Executive Pagan

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My Halloween mix

Posted by Erik on October 30, 2008

Sorry about the lack of links, but the list is long and time is short… most of this is probably on Youtube. There’s a lot of obvious tracks in this list, but some are based strictly on personal associations or memories… I’ll try to explain if something seems like it might not be obvious.

I’m also planning to post my Samhain mix on Saturday (since I observe that holiday completely separately from Halloween… if that means it passes you by this year, hopefully it will give you plenty of time to find the music before next year! ;) )

If you have other favorite tracks, please share! I deliberately don’t have novelty songs like “Monster Mash” or “Purple People Eater” in this mix, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy them… so if you have something relatively rare in that genre, again – please share.

Tracks

  • “This is Halloween”, from the soundtrack of “The Nightmare Before Christmas”
  • “Double Trouble”, from the soundtrack of the third “Harry Potter” film (this is the wonderful setting of the “three witches” scene from Macbeth – “double, double, toil and trouble…”)
  • “Frankenstein” – Edgar Winter Group
  • “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” – Blue Oyster Cult
  • “Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival (because of its use as the end title in “An American Werewolf in London”, still one of my top two favorite werewolf movies)
  • “Thriller” – Michael Jackson
  • “Werewolves of London” – Warren Zevon
  • “A Transylvanian Rhapsody from Young Frankenstein” – Gil Shaham and Jonathan Feldman (this is a truly marvelous piece, built around the short theme that calms the monster in the movie)
  • “Moon Over Bourbon Street” – Sting
  • “Fire on High” – Electric Light Orchestra (Oh come on, it’s totally spooky!)
  • “Godzilla” – Blue Oyster Cult
  • “Hotel California” – Eagles
  • Title theme from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (the series)
  • Title theme from “Forever Knight” (the series)
  • “El Dorado” – Donovan (It’s Poe, that’s why)
  • “Black Magic Woman” – Carlos Santana
  • “Don’t Pay the Ferryman” – Chris deBurgh
  • “Tam Lin” – Steeleye Span (I find their version bears up under repeated listening better than Fairport Convention’s, which gets a bit plodding. This is the 10-minute live version from “Spanning the Years”, with the really spooky ending.)
  • “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” – Bauhaus
  • Title theme from “The Addams Family” (the original series)

Albums

  • “Tales of Mystery and Imagination – The Alan Parsons Project.
  • “Classics from the Crypt” – one of any number of “spooky-classics” CDs (they all basically have the same material: Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, The Sorceror’s Apprentice, Funeral March of a Marionette, Night on Bald Mountain…)
  • “Vampire Circus” – a collection of themes from vampire movies. I grabbed this one in particular over any of the dozens of other similar ones mostly because (a) I found it used, and (b) it had one really unusual theme – the end titles from “Sundown: the Vampire in Retreat”, a fairly campy Vampire Western starring David Carradine and Bruce “Army of Darkness” Campbell. The theme shifts from standard vampire flick to Aaron Copland-esque to full-fledged cowboy movie style before it’s done. Well worth a listen.
  • “A Night in the Old Marketplace” – Frank London. Mr. London is a renowned klezmer musician, writer and arranger, and here he has created what has to be one of the oddest and most thoroughly engaging projects I’ve come across in years – a klezmer operetta based on a hundred-year-old ghost story by the Jewish playwright I. L. Peretz.
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28 Responses to “My Halloween mix”

  1. Feral Boy said

    One of my favorites is the “Lyke Wake Dirge”, as done by Pentangle on
    “Basket of Light”. There’s a good discussion of it with lyrics here:

    http://www.duntemann.com/likewakepage.htm

    Their version of “House Carpenter” is also wonderfully creepy.

    Steeleye Span does a song called “Twelve Witches”. (lyrics here:
    http://www.lyricsmania.com/lyrics/steeleye_span_lyrics_35645/other_lyrics_66509/the_twelve_witches_lyrics_760578.html) And who could ever
    forget Allison Gross, the ugliest witch in the the North Country?

    — Feral Boy

    p.s. Gotta have “A Shoggoth On The Roof” too… :)

  2. Stephanie said

    I’ll see if I have time to blog my list. However, some that I always pull out for Halloween are Shriekback’s “Nemesis,” Genesis’ “Home By the Sea,” and The Hooters’ “Graveyard Waltz.”

  3. Erik said

    Ooh, I never thought about “Home by the Sea”… thank you! I ought to add The Police’s “Synchronicity II” as well. “Graveyard Waltz” is fun; I’m not familiar with Shriekback, but I’ll see if they’re on YouTube.

    Thanks!

  4. Feral Boy said

    There’s “Zombie Jamboree” by Rockapella : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWfIoAFUhCM

    Can’t get more fun than that!

    — Feral Boy

  5. executivepagan said

    Zombie Jamboree – hadn’t heard that version. Don’t know if you read my zombie-themed post from last year, but there’s some other fun stuff listed there (including a link to an earlier version of that song).

    I’ve not heard The Twelve Witches… I’ll have to look it up. I love Maddy’s voice. And of COURSE “Shoggoth on the Roof” is a must have!

  6. Kullervo said

    I love Alan Parsons Project. Tales of Mystery and Imagination is not one of my favorite albums, but I think it is objectively probably one of their best.

  7. Kullervo said

    “Hall of the Mountain King” from Grieg’s Peer Gynt.
    Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, especially the fifth movement.
    …and you already mentioned “Night on Bald Mountain.”

    The title theme from “Angel.”

    Anything from a symphonic metal band. “Planet Hell” by Nightwish, for example.

  8. Kullervo said

    Oh man, I can’t believe I didn’t think of “Number of the Beast” by Iron Maiden. It opens up with narration by Vincent Price, for crissakes. It is pretty much the greatest metal song ever, and it is about a guy who wanders into the woods, finds a satanic ritual/black mass going on, freaks out about it but is mesmerized and compelled by it, until he eventually gives in and joins the revelry.

    Also, “March of Mephisto” by Kamelot, from The Black Halo, which is one of the most awesome albums ever made.

  9. Hi,
    I thought you might like to know that I posted a link to this post in today’s the roundup of Samhain stories over at MetaPagan.

    Wishing you the joy of the season!

  10. Stephanie said

    “Number of the Beast” – d’oh!

    Do check out the Shriekback. It’s a fun track. I pulled out my list and it also contains:

    “All Soul’s Night” – Loreena McKennit
    “Dead Man’s Party” and “Weird Science” – Oingo Boingo
    bits from the Little House of Horror soundtrack
    “Bloodletting” – Concrete Blonde
    “Suite from ‘Hush'” – from Buffy TVS
    “Minas Morgul” – from the Return of the King soundtrack
    and “Samhain” – Inkubus Sukkubus

    … as well as most of what you already listed. As you see, we tend towards the fun, rocky tracks for Halloween. Very similar lists, we have. I am looking forward to your Samhain list. Always looking for more good music.

    This year I also came across a funny piece by a band called the Brobdignagian Bards. The track is “Angel’s Lament.”

  11. Feral Boy said

    I think Marilyn Manson’s version of “Come Together” would fit right in.

    “The Worms Crawl In” by the Pogues, of course …

    Also, a couple pieces from The Chieftains: “Long Black Veil” (from that album)
    is done by Mick Jagger — his voice is SO perfect for it!!! And even
    creepier, “She Walked Through The Fair” done by Sinnead O’Connor. BRRRR!!!!

    — Feral Boy

  12. executivepagan said

    Wow – what a great batch of suggestions!

    FB,
    Chieftains – I do have that album… ditto the Pogues. I haven’t heard MM’s version of Come Together… but I can well believe it’s scary, one way or another.

    Kullervo,
    Iron Maiden… what can I say except, “d’oh!” I’m sure that there’s some appropriate Judas Priest as well… I might have some of that still, but it would be on tape. :( I do have to admit that the modern metal stuff you seem to like is not my cup of tea… about the hardest I get these days is Omnia or Faun (I love the whole German “medieval rock” genre).

    The pieces by Grieg and Berlioz are both on the “Classics from the Crypt” CD, so I’m good to go there!

    Stephanie,
    I actually moved All Souls Night to my Samhain mix. Bloodletting is a must, though! (Man, I haven’t heard Concrete Blonde in years…) Another confession – I’m so sick of Inkubus Sukkubus that I don’t even listen to the couple of songs that I actually like, anymore. *shrug*

    Cat,
    Thanks!

  13. Kullervo said

    My son (age two) demands that we listen to Number of the Beast over and over again…

  14. Jan said

    A very rare song — and very old (from the 70s) Five Man Electrical Band (a Canadian band) “Werewolf” — there’s a video (just the music) on YouTube. It is a creepy little tune!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

  15. Jan said

    Forgot to mention the wonderful video on YouTube for Eartha Kitt: “Witch Mix” Brillant fun and great editing!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

  16. Jan said

    Me again! Of course there are the totally creepy Gothic albums of Nox Arcana and Midnight Syndicate — always brillant for this time of year (although I play them anytime!)

    And “Ghost of a Rose” by Blackmore’s Night

    And “The Highwayman” by Loreena McKennitt too!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

  17. executivepagan said

    Hi Jan,
    I remember the Five Man Electrical Band! Signs, signs, everywhere signs/Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind… “Werewolf” is a lot of fun – thanks!

    I agree that the editing on the Eartha Kitt video is spot on; very tight. I do like the McKennitt song, although I admit to a special fondness for this other Highwayman

    Thanks for reading!

  18. Feral Boy said

    I just remembered this one too, from Paul Kattner & Grace Slick on “Sunfighter”:

    When I Was A Boy I Watched The Wolves

    http://www.stlyrics.com/songs/p/paulkantner2997/wheniwasaboyiwatchedthewolves140967.html

  19. “Reynardine” by the Fairport Convention on their CD Liege & Lief

    “Dogsong” 2 by the Be Good Tanyas on their CD Chinatown, see also,”In spite of all the Damage” and “Lonesome Blues”

    Returning CD by Jennifer Berezan

    Jazz Masters 17: Nina Simone (Verve) Everything on it but esp “I put a spell on you”

    “The Cry of the Wild Goose” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky” on theCD Best of Frankie Lane (Pulse)

  20. Season of the Witch by ?

    “Lord Franklin” on the CD Cruel Sister by Pentangle

    “The Palace Grand” by Ginny Hawkins

    “All along the Watchtower” by Jimmy Hendrix or Dylan.

    “Trees They Do Grow High” “Mary Hamilton” “Matty Groves” “East Virginia” “Barara Allen” “Silver Dagger” and everything on The Joan Baez Ballad Book (Vanguard)

  21. Feral Boy said

    [audio src="http://www.offhanddesigns.com/ramblers/mp3/Golden%20State%20Ramblers%20-%20Ghost%20Chickens%20In%20The%20Sky.mp3" /]

  22. executivepagan said

    GC,
    I think there’s probably more than one “Season of the Witch” – the one I know is by Donovan… is this the one you’re thinking of?

  23. executivepagan said

    FB,
    Huh – the things you learn about your friends! I don’t think I ever knew you lived in San Francisco…

  24. Feral Boy said

    Yep — lived there through 4th grade & my father got a job offer in St. Louis.
    Quite a change … when we left on the plane it was 45 and cloudy, in Missouri
    it was 95 in the shade (!) I thought to myself,”How do people LIVE here???” &
    we discovered A/C :)

    And that winter it was, “Snow in our own yard! That is so COOL!”

    Followed pretty much immediately by, “Snow in our DRIVEWAY…That really sucks!”

    In retrospect, I wish I’d known about hunting mushrooms when I lived out there!

    — Feral Boy

  25. I really don’t know who does it – cant find my copy but hear it so clearly in my mind.

  26. I went to your link – no it is not him – the one i am thinking of is more raw – wild

  27. It is the Vanilla Fudge version I remember but I see the Blues Brothers do it also.

    I would like to hear their version.

  28. executivepagan said

    I tracked down the Vanilla Fudge version – great for Halloween! Thanks for that.

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