Some Haunting Melodies | Best Halloween Songs
I would like to admit that I have mischievously gathered my 18 favorite Halloween classics.
The number itself, though, has trapped me. 6 plus 6 plus 6 equals 18, so the following countdown will be haunting me for the rest of my life. After my death, I will turn myself into a carved October pumpkin and I will ruin every child’s innocent dream or aspiration, screaming from the top of my lungs: “BOO!”.
18. The Charlie Daniels Band – The Devil Went Down to Georgia
This 1979 top-3 hit was written in two different D minor keys, so you may have heard this in different versions. The performances of Satan and Johnny are played as instrumental bridges, because, you know, it’s Satan we’re talking about. If the tune sounds familiar but you’re not sure you know the song, it’s probably because it has been covered almost 666 times. Satanic. In addition, you can also check the 1993 sequel “The Devil Comes Back to Georgia”. I suppose “The Devil is actually Georgia itself and it took us 40 years to figure this out” will conclude the trilogy.
17. Gnarls Barkley – Boogie Monster
Cee Lo Green and Danger Mouse recorded this almost 13 years ago, but the production is so fresh and radiant that it could be a 2018 Halloween hit. Incorporating elements of “Ku Klux Klan Sequence”, written and performed by Armando Trovaioli and Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, the song is channeling the 1966 Italian film “America paese di Dio”. Needless to say, this is not a hit. But I’ve experienced people’s reactions when listening to this at Halloween parties and I was totally surprised. A demon’s work of art, indeed.
16. Lady Gaga – Monster
I cannot think of a spooky Halloween fiesta, without including Lady Gaga. I admit it though; it’s mostly about her video costumes. But still. “Monster” contains heavy bass lines, zombie metaphors and midnight cinematic lyrics; elements that you don’t have to be one of Gaga’s little monsters in order to appreciate them… “He’s a wolf in disguise, but I can’t stop staring in those evil eyes”. Dance your monster away, you Jack-o’-lantern.
15. Siouxsie and the Banshees – Spellbound
This 1981 post-punk anthem is one of the most recognizable Halloween songs of all time, especially in Europe. Even though not a chart topper at the time of its release, it ended up being a sleeper hit during the 1980’s, with Siouxsie Sioux’s voice and John McGeoch’s guitar literally haunting London teen parties and colorful disco balls. Almost 40 years later, it still breaks many spells every year.
14. Metallica – Enter Sandman
This 1991 Metallica track was actually the band’s first big breakthrough in the United States. The single’s domestic success was huge, peaking at No 16 on the charts and selling more than 1 million copies in the US alone. Remember the rumors about Metallica being a devil’s band or, even worse, recording their albums after performing black magic? Well, “Enter Sandman” was one of those devious reasons behind this deeply musical and crafty gossip, not.
13. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand
PJ Harvey, Laura Marling, Iggy Pop, Jarvis Cocker and Arctic Monkeys have covered “Red Right Hand”, which means that we are talking about one of the most famous records among the alternative London circles. But the thing is, the “Peaky Blinders” series was the reason behind the song’s sudden revival, especially during Halloween season. Charming, devilish, cruel and sweet at the same time, this piece of art is actually something between a prayer and a spell. Or maybe both. Blame it on Nick Cave’s genius.