We here at hearingade would like to wish you all a Happy Halloween! Being my favorite holiday and all, I’ve already posted a mix about ghosts and a mix about monsters, but there’s always more where that came from. That’s why, for this special day, I’m listing off my 10 favorite Halloween albums that I suggest you all hunt down and buy in time for your evening celebrations.
Sometimes one song just isn’t enough. Every so often, you’ll find an album that is just so packed full of Halloween goodness, you’ve gotta play the whole thing. This couldn’t be more true for the 10 albums I’ve selected. Get ready to be spooked, because these records turn the creep factor up to 11.
1. Jeremy Messersmith — “The Reluctant Graveyard”
This album is a spectacular pop treat for the cheerfully morbid freak in us all. It’s no secret that I am a gigantic Messersmith fan (that’s not to say I am gigantic, but that my love for his music is gigantic), and “The Reluctant Graveyard” is in no small part responsible. Yes, his other albums are also magnificent, but they aren’t about dead things. This is the only one that speaks my heart’s language (and, yes, I understand how disturbing that probably sounds).
2. The Alan Parsons Project — “Tales of Mystery and Imagination”
Any Alan Parsons Project album probably has its place in a Halloween playlist, but this one especially. “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” is a collection of songs based on the literary work of Edgar Allen Poe, a man who may as well be the holiday’s mascot. With musical renditions of “The Raven” and “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the album even includes a saga of five songs dedicated to “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Not gonna lie, it’s pretty amazing.
3. “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” original motion picture soundtrack
Celebrating Halloween has never been quite as easy as since “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” existed (yes, I understand I wasn’t even born before it existed, and BOY AM I EVER GLAD about that). It’s like a built-in costume party-slash-culty creep fest. Play this album and “Time Warp” your little heart out, because Dr. Frank-N-Furter wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, so don’t be afraid to slap down this sucker during your holiday shindig.
4. The Bloody Oranges — “Destroyed”
Ronnie Evans, the brain behind the Bloody Oranges, is a dude after my own heart. His house is decorated with aliens and robots and he basically spends his whole life thinking about dark, demented and spooky things. His “official” Halloween record is “The Lesser Pumpkin,” but I’ve always been partial to “Destroyed” for my autumnal needs. Stay tuned for a post about The Bloody Oranges at hearingade tomorrow.
5. Timber Timbre — “Medicinals”
Every single Timber Timbre album is a perfect Halloween album. Let’s just get that out there right now. There are few better bands to listen to at this particular time of year, because as you may have read in September, the band’s newest album “Creep On Creepin’ On” is ghoulishly good. But “Medicinals,” besides being my favorite Timber Timbre album of all, is the spookiest. “Devil’s Dress,” “Under Your Spell,” “Werewolf” — it’s a hauntingly grim potpourri of all sorts of sinister symbols.
6. Iron Maiden — “Iron Maiden”
The Timber Timbre truth goes double for Iron Maiden, another band whose entire discography serves basically as an homage to the Halloween spirit. But the band’s 1980 self-titled debut has some of my favorites. Complete with “The Prowler” and “Phantom of the Opera,” the album even includes a title track full of gruesome imagery about blood flowing and whatnot. Not to mention you can’t really go wrong with heavy metal. Even if it’s not about death and stuff, it’s the kind of music nightmares are made of (I mean that in a good way, of course).
7. White Zombie — “Supersexy Swingin’ Sounds”
Me and White Zombie go way back but never did I love the band more than when they released a collection of remixes worthy of a horribly deranged S&M club. Hear some of your favorite White Zombie songs dressed up in ultra-dirty electric vibes, not to mention a bangin’ cover of KC & the Sunshine Band’s “I’m Your Boogie Man.” Yeah, the original’s better, but White Zombie’s version is ideal if you’re going home to get freaky with a zombie tonight.
8. The Raveonettes — “Raven in the Grave”
I was not even a fan of the Raveonettes until they released their 2011 album, which would beautifully soundtrack a modern horror film. One of those movies where a bunch of teenagers visit a secluded cabin in the woods and then find themselves in major danger by some unknown person or creature. I like to listen to “Evil Seeds” with my eyes closed, and picture the final scene in a horror film where the two survivors hop in a truck at sun-up and start to drive away from the ugly scene as the credits begin rolling. A camera then pans down and shows a quick shot of the culprit hanging onto the undercarriage before letting the remaining credits go solo over a black screen. Yeah, I’ve put some thought into it. But tell me I’m wrong.
9. Coheed & Cambria — “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3”
Claudio Sanchez’s elaborate sci-fi tale of death and despair is set to music by his band Coheed & Cambria. The deep artistry involved in Sanchez’s creation from page to speaker seems to be underappreciated in the prog-rock community, but it will not go underappreciated by your Halloween party attendees as they’re dancing with abandon to “Blood Red Summer” and “Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow).”
10. The Builders and the Butchers — “Dead Reckoning”
The Builders and the Butchers’ 2011 album may be more metaphorical than anything, but that doesn’t change the fact that this Portland, Ore., gothic folk group makes a menacing case for itself on “Dead Reckoning.” A quick listen to “It Came From the Sea,” “Moon is On the March” or “Black Elevator” will send you to a dark place, which is exactly where you should be on this very special day.