I have children, and their musical tastes diverge from my own. That said, the other day on the Disney Channel, a new version of “Monster Mash” played, a sort-of teen beach movie sort of take on the classic ‘Graveyard Smash.’ It took me a few minutes to recognize the perennial favorite in its new guise.
I re-introduced my brood to the original Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett and the Crypt Kickers’ 1962 novelty song, of course. While scrolling through Pandora’s offerings, however, I discovered that “Monster Mash” saw another incarnation as a rap song. It was performed in the Disney flick “Spooky Buddies” by the teen group Allstar Weekend.
Which brought me to the idea of crafting a play list for our upcoming Halloween festivities. The kids suggested such questionable gems as China Ann McClain’s “Calling All the Monsters” and the retro “Purple People Eater.” The littlest ran in with “Wee Sing Halloween” clutched in his chubby little grip.
Movies and television provide some excellent musical offerings. Hearing themes from “The Twilight Zone” and “X-Files” set a suitably eerie feel. Danny Elfman composes amazing pieces, many with fa spooky vibe. (Think of “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Beetlejuice” as but two examples.) For a more dramatic, classical instrumental, Beethoven’s Fifth, “Night on Bald Mountain,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” or “The Funeral March of the Marionette” do the trick. “Ghost busters” by Ray Parker Jr., “Halloween,” and many horror flicks’ soundtracks get the heart pumping.
I consulted Billboard’s top ten list. Yep, there is such a thing. “Who’s Watching Me” and “Thriller” appear. (Who doesn’t love Vincent Price’s spoken interlude or the amazing Thriller video?) Metal lovers can jam to Warlock’s “Kiss of Death,” Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” or the like. Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath and Ozzy, and any number of power-blasting bands, since metal lends itself to the darker sort of song.
The Devil finds himself the subject of such songs as “Devil Inside” by INXS, “Devil in Disguise,” and “Devil Went Down To Georgia.” Since Halloween is magical, “Black Magic Woman,” “I Put a Spell on You,” “Witchy Woman,” and “Magic Man” spring to mind, as does “Ring Around Your Finger” and the silly “Witch Doctor.” Costumes can bring out the beast in us, so “Little Red Riding Hood” or “Werewolves of London” might be a treat, or the Doors’ “People are Strange” may do the trick.
Our local cable provider has a “sounds of the seasons” station, and XM converted “Laugh USA,” but the fun of any gathering is customization. Some might opt for a soundtrack of screams and spooky sounds. Certainly, the musical offerings are legion, and adapting them to a party’s personal taste is a fun challenge. Have fun, and scare up some tunes!