It’s a full moon out, and Halloween draws nigh. What would be your suggestions for an effectively spooky holiday soundtrack-- something to play in the background of a costume party, or while telling ghost stories? Dirges, chants, laments? Wild pagan dances around the Samhain bonfires beneath the light of the October moon? Drear ballads, eerie orchestral pieces, maddeningly evocative instrumentals? Sounds to summon up those who lurk in darkness and appease the restless dead? No Peter Noone, please.
Loreena McKennitt has a lot of great spooky Celtic (and non-Celtic) stuff, some slow and some fast paced:
Beltane Fire Dance (I know, wrong time of year, but still nice)
non-Celtic by McKennitt
And more, but those will give you the idea.
And of course for something completely different, Stephen Lynch’s Halloween Song is a great party song. Favorite lyric:
“A pinch of your brother a teaspoon of you
With the head of your sister would make a good stew
I’d give you a taste but you’re tongue’s in the stew; oh Irony!
That’s what Halloween means to me”
And even though it’s my a medieval monk and written in Latin and overplayed and by a 20th century non-Nazi German composer, hard to beat O Fortunafor pure pagan naked dancing! (Mmmmm… Stephen Lynch and naked dancing… if only.)
I’m partial to Arthur Brown
A couple of things that are listenable:
A Midnite Choir (I really love this album)
The Bad Things (a spinoff from AMC)
Za Frumi (imagine a radio play done in Orcish with a dark ambient soundtrack)
I know the OP is being kind of jocular, but genuine laments and ethnomusicological recordings of shamanic incantations aren’t very listenable, especially at parties.
Don’t forget Mike Oldfield and Tubular Bells! (Theme from the Exorcist.)
NETA: I have two different versions of Tubular Bells, and one is from Pure Moods which has some other kind of vaguely creepy sounding songs. The other is from an album full of horror themes, but I forget the name of it. It also had Halloween, the Shining, Christine, Psycho, Jaws…I think it was called Mike’s Halloween Themes, or something…
Hands down, the scariest track I own: Skinny Puppy - Choralone (live) (incorrectly labeled “Shoralone” on Amazon). The 30 second clip isn’t even the scariest part. Also, some other Skinny Puppy tracks like …Spasmolytic, First Aid (live), Riverzend, Fritter (Stella’s Home), and Reclamation.
For other bands, I also recommend …
Lisa Gerrard - Mirror Medusa and In Exile
Depeche Mode - Sibeling, Memphisto, Christmas Island, and Stjarna (incorrectly labeled as St. Jarna).
Love is Colder than Death - Nostromo
Delerium - the entire Stone Tower album (sound clips not available)
And, if you can get your hands on it Coil - How to Destroy Angels.
Heh. Another possibility would be to get the “Threshold HouseBoys Choir” DVD set and fire up a projector.
For classical, there’s the everpresent Toccata and Fugue, by Bach…
This one might be too obvious:
Bauhaus - “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”
Diamanda Galas’ rendition of damn near anything, but ESPECIALLY “Gloomy Sunday” (the first song to have an urban legend invented as a publicity campaign).
I first read about it when I was a kid on one of Frank Edwards’ “Strange But True (occasionally)” books. Just listening to it supposedly triggered random suicides. It would make a great movie!
Anyway, I never heard it till last year when I was searching for creepy music for a friend (either I or another Doper had opened a thread much like this) & Diamanda was named. And when I heard “Gloomy Sunday” I thought “This must be that suicide song!” and it was.
The Moon-Rays do some good Halloween-influenced rock and movie theme-type music.
I recently picked up their albums “Sinister Surf” and “The Ghouls Go West”, which have excellent Halloween soundtrack potential.
For the classically-minded, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique is essential, particularly the last movement (including the march to the scaffold, the guillotined head dropping into the basket and the witches’ sabbath). :eek:
Not as obvious as Monster Mash
I dunno if the soundtrack to Roman Polanski’s **The Ninth Gate **is available, but the DVD has a “music only” option. Wojiech [sp?] Kilar’s wonderful score is by turns spooky, puckish, and magisterial; it has the additional advantage of sporting some vocalise but no lyrics to interfere with conversation.
Dunno if th song qualifies as halloween-ish
but the song from the re-made “Funny Games” is creepy (and loud as hell), it´s called “Bone head” by Naked City
Don’t we need Michael Jackson’s Thriller somewhere too?
The middle section of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” (from “Meddle”).
Genesis’ “The Waiting Room” (from “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”).
Check out Midnight Syndicate. They have several CDs’ worth of cool and scary music (and they’re nice guys, too!)