Halloween is upon us. The creepy crawly demons of our nature are stirring and soon we’ll feel the need to scare people, watch horror films, get high, drink and probably eat candy meant for little kids. C’mon, admit it, sometimes you turn the lights off and pretend you’re not home so you can scarf up the last bunch of Take 5 bite sizes. One of the best things about Halloween? Monsters. Who doesn’t love a good monster movie? From Dracula to Godzilla, monsters kick a whole lot of ass and make for some of the best Halloween frights ever.
With all the horror-tinged merriment, let’s not forget about the musical contributions to all hallows eve. Musicians, like all of us, love monsters. So in the spirit of the season we've compiled a list of Ten Kick Ass Songs About Monsters. Use this as your Halloween Mix Tape and watch the girls and ghouls go nuts.
Oh, and I left out “Monster Mash”. No need to thank me.
10. Dream Warriors
Album: Nightmare On Elm Street III: The Dream Warriors Soundtrack
Let’s get this rumble off with a bang shall we!! Where better to start than Dokken’s hair metal opus to Freddy Krueger and the Dream Warriors. This is important for a few reasons. One, Nightmare On Elm Street: Dream Warriors was the first time Freddy Kruger went from being scary to being the wacky, funny, serial killer with zingers! It was also the first time the Soundtrack featured a breakout single with “Dream Warriors”. Lastly, while I realize the video isn’t the song, you have to give it up for the guitar solo scene and the fact that the only way to defeat Freddy is to combat his evil with bad hair metal.
09. Psycho Killer
Artist: Talking Heads
Album: Talking Heads ‘77
Taking inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”, David Byrne penned lyrics that are disturbing and brilliant. Byrne didn’t go the easy route. He’s not ranting and raving about slicing and dicing. Instead, Byrne delves deep into psyche of a maniac who thinks he’s sane while the rest of the world is crazy. To top it all off “Psycho Killer” has a base line that’s both rump shaking and diabolical.
08. Furry Happy Monsters
Album: Songs From The Street: 35 Years Of Music
I realize the assumed position of the Halloween monster is to be scary and thirst for blood. I also understand that bipolar Sesame Street monsters may not fit the flesh eating or city destroying bill, but who cares? This redux of “Shiny Happy People” is brilliant and even with my REM hating self planted firmly in the seat of “Shiny Happy People” sucks, I can’t deny Michael Stipe and his crew belting out this jam surrounded by monsters from one of my favorite streets in all of New York.
P.S. There’s also a Muppet of Kate Pierson from B-52s, which exudes awesomeness.
07. Werewolves Of London
Artist: Warren Zevon
Album: Excitable Boy (1978)
I like Werewolves. They’re some of my favorite monsters. Could be a young American werewolf shredding folks in a London porn theater, or a teenage Michael J Fox sprouting teeth and hair. I just dig the idea of a guy turning into a beast and hunting the world down for food. Apparently Warron Zevon dug the idea but felt that said Werewolf should be cultured and love Chinese food. Where does one find these refined lycanthropes? London, of course. Not only is this a lovely tribute to the finer side of werewolf life, it also has one of the best opening lines ever.
06. Purple People Eater
Artist: Seb Wooly
Album: Purple People Eater Single
While the protagonist of the song may not drip blood from his fangs or attempt to overcome naked maidens tied to sacrificial posts, he is a Cyclops and does have a horn. Arriving on Earth to make our poor human bodies his breakfast, this Cycloptic carnivore is stopped dead in his tracks by rock n roll. Suddenly he doesn’t want to eat people, he wants to rock them using music he makes through the horn in his head. If he isn’t the scariest monster creation, he is one of the weirdest.
P.S. – If that doesn’t scare you, go watch the awful movie with Shelly Winters and Ned Betty.
05. The Lurch
Artist: Ted Cassidy
Album: The Lurch Single
I’m surprised this song doesn’t have a bigger following. Let’s be honest, every Goth chick out there is basically trying to do her lame version of the ultra hot Carolyn Jones from The Addams Family. “The Lurch” not only kicks the Goth vibe but it also gets right in there with the nostalgia. Who couldn’t see a bunch of fat Goth girls, with Jack Skellington zip up hoodies, dancing around to “The Lurch”. Plus you have Ted Cassidy, a modern day giant and one of the most horrifying personal servants ever to grace the small screen. Watch the video here.
04. He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)
Artist: Alice Cooper
Album: Friday The 13th Part VI Soundtrack
Sure, it’d be easier to heap love on “Teenage Frankenstein” or any of the other classic horror themed Alice Cooper jams. However, nothing can touch the sheer cheese genius of Alice Cooper singing about Jason Vorhees over really bad keyboards and electronic drums. It also contains the line “You’re deep in love but you’re deeper in the woods” and has a super catchy chorus about a bloodthirsty serial killer!! Yep, this is some horror movie genius right here. Watch the video here.
03. Return Of The Fly
Artist: The Misfits
Album: Static Age (1978, 1997)
This song rules for two reasons. One, Glenn Danzig and his crew didn’t write a tune lionizing the original classic horror masterpiece. Nope, they decided to go with the really lame sequel. I have to respect that kind of fuck-you-who-cares attitude. “Return Of The Fly” also rules because it opens with the line “Return Of The Fly, Return Of The Fly, with Vincent Price.” Yep, say the title twice and then name the star. Some Glenn Danzig gold right there!!
02. I Was A Teenage Werewolf
Artist: The Cramps
Album: Songs The Lord Taught Us
Again, werewolves, I love them. I also dig that The Cramps made werewolves sexy. Using a thick surf guitar line and the slurring, snotty vocals of Lux Interior, The Cramps took an already cool monster and made it cool and punk rock. It’s interesting because this slick, rough and tumble werewolf could have grown up to be the ultra cool mod werewolf from Warron Zevon. I’m just planting seeds folks. It’s what I do.
Artist: Blue Oyster Cult
The greatest monster in all movie history deserves the biggest guitar riffs and the fattest grooves. Cue Blue Oyster Cult who, when not singing about The Reaper, lent their seventies rock abilities to lamenting the lizard that started it all. I also dig that the lyrics are very direct, all about Godzilla tearing up buildings and killing people.