Liam’s Tunes: October

Graphic by: Trinity Powell

October is finally here. And you all know what that. Yes, it’s time for pumpkins, witches, skeletons, ghosts, and other various spooky things. With all the chilling vibes going around as everyone gets into the seasonal mood, I think it’s time for a brand new spooktacular playlist that’ll scare you to the bone.

This Is Halloween – Danny Elfman

Everybody loves a good Halloween flick. Whether it be a gory slasher flick or the wholesome fun of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” the holiday can not be complete without a good seasonal film. But one film in my humble opinion stands as not only one of the best Halloween films, but also one of the best Christmas films: “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

“This Is Halloween” is the opening piece for this monster of a film. Written and conducted by Danny Elfman, this piece sets a spooky yet jovial tone with incredible dynamic shifts that pull you directly into the song. It’s a wonderful ride that not stands as a well but together piece, but also perfectly sets the tone for a bonafide Halloween classic.


Tubular Bells Pt. 1 – Mike Oldfield

Fear is a powerful thing. It can turn the greatest of humans into the shells of their former selves. And there is a lot of things to fear out there. Spiders, wolves, death, heights, serial killers, homework, and clowns are just a small portion of some of the most truly frightening things out there. But the scariest thing of all are the things that we don’t understand. And with that in mind, what could be scarier than a half-hour long instrumental progressive rock song that is just half of the full track, which in turn makes up the entire album said track is on.

Many of you may recognize this song. That is because it was used as the theme song for a little horror movie known as “The Exorcist.” And what a song to choose to be the theme of such a film. With its off-kilter 7/8 time signature couples with the iconic and haunting melody, it really does chill you to the bone. This is especially through in this specific live performance, which features prominent guitarists such as Steve Hillage of Gong and Mick Taylor of The Rolling Stones.

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

Since it is a Halloween, it would be a literal sin for me not to include a band from the spookiest genre of music: heavy metal. And while I could put a power metal band like Iron Maiden with one of their more spooky songs or just straight up black metal band, a genre were the originators of it occasionally practiced satanism, burned churches, and even straight up killed each other. But not. If I’m going to put a metal band on here, I have to go with the godfathers themselves: Black Sabbath.

“Black Sabbath” is the title track to Black Sabbath’s debut album, “Black Sabbath.” This song scream terror in every fashion of the word. Whether it be the slow, lumbering pace of the song to the gigantic riff that features a tritone, a type of not that was once referred to as “the devil in music.” It’s a song that is so good, it basically started a whole genre of music. Not bad for a bunch of Birmingham boys that started out as a blues band.

Die, Die My Darling – The Misfits

I honestly don’t know how to properly introduce this band. Usually I would list some arbitrary reason of why I put them on this list, but honestly, all I need to say to justify myself is that this band pioneered a genre music known as horror-punk. Need I say more?

“Die, Die My Darling” by the Misfits is a horror-punk classic in every way. It’s so iconic, even Metallic covered the song at one point. And what’s not to like about this song. It perfectly balances the power chord riffage guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein and the belting vocals of vocalist Glenn Danzig as he sings about, well, killing his girlfriend. Although, to be honest, that pretty much expected of a band that dresses like cheesy 50’s horror movie villains while also using a lot of imagery from that genre of film.

Spiderhead – Cage the Elephant

Finally, to cap off this playlist, I have quite the banger for you. I mean what better way to end a spooky Halloween themed playlist than to end it with a song that isn’t that scary in all honesty. But it is going on here anyways because both the song and the band behind it are quite good, and it has the word spider in the title. And from what I’ve heard spider are pretty scary.

“Spiderhead” is the opening track from what I think is Cage the Elephant’s best album, “Melophobia” (which funnily enough is the fear of music). This song is powerful to the core. The verse holds a powerful driving riff that takes you into the giant and yet emotional chorus that hits you like a truck. That has nothing on the outro, however, which shows the song take a sudden turn into this swing feel which hit you like a freight train. It is both an amazing way to open an album, and what I think is a solid way to end a playlist.