The 10 Best Halloween Songs

The Worst Show on the Web’s top ten Halloween Songs for 2013.  Although they are great, this list doesn’t include this, or this,  because we here at the WSOTW don’t consider them to be “songs.”  Bach didn’t write “songs” he wrote music.   Let’s move on.   This year we have mixed things up slightly with a nod to a little more 80’s alt than we normally have.  Enjoy, and let us know what you think.

#10 – Talking Heads – Psycho Killer
This song was originally performed by the band “The Artistic” which later went on to become “The Talking Heads.” It was first performed in 1974 (The Artistic) and 1975 (The Talking Heads) but wasn’t recorded until 1977 for inclusion on their first album “Talking Heads:77.” Two live versions were later released; one in 1982 and the second in 1984.

#9 – Men At Work – Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive
Released in 1983 and from their second album “Cargo,” this song, which is an obvious parody of the “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” was the last song by Men At Work to reach the US Top 40. It was written by Colin Hay who has gone on to a successful solo career. He has released his own covers of a few Men At Work songs, including “Overkill,” which are very worth searching out.

#8 – The Doors – People Are Strange
This song was released in 1967 off of the Doors second album “Strange Days.” It peaked at number twelve on the “Billboard Hot 100” chart in the US. A cover of the song was released in 1987 by Echo and the Bunnyman (another great version) and was included in the soundtrack to the film “The Lost Boys.”

#7 – Marty Robbins – (Ghost) Riders in the Sky
Regarded by many as the greatest cowboy/western song ever recorded this song was written in 1948 by Stan Jones and was released the following year by no fewer than six different performers including Burl Ives (the first), Bing Crosby and Peggy Lee. The song has been recorded by more than 50 different performers since its initial release. This version, one of my favorites, was recorded by Marty Robbins but not released until after his death.

#6 – Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London
This song, released in 1978 proved to be one of Warren Zevon’s most popular hits. Featured on this recording are musicians Mick Fleetwood and John Vie of Fleetwood Mac.

#5 – Oingo Boingo – Dead Man’s Party
Released in 1985 on an album of the same name “Dead Man’s Party” is one of the two songs this quirky band became known for outside of their native Los Angeles. The other song, also featured on the same album, is “Weird Science” which was also the theme of a movie by the same name. “Dead Man’s Party” is featured in the 1986 movie “Back to School” during which the band is featured performing it. The lead singer of Oingo Boingo is film composer Danny Eflman.

#4 – Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack- Time Warp
Written for the 1973 stage musical “The Rocky Horror Show” and made famous by the 1975 film adaptation of the play, the “Time Warp” is famous for being campy, easy to learn and for having the dancing directions right there in the lyrics.

#3 – Bobby “Boris” Picket – Monster Mash
Originally released in 1962 this novelty song hit “Billboards Hot 100” three times (1962, 1970, 1973) before becoming a mainstay on the Dr. Demento Show and inane Halloween song lists. It was Picket’s biggest career hit.

#2 – Screamin Jay Hawkins – I Put a Spell On You
Originally released in 1956 this song was selected as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Soon after the release of “I Put A Spell On You” Hawkins adopted his “voodoo” persona which he carried for the rest of his career.

#1 – Michael Jackson – Thriller
Originally released in 1983 the video for “Thriller” was a severe departure from standard music videos. Co-written and directed by John Landis the 13 minute video, more of a film than a video, is still regarded as the most influential music video of all time.

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