On The Dial: The Halloween Special

Halloween – a great excuse to dress up in costumes and play silly games.

OK, I’m paraphrasing Peter Gabriel, but you get the idea.

One moment, you’re at the bank with Dracula handling your deposits. Then, you’re at the grocery store with Sailor Moon asking you if you want "paper or plastic?" Your server is in drag – trying on his/her best Bianca Del Rio.

So, how do you get into the spirit of Halloween?

In this special On The Dial column (V&R’s look at radio and infotainment), I created a little Halloween playlist for you. It is a mish-mash of classics from multiple genres, along some curveballs to keep you dancing or chilled out in your costume. I also added some "liner notes" for you, in case you're looking for context with these song selections.

You can load these up on your favorite streaming service, plug it into your audio system, and let the pumpkins and ghouls fly! Oh, and don’t forget your bite-sized candies in your bag!

  • “Everyday is Halloween” – Ministry
  • “Hells Bells” – AC/DC (The point where Brian Johnson takes over from the late Bon Scott on vocals)
  • “Dragula” – Rob Zombie
  • “No More Tears” – Ozzy Osbourne (Because he's The Prince of Darkness, already)
  • “Tubular Bells” – Mike Oldfield
  • “Superstition” – Stevie Wonder (Those drum and bass lines were funky!)
  • “Psycho Killer” – Talking Heads
  • “Evil Ways” – Santana
  • “Sympathy for The Devil” – The Rolling Stones
  • “Witchy Woman” – The Eagles
  • “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” – Charlie Daniels Band (A little Country Music disruption for you…)
  • “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” – David Bowie (R.I.P.)
  • “Love Will Tear Us Apart” – Joy Division (Starting off a mini-Goth set here)
  • “Bella Lugosi’s Dead” – Bauhaus
  • “Spellbound” – Siouxie and The Banshees
  • “Rapture” – Blondie (Now, a break from Goth with some Lower East Side swagger)
  • “Blue Monday” – New Order (Joy Division, continued…)
  • “Someone’s Watching Me” – Rockwell (With Michael Jackson – and, no, "Thriller" is not on this list!)
  • “Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker, Jr.
  • “Dead Man’s Party” – Oingo Boingo (This was Danny Elfman's first gig before he became a major Hollywood score-master)
  • “Abracadabra” – The Steve Miller Band
  • “Devil Inside” – INXS (R.I.P. Michael Hutchence)
  • “Cuts You Up” – Peter Murphy (The lead singer of Bauhaus, in case you're keeping score)
  • “Time Warp” – The Cast of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” (Tim Curry and company…)
  • “Frankenstein” – Edgar Winter Group
  • “Evil Woman” – Electric Light Orchestra (Jeff Lynne's first big gig)
  • “Nightmare on My Street” – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (You know Will Smith, right? That's him…)
  • “My Mind’s Playing Tricks On Me” – Geto Boys (Scraface's first big gig)
  • “Devil with The Blue Dress On” – Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels
  •  “Monster Mash” – Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers (Yeah, we'll end here…)

I’m sure I forgot about hundreds of other songs but consider this a starter pack.

There are other great playlists out there on the internet. Probably one of the coolest is from Canadian radio personality George Stroumboulopoulos of CBC Music. I would definitely recommend listening to his show for his insights and his wider diversity of musical tastes and deep catalog knowledge – not just on this particular episode.

If you’re playing dress-up for Halloween, have fun! You may have already partied this past weekend – a detriment to having the actual day in the middle of the week. As for your kids, make sure they’re safe as they go trick-or-treating.

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