A mix of classic favourites and more obscure cuts, it's the perfect soundtrack for any Halloween gathering, and designed as a kind of virtual C90 cassette :-) Hit the play button , light a candle in the pumpkin, and find out more about the tracks in the sleevenotes below...
01. BOBBY "BORIS" PICKETT & THE CRYPT KICKERS - Monster Mash/Monsters' Mash Party
The perfect Halloween party starter to kick off, but with a (Transylvanian) twist. Taken here from the original UK 45, it segues straight into the less-heard b-side, which picks up where the a-side left off. A US Billboard #1 in 1962, it failed to chart in the UK on its original release (partly due to a radio ban!), but eventually reached #3 in October 1973.
02. THE AUTOMATIC - Monster
A UK #4 in 2007, and The Automatic's biggest hit to date, ostensibly about the effects of over intoxication, and resulting hallucinations and/or mood swings.
03. CLASSICS IV - Spooky
Originally an instrumental, the Classics IV added lyrics and got a smash hit in 1968. Many covers have appeared over the years, but this remains the best. A US #3, but surprisingly stalled at #46 in the UK.
04. SCREAMING LORD SUTCH - Jack The Ripper
Nobody would play this Joe Meek produced record on the radio when it came out in 1964 - I wonder why? Could it be the screams, and the story of the titular killer? Quite possibly... Strong stuff for the time.
05. THE DAMNED - Nasty
Remembered by a whole generation of UK viewers from when the band performed it in an episode of The Young Ones in 1984 ("Yes, We've Got A Video!"). Turned up on the b-side of "Thanks For The Night" in 1984.
06. R. DEAN TAYLOR - There's A Ghost In My House
Possibly the only garage-psych-motown record ever. You can read my extended piece on this particular record here.
07. ROKY ERICKSON - Burn The Flames
Immortalised on film when James Karen threw himself into a crematorium in Return Of The Living Dead in 1985. Following its appearance on the soundtrack album, it would find a home on Erickson's album Don't Slander Me.
08. LAIKA & THE COSMONAUTS - Psycko (Themes From "Psycho" and "Vertigo")
Combining these Hitchcock classic themes into one, in a surf guitar instrumental style. It takes some kind of genius, and this band from Finland had it in spades.
09. THE RAMONES - Pet Sematary
When Stephen King made several references to the Ramones in his novel, they returned the compliment by writing and recording the theme song to the movie.The movie was good fun, if a complete failure as an adaptation of the novel, despite King himself writing the screenplay. The track, however is a late Ramones classic.
10. THE RATTLES - The Witch
One-hit-wonders in the UK, they remain a popular act in their native Germany. This surprise UK hit put them at #8 in 1970. Wah-wah guitar, high-pitched vocals, spooky violins and timpani playing a twilight-zone-ish end of verse freak out - quite an oddity. Interesting fact: They played the Hamburg clubs around the same time as the Beatles, and played alongside them on three occasions in 1962.
11. THE WHO - Boris The Spider
John Entwistle's ode to a fear of insect, apparently written after a night drinking with Bill Wyman. Not a single, but appeared on their 1966 LP, A Quick One.
12. STEVIE WONDER - Superstition
US #1, UK #11 - Spookiness doesn't get funkier than this. First appeared on 1972's Talking Book LP.
13. REDBONE- Witch Queen Of New Orleans
A tale of a voodoo girl, who'll put a spell on you. US #21, but a UK #2, only held off the top spot by Rod Stewart's Maggie May in October 1971.
14. THE ADVERTS - Gary Gilmore's Eyes
When the murderer of the title left his eyes to medical science after his execution, underrated punk outfit The Adverts pondered what would happen to a patient who received them in a transplant operation... Managed UK #18 in 1977
15. THE B-52'S - Rock Lobster
I always thought that the B-52's debut hit sounded like the lobster of the title was probably radioactive and 10 ft tall at least. Whether that was the intention or not, it fits in to our mix perfectly. US #56 and UK #37 in 1979, but went to #12 on reissue in the UK in 1986.
16. MONSTER MAGNET - 19 Witches
From the 1998 album Powertrip, and not a single, but it fits in just nicely here - They'll hang me here, they'll make me pay, if I do what they don't like. So cast your sin quick and bite my lip, and screw my brain up tight...
17. THE SEARCHERS - Love Potion No. 9
A cover of The Coasters' tale of a mysterious Madame Ruth and her special mixture, this was never a UK single for The Searchers, and was included on their debut LP. Their US label had other ideas, and it became their biggest hit there in 1964, hitting #3.
18. BLUE OYSTER CULT - Don't Fear The Reaper
Here in its shorter single version (which I personally prefer). Apparently not an ode to suicide pacts (á la Romeo & Juliet), but an ode to not fearing death for love is everlasting. It gave BOC their biggest hit in 1976, US#12 and UK #16.
19. WARRON ZEVON - Werewolves Of London
Unbelievably, a UK flop, but a US #21. Later sampled by Kid Rock on All Summer Long.
20. THE CULT - Lil' Devil
Come on lil' devil, be my little angel... - It's the Cult. Enough said. UK #11 in 1987.
21. THE LEVELLERS - The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Taking the blueprint of the Charlie Daniels Band's original, the Levellers cranked up the juice in their version, and it remains a live favourite. Appeared on 1992's See Nothing, Hear Nothing, Do Something, a collection of UK singles and live tracks.
22. THE SKYHOOKS - Horror Movie
A big Australian hit, #1 in January 1975, but not released elsewhere at the time - there was still snobbery about a lot of Aussie music by the international record labels in the mid 70's. It actually refers to the state of the world, and how watching the TV news has become like watching a horror movie. More relevant than ever, you could argue...
23. THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN - Fire!
Brass and hammond organ driven psych fest, for those who haven't heard it (where have you been?) - A classic one-hit-wonder: A UK #1 (US #2), then not another sniff of the charts. Brown still continues to perform, remaining something of a cult figure.
24. MARILYN MANSON - This Is Halloween
Does what it says on the tin - Originally written for the film Nightmare Before Christmas, this version was recorded in 2006. The ideal way to end our C90 trip through Halloween hits and misses.
With thanks to all the original uploaders - see YouTube for further details