Them Bones”, Alice in Chains.
- “Season of the Witch”, Donovan. Underrated 60s classic of psychedelic pop, time for a lava lamp.
- “Spirits in the Material World”, The Police.
- “Witch Doctor”, Alvin & The Chipmunks. You thought the Chipmunks only did Christmas. This novelty song ala “Monster Mash” is for the fun, less scary part of the party.
- “I Want Candy”, Bow Wow Wow.
- “Bark at the Moon”, Ozzy Osbourne. What’s All Hallow’s Eve without the Prince of Darkness?
- “Sympathy for the Devil”, The Rolling Stones. Crowd pleaser despite its satanic undertones.
- “Dead Souls”, Joy Division.
- “Hellbent”, New Order. The best from late New Order.
MG: Good variety here – some rock classics and a few new wave tracks, some of them unknown to me. Not sure I could take the A & TC track, so I’ll take your word on that one. “Them Bones” and “Bark at the Moon”, played with “Cemetery Gates”, would make a good hard rock segment of the party.
TF: I like this list – the idea of a possible segue from Ozzy Osbourne to Alvin & The Chipmunks makes me laugh at its absurdity.
Fun topic. I’ll bite. Most of my choices are going to be a bit off the beaten path. Like DJ, I want to eschew the obvious choices like Bowie’s “Scary Monsters,” etc…, but each of these is worth seeking out on YouTube or Spotify.
- “Halloween Blues” The Fratellis.
- “The Blob” The Five Blobs. Goofy theme song to the 1958 movie The Blob.
- “Trippy Blob” Boots Electric. Forty-three years later, Boots Electric recorded his own tribute to the same movie.
- “The Witch” The Cult.
- “Haunted” Poe.
- “The Ghosts That Haunt Me” Crash Test Dummies.
- “Blood” Bob Schneider. This is a creepy tale of a predatory little old lady killing the kids in the trailer park. Seriously.
- “Strange Fruit” Billie Holiday. Nothing fun about this horror show from Lady Day.
- “Spider Web” Joan Osborne.
- “Murder In The Red Barn” Tom Waits.
MG: Good titles here, but I don’t know if I’ve heard any of these tracks except #6. While looking for The Cult’s “The Witch” I saw a trove of Halloween themed tracks from them: “Black Angel”, “The Snake”, “The Wolf”, “Lil’ Devil”, etc. Thought I might see XTC’s “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead” in your list.
DJ: Yeah I don’t know most of these tunes and may leave the party once I hear Tom Waits but glad you included Halloween Blues, as I was close to including it on my list.