EarthQuaker Halloween, spooky, scary…
We take Halloween seriously so you don’t have to! Here’s 118 songs / 7 hours of creepy tunes from this year’s Halloween party for your listening terror. These are in no particular order - hit “shuffle” and have a scary good time! Keep reading for the gory details about a few of my favorites!
The Cramps - “I Was A Teenage Werewolf”
Cramps frontman Lux Interior was born Erick Lee Purkhiser on October 21, 1946 in Stow, Ohio, where he lived until moving to California in 1973. He met his bandmate and wife Poison Ivy (born Kristy Wallace) in 1972 when he and a friend picked her up as a hitchhiker. The rest is horror punk history. Anyone who’s ever been to an orthodontist should shiver at “braces on my fangs…”
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins - “Little Demon”
This Cleveland native is best known for “I Put A Spell On You,” but I like this tune better. Hawkins is remembered mainly for his live performances, which began with the singer rising from a coffin placed on stage, inspiring acts like Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, and Slipknot to increase the theatrical production value of their live shows.
Along with television horror host Ghoulardi (Ernie Anderson, father of director P. T. Anderson), Screamin’ Jay Hawkins laid the aesthetic groundwork that influenced the next generation of northeast Ohio-area artists, including Pere Ubu, the Dead Boys, Devo, and filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, who cast Hawkins in his 1989 film Mystery Train.
Devo - “Peek-A-Boo”
This late era Devo cut is one of the spookiest tracks they ever recorded. The arrangement is totally danceable, but the juxtaposition of lyrical child’s play with that creepy laugh is terrifying.
The Ventures - “The Twilight Zone”
It wouldn’t be Halloween without scary TV/movie soundtracks. This cover of The Twilight Zone theme by surf rockers The Ventures has just the right mix of creepy, kitschy, and cool to launch your party into the fourth dimension.
Goblin - “Tenebre Remix”
This 12” single version of Italian horror-prog geniuses Goblin’s theme to Dario Argento’s Tenebre is a terrifyingly good bit of Giorgio Moroder-inspired horror disco. It’s my favorite Goblin theme to my least favorite Argento film. Tenebre is absolutely required listening, but I’d recommend Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) or Opera as a more enjoyable introduction to Argento’s filmography.
Roky Erickson and the Aliens - “Bloody Hammer”
This is the most terrifying rock song ever recorded.
45 Grave - “Partytime”
This cut by 80s LA punks 45 Grave stands head and shoulders (although not necessarily attached) above the rest on the Return of the Living Dead soundtrack. Weasels, I tell you, rabid weasels…
The Specials - “Ghost Town”
Who knew two-tone Ska could be so scary?
Sinoia Caves - “Forever Dilating Eye”
Sinoia Caves’ (Black Mountain keyboardist Jeremy Schmidt) score to the film Beyond the Black Rainbow is a horror-synth masterpiece on par with legends like John Carpenter, Fabio Frizzi, and Goblin.
Slayer - “Piece by Piece”
This is a song by Slayer. It’s about cannibalism. Spooky. Also: SLAYERRRRRRRRR!
Angelo Badalamenti - “Laura Palmer’s Theme”
I find this to be the most sinister piece of music on the Twin Peaks score. A haunting musical portrayal of the former homecoming queen’s descent into darkness and depravity that begs the question: Who killed Laura Palmer?
[Fun fact: Akron, Ohio native Ray Wise portrays Laura’s father Leland Palmer.]