Sometimes you need a little music to set the mood. Maybe you’re going to a Halloween party, maybe you’re just eating little Snickers bars waiting for the doorbell to ring, but Bobby “Boris” Pickett just doesn’t move you the way you need to be moved. Allow me to suggest a few good songs with supernatural content – witches, ghosts, or just minor chords and evil harmonies. This is largely stuff from the “Classic Rock” era, and not excessively obscure, I trust.
“Tam Lin” – Fairport Convention – Sandy Denny narrates a tale of midnight riders and fairy queens on Halloween while Richard Thompson, Dave Swarbrick and Dave Mattacks romp.
“Alison Gross” – Steeleye Span – Mid-70’s Span is a wealth of songs about witches, demons, bloodletting and murder most vile. A fun little tune about the ugliest witch in the north country.
“Werewolves of London” – Warren Zevon – Okay, an obvious choice. His hair was perfect.
“I Put A Spell On You” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – The original is the best, but CCR and Arthur Brown did fine versions, too.
“Walking On The Water” – Creedence Clearwater Revival – A nice level of spookiness here, without resorting to Charlie Daniels style ghost story telling.
“Flying Dutchman” – McKendree Spring – Electric violin and ghost stories just go together.
“The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)” – Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac or Judas Priest – But Arthur Brown sings a top notch version on the Rattlesnake Guitar tribute album, too.
“Black Magic Woman” – Santana – Perhaps another obvious choice. Peter Green was one haunted dude…
“Tubular Bells” – Mike Oldfield – I’m not sure how spooky this really is aside from the “Exorcist” connection, but it always sounds good to me. You can probably find 10 or 15 minutes that sound adequately ominous for a CD-R project.
“Threnody For Souls in Torment” – Robert Fripp String Quintet – This is scary instrumental guitar music. King Crimson’s done several scary instrumental pieces over the last 30 years (“Red”, “Larks Tongues In Aspic Part II”), but this piece (with Trey Gunn and the California Guitar Trio) takes it up a notch.
And just a few bonus suggestion:
“Black Sabbath” – Black Sabbath
“Frankenstein” – Edgar Winter Group
“Fire Poem & Fire” – Crazy World of Arthur Brown
“Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” Jimi Hendrix or Stevie Ray Vaughan
“My Wife And My Dead Wife” – Robyn Hitchcock
“The Raven” – Alan Parsons Project
“Season Of The Witch” – Donovan
“Bela Lugosi’s Dead” – Bauhaus
“Strange Brew” – Cream
“D.O.A.” – Bloodrock
Oh, and if you really want “The Monster Mash”, I’d recommend picking up the Bonzo Dog Band’s version. Not that it’s necessarily less lame than the original, but when Halloween is over you’ve got a Bonzo Dog Band album. Cuz those guys were brilliant, in case you didn’t know…
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