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Halloween Heavies

Why You Must Listen to These Songs on the Most Evil Day of the Year

By Tom BakerPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 5 min read
The King of Halloween Anthems: SAMHAIN "November's Fire"

Halloween is a time for soaping cars, vandalizing your neighbor's house with toilet paper rolls, playing with Ouija Boards, trespassing into graveyards at night, and who knows? maybe committing mass human sacrifice at some hitherto undisclosed location run by a drug cartel in Buenos Aires and presided over by a huge, skulking, black-clad woman named Juanita. It's all fun and games until someone loses a soul.

It's been accused of being a musical holiday as well. yes, yes, you've heard dozens and dozens of scratchy, cast-off vinyl LPs bought for a few bucks at some Goodwill, albums called "Spooky Sounds of the Haunted House," and "Vincent Price Reads the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne," and you may of, as a child, bought a Halloween cassette tape hanging from the drugstore rack of little metal rods, sandwiched in between smelly rubber masks and little kits of greasy face paint (and phony knives and the like, to encourage good citizenship in young'ns). Those cassette tapes were a study in lo-fi disappointment. But what did it matter? It was the thought that counted, the spirit of the season. Halloween, while it may spring from ancient and very serious ritualistic roots (Druid "Wicker Man" human sacrifices) is a cheap, sleazy, tawdry, commercial affair in modern times.

To that end, we've compiled a video anthology of wonderful songs by thoroughly upstanding and all-around God-fearing assets to the co-myoo-nit-e, a bunch of well-scrubbed, rosy-cheeked, polished, groomed, and professional exemplars of bourgeois standards and tea-sipping sensibilities.

(Ah, who the hell are we kidding? They're a bunch of rock n' roll rejects. Lay back, crack a cold one [I mean a beer, not a body, unless, you know, you're into that sort of thing], burn a spliff, and bang your head until your DEAD!)

Never fear! We have the heaviest Halloween horror hits you'll ever hear!


(... this year, my dear!)

Ahem, the first one, the ultimate one, the bestest among the restest is:

1. Halloween by THE MISFITS

What more do I have to say? The Misfits OWN Halloween (as my old buddy Buff once observed). It belongs to them. Jerry, Joey, Doyle, Dez, Arthur, Bobby, CHUD, Michael, Marky, and of course, GLENN DANZIG, have spent decades and decades in the trenches (which, in this case, are filled with broken bodies in "Death Rock dance halls"), kicking ass and taking hostages. Don't let fifty million kids wearing a T-shirt for a band they've never actually listened to fool ya': The Misfits are the KINGS of HORROR PUNK, baby! So keep your Twenty Eyes open and your ears to the stereo sound! (Whatever the hell that means.)

2. Halloween by KING DIAMOND

King Diamond is a legend in the heavy metal demimonde. Calling him classic is almost a redundancy. His music is an operatic mixture of beautiful, technically excellent metal menace, combined with touches of heavy, chugging hard rock, gothic keyboard passages that haunt the listener long after the album has ended, and the King's own inimitable vocalizations, which alternate between piercing banshee wails and deep, demonic, snot-infused, guttural utterances that call forth the possessed capering of so many witch demoniacs. His albums are horror concept gothic audio novellas, and musical paeans to the Powers of Darkness. Below, he pays homage to The Lord of the Dead. Long live The King!

3. Halloween by HELLOWEEN

Although I've posted this video recently, I couldn't help but post it again, on account of this is a post about songs called "Halloween," or with Halloween in the title, and so this video belongs here (y'all got hat?). It features those Deutsch Dudeniks of heavy, progressive thrash, thrashing thrashily all about their complete and utter joy at the Season of Unreason, and doing it for damn near ELEVEN MINUTES (but not in the Official Video).

"In the streets on Halloween, the spirits will arise! Make your choice it's Hell or paradise!"

As Mickey said to Mallory, "Well now, that is poetry."

We love this video because it seems to feature a cameo by Mervyn from The Sandman. Also, German girls in like zombie leotards with overdeveloped derrieres. How could one go wrong?

4. Halloween by THE DEAD KENNEDYS

Proving once again that there's always room for Jello, the Dead Kennedys blast out at mindless herd conformity in this paean to the dark and wicked unholy day when normies and suburbanites of every conceivable stripe let their hair down, get loose, and shirk the societal conventions that the Kennedys always held in such contempt. "You're dressed up like a clown, putting on your act / It's the only time of year you'll ever admit that!" The song begs the listener to ponder why every day can't be Halloween; i.e. a time for being exactly who you are on the outside, as opposed to hiding behind the "mask" of social acceptance. But what Jello doesn't realize is that, for some of us, every day is a day to celebrate the beast within.

5. Every Day is Halloween by MINISTRY

I saw Minsitry live at the Murat Egyptian Room in Indianapolis in 1996, although it wasn't at Halloween time and they sure didn't play this song. I do remember them nearly killing me in that slam pit, and I remember Al Jourgenson was a total prick when we met him after the show. But I guess that's par for the course. I'll forgive him, this time. Okay? The song seems to be about non-conformity, using HAlloween as a metaphor for the ability to free oneself of guilt over being who you are inside, as opposed to fronting with a false exterior. Something like that. The song lacks the heavy guitar sound that would come to define classic Ministry, making it a little reminiscent of Depeche Mode.

6. This is Halloween by MARILYN MANSON

Marilyn Manson was the Unofficial Son of Perdition back around the year 1996, so it's no surprise he should want to wrap his musical legs around a cover of Tim Burton's theme to his popular children's movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. Burton's movies are all theoretically good, yet, curiously, seem much less enjoyable when you actually sit down to view them. Manson has an album from twenty-seven years ago I use to really like. But, as Mickey told the waitress, "It doesn't matter I was a completely different person then."

This one is a little cutesy for the Antichrist, but still, the video has a certain overproduced, crap culture charm to it. Grab your candy bags and vomit forth a solid green river of Bit O' Honey and Bottlecaps. We're headed to Halloween Town!

And that my friends and fellow fiends is all she wrote. Now, if you'll excuse me, there are graves to rob, souls to possess, victims to stalk, and candy to gobble. Until we meet again. On October 31st. Under the gibbous moon.

Treat or trick.

bandsvintagesynthsong reviewsrockpunkpop culturenew wavemetallistelectronicaalt rockalternative90s music80s music

About the Creator

Tom Baker

Author of Haunted Indianapolis, Indiana Ghost Folklore, Midwest Maniacs, Midwest UFOs and Beyond, Scary Urban Legends, 50 Famous Fables and Folk Tales, and Notorious Crimes of the Upper Midwest.:

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  • Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock4 months ago

    A whole lot more fun, even if I did wait until All Saints' Day to read & listen.

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