Halloween is nearly 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 bite-size Snickers. 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 we left out “Monster Mash”. No need to thank us.
10. “Dream Warriors” – Dokken
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” – 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” – R.E.M.
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” – 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” – Seb Wooly
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.