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Eerie Ed’s Eclectic Musical Mix for All Hallow’s Eve

eerieedBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Halloween is almost here, and the only thing some readers fear is the same ol’ songs making these lists all the time. I’m offering an eclectic mix of tunes from various decades to get into the spirit. These are songs to be potentially enjoyed by all, and they are diverse enough to celebrate what the season is about. Disclaimer: perhaps one or two are of a 14+ design so please carefully click on what I describe is of “adult” nature.

Despite what my comrade in arms claims, I think his tastes are ancient. His choice is a perfect look into the past, but how far can I drag a pun? His selection is indeed a treasure chest of buried treasures, but can today’s generation truly appreciate them? I can hear a few folks say, “Those old-time tunes are dead; today’s kids crave pop.”

I pay attention to today’s modern music even though they are not all high on my hit list. One tune that did not make it on the list but deserves honourable mention is “Zydrate Anatomy” from Repo! the Genetic Opera (2008). I love this song because it’s edgy and treats the subject of drug addiction like Aerosmith’s song, “Janie’s Got A Gun” but only in a post-apocalyptic horror/sci-fi setting. Unlike a certain coffin character, I enjoy the progressive sound found in today’s compositions while still dosing in the tunes I grew up to.

“Grim Grinning Ghosts”
Buddy Baker and Xavier Atencio

The reason this tune works is that it plays with a well-known musical motif to underscore the creep factor. Known as the Devil’s Interval, the tritone, the resonance and emotional impact it imparts upon the listener invokes certain feelings. Back during the Renaissance certain musical constructs was banned since it creates a dissonant tone. In that era, music was made to praise God much like how Mozart is said to be a favourite child of his. Some of his scores are bright and cheerful, and others … oh my, watch out! Listeners can hear this composer’s life play out when considering how amazing the movie, Amadeus is — even though I’m digressing.

Buddy Baker’s work simply works because pieces are used repeatedly to let its timbre crawl under your skin.

“The Headless Horseman” (1949)
Bing Crosby

The season is actually near Christmas, but how can anyone not want to hear the crooning melody of this great master sweetly recounting the legend to get into the holiday spirit?

“The Purple People Eater” (1958)
Sheb Wooley

This song certainly shows that it can be covered time and time again by other artists, like Alvin and the Chipmunks. There’s a charm to it and try singing the main verse five times fast. Maybe that creature will manifest and take a bite out of a person with purple skin! Not many folks remember Disney made a film in 1988 where that sort of actually happened! Neil Patrick Harris the kid, and look at him now! The tune is still loved, as it was used in movies like Contact (1997) and Monsters vs Aliens (2009).

“Haunted House” (1964)
Jumpin’ Gene Simmons

No, the KISS Bassist did not change career and he supposedly changed his name to honour this original artist. However, with no verifiable sources, this allegation is unsubstantiated. This original act is a rockabilly singer and songwriter who rose to fame from this novelty single. I love it because after I heard a cover by John Fogerty, I had to look into its history and learn about who first released this track.

The Addams Family Theme Song (1964)

Vic Mizzy arranged this song for the television series and how can anyone not want to snap their fingers along to this harpsichord melody? While it never made the charts, it certainly was popular enough to warrant as a vinyl release. As with most television shows from this decade, they all enjoyed getting albums out. I used to have The Monkees and The Partridge Family in my record collection.

“Them Not-So-Dry Bones” (1979)
School House Rock

Technically, this tune is meant for educating kids to the location of where each bone in the body belongs, but when it makes reference to the season (when some folks love dressing up as a skeleton) the inclusion to this list is obvious. Jack Sheldon was the vocalist and George Newall composed this score. One of the reasons why I love this song is because it uses verses from “Dem Bones,” a spiritual song for a very spirited holiday.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Theme Song (1978)

This horror comedy is just one of those films which made a lasting impression on me, and I’ve watched the cartoon sequel which really cemented my love for this fruit. My madcap love for this tune just shows that I love this song over the Monster Mash. It’s just silly and perfect for the season.

“A Nightmare on my Street” (1988)
D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince

Will Smith was in his prime with a series of musical hits before becoming the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and I love him because he provided rap which is accessible for anyone to go enjoy. The fact he pays tribute to one of my most favourite monsters, Freddy Krueger puts this song in this list no claws about it.

“Those Meddlin’ Kids” (1999)
The Hex Girls (Scooby-Doo)

I found myself having a hard time deciding between which song by the fictional band The Hex Girls (from Scooby-Doo) best represents the season. They were first introduced in the movie Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost and since then, has become part of the lexicon. I really enjoyed seeing them return with a meaner beat in Mystery Incorporated.

But if you buy the album (I found my copy at a second-hand shop), the best melody to really offer a symphonic representation of the season The Shining level is “Ghost Story.” Plus, you get to hear the song which really gets me pumped for the night — “The Hex Girls.” They casted a spell on me a long time ago.

“Halloween” (2000) — Aqua

The movie Scream came out before Aqua released this song, and the band certainly took all the notes from the films and the movie Halloween to score this euro pop number. Instead of running, I’m just grooving to the beats. Yes, I have a fondness for this musical genre, as it does get my feet moving. I’m not as stoic as a certain buddy when at a concert.

“Spooky Song” (2004)
Lazy Town

Yes, I admit to watching this kid’s show because I found myself enjoying the pop tunes composed for this show. I did say in my bio that I’m just a little kid trapped in an adult body. The title song is crazy addictive and come Halloween, this tune is hilariously perfect for the season. Technically, the segment comes from when Stephanie and gang have gone camping (“Cry Dinosaur,” Orig Broadcast Date: October 25, 2004), but it still works for the All Hallow’s Eve season.

“Bloody Mary” (2011)
Lady Gaga

Sorry James, but you’re just antiquated. Lady Gaga is the future and this song features a lot of nuances I wished was featured 2002 vampire movie Queen of the Damned — especially when concerning themes of resurrection. After watching a professionally done fan-made video by Ruben Cortez, this desire is only cemented. Aaliyah played an overly sexualized Akasha and Anne Rice later criticized the film was it was not developed the way she hoped. There are Christian references in the original work, and it’s lovingly brought out in Gaga’s tune. A lot of fans of her works says this song is also perfect for American Horror Story.

“I’m In Love With a Monster” (2015)
Fifth Harmony

This tune debuted in the animated film Hotel Transylvania 2 and the lyrics perfectly represent what this franchise is all about. Its dance beats are more prominent than its beefy ominous bass tones, and it’s a song anyone can dance to. The official music video is too sexualized, but when considering what this song is about, I can forgive the direction. I prefer Sheena Easton’s “Telephone” music video for the simple reason it is more in style for the era it is recreating.

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