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By James Whittington, Tuesday 30th October 2018
Are you having a Halloween party this year? Well, apart from having Horror Channel on in the house you might want some terribly terrifying tunes to help your party go on into the early hours.
We've trawled through the charts to bring you the definitive list of tracks guaranteed to send your ghoulish guests sleeping with the light on when they get home!
Here's our list and as usual please let us know your frightful faves via our social channels.
10: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Red Right Hand Lovers of the Scream franchise will know this belter of a track from one of the world's most fascinating and adored song writers. From the album, Let Love In (1994) this has Cave in a vengeful tone which has helped it gain a huge following and has appeared in movies such as Dumb And Dumber (1994) and been covered by countless people including Jarvis Cocker. Cave himself re-recorded the track an added a new verse for Scream 3 (2000).
9: Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I Put a Spell on You A track as enigmatic as its writer, Jalacy "Screamin' Jay" Hawkins gave Blues music real darkness, the original version of this from 1956 was banned due to inappropriate noises from Hawkins. This hasn't stopped it from being one of the most covered tracks of all time, Nina Simone gave it a smoky, deep rendition in 1965 whilst Bryan Ferry added a hypnotic vibe to it in 1993. Both these covers charted whilst Hawkins' never did.
8: Bobby Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers - Monster Mash Halloween, unlike Christmas, is a time that rarely conjures up a novelty song to celebrate the occasion, but one track has become cemented around the time and is the "Merry Xmas Everyone" for Halloween. Bobby "Boris" Pickett (Robert George Pickett to his friends) recorded this celebration of the Universal creatures (its spoken in the distinctive tones of Boris Karloff and has a Bela Lugosi impression for good measure) in 1962 but was banned by the BBC for being a bit on the morbid side, it did chart in the UK in 1973.
7: John Leyton - Johnny Remember Me A number one smash in 1961 this rock n' roll track about a dead biker, remain a chilling "death dittie" or "death disc" which was initially banned by the BBC. This didn't stop its chart dominance and made john Leyton a star. Sung with passion from the point of view of a girl recalling her dead lover, the female vocal, to give it its eerie ambiance was recorded in a bathroom.
6: Kate Bush - Hammer Horror After the success of The Man with the Child in His Eyes, Kate Bush delivered what many believed to be one of the most famous celebrations of the famous movie studio. It's actually about thespians and one dies so the other takes his role, but the ghost of the other actor returns to haunt him. This aside it's a great track and Kate obviously relishing the chance to give the UK charts of 1978 something completely different.
5: The Cure - Lullaby A true classic from the master's of Goth, this was The Cure at their most creative coupled with nightmare inducing promo video. It became one of their biggest UK hits and though it has been given several different meanings from all involved it's the power of the whispering vocal from Robert Smith and Tim Pope's video that makes it unnerving. It was released on a startling piece of pink vinyl which is quite a collectable if you have one.
4: Blue Oyster Cult - (Don't Fear) the Reaper
A standard for many horror movie soundtracks, (Don't Fear) the Reaper gave Blue Oyster Cult their biggest hit in 1976. The theme of "death is inevitable so why worry?" with a romantic edge to it. Legend has it that Stephen King was inspired by this track and write The Stand because of it, and The B-side was Tattoo Vampire fact fans.
3: The Damned - Nasty Recorded especially for the cult BBC comedy series The Young Ones in 1984, The Damned had already split up but reformed for this track. A homage to the video nasty era of the early 80s it's a powerhouse track from the punk/goth legends. As legend has it the group split up again almost immediately after the recorded the track!
2: Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast Taken from the 1982 album of the same name, this was one of Iron Maiden's most famous tracks and also their first number one album in the UK. Apparently bassist Steve Harris was inspired to write the track after seeing the movie Damian: Omen II and as you can imagine the track itself caused a lot of controversy. Rumour has it, bizarre things happened in the studio when it was being recorded!
1: Michael Jackson - Thriller
Well, what else could we choose? The classic from the 1982 album of the same name this gave Jackson global stardom as the accompanying video, directed by John Landis used state of the art effects to transform the King of Pop into a werewolf like creature and a dancing zombie. Best of all it had Vincent Price on hand to lend his voice to an unforgettable rap.
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