Halloween, for a lot of us, is truly the most wonderful time of the year. If only there were a wide assortment of great vintage Halloween songs to play at our Halloween party. Why does Christmas get so many damn songs? Save some for the other holidays, composers and musicians of the world. Aren't there any great Halloween songs? Ah, well, as a matter of fact, yes, there are.
There's old standard "The Monster Mash," as well as classics like "The Purple People Eater," and "The Witch Doctor." Problem is, that's about all most people know, except for a few pop songs associated with zombies and ghouls, like Michael Jackson's "Thriller" or the original Ghostbusters theme song. Yet there are countless great Halloween songs out there for your spooktacular playlist.
How quickly society has forgotten that the first decade of rock & roll also spawned The Monster Craze. Starting with the first televised airing of Universal's classic Frankenstein in 1957, teenagers and young kids went nuts for monsters and rock music. So it wasn't long before the two converged and gave birth to a chilling, thrilling, at the time new (but now largely forgotten) subgenre of monster rock.
The subculture produced some wonderful songs (more than 100, in fact!), most of which now languish on obscure rockin' Halloween compilations. This list provides highlights, but there's a whole new/old world beneath the tip of this iceberg. If you love monsters and Halloween, it could be just what you're looking for.
If you dare...
That Purple People Eater really gets around... and isn't as nice as Sheb Wooley's original hit let on. "Bo Meets the Monster," from the legendary bluesman Bo Diddley, tells a terrifying tale of being stalked and taunted by the alien monster, which kidnaps his wife. Sadly, we don't know whether she made it through the ordeal alive.
This spooktacularly danceable country song from the great Buck Owens and the Buckaroos came out towards the end of the Monster Craze, but remains one of its greatest offerings. Just try getting "(It's A) Monster's Holiday" out of your head after you've heard it. You can't. It clings in your brain and lingers like a curse, only much catchier.
The Monster Craze was so big everyone wanted in on it. The Monotones, who gave us classic doo-wop gem "The Book Of Love" dipped into the monster well twice, first with this catchy ditty about the Headless Horseman.
"Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor" is a musical monster mash-up in the spirit of Universal Studios classic Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, brought to you by the man behind mega-hit "Chantilly Lace." This track teams Sheb Wooley's "Purple People Eater" with David Saville's "Witch Doctor" for a jam session in the dark woods outside of town.