The Top 10 Classic Rock Halloween Songs
30 October 2023, 10:51 | Updated: 30 October 2023, 11:09
Radio X Classic Rock picks ten songs to keep you awake at night - it's the perfect Halloween playlist!
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Loud riffs and big scares have long been uncomfortable bedfellows since that time a bunch of Brummie lads noticed Mario Bava's spooky 1963 anthology film Black Sabbath playing their local fleapit and decided it would be a great name for their heavy rock band.
Since then, rock stars the world over have danced with the dark side, but remember it's all a bit of fun and they all love their mothers (probably). Here are ten of our favourite Classic Rock tunes that have a ghostly or ghastly bent.
Don't have nightmares!
Catch the Classic Rock Halloween Top 10 with Sunta Templeton on Radio X Classic Rock here - listen at Global Player!
Metallica - Enter Sandman
The sandman is meant to whisky you away to the land of Nod in the lullaby, but the LA heavy metal pioneers turn the rhyme into a severe case of the night terrors - complete with a little kid reciting the "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" poem. Maybe leave the light on for a bit, yeah?
Metallica: Enter Sandman (Official Music Video)
Talking Heads - Psycho Killer
"We are vain and we are blind... I hate people when they're not polite." There's a weird undercurrent in David Byrne's classic 1977 single. You wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of this character.
Talking Heads - Psycho Killer (David Byrne Solo Live)
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising
John Fogerty based this 1969 song on the 40s film of the story The Devil & Daniel Webster, but the tune is now forever linked in our minds with David Naughton turning into a wolf in the landmark transformation scene from An American Werewolf In London (1981).
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising (Official Lyric Video)
Ramones - Pet Sematary
It's spelt wrong because it's a sign written by kids, right? Da Brudders Ramone were responsible for the theme tune to the movie adaptation of Stephen King's 1983 shocker. A story of the undead, the book was so gruesome it even shocked King himself when he read back his first draft.
Ramones - Pet Sematary (Official Music Video)
Warren Zevon - Werewolves Of London
Featuring Fleetwood Mac's rhythm section on bass and drums (John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, of course), this jaunty tune was inspired by the 1935 film Werewolf Of London and namechecks the restaurant Lee Ho Fook in London's Chinatown.
Warren Zevon - Werewolves Of London (Official Music Video) [HD]
The Rolling Stones - Sympathy For The Devil
"We always have something very funny happen when we start that number," said Mick Jagger when crowd trouble at the Altamont open air show in December 1969 started to get ugly when the band played the opening track from their Beggars Banquet LP. He wasn't wrong - 18 year old Meredith Hunter was later stabbed to death by Hells Angels who were employed to provide security at the show. The height of the Stones' "Satanic" period, they cooled it after that... for obvious reasons.
The Rolling Stones - Sympathy For The Devil (Official Video) [4K]
The Doors - People Are Strange
A track from Strange Days, the second album by the mystical Los Angeles band, the track gained a whole new generation of fans when Echo & The Bunnymen covered it for the 1987 teen vampire epic The Lost Boys.
The Doors - "People Are Strange" 1967 HD (Official Video) 1080P Jim Morrison
Blue Öyster Cult - Don't Fear The Reaper
The Long Island rockers included this melancholic classic on their 1976 album Agents Of Fortune. The song is meant to be about eternal love, but another interpretation was given when the tune was in the original Halloween movie, as the teenage babysitters drive to their night of terror with Michael Myers...
Blue Oyster Cult - Don't Fear The Reaper (Single Version) (1976) (HD)
AC/DC - Hell's Bells
One of the epic highlights of any live Acca Dacca show, the tolling bell on the song was recorded at a foundry in Loughborough, of all places.
AC/DC - Hells Bells (Official Video)
Black Sabbath - Iron Man
The heavily-modulated sound of Ozzy Osbourne's voice is the most terrifying thing in the world if you're not expecting it. Tony Iommi’s monstrous riff was a big favourite with Beavis & Butthead back in the day.
Iron Man (2012 - Remaster)