Halloween is almost here, and it’s time to ensure you have the best Halloween party EVER. From choosing the perfect costume to concocting some spooky cocktails and dishes, it’s also crucial that your Halloween party playlist is just right.
Crowd-pleasers like the Monster Mash, Ghostbusters, and Thriller are definites as are the equally great but perhaps lesser-known bops like (Don’t Fear) the Reaper and Hammer Horror.
The team over at MusicnGear have delved deep into the Halloween crypts to find out the origins behind some of our favourite spooky songs.
Here’s just some of our favourite haunted hits and the stories about their creation – some of which you may even be surprised to learn about.
Michael Jackson – Thriller
Released over 25 years ago, ‘Thriller’ remains an absolute anthem and is a staple part of the Halloween season.
The music video for ‘Thriller’ is just as iconic as the song itself. While, on the surface, it may seem that the video tells the story of a couple being hounded by zombies, many suspect there is far more to its tale as it’s thought the song is actually an observation of America in the 1980’s – an era known for gang violence, crack cocaine addiction and the AIDS epidemic.
David Bowie – Scary Monsters and Super Creeps
While it may be fun to imagine this song is about Dracula and his gruesome gang of buddies, it’s unfortunately not.
‘Super Creeps’ tells a story of a man who becomes obsessed with his new girlfriend. As his possessive nature becomes too much for her and they eventually split, she starts to become tormented and disturbed by the world. It’s a cleverly-disguised song about anxiety and self-doubt, perhaps two of the scariest monsters of them all.
Bobby “Boris” Pickett – The Monster Mash
“It’s just a graveyard smash,” Pickett sings in this classic hit we’ve all come to know and love. The super-catchy tale of a mad scientist deciding to get his party on with his monster pals became a massive hit after Pickett performed a Boris Karloff impersonation whilst on stage with his band.
The track, inspired by the Mashed Potato dance craze and novelty hit ‘Alley Oop’, continues to be a Halloween favourite today.
Blue Öyster Cult – (Don’t Fear) The Reaper
Their biggest and most well-known song, ‘(Don’t Fear) the Reaper’ was a monster hit for Blue Öyster Cult back in 1976.
While many interpreted the lyrics as referencing suicide, the song is actually a tale of everlasting love. Lead guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser wrote the track about still being in love with his wife in the afterlife.
The spooky guitar riffs for the track helped inspire the writing of Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’, and was also used as the theme tune for the television adaptation of the book.
Soft Cell (Originally by Gloria Jones) – Tainted Love
Whether you know ‘Tainted Love’ by the Gloria Jones, Soft Cell or Marilyn Manson versions, the song has been a hit both in and outside of Halloween since being written back in the 60’s.
The song is about a ‘tainted’ romance that has to come to an end. It’s about being in a relationship that you know is already over. It’s a hauntingly realistic love tale, even if it’s not so frightening.
You can read some more of the origins behind your favourite spooky songs over on the MusicnGear website.