Halloween Rock Music: Top Ten Songs
Halloween rock songs are becoming as much a part of the celebration of the witching season as traditional Halloween music and songs. They represent an alternative to the often heard standards, such as The Monster Mash or the old TV theme tunes to The Munsters or The Addams Family.
If you are planning a fun Halloween party with a rock music theme, then these ten pieces of suggested Halloween horror music should help it rock even more than you could have hoped.
Of course, ten Halloween rock songs will never be enough music to fill a whole evening, but these examples could be used to slot amongst your other chosen tracks...and possibly become a part of your own favourite Halloween rock Top 10.
A Rockin' Halloween: You Are Invited
1. Marilyn Manson: "This is Halloween"
Marilyn Manson, who seems to wear his Halloween costume all year long, adds his theatrically goth-punk, yet twisted vocals to Danny Elfman's This Is Halloween from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack.
Like Burton's collaborations with Johnny Depp, Manson hooking up with the master of the dark and quirky is a marriage made in heaven...or should that be hell?
2. Bow Wow Wow: "I Want Candy"
I Want Candy was originally an American hit by The Strangeloves back in 1965, but this is probably the version that most people in the UK are more familiar with.
Controversial band Bow Wow Wow put their own spin on the song in 1982, and it has since become something of a New Wave classic. The theme tune for trick or treaters at Halloween, the subject matter of the track may be about something altogether different!
3. The Stranglers: "Waltzinblack"
One of the UK's most successful and enduring New Wave and punk rock bands is The Stranglers - even their name evokes great Halloween branding.
They started out in my part of the UK - Guildford in Surrey - and soon found themselves on the UK charts with songs such as Peaches, Golden Brown and No More Heroes.
Now, have clowns ever spooked you out? Then you might not want to listen to Waltzinblack with the lights out. This distinctive instrumental with its progressively macabre overtones is an ideal Halloween filler, which The Stranglers use as an atmospheric overture to their live performances.
4. The Cure: "Lullaby"
From clowns to man's innate fear of spiders and Robert Smith's The Cure do it exceptionally well, with both the video to their hit song Lullaby and its lyrics.
Those haunting lyrics include lines like Stealing past the windows of the blissfully dead, looking for the victim shivering in bed and For it's much too late to get away or turn on the light, the spiderman is having you for dinner tonight.
This is not the kind of lullaby you might be used to. Sleep tight!
5. Siouxsie & The Banshees: "Halloween"
Purveyors of a combination of art rock and punk rock Siouxsie and the Banshees became one of the most successful alternate British bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The track Halloween comes from their much lauded and typically brooding and darkly magical 1981 album, Juju - one which The Guardian newspaper recommends as one of their 1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die.
6. The Cramps: "I Was A Teenage Werewolf"
Never a mainstream band, The Cramps nevertheless built up a huge cult following for their fusion of rockabilly and punk rock.
Always with their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks, The Cramps obsession with 1950s-style horror and sci-fi B-movies produced titles like Bikini Girls With Machine Guns, The Creature From the Black Leather Lagoon, Big Black Witchcraft Rock, and this one, I Was A Teenage Werewolf.
7. Warren Zevon: "Werewolves of London"
Continuing with the werewolf theme, this is probably the most successful recording of Warren Zevon's career, reaching the US Top 30 in 1978 - Werewolves of London.
It tells the tale of a well-dressed werewolf who slaughters old ladies and who strolls with the Queen, all the while having a penchant for Chinese food. Bizarre, but you won't get its trademark Awoooo!! out of your head.
8. Blue Oyster Cult: "Nosferatu"
Blue Oyster Cult's guitar driven music has always been an obvious marriage with the theme of Halloween. Probably best known for their other much played song Don't Fear (the Reaper), this track continues the band's apparent liking for all things dark and macabre.
Nosferatu is included on their 1977 album Spectres, and the following video perfectly combines their music with the movie world's almost first appearance of the ghoulish vampire.
9. Meatloaf: "Bat Out of Hell"
Not really a Halloween song, but its title evokes the Halloween spirit - and almost everyone knows it.
Bat Out of Hell has often been compared to the musical styling of Bruce Springsteen, but Meatloaf has been quoted as saying it was inspired more by Hitchcock's Psycho..."[all the clients in the Bates Motel] wish they would have left like a bat out of hell... It had nothing to do, believe it or not, with Bruce Springsteen. It had to do with Alfred Hitchcock and Psycho." Source.
10. Redbone: "Witch Queen of New Orleans"
Let's finish this rock music Halloween party with some voodoo, zombies, magic and Marie the Witch Queen of New Orleans.
Redbone, a Native American rock band, brought this potent mixture to the music charts of 1971, when it hit the Number 2 spot in the UK. This was their only success there, but are probably better remembered in the States for another track, Come and Get Your Love.
About Your Author
With each article, Richard invites you to step into his world of music, television and entertainment. He will introduce you to British Glam Rock, share The 20 Scariest Film Scores Ever? and even give you an up close look at some classic actors such as Christopher Lee as Dracula.
For a complete list of Richard's articles, please visit Richard's profile.
© 2010 Richard
Are You A Fan of Halloween's Rock Songs?
alienbritt on March 31, 2014:
I'm surprised Thriller and House of 1000 Corpses did not make the list, but either way this is a great lens!
Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on August 22, 2013:
Yes, Phantom should be in the list, but I love your list. Werewolves of London is my favorite of the ones you have here. Great Halloween lens idea....I can never come up with anything for this holiday!
Iberville on November 04, 2012:
Good lens. âPhantom of the Operaâ (one of my favorite songs) should also be in the list.
julieannbrady on October 12, 2012:
Oh my yes I am a fan of Halloween! My favorite rock song is "Bat Out of Hell." BOOyah my dear!
Barbara Walton from France on October 06, 2012:
Nice lens, Richard. Haven't heard most of these so something new for Halloween for me! (Love that skeleton).
Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on September 08, 2012:
Nicely done Richard and congratulations on your Purple Star. Great song choices.
Geeve on August 26, 2012:
Flew by on the Squid Angels' Bus and alighted briefly to leave some Angel Dust. Blessed. :)
jewellery-junkies on November 14, 2011:
great lens - wish I'd used some of these at my Halloween party - also glad to see Meat Loaf features in the list
Mickie Gee on November 09, 2011:
What an imaginative list. So glad to see Meat Loaf in a top ten of any kind.
jasonmarovich on October 31, 2011:
Great lens. Halloween Night and me and some friends are listening to Werewolves of London from your article (which I found searching for a Halloween song). Nice job and proven utility.
Paul from Liverpool, England on October 31, 2011:
Good - a bit of gloom and nastiness for Halloween :) Nice take on the theme, Angel Blessed.
jenniferteacher1 on October 27, 2011:
This is way more fun than Christmas music!
Patricia on October 26, 2011:
Wow! Great lens! So well done and great picks on songs! Love it, so perfect for Halloween! Blessed!
aquarian_insight on October 24, 2011:
Great fun lens! 'Lullaby' is one of my all time faves!
elliotaaron on October 20, 2011:
until I found this lens I didn't know there was Halloween rock
Heather Burns from Wexford, Ireland on October 17, 2011:
Love it! I always loved Don't Fear the Reaper, and Werewolves of London, and those are the songs I think of as Rock Halloween Songs:)
KimGiancaterino on October 14, 2011:
Lots of great selections here. I love "Werewolves of London," and used that for my Halloween class when I was an aerobics instructor. Meatloaf is a favorite too ... will have to get that song. Happy Halloween!
Carolan Ross from St. Louis, MO on October 06, 2011:
Wow, what an excellent collection of Halloween rock songs AND a beautifully formatted lens! KUDOS to YOU!
Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on October 06, 2011:
Wonderful lens! I love Werewolves of London in particular. I also like Redbone's Witch Queen, but would love to have the Eagle's Witchey Woman on here too, but of course, that's because to me, no list of songs is ever complete without at least one Eagles song! Thanks for sharing.
Heather B on September 25, 2011:
By the way, you should check out Kristen Lawrence on YouTube. She does all sorts of original Halloween songs, and remakes too.
Heather B on September 25, 2011:
A very nice selection of songs. I've got to listen to "Bat out of hell" again!
Lilly-n-Lloyd on September 17, 2011:
I didn't know any of them. Where have I been? Thanks for educating me.
halloweenprops on September 07, 2011:
Great Top 10 list!
Treasures By Brenda from Canada on August 13, 2011:
Wow, these are Halloween rock songs. Well done!
cocktailsexaminer on August 01, 2011:
Excellent choices; I love Halloween!
mockingbird999 on July 23, 2011:
This is great. I've never heard most of these before.
TheLeftFitz on April 01, 2011:
Love your song choices! *Blessed*
TriviaChamp on March 20, 2011:
This lens is amazing! A lot of fun. Well done! Blessed.
EmmaCooper LM on November 10, 2010:
Scary stuff, thanks!
cbessa on October 14, 2010:
btw, just lensrolled your lens on my lens on halloween music for rockers and ravers
cbessa on October 14, 2010:
Seems like we're headed in the same direction! :-)
i will be hearing some of your suggestions, for sure!
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on October 05, 2010:
Awesome Halloween songs!
jgelien on October 05, 2010:
Ooh, great Halloween song choices! I really like this lens.
WhiteOak50 on October 04, 2010:
Woo-Hoo! Love this lens. You have a lot of good Halloween songs listed. GOOD Job in putting this lens together!
Treasures By Brenda from Canada on September 30, 2010:
YES, I love Halloween's rock songs & I love this lens! Great job!
kimmanleyort on September 30, 2010:
Wow, I had no idea there were so many rockin' Halloween songs. Another great music lens, Rich. And thanks for stopping by and blessing my new Bobby Darin lens.
unstucktheory on September 30, 2010:
Thanks for the great suggestions, I'm busily putting together a Halloween playlist now. I especially like the Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees selections :)
KokoTravel on September 23, 2010:
Very fun lens... and informative... good to build my music repertoire for this Halloween.
Vicki Green from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on September 18, 2010:
Yes, I definitely enjoy Halloween Rock songs! Great selection.
julieannbrady on September 14, 2010:
HELLO! Yes, indeedee I am a fan of Halloween rock songs -- I am a fan of ALL things Halloween ... you know? This would look spooktacular on that SquidBoo theme! Fun Fun Fun!!!
Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on September 08, 2010:
Lovely songs. I am glad I am now introduced to the Stranglers.
WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on August 27, 2010:
burgessvillian on August 23, 2010:
This Halloween lens Rocks! Great Picks for your songs.
clouda9 lm on August 22, 2010:
Ooh! The clowns in Waltz in Black scared the crap outta me! Awesome, awesome choices Rich!
justholidays on August 21, 2010:
Ah, if I would have got a cent each time I said a page would be great, I'd be rich now! Excellent selection of rock songs for Halloween!
Indigo Janson from UK on August 21, 2010:
Some fun Halloween rock suggestions here... I know where to come for my Halloween party!