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35 Days Till Halloween
9/26/2013

My “Modern Music” folder is a bit of a misnomer … I put anything after 1970 or so in there, and to be fair, many of these are far from modern. Oh well.

Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination (2007)
Originally released in 1975, this 2007 “Deluxe Edition” has a few more tracks. Always had a soft spot for this CD, “The Raven” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” suite are my favorites. Arthur Brown contributes vocals to a track, too.

Charles Wharf & Simon H. Fell - Frankenstein (1998)
This is an unusual recording … I guess you could call it modern jazz, as it features sax and clarinet, and sounds largely improvised. There’s a distorted electric guitar track, there are electronics. This is way too far out there for me though … much of it sounds like noise.

Countdown Singers - Monster Mash and Other Songs of Horror (2000)
This has everything you’d expect. Covers of “The Monster Mash”, “Ghostbusters”, “PPE”. Nice to see that somebody covered “Spooky” … one of my favorites this time of year. Better than lots of the cheapo compilations from the kids folder, but unremarkable.

Coven - Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls (1969)
Coven is considered “a pioneer of dark heavy metal and gothic rock”. They were clearly influenced by the Satanic practices of the time. The singer (Jinx Dawson) is a terrific vocalist. The songs are spooky, with titles like “Black Sabbath”, “Pact With Lucifer”, and “Choke, Thirst, Die”. (And these folks came up with “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” long before Van Halen did.) The last track is a 13 minute track called “Satanic Mass”, and it is pretty convincing and actually really freaky. Maybe Mike Warnke was listening to this stuff.

Delta Entertainment - Torture Zone (2001)
It’s horror techno. (Yes, since it is from 2001, I can call it “techno”.) It is actually pretty good … above average, and one of a kind in my collection. Kind of dancy, drum’n’bassy, completely original songs, and really pretty good. I’ve listened to a lot of bad-to-average music these last couple months, and this is definitely above average.

Elvira presents Haunted Hits (1988)
I love Elvira. I love her schtick … she’s very witty and seems to have plenty of genre-knowledge. This collection is just a bunch of spooky songs, starting with “Monster Mash”. It has “Ghostbusters”, “The Blob”, “PPE”, “Dead Man’s Party”, lots of classics. A couple unusual selections … “Horror Movies” by the Skyhooks, “King Kong” by Tom T. Tyler. An Elvira original, “Full Moon” (a pretty good song in its own right) wraps it up. Good variety, good collection, and all by the original artists … probably a licensing nightmare, but worth it.

Elvira presents Monster Hits (1994)
Not as many songs, but I like this one better … for one, Elvira has a spoken intro and outro, which gives her a chance to show off her OTHER asset, her sense of humor. Two Elvira originals bookend the collection – “Monsta Rap”, which is a bit corny, but is filled with references to classic horror movies (thumbs up), and “Here Comes the Bride” with the guy from the B-52’s. Oh, “Monster Mash”, again (that’s #40), though this recording is a tad different, it’s still B“B”P.

Elvira presents Revenge of the Monster Hits (1995)
Similar to the last one … good intro, outro, with Elvira originals at the beginning (“Haunted House”) and end (“Zombie Stomp”, which is pretty fun). Only four other songs, though … “It’s Your Voodoo Working”, “Attach of the 50’ Woman” (love!), “Werewolves of London”, and “Weird Science”.

Elvira presents Vinyl Macabre (1983)
The big 33-1/3 version of the above. Twice as many intros / outros since this was originally on a record. (No Elvira original songs.) All the standards. “Monster Mash”, “PPE”, “Haunted House”. Some weird ones … “Horror Movies” by the Bollock Brothers (fun), “It’s Halloween” by the Shaggs (laughably bad), “The Vegas Vampire” by Jim Parker (WTF?).

Elvira's Heavy Metal Halloween (2009)
As much as I love Elvira, I have a hard time believing she put her name on this mess of a CD. Heavy metal instrumental versions of Halloween songs - classical (“Toccata and Fugue”, “Moonlight Sonata”), opera (“O Fortuna”), pop (“Black Cat”), Broadway (“Phantom of the Opera”), and even a heavy metal version of a heavy metal song (“Hell’s Bell’s”). It’s like the Trans-Siberian Orchestra - at their apex of cheesiness – made a Halloween album.

Frankenstein and The All-Star Monster Band (1984)
All the bad things about 80’s music … uninspired keyboards, drum machines, angst-filled singing … manifest themselves in this unholy cassette of crap. I’m not sure if the worst part of it is the music, the album art, or the album notes describing the songs … but when you put them all together, it adds up to a tedious and repetitive 40-minutes of garbage.

Freddy's Greatest Hits (1987)
Alas … I am consigned to slogging through 80’s hell. If this was a movie soundtrack, it’d be OK. Alas … it is not. It turns out to just be lousy 80’s music. Some are OK in a “good 80’s” sort of way … “Obsession” isn’t awful. (“Do the Freddy” is awful.) It has covers of “Wooly Bully” (why?), “In the Midnight Hour”, and “All I Have to Do is Dream”. The singer isn’t bad. It beats the album above, but that’s not saying much.

Hex Girls (1999)
It’s not ALL Hex Girls … and it’s not all bad. “Put a Spell On You” and “Terror Time” are OK.

Jack Dangers - Tino's Breaks Vol 6 (2002)
Dangers is an accomplished electronic musician and remixer. Here he puts together 16 dub tracks with lots of fun audio snippets. It sounds terrific, but it gets a little repetitive (it’s mostly drum ‘n bass). It has some nice spookiness, but each track feels like it’s 1 or 2 minutes too long. Louise Huebner makes an appearance.

Jad and David Fair - 26 Monster Songs for Children (1998)
Twenty-six short, simple songs. Sparse instrumentation. Each song starts with a kid describing the monster for whom each song is named, a nice touch. The unusual singing is deep and frequently off-key, but the lyrics are a lot of fun. It’s a very charming album … I like it more than I probably should.
 

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Dinosaur1972 said:
I’ve listened to a lot of bad-to-average music these last couple months
- which is much appreciated! It's been great to get a flavor for all of these albums. Anyone who's looking for Halloween music should definitely start here for a leg-up on what's out there.

Also,
Dinosaur1972 said:
All the bad things about 80’s music … uninspired keyboards, drum machines, angst-filled singing … manifest themselves in this unholy cassette of crap.
*snort* - "unholy cassette of crap" :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I shouldn't be so hard on Frankenstein and The All-Star Monster Band, but sakes alive that thing was horrid. I hope he isn't some old man scouring the internet looking for web-folks mentioning his great music. He'll be disappointed.
 
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