Now that you're probably engaged in the almost-last minute Halloween costume cram session, you might be in the need for some tunes to get you through the hours of skirt-hemming and wig-styling. At the same time, though, we figured you might be a little tired of hearing Ministry's “Every Day is Halloween” and half of Oingo Boingo's discography yet again. With that in mind, take some time to enjoy this playlist of disturbingly awesome (mostly) '80s music.
Bauhaus “Party of the First Part”
Just say no to “Bela Lugosi's Dead” this Halloween. Yeah, it's a cool song anytime of year, but it's played out every October and Bauhaus has so many more spooky themes. My favorite is “Party of the First Part,” which samples dialogue from the Halloween cartoon The Devil and Daniel Mouse.
Cocteau Twins “Persephone”
It's only appropriate to throw in a song named for the Greek Queen of the Underworld this time of year, but this Cocteau Twins' song appears here for more than its name. The slithery beat sounds like something that could pop up in a David Lynch movie and Liz Fraser's vocals are downright eerie.
Siouxsie and the Banshees “Voodoo Dolly”
If there's one album that was meant for playing start to finish as you prepare your costumes, it's Juju by Siouxsie and the Banshees. It's one big goth freakout and while there is a song called “Halloween” on the tracklisting, we're going with the less obvious choice of “Voodoo Dolly.” The song, both in the live version above and on album, seems to go on forever and there's a lot of wailing involved.
The Birthday Party “Release the Bats”
This is vintage Nick Cave complete with teased hair and a romantically disheveled wardrobe emitting tongue-in-cheek shrieks about bats and vampires. You might want to start breaking things when you hear this, and I mean that in the best way possible.
Virgin Prunes “Pagan Lovesong”
They gave themselves aliases and dressed in tattered clothing and disturbing make-up, clearly Virgin Prune's should be on this list. Their dance-y post-punk style was so unsettling yet intriguing, that it's odd to imagine them as part of the same Dublin crew that spawned U2. Seek out the whole catalog.
Alien Sex Fiend “Now I'm Feeling Zombified”
Though this song was actually released in 1990, there was no way it could be excluded from the list. This is epic zombie electronic madness completed by Nik Fiend's undead make-up and, uh, deadpan vocal delivery, peppered with heavy shouts. Listen to this next time you hit the town for a Zombie Walk.
To make up for that little fudge in dates, here's a bonus Alien Sex Fiend track, “Haunted House,” which was released in 1988 and is the band's scream-worthy take on acid house.
Alien Sex Fiend “Haunted House”
Sex Gang Children “Sebastiane”
The violins on this tune have the disturbing nursery rhyme feel that begs to be placed in a horror movie. Perhaps it has already appeared in many a goth student film project. That thought alone should make this Halloween-appropriate.
Total Coelo “Dracula's Tango (Sucker for Your Love)”
Known as Total Coelo in the US and Toto Coelo everywhere else, this relatively short-lived dance-pop group followed-up hit single “I Eat Cannibals” with this should-be holiday classic “Dracula's Tango” almost sounds like Boney M scoring a horror film, making it perfect for a Halloween karaoke date or that moment in the middle the party when you and your friends can't resist the urge to bust out a dance routine.
Current 93 “Crowleymass”
This strange, borderline goofy track is about the closest that Current 93 (best known for experimental and neo-folk music) came to dance music. It stems from the album Island and reflects band leader David Tibet's interest at the time in occult literature. It's a must-hear, must-dance sort of song. (Another exception, this one actually came out in '91, but I couldn't resist slipping it into the list.)