By: Shawn Gallagher
We've all been to plenty of Halloween parties, most are a lot of fun, as people wear kinky costumes, dance around, and get totally hammered! Some parties are better than others of course, and the difference between a good and a great Halloween party can often depend on the music soundtrack being played! (Hint, don't ever play “The Monster Mash”!) Luckily I'm here to provide you with some of my favorite Halloween jams, some of which you may not be too familiar with, which is why I'm here to help! 😉
Oingo Boingo – Dead Man's Party – Oingo Boingo is one of the more underrated new wave bands of the 1980's, and Dead Man's Party is officially my favorite Halloween Party song! Some great instruments involved here, a real full band and a jam that just makes you want to get up and dance!
The Specials – Ghost Town – The Specials is a British band who were the absolute kings of the original British “Ska” era of the early 80's. “Ghost Town” is their signature jam, and really represents that whole ska era.
Inxs – Devil Inside – Inxs is a criminally underrated band with a lead singer in Michael Hutchence that was also one of the greatest front men I've seen, one who should've gotten the same recognition as someone like “Bono” did. Devil Inside brings out the devil in all of us, and you'll see it on the dance floor!
Blue Oyster Cult – (Don't Fear) The Reaper – Of course many remember this song from the Will Ferrell Saturday Night Live sketch, but Blue Oyster Cult also represents a historically underrated band. Check out their catalog when you get a chance, but their signature hit still rocks hard and is great for a cowbell party!
Michael Jackson – Thriller – This one is pretty common and obvious, yet the song holds up quite nicely despite its longer length. Michael Jackson was probably the most talented musician I can ever remember, and this official music video from the early 80's holds up as still one of the greatest videos ever!
Rockwell – Somebody's Watching Me – Speaking of Michael Jackson, its Michael doing the background vocals in this Rockwell hit. Rockwell got a bit lucky here, as he is the son of Motown Records mogul Berry Gordy, which I sure helped him achieve his one hit wonder status here, with of course the assist by MJ 😉
Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London – A classic song you can slow down and sing along to at a party. The signature hit of the late Warren Zevon, and a chance for party people to try and howl like a werewolf!
AC/DC – Hells Bells- A chance for the real rockers in the room to play their air guitars together in chorus! Hells Bells is a great Halloween song as well as great for any sporting events to excite crowds in a stadium!
Talking Heads – Psycho Killer – A fun jam by the Talking Heads inspired by a real life Psycho Killer from years ago! David Byrne's vocals work perfectly here giving a creepy and chilly vibe to a good sing along song!
The Cure – Fascination Street – Well technically you could pretty much put any Cure song on a Halloween playlist, no doubt! In this case its my call so I'll go with my favorite Cure song, “Fascination Street”.
Joy Division – Dead Souls – Going along with the theme of underrated bands, Joy Division tops the list! A darker type of band personified by lead singer Ian Curtis's enchanting mysterious vocals! Curtis unfortunately died after just a few years of Joy Division, and the remaining band later formed “New Order”.
Edgar Winter group – Frankenstein – No vocals needed here, just some great jammin and really cool mix of instruments!
Santana – Black Magic Woman – Carlos Santana with one of the greatest guitar performances that I can remember, unleashing the power of black magic!
Charlie Daniels Band – The Devil went down to Georgia – I don't get into much country, but this is a classic! A great jam that gets people dancin, and the whiskey gets flowin!
Cliff Richard – Devil Woman – Because you can really never have enough good jams describing a woman as the devil, right? 😉 A lost classic from Cliff Richard!
Dave Matthews Band – Halloween – I spend a lot of time in the past going to Dave Matthews shows. A fun time out with friends and fantastic musicians associated with the band, a real party atmosphere at shows too! Halloween is a lost favorite of the Dave Matthews band in my opinion!
Does it offend you, yeah – Dawn of the Dead – Not many know this jam, a favorite of mine in more recent times. Does it offend you, yeah is a British band that at this time was inspired by the whole zombie craze that you ended up seeing in the past decade with things like “The Walking Dead”. Not many other hits by this band here, so enjoy this one! 😉
My Chemical Romance – Helena – Another recent addition to the Halloween list, My Chemical Romance always had very dark themes to their music, but quite a bit of passion! This particular song, like most of their songs is a passionate song about love lost, and death, done always in a “Cure” type of a gothic manner.
Huey Lewis and the News – I want I new Drug – Wait a minute? THIS isn't a Halloween song, so why is it here? First I love this song, but more importantly here, Huey Lewis won a court settlement against Ray Parker Jr. and the song “Ghostbusters” from the 80's classic movie of the same name! Nothing against Ray Parker Jr. , but after enough listens, I agree with Huey Lewis and others that Ghostbusters ripped off “I Want a New Drug”, the similarities are definitely there! Ray Parker Jr. “Ain't afraid of No Ghost” , but certainly had reason to be afraid of a lawsuit for plagiarism from the great Huey Lewis! 🙂 Here is the Ghostbusters video anyway, so you can judge for yourself if this is plagiarism, as I believe it is!
- Whew! That's all! I'm sure I missed some good ones, feel free to add some of your favorites in the comments section if you like as well!