Hello! You don’t know me but I run a small record label by the name of Audio Antihero: Specialists in Commercial Suicide. I’m painfully fond of horror films and obnoxious rock music…and with these questionable talents I have put together a playlist of Halloween anthems for your listening pleasure. It’s a real pleasure to get the chance to do something with the awesome fairsharemusic and I’m very grateful to them for letting me write this up. Also, I’m sorry I used so much John Carpenter…but at least I didn’t use “Monster Mash,” eh?
John Carpenter & Alan Howarth - Halloween TV Commercial (from ‘Halloween III: Season of the Witch’)
Let’s start off with the haunting and downright irritating doomsday song from the woefully underrated (and Michael Myers-less) Halloween sequel. Tom Atkins is the bomb in this. “It’s almost time…”
Goblin - Suspiria (from ‘Suspiria’)
I have a real love/hate relationship with these masterfully nasty and inimitably surreal 70s Italian horror films and a large part of love has to come from soundtracks like these. If you like prog or are in some kind of cult then Goblin is essential listening.
Zombie’s ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ was pretty polarizing at the time…like all of his films but I’ve enjoyed almost all of them, including his ‘Halloween’ remake. This title credit theme is sleazy as hell and pretty darn unsettling…which is to say that it’s the best possible introduction to a film that unapologetically apes and recreates the best and worst aspects of early Tobe Hooper and Wes Craven efforts. “Run rabbit, run…”
Eyyyy! Cash-back! It’s Audio Antihero’s Halloween superhit! The ever original Paul Hawkins & The Awkward Silences offer up a musical penny dreadful that sees a corpse wronged by grave-robbers go looking for his liver. “I’m on the first step, Johnny…”
Psych/Acid-Folk is pretty much the definitive genre for spooky and demonic anthems and it doesn’t start and end with the brilliant ‘Wicker Man‘ soundtrack; Groups like Comus, Black Widow and Mr Fox have all come up with the goods but this midnight creeper from Mark Fry is maybe creepiest of all…and beautiful too. “I’m all alone, waiting for someone to come on home…”
Fabio Frizzi - Mystery’s Apotheosis (from “City of the Living Dead”)
Like Goblin above, Fabio Frizzi has brought many an awkwardly dubbed and heavily cut scene to life with stunning themes such as this. Irresistible death drones from the other side….or The Beyond, if you will. The Devil has the best drum machines.
Solo work from Ben Parker (formerly Nosferatu D2) as Superman Revenge Squad, recently expanded as The Superman Revenge Squad Band for an album on Audio Antihero (your ghost host with the most!). This is a Haunted House tale with a difference that was later adapted into a play which enjoyed an intimate sell-out run in his hometown of Croydon. Talented chap that Mr Parker.
John Carpenter - The Devil’s Eyes (from “Halloween”)
I didn’t want to be too obvious with the overly familiar (albeit awesome) jittery John Carpenter theme…but I never can resist the dulcet tones of Mr Donald Pleasence. This is an eerie account of some terrible events that sadly (thankfully) were only the beginning…Again, Donald Pleasence rules, iconic and inimitable.
‘The Director’s Cut’ is a really fantastic album of film score reworks from Mike Patton’s Death Metal super-group, which offers many highlights. It’s hard to pick between this and “The Omen (Ave Satan)” but sometimes you just have a hankering for a pre-natal demon seed, rather than a demon toddler with White House influence.
Ooh, synergy! Taken from an amazing Guided By Voices side-project (except I don’t really listen to them and I really do listen to this) and released on Mike Patton’s (see above) Ipecac label…this is a dour tale (think ending of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” 1978 dour) and while it’s more extraterrestrial than it is Folklore, I suppose you’re as likely to spot a UFO (or worse) on Halloween as you are on any other night of the year. BEWARE.
“This stuff got no body
This stuff got no soul;
George took a shovel
And dug us all a hole.”
So, back before Gary Numan single-fingeredly popularised the synth in pop music, John Carpenter was rocking it in cinematic music and here’s a good example. The scattered and ominous theme to Carpenter’s camp-fire classic…it’s enough to make you worry about what your forefathers might have gotten up to.
If Innsmouth, Elm Street or Salem are a little far out for you, then perhaps you’ll appreciate the more imminent threat of THE ISLINGTON CREEPER. This has such a killer keyboard sound and the line “every basement has a tenant!” reminds me of an under-viewed Slasher from not too long ago by the name of “Basement Jack” which had the glorious tagline “Evil has a new address…YOURS!”
Yeesh. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had the guts to watch this film, it’s certainly not an especially nice viewing experience. I was however delighted that they re-issued the awesomely uneven and memorable musical score, there’s some gorgeous psychedelic folk on here and some insane rockabilly too – well worth a listen even if you aren’t brave to visit the last house on the left. “It’s only a movie…it’s only a movie…”
You can’t celebrate All Hallow’s Eve without some Poe, Bro! Taken from the Edgar Allan Parsons Poeject album‘Tales of Mystery & Imagination,’ all the vocal songs on here are too good to miss but I went for this as really, what’s a worse way to end your night than getting buried alive in a brick wall? Please answer with words and not actions.
And I’ll leave you in the capable hands of an absolute master…Enjoy.