Trick or Treat! A Halloween Playlist

By Madeline Bocaro ©

And what costume shall the poor girl wear

To all tomorrow’s parties?

A blackened shroud
A hand-me-down gown
Of rags and silks, a costume
Fit for one who sits and cries
For all tomorrow’s parties…

Nico sings All Tomorrow’s Parties’ on The Velvet Underground and Nico LP in 1966. The sad, droning dirge was written by Lou Reed, partially influenced by the people he met at Andy Warhol’s factory. The VU’s John Cale recollects that it was about a girl who had her children taken away from her.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmR5CLubsjE

IMG_0213

What’s more appropriate for Halloween than Edgar Allan Poe – especially Nico reading Poe. This is a really beautiful musical score of a short film starring Marianne Faithfull. Nico reads the poem Ulalume over a beautiful score.

My story about ‘Ulalume’:

https://madelinex.com/2017/12/19/nico-reads-poe-ulalume/

Watch and Listen Here: Music by Spanish band Neuromium
Film sequences from Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising starring Marianne Faithfull.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phoS1rtSTAA

Iggy Pop’s reading of Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart is nice and creepy. This appears on the 1997  CD Closed On Account of Rabies with several artists reciting the poems and tales of Edgar Allan Poe.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bansJgYiOXY

CANDY

On a sweeter note, Sammy Davis Jr. is ‘The Candy Man’ in the song co-written by Anthony Newley. The song appeared in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and became a No. 1 hit for Sammy in 1972.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYihDAhVPko

 ‘Flying Jelly Attack’ is my favorite song about jellybeans. It’s by the Ramones-influenced Japanese girl group Shonen Knife from their sixth album released in 1992 Let’s Knife – their first album sung in English. Their latest (June 2019) album is titled Sweet Candy Power. You might also want to play that title track, and also ‘Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches’ and ‘Peppermint Attack’.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYBOg2lMW8Q

HAUNTING

Ghost Riders in the Sky’ is a country western song with ghostly cries of ‘Yippie ay aaa, Yippie ay ooo’, covered by many but made popular by Vaughn Monroe in 1949.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ais2uSUwIuY

‘Ghost Rider’ on Suicide’s 1977 debut album is a tribute to the Marvel Comics character of the same name.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn7SBQ6X5HU

Read my Suicide story: https://madelinex.com/2016/07/16/suicide-rip-alan-vega/

Johnny Remember Me’ by John Leyton is a 1961 duet with the ghost of the singer’s drowned girlfriend. Her haunting voice is otherworldly.  It’s a really beautiful song with a galloping beat and echoing vocals produced by my favorite knob-twiddler, the great Joe Meek – his first No. 1 production.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7e4JXwd7XMo

‘Spooky’ by Dusty Springfield is a cover of a 1967 instrumental which was first covered by Classics IV with lyrics. It sounds almost exactly like their previous hit ‘Stormy’!

Just like a ghost, you’ve been a-hauntin’ my dreams / So I’ll propose, on Halloween.
Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you.

Dusty’s version changes the gender of the ‘spooky little girl’ to a boy, which is strange because she later came out as gay.

Classics IV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qpo9KZYJ4sA

Dusty Springfield: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7QzxYAjgNc

Patti Smith’s ‘Ghost Dance’ celebrates a Native American ritual with nice percussion by Andi Ostrowe. The song is on Patti’s 1978 album Easter.

Listen:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rF6G1glnFoY

Read my Patti Smith Easter story here:

https://madelinex.com/2019/04/19/patti-smith-easter-1978/

‘Ghost Town’ by The Specials was released in 1981 and the spooky reggae tune reflects the unrest during riots in U.K. cities at the time.

 Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqZ8428GSrI

 

Lou Reed’s ghostly and beautiful ‘Vanishing Act’ from his 2003 Edgar Allan Poe tribute album The Raven is simply stunning. It’s one of my all-time favorites.

It must be nice to disappear /To have a vanishing act

To always be looking forward / And never looking back

How nice it is to disappear/ Float into a mist

With a young lady on your arm / Looking for a kiss

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=016oj553kkU

Live version from Lou’s Animal Serenade album (2003): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5NM-Dff5K8

Halloween Parade’ is on Lou Reed’s 1989 album New York. In the midst of the cool scene on Christopher Street (before it hit the big time, when there were much fewer people on the streets). Lou is missing someone special, although he vows to be at the parade again next year.

I ran into Lou at the actual NYC Halloween parade – the only time my friend talked me into putting on stupid Halloween makeup! Lou didn’t seem to mind!

12038239_10153187288949103_2845947527273047493_n

Me & Lou @ The Halloween Parade NYC, 1984

Halloween Parade: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBrRQLSjMHk

Siouxsie & the Banshees  ‘Halloweenis from their 1981 album Juju.  The dissonant song has lyrics about a murdered child.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksg2ESuEMhw

‘There is a Ghost’ is on Marianne Faithfull’s 2005 album Before the Poison. This beautifully haunting song was co-written by producer Hal Wilner and the sparse production is by Wilner and Nick Cave.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSDV2W7Ac9Y

ROCKIN’ BONES

Despite the upbeat tune and anatomically correct lyrics about a skeleton (“The thigh bone’s connected to the hip  bone” etc…) Dem Bones’ /’Dry Bones’ / ‘The Skeleton Dance is an old spiritual song made popular in 1947. After each verse is the lyric, “Now hear the word of the Lord.”

Listen (Karaoke): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bwRF4df-Ao

And by Delta Rhythm Boys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYb8Wm6-QfA

Watch-The Cramps: https://youtu.be/zAlb35WVtIk

‘Bony Moronie’ was a 1957 single by American R&B singer Larry Williams (label mate of Little Richard on Specialty Records). The Beatles were fans of Williams. They covered his songs ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’, ‘Bad Boy’ and ‘Slow Down’. The song which has a great sax solo and a melody reflecting ‘Sea Cruise’ is about a skinny girlfriend.  John Lennon covered ‘Bony Morony’ with a much slower groove on his 1975 album of cover songs, Rock N’ Roll. WIlliams died at age 44 in 1980 of an alleged suicide.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdmuqYCf5Ik

John Lennon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX5MOVF54lI

Rockin’ Bonesby The Cramps appears on Psychedelic Jungle (1980). It’s a laid-back lazy blues with a zombie chorus – a much slower cover version of Ronnie Dawson’s rockabilly song from 1959.

Cramps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfRmE5ui7sk

Ronnie Dawson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIGtGj0VJcg

‘Skull Ring’ is the title track of Iggy Pop’s 2003 album on which he reunited with the Stooges (who feature on this song)  for 3 songs. It has a Peter Gunn Theme riff and melody.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-RBddSN5cs

Skull-Ring

DEAD OR UNDEAD?

I Love the Dead’ from Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies (1973) is about necrophilia. Only Alice could get away with singing about this stuff – most likely because he had a great sense of humor! The album’s final track is ‘Dead Babies’ in which parents are scolded for leaving their child unattended with a bottle of aspirin. A highlight of Alice’s live gigs was when a baby carriage is wheeled onstage during the song. We never know what kind of hideous creature in baby form that Alice will pull out of there and skewer on the edge of his sword – and how many heads it might have! Alice never disappoints. Another great Alice Cooper song for Halloween is  ‘Cold Ethyl’ on his solo album Welcome to my Nightmare. It’s also about necrophilia with his ‘frigid’ girlfriend by the refrigerator light.

Dead Babies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkbS2Zrcl6g

I Love the Dead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpKGfFw8FEA

Cold Ethyl – WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtinXsXWeaA

An early David Bowie song from his 1967 debut self-titled album (when he was still in his Anthony Newly phase) was morbid and creepy. On Please Mr. GravediggerBowie sings  (and sneezes) in a childlike voice to an old gravedigger. He saw the man pocket a locket of a little girl whom he is burying. He agrees not to tell about the locket if ‘Mr. GD’ won’t tell HIS own secret – that he is the young killer of the 10-year old girl whose grave he visits every day. The song becomes even more weird as he kills the gravedigger…

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgRpJY8el1g

On his 1974 album Diamond Dogs, Bowie is now the character Halloween Jack. He sings We Are the Dead another of Bowie’s references to George Orwell’s book 1984. It’s one of my favorite Bowie songs, but he has never performed it live.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QEs1sjlLYA

 ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead by Bauhaus (1979) is over 9 minutes long. It’s scratchy dub sound on this very early goth piece is mixed with the eerie deep vocals of Peter Murphy, who resembles a cross between David Bowie and a bat. He has performed it song live by hanging upside down the entire duration of the song. It was featured in the opening sequence of The Hunger – a horror film about vampires starring David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve in 1983.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skXn7jhXc5w

Mick Jagger dances with the devil at the graveyard in The Rolling Stones’ creepy song ‘Dancing With Mr. D’ (and with Mrs. D) on Goat’s Head Soup. I wonder if the devil appreciated Mick’s blue eyeshadow and shiny gold Ossie Clark jumpsuit!

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s474Lf-z9NY

 

MEET THE MONSTERS

IMG_2323

Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s No. 1 1962 hit ‘The Monster Mash probably takes the title of the ultimate Halloween song. Pickett sings in a voice mocking Bela Lugosi who played Dracula. He has a party for many famous monsters. The host devises a new dance just for them – a send-up of the previous dance craze, The Mashed Potato.

Watch: American Bandstand -Oct.13, 1964:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNuVifA7DSU

It wouldn’t be Halloween without The Cramps. The band has many creature features; ‘Human Fly’, ‘God Monster’, ‘It Thing Hard-On’, ‘Goo Goo Muck’, ‘Green Fuz’, ‘I Was a Teenage Werewolf’, ‘Voodoo Idol’… And a smattering of dance songs; ‘Jungle Hop’, ‘Zombie Dance’(nobody moves), ‘The Crusher’, ‘Cramp Stomp’ ‘I’m Cramped’.  You can also do a ghoulish stomp to ‘Can’t Find My Mind’. They also go way back with ‘Rockin’ Bones’, (see above) ‘Primitive’, and ‘The Natives are Restless’.

Enjoy your own Cramps Fest with ‘Eyeball in my Martini’

Eyeballs, eyeballs, eyballs / eyeballs everywhere

Eyeballs, eyeballs, eyballs / floating through the air

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiR3I2bcNCo

‘The Creature from the Black Leather Lagoon is on The Cramps’ fourth album Stay Sick in 1990. I would not want to be Lux and Ivy’s housekeeper!

Watch the disgustingly fun video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FQ1h6tgejg

Read my tribute to Lux Interior: Love You Lux

https://madelinex.com/2018/10/21/luv-you-lux/

Sacred Springs (聖なる泉 Seinaru Izumi)’ is a song first sung by the twin fairies (Shobijin) in the movie Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964).  The song is also in the film, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. It is written by Akira Ifukube and performed by Emi and Yumi Ito (The Peanuts).

Listen: https://godzilla.fandom.com/wiki/File:Mothra_vs_Godzilla_soundtrack-_Sacred_Springs

Watch here – a nice remake with movie scenes/lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qU1OTH6X8M

Read my upcomingfull story about Emi and Yumi – The Peanuts next week!

Godzillaby Blue Oyster Cult is an ode to our favorite Japanese monster and about how ‘nature points up the folly of men’.  It’s on the band’s fifth album, Spectres released in 1977. There is no cowbell on this song. Finally, 40 years later, a cover version of the song was used in the 2019 film Godzilla: King of the Monsters for the first time. “Oh no! There goes Tokyo!” 

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muUZjovOFRg

There’s a Lightover at the Frankenstein place! Richard O’Brien’s gorgeously glam score to his Rocky Horror Picture Show has a couple of lovely ballads with strange lyrics including this one and ‘Superheroes’ – both of which remind me of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘The Only Living Boy in New York’. The movie’s opener, Science Fiction’ is sung by O’Brien and mimed by the giant lips of Magenta (Patricia Quinn). So let’s do the timewarp again!

‘There’s A Light’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4G-hjfMR4U

‘Superheroes’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjc-I-parYs

‘Science Fiction Double Feature’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKhPVHoodrU

David Bowie’s ‘Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)’ is the title track from his 1980 album. Using his cut-up lyrics technique, he tells of a woman gone mad.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHywdqH3F6Y

Scary-Monsters

The Ramones song Making Monsters for my Friends is on their final album released in 1995, ¡Adios Amigos! It most likely refers to using Mattel’s Thingmaker oven and metal molds to make Creepy Crawlers and Creeple People – monster heads that sat atop your pens. I always had the best dressed pencils in school! I loved the wonderfully toxic smell of  the colorful Plastigoop cooking in the Thingmaker! You could make your own ‘Goo Goo Muck’! Why did they let kids play with dangerously hot electrical toys?  I also liked Super Elastic Bubble Plastic, which you put onto the end of a straw to make bubble-like things.

I don’t want to open a can of worms and / I don’t want any Spaghetti-Os
And I could always tell when / Someone is holding a grudge

I’m making monsters for my friends

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30Tej_6QICI

Here’s a bonus just for fun:

Incredibly Dangerous Toys From the Past You’ll Be Left Speechless

https://youtu.be/4Er6MdUJVvM

IMG_1067

 

 

images

IMG_1073.jpeg

 

 

I would also include  The Ramones ‘Cretin Hop’, ‘Pinhead’ and ‘Teenage Lobotomy on this really fun playlist! It was actually really sad to see the rubber Pinhead mask and costume on display at The Ramones exhibition in Queens, as it would never utter the words, ‘Gabba gabba hey’ again. Also on ¡Adios Amigos! is the Ramones’ wonderful cover version of the Tom Waits song ‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up’ which was promoted with this beautiful advertisement!

RamonesAdiosAmigosAd

Iggy Pop made a CD single called ‘Monster Men’ in Paris 1997. “And the French girls sing, “La la la la, la la la la la, we like monster men.”

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmRI-OC15rE

Creature’ by Tijuana Panthers is on their 2016 album Max Baker. This wonderful tune is used by Iggy Pop as the soundtrack for his 2018 Halloween post featuring his pet bird Biggy Pop!

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drdvgorj1Bc

 

NAME YOUR POISON

The popular tunePoison Ivy also written by Leiber and Stoller and recorded by The Coasters in 1959 and later by many others.   It’s about a girl named Ivy with a bad reputation. The co-authors confirmed that Ivy was carrying an STD. The lyrics mention several other diseases such as mumps, measles and chicken pox  – but in the end, if you catch what Ivy’s got, it will make you itch. The advice given is “you can look but you better not touch”. And the prescription is “an ocean of calamine lotion.”

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG11rVMQxDU

Poison Ivy & Lux Interior – The Cramps:

The Sonics, a highly influential 1960s garage band wrote and recorded the original version of ‘Strychtnine. The Cramps did a great cover on their album Songs the Lord Taught Us (1980). It’s also been covered by The Flaming Lips and by many others.

‘Strychtnine’ by The Sonics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7Nffq0bOgE

The Cramps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQg_gwY9yiE

A song about an aphrodisiac, ‘Love Potion Number 9 by Leiber and Stoller was originally by The Clovers in 1959, and then by The Searchers in 1964. A drink of the stuff prescribed by a gypsy causes a guy to kiss everything in sight. When he kisses a cop, that’s the end of his romantic night.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rXhXLsNJL8

ZOMBIES

The Zombies’ 1964 debut single She’s Not Therehas become a classic tune. I still wonder what happened to this girl in the song, who is no longer amongst us although she is still alive.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it68QbUWVPM

The Cramps are at it again with Zombie Dance in which nobody moves…

At the Zombie Dance / Here’s Ben and Betty

They tap their toes / But they don’t get sweaty
They don’t give a damn / They’re done dead already

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zveOU1kM9Wg

 

ARE YOU A GOOD WITCH OR A BAD WITCH?

Witchcraftby Frank Sinatra was a hit in 1957. It was recorded by many others including Sarah Vaughan and Peggy Lee.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOXCDjKETZ0

 ‘I Put a Spell on You was the only major hit by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (but a great one it was)! It’s sort of a scary voodoo waltz with cool saxophone breaks commanding and possessing a lover beyond her control. Hawkins staged eccentric and theatrical shows, wearing outlandish costumes and using his operatic voice to wild extremes. He sometimes emerged from a coffin on-stage. He used props such as skull heads and snakes, chattering false teeth and he wore bones in his nose. Hawkins was one of the first shock-rockers, inspiring Alice Cooper, Screaming Lord Sutch and countless others. Bryan Ferry also does a beautiful cover of this song on his 1991 album Taxi.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwXai-sgM-s

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kGPhpvqtOc

Bryan Ferry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abm4YvUAqs4

 

 

 Witchy Woman by The Eagles has American Indian style drumming at the start. It was written by Don Henley after he had read a biography about the enchanting Zelda, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. The character Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby about the Roaring Twenties is allegedly modeled after Zelda, who ended up going mad.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnWGDATFKIs

‘Evil Woman by Electric Light Orchestra appears on their 1975 album Face The Music.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxz1DuVaRr8

Season of the Witch by Donovan sounds like he is channeling Jim Morisson . Jimmy Page is on guitar.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAzTnsSgs2s

Yes I’m a Witch is from Yoko Ono’s  album A Story  (recorded 1974, released 1997). It was later remixed for 2007 album “Yes, I’m a Witch”. It’s one of her many early feminist songs.

When you discovered your earlier songs to be about today, did you feel like a soothsayer, a doomsayer, a saint, a witch?
Many people think of me as a witch, and I hated it at first, but then I thought, it’s okay. A man is called a wizard, and a woman is called a witch. What a difference, isn’t it?

– Yoko, New York Magazine, August 20, 2018

Yes, I’m a witch, I’m a bitch / I don’t care what you say
My voice is real / My voice speaks truth
I don’t fit in your ways / I’m not gonna die for you
You might as well face the truth /I’m gonna stick around for quite awhile

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW8uHkgMKS8

AreYouAGoodWitch

MASKS

What’s Behind the Mask?’ appears on The Cramps’ album Songs the Lord Taught Us. The patients at Napa State Mental Hospital especially enjoyed having The Cramps playing this song live for them in 1984!

So, what’s behind the mask? “Sorry I ever asked.”

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Id_iVOf8nWU

Watch Live @ Napa State Mental Hospital: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIQYhhji9Ts

Mask is on Iggy Pop’s kick-ass 2001 album Beat ‘Em Up with his band The Trolls. He did a killer performance of this song to a mortified audience on The David Letterman Show wearing a broccoli necklace and reprising the shiny silver evening gloves from his Stooges days.

“You’re wearing a mask / you look better that way”

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbPu3aJXJDk

IMG_2336

The Ramones song ‘Pet Sematary is on their 1989 Brain Drain. The lyrics were written by Dee Dee Ramone for the Stephen King movie (just before he left the Ramones for his own hip hop career). The single got lots of radio play. The video was shot at New York’s Sleepy Hollow cemetery.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7f2LZK3zsY&list=RDe7f2LZK3zsY&start_radio=1

Follow Victor to the sacred place
This ain’t a dream, I can’t escape
Molars and fangs, the clicking of bones
Spirits moaning among the tombstones
And the night, when the moon is bright
Someone cries, something ain’t right

I don’t want to be buried in a pet cemetery
I don’t want to live my life again

 

 HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

See more in my Playlist category

https://madelinex.com/category/playlists/

AND:
About A Song

https://madelinex.com/category/about-a-song/

Main Menu:

http://www.madelinex.com

Also see my upcoming story NEXT WEEK: Music & Monsters

MothraPoster

Related:

Eat to the Beat

https://madelinex.com/2019/06/25/eat-to-the-beat/


Orange Sunshine

https://madelinex.com/2019/05/29/orange-hangover/

 

Music & Monsters: The Peanuts

a.k.a. Emi & Yumi Ito, a.k.a. The Mothra twins

https://madelinex.com/2019/11/03/music-monsters/

2 thoughts on “Trick or Treat! A Halloween Playlist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s