Home to the most horrifically inclusive Halloween playlist ever committed to the Internet.
Looking for the perfect new addition to your Halloween party playlist? Starting from scratch? Simply want to stream some music for the right October event? Or are you just interested in all things horror music related? Well you’ve not only come to the right place, you’ve found the last place you’ll ever need to go on the matter.
There’s a lot of built-in cross-referencing tags and categories to make wading through this beast as easy and fun as possible, so take advantage and find just the right aspect of the Shindig for you. The search in particular is nice if you’d just like to see all the nonsense on the Shindig related to “Jason,” for example.
No Halloween on Halloween Shindig would be complete without a Halloween Song called Halloween. This year it’s from Belgian metalers Ostrogoth.
If you’ve never heard of them, don’t feel down, I’m pretty sure unless you were a serious hesher in 1985, you probably haven’t. And if they didn’t have a song called Halloween, I probably wouldn’t either.
Buried in the dredges of 80’s euro-metal comes a band named after a sect of the East Germanic Goths, partially responsible for the fall of the Western Roman Empire! Do these guys know how to party, or what!?
Partiers or not, they know how to Halloween. And they’re Halloweening hard here with a song so spooky it even features a creepy Devil voice.
Loaded with clips from Halloween 4, cause we haven’t tapped the keg yet, and because Don LaFontaine absolutely kills on this trailer.
I’ve seen Halloween 4. I don’t much care for Halloween 4, but every time I hear Don’s voiceover, I forget how much I don’t actually care for Halloween 4 and almost throw it in.
When they wanted to provide some damage control from the consumer fallout of Halloween III…they weren’t fuckin’ around.
“Ever since that night, no one…has forgotten his name…and Halloween…has never been the same.”
As influential and essential as Alan Howarth may have ultimately been to that “Carpenter” sound, nothing proves John’s singular mastery like his score from 1978’s Halloween.
Everyone knows the iconic theme. Hell, people that have never even seen the movie recognize it’s repetitious, modulating sound.
However, John’s score is more than just that simple and oh so effective opening number. The entire sonic landscape of Halloween is synthy and unnerving, with buzzes and stabs that have become icons in and of themselves.
So we’d be remiss, particularly since our block of synthetic horror themes has bleed into Halloween, to leave out the man himself and one of his lesser heard arrangements from that classic seasonal favorite.
So, tingling your 31st spine is Shindig All-Star John Carpenter with the haunting and memorable and succinct, Laurie’s Theme.
Chariots of the Pumpkins by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth
Speaking of perfect ways to start of an October 31st, lets move to this selection from the (unjustly) lesser-lauded Halloween 3, a film so damn Halloweeny, it practically out-Halloweens every other film in a series called Halloween. No small feat.
When John and Michael parted ways in 1978, the money guys weren’t content to just let that be the end of the Myers tale.
John didn’t want any part of a sequel though, and declined to direct, being more creatively inspired to explore new stories, like The Fog. Allegedly, he only agreed to pen the script so he could recoup some money following the original, from which he claims he never saw much in the way of profit. Additionally, he co-produced the sequel and provided some scoring, no doubt assisting in that aim.
By the time the inevitable Halloween III rolled around, John finally got his wish, and they produced a Halloween-themed film, completely separate from Michael Myers. But it seems it was just a little too little, too late. And needless to say, fans were not pleased.
However, Halloween III is superior to just about every other sequel in the rather disappointing and hum-drum franchise that is Halloween. And of the many things it has going for it, it’s score stands proudly amongst them.
A collaboration again between Carpenter and long-time musical partner Alan Howarth, this score honestly feels more Carpenter-esque (in my estimation) the one they provided for Halloween 2. Perhaps Howarth is more instrumental to that sound we call Carpenter’s than he’s given due credit for.
This is an 80’s, synth-drenched sound that just reverberates “horror.”
And if October 31st sounds like anything, Chariots of Pumpkins might be a perfect descriptor.
Phantasm (Intro and Main Title)by Fred Myrow & Malcolm Seagrave
With so many great horror scores from the 70’s and early 80’s, you might be hard-pressed to pick a favorite. Maybe Carpenter’sHalloween Theme is your choice. Perhaps it’s Michael Oldfield’sTubular Bells. Would you select Charles Bernstein’s theme from A Nightmare Elm Street? Maybe even Wendy Carlos’ work on The Shining? Or is it something from Goblin?
All great choices, without question.
However, I don’t think any horror fan would fault you if your selection was this opening number, from Don Coscarelli’s 1979 classic Phastasm, performed by Fred Myrow and Malcolm Seagrave.
This entire score is great, fashioned as it is with a veritable dream-list of vintage electronic gear. Frequencies from an ARP Odyssey to a Moog Model D, to a Mellotron and even a Fender Rhodes buzz all over this thing, and it simply oozes a warm, green slime of 70’s electric creepiness.
Spooky, unsettling and perfectly matched for Phantasm’s eerie, fever-dream otherness, it ticks every box you could want for a Horror Theme.
On top of that, it’s Halloweeny as all get out, and I can’t think of a more fitting track to start of this October 31st.
I don’t know if I could ever actually pick a favorite horror theme, but if I was in a pinch and hard-pressed to give a knee-jerk answer, I might very well just pick this one.
No Goblin block (or indeed even any brief conversation about Goblin) exists without a mention of perhaps their most famous of all arrangements, that from Argento’s Ballerina-Witch-epic, Suspiria.
This spooky, ethereal and very Italian supernatural shocker is classic horror business.
It has captivated and inspired fans and other filmmakers since its release in 1977. Not the least of whom being John Carpenter, who’s own classic horror offering, Halloween, has hallmarks of Argento’s masterpiece all over it.
And not the least of that being it’s music, which takes much inspiration from Goblin’s kinetic and prominent score.
Presented here number 176 and rounding out our Goblin-Fest is the title theme from Suspiria.
Next up from Goblin is a track that technically isn’t a even a Goblin song at all, but a song performed the 3 godfathers Claudio Simonetti, Massimo Morante and Fabio Pignatelli specifically, and individually, the theme from Tenebre.
Goblin had long since called it quits by the time Dario Argento got around to tapping them again to score another horror picture.
And though they buried their hatchets (at least enough to work on this score) they choose to be credited here individually, rather than as a group. Bad blood runs deep.
But you can’t fool us. This sound is unmistakable, and we all recognize it for what it is – the sound of Goblin!
When George Romero’s highly anticipated sequel to Night of the Living Dead hit Europe, Dario Argento recut it as Zombi, which is why sometimes you’ll see Fulci’s Zombi titled Zombi 2. This can get get a little extra confusing by the time you get to Zombi 3 and 4.
But I digress.
Dawn of the Dead’s soundtrack features a bevy of strange, incidental musical arrangements (like Track #89 The Gronk) but the actual score was composed by frequent Argento collaborators Goblin. And though it plays more prominently in Dario’s European cut, some of the tracks ring out through all versions of the film.
Most especially this tune, L’alba Dei Morti Viventi, which roughly translates to “Dawn of the Living Dead.” Seems appropriate.
Here’s Goblin, at the top of their game, the height of their popularity and firing on all cylinders,… just before they breaking up entirely. At least for little while anyway.
Despite being represented on the original Halloween Shindig mix CD back in ‘02, or their standing as the Horror Themes icon since this site launched, Italian prog outfit Goblin has yet to see any action in 170 tracks. What gives?
Well, they’ve always just kinda gotten shuffled around. Maybe it didn’t felt like quite the right moment, or maybe some other song seemed better to load up next. “Yeah, we’ll get to them later” always seemed like the move.
Whatever the reason, we’re correcting that this year with a solid block of voltage-controlled chaos from Claudio Simonetti, Massimo Morante and Fabio Pignatelli.
Let’s begin at the beginning. First up from the boys is from their first foray into the world of horror scoring, Dario Argento’s Profondo Rosso. And when it comes to Italian horror scores, this ones a doozy.
Originally named Cherry Five, Goblin actually changed their name to Goblin specifically for this soundtrack. See, they had a debut album due out as Cherry Five, and didn’t want any confusion regarding their output. That was until this song blew up all over Italy.
Profondo Rosso, much (I’m sure) to everyone’s surprise, was a legitimate #1 hit in Italy in 1975, spending 5 weeks in the top slot. Not bad for the bands first stab at scoring.
Particularly considering they stepped in last minute,…almost literally. Original composer Giorgio Gaslini was either fired or quit (depending on which Wikipedia article you believe) and Goblin was asked to fill his shoes. Supposedly Dario’s original choice, Pink Floyd turned down the offer.
Dunno if I believe that either. Nor is it disappointing to hear, as I believe Goblin performed the tasked exceptionally and I’m not sure how well Roger and the guys from Floyd would have fared.
But I digress.
Argento supposedly gave Goblin a night to write the new score and then the following day to record it. I’m not sure how true that is, but it sounds cool and I want that to be the story, so I’m choosing to believe it.
Because to bust out the score for a horror movie, particulary this score, on-the-fly mind you, and have it reach number #1 on the charts is absolutely insane.
Here’s the song that put Goblin on the map, in more ways than one, and (with help from Mike Oldfield’sTubular Bells) shaped the sound of horror to come.
This is Stevie Wayne here, your night light, on fabulous 1340 Shindig Radio, spinning the tunes for you all October long.
Halloween is just around the corner now, and I’ve got a solid block of spooky synth songs to shake your Samhain soiree. No singin’, just the smooth buzz of oscillating vibrations to give you and your guests the shivers.
This first one goes out to the men on the Seagrass. Watch out for that fog bank you’ll say isn’t there until all of a sudden it is. It’s filled with ghost pirates, and Garfield won’t be there to bail you out.
Unil then, keep it here on Shindig Radio, and we’ll take you right into the witching hour.
Born from the same scuzzy streets, Foodland chipped ham and shitty, 3-story apartment building in “downtown” Monessen, Pennsylvania that also gave birth to Halloween Shindig, The Krypt-Keeper 5 and this playlist go together like apples and caramel.
Featuring the vocal stylings and ivory work of a man you may be familiar with; sculptor, mask-dork, punch-technician and friend of The Shindig, Mikey Rotella.
Rhythming it up behind him were bassist and 4th Keeper Chuck Hendershot (aka Klaus Satan Von Chudberg), Timmy “Tiny Timminy Grinch” Estes slinging a six-string, and Todd Russell Parker McCulloch filling in with drum fills, guitar licks and just about anything else required.
They even played a couple of shows which, for any of the poor souls trapped in the Monongahela Valley, was probably the freshest air they’d ever breathed. Unfortunately, The Shindig never got to see them perform live, as it had moved on to the good life out in California’s beautiful San Fernando Valley by 2005. However, we can all pretend like we were there thanks to the miracle of modern video.
Yeah, that’s great an all, but the last time I checked this was Halloween Shindig. Why the fuck are we sitting here, 3 days before Halloween, talking about a goddamn Christmas album?
Well, that’s because buried deep within this seasonal offering is another kind of festive shanty, and it’s the 5’s take on a Halloween Classic, The Monster Mash.
And when Monessen’s own sons, The Krypt-Keeper 5, take on All-Star Boris Pickett’s seminal Halloween hit, there’s nothing but room for them on Halloween Shindig.
So, c’mon Weeners! Join Dracula, his son….and the wolfmaaan! It’s a graveyard smash.