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Halloween is Saturday this year, with a full moon and everything. So for those Halloween “gatherings” you’re not going to have due to social distancing (wink), this year calls for a special playlist.
Every Halloween playlist has its party and spooky standards, which we just can’t ignore or omit. I mean, you gotta have “Monster Mash,” right? Of course we do, but you don’t have to stick to the same version we always hear. (RELATED: 5 Extremely Goofy and Fun Monster Movie Style Videos from the 1980s)
This year, you need to go that little extra mile to make things fun, so I’ve got a few spooky and cool cover versions of the Halloween party favorites, starting with a remake of one by the late Warren Zevon.
“Werewolves of London” by Masha
In 2015, Latvian alt-pop singer Masha did a sultry, jazzy version of “Werewolves of London” for a Three Olives Vodka ad campaign, and it takes the song from funky to sexy in the first verse. You can hear the song on its own here, but if you’re wanting to show videos, check out this extended version with eye candy for both men and women. Somehow, Masha manages to make the phrase “gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein” sound alluring. And the “werewolf” (and actor named James Lee Taylor) looks straight from a Victorian Gothic romance wandering around modern London. A whole lotta ladies will be waiting up to be “mutilated” late at night by this dude.
“Dead Man’s Party” by Josh Jové
When the trailer for Adam Sandler’s goofy seasonal movie Hubie Halloween was first released, it featured a rave-style cover of Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party,” and immediately the “what song was that” internet crowd started tossing out their guesses for who it was. Well, it is from the singer/guitarist from the bluesy alt rock band The Shelters, Josh Jové, and it has those deep bass beats and slide guitar riffs that will raise the dead in time to party.
“Thriller” by Postmodern Jukebox
Honestly, I’m surprised there aren’t more Halloween party tunes from Scott Bradlee’s ever growing group of musicians and vocalists giving more contemporary favorites some classic, retro and nostalgic sounds. Here, they bring in singer and comedian Wayne Brady for a 1930s style version of Michael Jackson’s zombie groove, with a little channelling of Cab Calloway.
“Monster Mash” by The Misfits
There are a pile of covers of this Bobby Pickett novelty favorite, from pop-punk to funk to a parody with updated lyrics from The Key of Awesome. There’s also an amazing campy cover (with a description of what fantastic monsters “humes” are) from Vincent Price himself and The Monster Club. However, l think for party purposes it’s time to rock on with a some classic punk The Misfits.
“Time Warp” by The Toons
Well, it is getting close to midnight and your neighbor, Karen, has called in the well-meaning party gestapos to make sure no one is having fun in the privacy of their own home. Just enough time to get in that one last dance. Here’s a solid cover of the ultimate midnight Halloween party hit, from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, by a London party cover band called The Toons.
Have a safe Halloween this year, but for the love of all things spooky and sane, gather some friend and have a fun one.
Header image screengrab from the video “Werewolves of London” ©The Via Agency