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Hits of Halloween

Jo Vullo, Page Editor

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Halloween music has always been considered much different than any other holiday classics. Eerie and bone-chilling music has been prevalent since the classical era, some people count Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” as one of the first pieces of music to be triumphant in giving a crowd a sense of shock and awe. In the spirit of All Hallow’s Eve, here are five songs to prepare for the spooky season.

 

  1. A Forest – The Cure (1980)

 

The 1980s saw a revolution for many types of music. The punk scene of the late 1970s was dying out and becoming synthesized. The 80s gave us new wave, hair metal, “yacht rock” and for the spirit of Halloween: goth rock. The Cure are for the most part, considered the quintessential post-punk goth rock band. Formed in Crawley, West Sussex, U.K. originally as a three-piece, The Cure churned out alternative classics such as “Boys Don’t Cry” (1979) and their jangly ballad “Friday I’m In Love” (1992). “A Forest” is a haunting, darkwave-esque single released in 1980. Starting with an ethereal intro by lead singer Robert Smith’s famous drawn-out chorus pedal infused guitar sound, it sets the stage for an existential and ghostly atmosphere within the song.

 

  1. Promised Land – Skeletal Family (1986)

Released in 1986, “Promised Land” is the perfect “speeding down a dimly-lit road in a hearse” song. Guitarist Stan Greenwood’s ear-piercing riff bursts through the beginning of the song with fervor. Vocalist Anne-Marie Hurst delivers a spectacular performance that is ideal for “Promise Land’s” fast-paced and catchy ambience.

 

  1. Strychnine – The Sonics (1965)

The Sonics’ “Strychnine” is the ideal pre-punk garage song for anyone who enjoys loud, unadulterated rock n’ roll. Vocalist Gerry Roslie’s iconic scream after verse completes “Strychnine’s” menacing feel. From the beginning to the end of the song, saxophonist Rob Lind and guitarist Larry Parypa create a raw-power and ghoulish buzzsaw sound.“Strychnine” is perfect for any throwback Halloween playlist.

 

  1. TV Set – The Cramps (1980)

Vocalist Lux Interior delivers a powerful and impeccably psychotic performance on “TV Set”. Renowned for his deranged vocal style that is reminiscent of an unhinged Buddy Holly, Interior screams and howls his way through this ominous track. Complete with guitarist Poison Ivy’s skin-crawling rockabilly reverb sound and drummer Nick Knox’s doomful intro, “TV Set” is sinister enough for even the most hardcore of horror rock fans.

 

  1. Lowside Of The Road – Tom Waits (1999)

“Lowside Of The Road” would not necessarily be considered a song for Halloween, but it is spine-chilling enough to make it onto this list. Tom Waits’ muffled gravelly voice is redolent of early blues recordings of the 1930s.  The song comes together with various drawn-out strings and polyrhythmic percussion that is reminiscent of old pots and pans.“Lowside Of The Road” is an eerie and uncanny piece of music that captures the spirit of southern gothic and all-things unnatural.

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Hits of Halloween