Monday, October 26, 2015

Tales from the Darkside - “Main Theme”: 31 Days for Halloween Music

Tales From the Darkside was a fun horror themed TV show in the vein of Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. There were some great episodes that are classics among fans of the show. "The Closet", "The Circus" and "Anniversary Dinner" are among them.

I've read that George Romero originally wanted to do the show as a Creepshow, television show, but Warner Bros. had the rights to that name or something like that so they ended up doing it as "Darkside"

I’d bet there will be at least a couple of people at your Halloween party that will perk up when this track comes on.

Man lives in the sunlit world
of what he believes to be reality.
But, there is, unseen by most, an underworld,
a place that is just as real,
but not as brightly lit.....

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wee Sing for Halloween - “Have You Seen the Ghost of John?”: 31 Days for Halloween Music

Today's track is called "Have You Seen the Ghost of John?" from the Wee Sing music catalog and their album called "Wee Sing for Halloween", which quite honestly has some real gems on it. It's definitely geared for young kids, but there are some really excellent tracks such as this one I absolutely love. The kids run through the songs lyrics twice as a group, then they go back through the song as individuals with each kid starting the song just a few lines after the kid before him. It's done so excellently and gives it an even more haunting vibe. The music is great too. Unfortunately I couldn't find it on youtube, so  I have a link below that will take you to a site that has a nice high quality version snippet to give you a small sense of the track. Enjoy!

Have You Seen the Ghost of John? audio snippet.

"Have you seen the ghost of John?
Long white bones with the skin all gone
Oooh, Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh
Wouldn't it be chilly with no skin on?"

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Elm Street Group Ft. Robert Englund - “Don’t Sleep”: 31 Days for Halloween Music

If it's not apparent by now I'm a huge Freddy Krueger fan as this is now the third song that is connected to him in some way. This particular track is exceptional as its from the album "Freddy's Greatest Hits" released in 1987. This albums existence is a testament as to how huge Freddy's popularity was at that time. (Not to say he's not popular now, but this was Freddy's heyday).

The album is credited to be by the Elm Street Group, who I have always believed was a group of very talented studio musicians and producers. I'm not digging for the info on this one, as I like this belief I concocted since I was a little kid and first got this album. There are a mix of cover songs and original stuff. The original tracks such as the one I have for you here are among my favorites. Best of all Robert Englund actually appears on the songs in his Freddy persona. He doesn't sing at all, but just add lines and laughter to the track but that's really all I want. It keeps the music on a more serious plane and works best. I think if Robert had been on there singing and carrying on it wouldn't have been good. This particular track his lines just add this classic Freddy spookiness to the music.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Ozzy Osbourne- “Bark at the Moon”: 31 Days for Halloween Music

Now we take a trip back to the 80s, one of my favorite eras and where many of the songs I've been posting about originate. Here is Ozzy Osbourne on the title track from his 1983 album "Bark at the Moon". The song speaks to a man becoming a monster and wreaking havoc on some town. He's apparently killed, but rises from the grave as the creature. The video for the most part keeps this story going, but it seems to have a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde vibe going on, except instead of transforming into Hyde, Ozzy's character becomes the werewolf creature you see above. You don't need to know what Ozzy is saying... he says "Bark at the Moon" plenty of times for even the most casual listener to get werewolves on their brain.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Sounds - “Something to Die For”: 31 Days for Halloween Music

Today's spooky musical selection has a most definite pop music sound. It's on the edge of you suspecting I'm recovering from some kind of head injury and I'm completely confused on why a song with this sound would be included on a Halloween playlist. I'll give you two reasons
  1. It was featured in the 2011 film Scream 4.
  2. The title of the song is called "Something to Die For."
  3. Case closed. My head is OK.
The song makes it's appearance during the title sequence for the film, and I find it quite fitting for the film. It really gives some nice upbeat energy to getting into the flick, especially after the interesting sequences before the titles come up. A track done for a horror film doesn't always have to sound spooky, sometimes a heavy pop infused song works just as well for me.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Donny Lee - “Skunk Ape”: 31 Days of Halloween Music

Here is a weird track I came across in the summer of 2011, called "Skunk Ape" by an artist by the name of Donny Lee. This tune easily is in my top 20 favorites of my Halloween playlist. I love the vibe of the track and it's just so weird and interesting. . It was released in 1985 on record (vinyl) in what appears to be a single version. I don't know much about this artist or release. The song details the singer's true or made-up events of him learning about and experiencing a Skunk Ape situation. The Skunk Ape is believed to be a southern American Sasquatch type of creature. The name comes from what people claim is an awful smell it has. This song has just that right magic to easily have appeared in some bad 80s B-movie about an abominable creature.

It's a 80s country sounding tune, which is not something I'd normally listen to, but for this track it's a perfect genre to perform a weird tune like this. If you are into weird monster themed songs I highly recommend this gem.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Creedence Clearwater Revival - “Bad Moon Rising
31 Days of Halloween Music

Today's track has been a favorite and long time member of my Halloween playlist. "Bad Moon Rising" a hit for Creedence Clearwater Revival was expertly used in the 1981 horror film An American Werewolf in London. The track gets a good amount of playtime in the film as it plays over a montage of the character David hanging around Alex's apartment. He's very restless and can't really understand why. We the viewer know to a degree what's up with him. The lyrics fit the film for the most part about the moon rising and something bad coming.

An American Werewolf in London - Bad Moon Rising Scene - Video Dailymotion

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Jay Chattaway Ft. Joe Spinell - “Inner Voices“
31 Days of Halloween Music

Today's selection changes direction a little bit away from pop/rock music. I have for your listening pleasure the track "Inner Voices" from the soundtrack to the 1980 cult classic horror film Maniac starring Joe Spinell. The score was composed and performed by Jay Chattaway. It's a classic sounding 80s synth-score, but for the most part not an energetic piece of work. It's much more subtle and spooky as you'll here in a minute. This particular track is very minimal with some deep organs playing and some haunting higher elements moaning throughout. I choose this particular track because it features Joe Spinell in the role of Frank Zito, the titular maniac. The character is a mentally disturbed individual and he's carrying on a conversation with his victims in his head. It gives you some insight into the character in spooky fashion.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dj Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - “A Nightmare on My Street“ (Song)
31 Days of Halloween Music

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince's "A Nightmare on My Street" (1988) is easily in my top five favorite Halloween-esque songs of ALL TIME. It's a perfect song. The concept of Prince meeting up with Freddy Krueger, the delivery of really telling a story and not just a bunch of metaphors. The story borrows heavily from "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2". Jeff's production is on point too, classic hip-hop beats and the inclusion of samples from the composer Charles Bernstein's "A Nightmare on Elm Street" score. All of the little callbacks to the movies are so much fun, including a guy doing a Freddy voice.

This track has some minor controversy around it as Prince and Jeff created it without New Line Cinema's permission, I believe in a hope to present it to them in the hopes of it being picked up for use in an upcoming Elm Street film. For some insane reason New Line turned them down and went at them legally for infringing on copyrighted material. Legend has it there was a fully produced video that Prince/Jeff were ordered to "destroy". A sad turn of events for such a fantastic song, but it give the song some type of legendary status

Monday, October 12, 2015

Dokken - “Dream Warriors" (Song)
31 Days of Halloween Music

Here is yet another of those favorites of mine. A song written for and based on a specific horror film. In this case it's Dokken's song "Dream Warriors" from the 1987 film "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors". This is the same year we saw and heard the Alice Cooper track "He's Back" from "Friday the 13th part VI". It was a an excellent year for horror films and the music they spawned, kids! Dokken was from the genre of 80s metal/hair metal bands. Where they hardcore, hell I don't know? Bigger connoisseurs of the genre can debate that one. What I do know is this is a bad ass Freddy centric track. The video shows Dokken performing and clips are cut in from the film which I always enjoy. The stage sets Dokken appears on are reminiscent of locations we see in the film which is visually pretty cool and helps to bridge the gap between Dokken's footage and the film footage. There is some minor original footage of Robert Englund as Freddy at the end of the video which is cool. Give it a listen, chances are that chorus will stick with you long into the night.