TRACK #155:

Nightmare by 213

Freddy Krueger: What can be said about the quintessential 80’s man-specter that hasn’t been said a thousands different times by a thousand different nerds? Who am I to pretend like I’ve got some groundbreaking shit to drop on you? I’m no one, and I don’t, so I won’t. I’m simply another nerd with a foolishly myopic blog, so I’ll just stick to the script.

Freddy (whether I’ve said this before or not I can’t recall) is the reigning champ of horror tunes. He owns the 80’s pop-music-via-monster-icon scene. The guy even cut his own album. He’s all over it.

Jason comes close, but the Friday people didn’t fully climb aboard this particular train until part 6, and they never really bought a ticket. Freddy was shoveling coal in it’s boiler room.

And from jump too, as even his first outing got its own little referentially inclusive tune in the form of 213’s Nightmare.

Well, who the fuck is 213? Apparently they’re no ones, as no one seems to have any information on these guys. Well, aside from the painfully obviously “they were some local LA band that provided this track” or the goofier and obviously nonsensical “they were Johnny Deep’s band” theory.

Whoever they were, they’ll go down in the Shindig’s book as they guys who churned out that thoroughly apropos end credit song from the original Nightmare On Elm Street, and baby, that’s enough.

So, up yours with a twirling lawnmower,…whatever the hell that even means.




Dream Warriors

103_nightmare-on-elm-street-3TRACK #103:

Dream Warriors by Dokken

With perhaps the exception of Ray Parker Jr.’s Ghostbusters, no Title Track has as much standing as a legitimate hit than Dokken’s Dream Warriors.

And why not? It was a great tune featured in a popular franchise hitting the height of its popularity, played by a popular band at the height of their popularity. Sounds like a formula for a hit to me.

It isn’t so overly explicit as to put-off non-Freddy fans or become regulated only to annual Halloween airplay. By that same token, it isn’t so vague as to be completely unrelated to the action onscreen. Perfect pop balance? Marketing genius? Lucky strike? Either way, whoever’s idea it was probably got a raise.dreamwar_george1

It’s also from arguably one of Freddy’s finest outting. While I’m inclined to side with original in almost every case (including the Nightmare series), many fans cite Part 3 as the best Elm Street installment, or at least their favorite. I’ll agree so far as to say this is Freddy’s best sequel, without question. I may love me some Freddy’s Revenge but I think Dream Warriors is legitimately his best numbered go-round.

Cooler than 4,  livelier than 5, more coherent than 2 and less stupid than 6, Dream Warriors hits the right wave of scary and goofy Freddy. He’s not quite the running joke he becomes from The Dream Master on. You see it brewing here, but he still has some shred of his former menacing self.

Also with more ambitious effects, wilder sets and more imaginative dreams sequences than the previous installments, Dream Warriors is where the Freddy becomes Freddy; not just the horror icon, but the cultural icon. And Dokken has its hand in that too, no doubt.

dreamwar_george2After Dream Warriors, all bets are off; Late Night appearances, hit songs, window clings, his own television series, his own album – Freddymania is on.

Initially, Craven (back on board after his complete absence from the completely absent Freddy’s Revenge) intended this film to wrap up the entire saga. However, New Line made way too much bank on this outing to let Freddy rest quietly in his junkyard grave and proceeded to milk every last drop out of blood from the dream demon.

Interestingly enough, for this installment Craven also pitched the idea of Freddy coming out of the screen to torment the Elm Street actors in real life. New Line rejected that nonsense altogether. At least for another 6 years or so, until Craven got the go ahead to realize this plot in his true return to the series in the form of New Nightmare.

dreamwar_freddyshredWhile it may have been interesting to see all of that played out earlier, Dream Warriors stands up just fine in its presented form.

So, come Weeners, we are bound together by our love of Halloween, Horror and Horrific Halloween Music. The Shindig is waiting for you. Listen now, cause maybe tonight you’ll be gone.

Here’s Dokken’s power ballad battle cry for the children on Elm Street.




Down In The Boiler Room

065_freddys-greatest-hitsTRACK #65:

Down In The Boiler Room by The Elm Street Group

Segueing nicely out of our Horror Host block is this oddity that only the 80’s could have produced, featuring a man whom himself was briefly a Horror Host, Mr. Big Time…Fred Krueger.

Between Dream Warriors and The Dream Master, Freddy-Mania was nearing its peak, and some producer (bless their soul) thought it made perfectly sound financial sense to green-light Freddy’s Greatest Hits.

Dinosaur Dracula puts it best when he writes:

Beyond the costumes and suction-cupped window dolls was this album. This beautiful album, aimed at God knows who. I doubt it sold more than a few thousand copies, but then, maybe no more than a few thousand copies were produced to begin with.

It’s a bizarre thing with no clear audience. Too sophisticated for kids, too stupid for adults. Too much like show tunes for the horror crowd, too much like scary bloody horror for anyone else.

A mix of covers and original songs, Freddy Krueger is all over the album, but only rarely does he actually “sing.” Usually, he just tacks one-liners onto the verses. The actual music-making was done by the “Elm Street Group,” who I’m guessing were regular studio musicians gathered to make two months’ rent with the weirdest work they’d ever do.

Naturally, there’s a couple of these gems on Shindig, starting out with this particularly strange number concerning Freddy’s boiler room.

Led-in with a clip from Freddy’s Nightmares – Mr. Krueger’s own personal horror anthology television show that first aired the following year. The program had Freddy playing Rod Serling to all manner of neutered Elm Street-style tales where Freddy fucked with the protagonists for any number of ridiculous reasons.





027_nightmare-on-elm-street-4_tuesdayknightTRACK #27:

Nightmare by Tuesday Knight

When it comes to horror movie icons, no one quite has the pop music angle cornered like Freddy Krueger.

The Shindig features multiple offerings from Freddy’s eurythmic career, from metal, to 80’s dance pop and even 2 monster raps.

First up from Krueger and Co. comes the not-quite-title track from A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 4: The Dream Master.

Nightmare is interesting as it is performed by actress Tuesday Knight, who plays Kristen Parker in the film, the role originally held by Patricia Arquette in Dream Warriors.