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85 Days Till Halloween
8/7/2013

Not ready for sound effects or sound atmospheres … still enjoying the music. And I’m not a huge fan of sound effects CDs anyway.

John Carradine - Halloween Spooktacular - Poe with Pipes (2003)
This is a re-release of an older record … not sure when it was released originally. The first track is a 14-minute sound effects track that is old-fashioned and fun. The second is 17 minutes of Verne Langdon’s ominous yet impressive organ-playing. After that, we get 6 Edgar Allen Poe poems read by classic horror movie actor John Carradine (everything from “House of Dracula” and “House of Frankenstein” up through “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” … and yes, this is David Carradine’s father). Langdon’s organ music continues in the background over Carradine’s echoing voice. “The Raven” is very good. This album is a terrific slice of 70’s nostalgia.

Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells I (1973)
Tubular Bells is forever linked to Halloween thanks to “The Exorcist”. For me, it is linked thanks to the early days of Never Ending Wonder Radio’s annual Halloween specials, which I streamed at work through Live365 for a couple years. I’ve always been a fan of progressive rock, so this is a pretty fun album for me. I like some sections more than others, but this is a landmark album no matter what time of year it is.

Mort Garson - Black Mass - Lucifer (1971)
One of my favorite Halloween recordings EVER. I remember talking about this album when I was a kid – somebody had it on 8-track and was scared to play it. I don’t remember much more. “The Philosopher’s Stone” is my favorite … “Incubus” was probably pretty racy for 1971. Great album to listen to from beginning to end.

Mort Garson - Ataraxia - The Unexplained (1975)
Musically, this is certainly in the same vein as BM-L, but it doesn’t have the same cachet as BM-L. Still good stuff.

Morton Subotnick - Silver Apples of the Moon (1967)
Another early-electronic album (also by a guy named “Mort”). This one takes me back to my childhood … I used to have a “Superman meets Mr. Myxzptlk” book-and-record set, and a SWEAR that Side A was used as background music. Again – it isn’t necessarily a Halloween album, but the nostalgia and the sc-fi-ness that makes it work for me.

Phantom of the Opera [Original Cast] (1987)
I’m not huge on musicals, but I’ve seen this one twice. Doesn’t match the book AT ALL, but its dark and macabre themes make it tremendous fun. Musically it is pretty timeless except for the late 80’s vibe in the title song. I still can visualize Buquet’s body dangling from the ceiling when I hear that first scream.
 
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