Johnny Rock AKA Johnny Rock And The Limits from The Melbourne Mixtape Exchange has taken some time out to program a special Halloween mixtape for us.
“Halloween is a strange day for Australians. Unlike our American comrades we don’t have childhood memories of destroying the streets in ridiculous costumes as an excuse to ripping off candy from the elderly. We have those memories as adults from cup day. So it’s hard to know how to celebrate Halloween properly. When it comes to music we’re equally inept. Luckily for you though, I have taken the time to compile a list of spooky songs to soundtrack any way you chose to celebrate Halloween this year.”
Sweet Transvestite – Rocky Horror Picture Show
Rocky Horror Picture Show is a B-grade horror movie taking the Micky out of B-grade horror movies. But it is done with such pizzazz that it’s brilliant. It has everything from monsters to the occasional nipple flash and oddly enough, aliens. Though not as odd as Indiana Jones. This movie is nothing without Tim Curry’s brilliant performance as the devious Dr. Frank-en-furter. His signature tune is ‘Sweet Transvestite’. It’s equal parts seductive and scary as he struts all over the screen being somehow attractive to men and women who are equally confused if he’s a man being a girl or a girl being a man and if that makes them gay straight or bi all at the same time. Either way it’s killer! I’ve given you the original Roxy cast recording of the song which is a little more rock n roll and edgy than the movie version. The horns really make it. But check out the film to be completely mesmerised by Tim.
Screaming Jay Hawkins – I Put A Spell On You
Screaming Jay Hawkins’ signature song is probably one of the best Halloween songs. Covered dozens of times from 60s psychedelic bands (Crazy World of Arthur Brown) to Bette Midler in blockbuster Halloween movie soundtracks. But by far the spookiest and creepiest version is the original. Not only does Screamin J deliver it like a maniac recently released from the insane asylum but he’s dressed up as some sort of voodoo witch doctor while doing it. A dude doing that sort of thing on TV in the 60s would have scared the bejeesus out of anyone!
Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear The Reaper
A great track which is unfortunately remembered more for being endlessly debated on forums if it’s about suicide or not. Don’t get caught up in it. Though trolls who live under bridges are probably ok to dress up as for Halloween, they are not fun to play with online. Just enjoy the track and its deathly overtones!
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown – Fire
Haven’t heard of Arthur Brown? Well maybe you have heard of Alice Cooper or Kiss? Well both these acts and countless more cite Arthur Brown as a huge influence on them as he is often considered the godfather of horror rock. Putting on wild and theatrical shows he was often condemned by the public as some sort of devil worshiper. Well, when you wear a helmet set alight with petrol while singing “Fire! I want you to burn!” I can see where they were coming from. Apparently the flaming helmet thing took a few versions before getting right and he frequently unintentionally set himself on fire onstage.This clip is awesome in every way possible!
Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett – The Monster Mash
Nearly everyone would have heard this song as a child and danced around to its jolly rock n roll jangle. Ironic that these days early rock n roll is considered safe and fun for kids to dance to but when it first came out it was considered to be the devils music that would corrupt children’s minds. I hate to think what will be considered to be ok for kids to listen to when I have kids. I probably should start getting used to jolly dancing to Pantera and Sepultura.
Alice Cooper – Poison
Speaking of Alice Cooper, here he is in all his horror rock glory! It’s pretty much 80s hair metal, which is almost horrific enough on its own merit (especially the clip) but Alice keeps the horror subject matter pretty tight while keeping the beat party friendly. Bless him. If you’ve not heard early Alice Cooper you should really check out ‘The Ballad of Dwight Fry’ for some real horror. It’s about a guy trapped in his own life and going slowly insane. Apparently Alice wanted the true feeling of being trapped and recorded the vocals for this under a pile of chairs. He’d worked himself up to such a frenzy that he started yelling out “I gotta get outta here! I gotta get outta here!” Which makes it in the song during breakdown in the middle. Pretty cray cray.
Jimmy Dee – Monster Hop
Halloween always makes me think of The Addams Family and The Munsters TV show. I Like to think that when they have a house party they unintentionally decorate like it’s Halloween every time. But because it’s kinda 60s and kitsch I imagine it’d just be a regular dinner party for them and they’d be playing lounge music for guests and serve eyeball cocktails while patting the kids on the head and telling them to run along. So if I was at the Addams’ or Munsters’ for a dinner party I think they’d play this spooky lounge track.
Kasabian – Vlad The Impaler
Great song, great B-grade horror styled clip and the Mighty Boosh. Well Noel Fielding at least. He can do no wrong in the world. Well except befriend Courtney Love. No seriously they’re besties! What’s with that? This video clip has everything right about it, so make sure you check it out!