Halloween Playlist October 27, 2011Posted by Matt in music.
Tags: AC/DC, alice in chains, Anthrax, Beck, Black Sabbath, Creedence Clearwater Revival, drive-by truckers, Faith No More, Halloween music, Hank Williams, Iron Maiden, Kanye West, Mastodon, Motley Crue, Outkast, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera, Phish, playlist, Robert Johnson, Ryan Adams, Sufjan Stevens, Talking Heads, The Police, The Raveonettes, The Rolling Stones, Type O Negative
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As is true with any occasion, I always feel the need to compile a playlist best reflecting that specific time. With Halloween only days away, it is time for us to put together one reflecting that spookiest of holidays. I looked through my iPod library and these were the songs I chose – at least for now. My only rule was to only choose one song by a particular artist, though I would not be averse to breaking that rule if the songs were cool enough to do so. So, without further ado, here are 25 songs from iPod to go on a Halloween playlist. Your suggestions are always welcome.
AC/DC – Highway to Hell – Come on, a singer who died not long after recording this singing about being on the “Highway to Hell?” That’s messed up. (Runner up: Hell’s Bells)
Alice in Chains – Them Bones – “Gonna end up a big old pile of them bones.” Fatalism is essential for Halloween.
Antrax – Fight ‘em Til You Can’t – Possibly the only song I know about a zombie apocalypse (Runner up: Skeleton in the Closet, Belly of the Beast)
Beck – Satan Gave Me a Taco – Worst trick-or-treating ever. (Runner up: Devil’s Haircut)
Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath – Possibly the spookiest song ever recorded. The famous three note riff is a diminished fifth, whose music qualities were seen in the past as Satanic. (Runner Up: Children of the Grave)
Creedence Clearwater Revival – I Put a Spell on You – Witchcraft is always welcome.
Drive-By Truckers – Demonic Possession – Favorite lyric: “(The Devil) says the only thing that’s buggin’ him / is that hell’s filling up with Republicans”
Faith No More – Zombie Eaters – Not just zombies, zombie eaters. (Runner up: Surprise! You’re Dead!”
Hank Williams – Angel of Death – Williams never sounded spookier and more poignant than this tune recorded just a short time before his death at age 29.
Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast – How can you have a Halloween list without Maiden? (Runner Up: Children of the Damned)
Kanye West – Monster – A truly twisted song featuring and introducing the amazing Nicki Minaj.
Mastodon – Divinations – Yes, they are the best metal band working today.
Motley Crue – Shout at the Devil – Sure, it’s totally over-the-top and campy, but it’s still an awesome good time.
Outkast – Dracula’s Wedding – Well, do you know of any other songs mentioning Dracula?
Ozzy Osbourne – Mr. Crowley – You have to include this ode to occult master Aleister Crowley in any Halloween list. (Runner Up: Zombie Stomp)
Pantera – Cemetary Gates – This song is quite possibly my favorite metal recording of all time. (Runner up: By Demons be Driven)
Phish – Wolfman’s Brother – Phish may not immediately come to mind when you think of Halloween music, but this is one of the only werewolf songs I can think of.
The Police – Spirits in the Material World (Spirits help Sting sneak onto the list)
The Raveonettes – Dead Sound – The Raveonettes first album is pretty spooky sounding anyway with its ethereal female vocals and crashing layers of guitars, but this song takes the Halloween prize.
Robert Johnson – Hellhound on my Trail – A truly terrifying song from a guy who supposedly sold his soul to the devil and died young. (Runner up: Me & the Devil Blues, Crossroad Blues)
The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil – The Stones: keeping the devil alive in rock music for fifty years.
Ryan Adams – Halloween Head – It may not sound spooky or anything, but it does have the word Halloween in it.
Sufjan Stevens – John Wayne Gacy, Jr. – A disquieting ballad about one of the most famous and deranged serial killers in American history.
Talking Heads – Psycho Killer – Not just a killer, a psycho killer.
Type O Negative – Black No. 1 – Back in about 1995 or so, I saw Type O Negative in concert opening for Pantera. It was, without a doubt, the most terrifying concert experience of my life and this song is one of the reasons why. (Runner up: Christian Woman)
What would you add to the list?
A Playlist for the Apocalypse May 20, 2011Posted by Matt in music, top ten.
Tags: AC/DC, Apocalypse music, Beck, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, end of the world, Hayes Carll, John Prine, Johnny Cash, May 21, Nirvana, Oasis, Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd, playlist, Prince, Radiohead, Soundgarden
My friend Susan gave me an idea today when she posted R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” on my Facebook wall in celebration of the global apocalypse scheduled for tomorrow (Check your local listings). I think we need a good playlist to celebrate our last day on earth. Here are some choices from my iPod.
10. Hayes Carll – She Left Me For JesusIt’s time for those last minute conversions and this is the perfect song for it.
9. Beck – Earthquake WeatherAccording to the apocalyptic prognosticators, we can expect a global earthquake tomorrow that should reach us around 6:00 pm. I think we should dance to Beck.
8. Prince – Sign O’ the TimesYes, we should have been looking for the signs, I know, I know…
7. Radiohead – How to Disappear CompletelyWell, that is what happens in the rapture, right? Cars will veer off the road unattended and suddenly unpiloted planes will crash and burn. Well, either that or it will just get a little more pleasant for the rest of us.
6. Pearl Jam – Given to FlyThen again, maybe we’ll actually see people ascend bodily into heaven. That would be much cooler.
5. Johnny Cash – The Man Comes Around / Metallica – The Four HorsemenYeah, worldwide destruction is what’s in store for those of us left behind. At least we have some diverse music choices dealing with it.
4. Soundgarden – Black Hole SunThe sun will turn into a black hole? I think they’re reading of Revelation may be a little off.
2. John Prine – Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven AnymoreMaybe extreme patriotism isn’t the best way after all…
Most likely, though, I think this song will be appropriate for those actually expecting the world the end tomorrow.
Bob Marley – Waiting in Vain
What songs would you put on the End of the World Playlist?
Ten for Tuesday: 1980 July 27, 2010Posted by Matt in top ten.
Tags: 1980, AC/DC, Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen, George Jones, Joy Division, Ozzy Osbourne, Prince, Talking Heads, The Clash, top ten albums, U2
This week we hop back into the top ten time machine and set our course for 30 years in the past, to 1980. It was the year my brother was born, when I turned 3, and when several top-notch pieces of entertainment were released to the public. So, without further, ado, let’s get on with the lists.
Top 10 Albums Released in 2010
10. George Jones – I Am What I Am
Truthfully, I don’t actually own this album, but I do know that two of the songs contained on it are among No-Show’s best, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will).” Now that’s what country music is all about.
9. Bob Marley & the Wailers – Uprising
Marley’s last studio album before his death the following year was one of his best, with well-known tracks like “Could You Be Loved” and the acoustic classic “Redemption Song,” leading the way.
8. U2 – Boy
When U2 burst on the scene in 1980 with their debut album, Boy, nobody could have known that Bono and the boys would go on to become one of the biggest bands in the world. Songs like “I Will Follow” and “A Day Without Me” helped solidify their spot in the post-punk movement and served as a good first step to superstardom.
7. Prince – Dirty Mind
The Purple One’s third album, released when he was only 22, proved to be the catalyst for one of the greatest careers in American music. His mixture of funk, dance, and rock styles with obvious sexual overtones proved to be a winning combination and a star was born.
6. Talking Heads – Remain in Light
This early 80s classic is a must-hear to understand the New Wave phenomena of that time period. The critically-acclaimed collaboration of David Byrne and Brian Eno was an inspired one that can be best heard on tunes like “Once in a Lifetime” and “Houses in Motion.”
5. Joy Division – Closer
Joy Division’s downbeat, post-punk sound was made even more poignant by the untimely suicide of frontman Ian Curtis just before this work was released. This isn’t uplifting stuff by any stretch of the imagination, but it is still very good, particularly on songs like “Atrocity Exhibition” and “Isolation.”
4. AC/DC – Back in Black
There are few bands in the history of rock music that can survive the death of an integral member, especially if that person happens to be the frontman, but, following the death of Bon Scott, AC/DC proved that it was possible to not only survive, but thrive. Back in Black proved to be not only their best album, but one of the most important albums ever in rock music. Their combination of riffs, sexual energy, and suggestions of evil in songs like “Hells Bells,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” and “Back in Black” proved to be the key to a long, successful career.
3. Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard of Ozz
Ozzy has been around a long time and has released copious amounts of music both as a solo artist and with Black Sabbath, but this is widely regarded as one of the, if not the, best. On this solo debut Ozzy teamed with a young hotshot guitarist named Randy Rhodes and blazed through some of the greatest heavy metal recordings in history. From “Crazy Train,” to the controversial “Suicide Solution,” to the insane guitar work of “Mr. Crowley,” this is the Prince of Darkness at his best.
2. Bruce Springsteen – The River
Double albums are hit-or-miss affairs in rock music, generally seen as vanity projects by artists who have achieved sudden stardom. Sometimes, though, they work to near perfection – and this is one of those rare occurrences. It is quite a collection of music, combining songs like the keyboard-driven, 80s sound of “Hungry Heart,” with the acoustic title cut and melancholic tunes like “Independence Day, and it is both the quality and diversity of the music contained here that make this a must-own.
1. The Clash – London Calling
It may not be possible to overstate the importance and influence of this punk rock masterpiece. Its perfect mash-up of rockabilly, ska, rock, and a host of other styles and its socially relevant content propel London Calling to the top of the list. Joe Strummer and the band were at the top of their game in 1980, leading them to be widely referred to as “The Only Band That Matters.” A truer statement may not have been spoken in 1980.
Ten For Tuesday – Halloween Playlist October 28, 2008Posted by Matt in top ten.
Tags: AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Creedence Clearwater Revival, halloween, Motley Crue, music, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera, playlist, Rob Zombie, Robert Johnson, Rolling Stones, top ten
There are many defining characteristics of the holidays that we celebrate, from the decorations that we adorn our homes with to the stories we tell our children to the clothing we don. In many cases, our musical choices also reflect the holiday extravaganzas. With Halloween this is no exception, for where would be without the ominous tones that seep into our very brains and manipulating our fear impulses. So, I thought that for today’s top ten list we could look at ten songs that may deserve a place on your Halloween playlist. Enjoy.
10. Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear the Reaper
Sure, it’s silly, but what would Halloween be without more cowbell?
9. Creedence Clearwater Revival – I Put a Spell On You
From the pounding guitar to John Fogerty’s piercing vocals, this ode to witchcraft has all of the dark characteristics of a great Halloween song.
8. Rob Zombie – Living Dead Girl
Either on his own or with his band White Zombie, horror-rocker Rob Zombie definitely deserves a spot.
7. Motley Crue – Shout at the Devil
During their short early-80’s Satan fascination stage, the Crue crafted this devilish song with its well-known, “Shout…Shout…Shout..” incantation that is still a concert staple.
6. Pantera – Cemetary Gates
The ominous feel of this song is multiplied by Dimebag Darrell’s distinctive guitar stylings and Phil Anselmo’s screaming voice – hitting notes he never would again on a Pantera album.
5. Robert Johnson – Me and the Devil Blues
Johnson garners bonus points for having allegedly sold his soul to the devil in Clarksdale, Mississippi and how can you resist a song with lyrics like: Early this mornin’ when you knocked on my door / and I said hello, Satan, I believe it’s time to go.
4. The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil
Continuing the devil motif is this incredible piece of work from one of the world’s greatest bands, told from the perspective of Beelzebub himself.
3. Ozzy Osbourne – Mr. Crowley
Mr. Osbourne is a must-have for any Halloween get-together and any number of his songs could have been on the list (Suicide Solution, Bark at the Moon, etc.), but I had to go with this ode to famed occultist Aleister Crowley.
2. AC/DC – Hell’s Bells
It was a toss-up between this one and Highway to Hell, but this one’s dirge-like guitar work from Angus Young puts it over the top. When Brian Johnson screams out, “I’m gonna get you, Satan get you,” it will, truly, get you.
1. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
Did Sabbath do anything but Halloween-appropriate songs? I thought pretty hard about including Children of the Grave or Paranoid, but this one, with Tony Iommi’s dire three note opening takes the cake. It still gives me chills when Ozzy calls out, “Oh no, please God help me,” in a doomed voice over the blasting guitar. Yes, this could be the soundtrack to every horror movie ever made.
What do you think? What should have made the list? What should have been left off?