Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Music

Maggie Thatcher is in hospital.  I miss you, Mrs. Thatcher.
What does that have to do with Halloween music?
Well nothing, but it's my blog and I can say what I want.

I'd like to feature two discs today that I own, one of which I obtained from my local library (NOTE: this is not piracy; as a taxpaying citizen and card holding member of my local library my taxes pay for the media held in that library, thus as an owner of the product in question I simply made a legitimate backup copy of MY CD).

These Ghoulish Things:

Available from Amazon.com (or the 'ahem' library) this is a compilation of old (50s and 60s) novelty songs with a ghoulish theme.  The track listing includes radio spots done by Bobby "Boris" Pickett, who is famous for the Monster Mash, of course.  The sound quality is good and the disc is put together well.  As you listen you feel a flow to the product that makes it an easy Halloween party CD choice.
The disc contains 27 tracks and a great booklet full of pictures and notes about each song and artist.  If you are an avid collector of Halloween music CDs or just happen to have a few of the more common Halloween music collections, you will find a few of the tracks are already in your collection (Addam's Family Theme, Munster's Theme, Monster Mash) but this is unavoidable as these are staples of Halloween music collections as well as period appropriate tunes for the collection.
There are a few weak spots, in my opinion, but quite enough for all to enjoy.

Horror Hop:

Clocking in at 31 tracks and not a Monster Mash among them, Horror Hop is an enjoyable collection in the same vein as These Ghoulish Things.  First let me say that there are a few tracks that I simply do not enjoy and can not endorse.  It is not that they are bad, it is that they have SFA to do with Halloween.  "Amazon", "Bo Diddle In the Jungle" and, especially "The Zoo" are just not horror, spooky, or Halloween music.  The unfortunate conflation of 'gross' with 'spooky' in Halloween annoys me to no end.  I cannot fathom, then, how jungles and zoos apply to Halloween (unless one is in either of these locations to celebrate the event).
The editing of this disc is not smooth by any means; it lacks the thematic flow of These Ghoulish Things, but this is no reason to avoid it.  With 31 tracks to choose from there is plenty to recommend this disc and it neither suffers nor benefits from being put into the stereo on 'shuffle'.
High points for me are "Igor's Party", "Mad Witch", "The Mummy's Bracelet" and "Big Chief Buffalo Nickel" the last of which is also categorically NOT a Halloween song, but is just too good to not dig.
Horror Hop is also available via Amazon.com, which is how I obtained it.

Stay tuned to the Pumpkin for more Hi-Fi Stereophonic Sounds of Horror and Humor for Halloween Hijinks.  


  1. there is also a second one known as Monster Bop.
    Pretty much the same type as Horror Hop.
    Fun stuff.

  2. I have that one as well, acquired through, ahem, less than legitimate means. I think that Monster Bop is, like Horror Hop, a good mix with a few weak points. That bloody Gorilla song by Convey is particularly annoying.

  3. Its too bad you can't spin us some sample tracks. I guess I'll have to go to Amazon and listen for myself.

  4. I did manage to get video posted previously though, so it is not hopeless.