Ever since I’ve been equipped with a computer with a CD burner, I have been whipping up mixtapes of all varieties. The advent of iTunes and other applications have made it even easier for people to create playlists that defy time restrictions that otherwise limit a cassette or compact disc.
With the Halloween season quickly approaching and no real social engagements for the foreseeable future, it made sense to make a few playlists to celebrate the holiday, if only for myself.
Personally, I feel Halloween playlists are really easy to mess up. Sure, there’s a ton of songs that seem like they’re evergreen for the occasion (or orange, or red, or brown-leaved… you know, autumn), but having to stomach through another round of songs that play EVERY YEAR is akin to shoving dozens of handfuls of candy corn in your mouth. You just end up remembering the stomach-ache later. So, I try to avoid the “Thriller”s, “Werewolves In London”s, “Monster Mash”es, and “Ghostbuster”ers as much as humanly possible.
Additionally, when people get a bit too cute with the association of Halloween on their playlists make as much sense as running in the woods to escape the killer in a horror movie. Why? Putting Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like The Wolf” on a Halloween playlist is a massive stretch to say the least, but when I heard an explanation for “Mr. Brightside” being played “because it’s by The Killers!” really did a critical hit to my soul.
There are tons of Halloween-specific tunes out there, and by all means use them in your playlist- even the heavily played songs mentioned up top, but has anyone ever seen a horror movie? What is actually the scariest part? The score. Friends, if I leave you with anything, know that adding movie scores or soundtracks from scary movies will do you a world of good. Nothing sets the mood easier. On top of that, there are a slew of scary video games out there (or so I hear. I don’t play scary games anymore ‘cuz I’m a wimp), so if you are into them, throw them in your mixes.
To help round out your playlists, there are plenty of songs that span genres that help cater to the mood you are seeking to set forth. I try to make sure to add songs like “Remurdered”, by Mogwai, “Coffins ‘R’ Us”, by Starlight Mints, “Lullaby”, by The Cure, and “Air”, by Talking Heads (a song about what would happen if the air you breathe is trying to kill you. Scary, right?). These are some of the countless songs to pick. It’s your mix.
Also, you can always fall back on traditionally “spooky” musical acts as well. You know the usual suspects. Black Sabbath. Alice Cooper. Marilyn Manson. Nine Inch Nails. Type O Negative. Adding a few tracks from these tried and true artists always keep the mood alive. Or maybe undead, depending on how you wanna play it.
To close out, here are a few playlists I’ve made over the last few weeks. They range from a rated PG playlist, to more of an Unrated Director’s Cut-kinda vibe. I hope you enjoy and even though trick-or-treating is a no-go this year, treat yourself to some fun-sized candy bars and have yourselves a scary, Merry Halloween.