Cosmo’s Top Ten Halloween Albums

Cosmo counts up ten great Halloween albums! What’s on your list?

Halloween is almost upon us, and along with horror movies and haunted houses, we also have spooky gothic-tinged music to enjoy. I decided to put together my Top 10 favorite Halloween albums. Scared yet? You should be.  Here we go.

Number 1

Black Sabbath/Black Sabbath:

The intro to Black Sabbaths debut album is classic gothic terror with the sound of rain falling and thunder crackling in the background. Who can forget Tony Iommi’s classic opening riff which incorporates the devils note? For the hipsters – a flattened 5th tri-tone was banned during the medieval ages due to its believed ability to conjure up the Devil himself. Creepy Indeed.

Number 2

Alice Cooper/ Welcome to my Nightmare:

A concept album about a young boy named Steven, who turns into a sociopath. Vincent Price makes a cameo on The Black Widow. Highbrow theater and gothic imagery…what more do you need?

Number 3

David Bowies/ Diamond Dogs:

Bowies darkest album was inspired by Orwell’s 1984, and it’s about a character named Halloween Jack (which is Bowie) with a song titled “We are the Dead.” In addition to perfecting his gothic baritone croon, Bowie appears on the cover as a half human, half animal. Trent Reznor sites Diamond Dogs as one the most influential albums of the goth genre.


Number 4

The Misfits/ Walk amongst Us:

Evil Elvis (Glen Danzig) howls about zombies, turning into a martian, and a head with 20 eyes. Walk amongst Us is possibly the best recorded collection of songs from the group. An album packed with 13 songs that were inspired by 50’s pop, B movies, and Ed Wood makes Walk amongst Us the perfect soundtrack for pumpkin smashing.

Number 5

The Cure/ Disintegration:

I still don’t know if “Pictures of You” is about a dead girlfriend or just an estranged one. It’s pretty damn goth either way.

Number 6

Joy Division/ Closer:

Possibly the dourest and most depressing-sounding album ever released. At least with Unknown Pleasures we had some up-tempo tracks offer a slight glimmer of hope. Opening track ”Atrocity Exhibit” invites you into this fun house of horrors with guitars that sound like chain-saws and Ian Curtis’s sick croon atop a canvas of bleakness.

Number 7

Iggy Pop/ The Idiot:

Opening with the classic track “Sister Midnight” ending with the pre-industrial track “Mass Production,” The Idiot is an exercise in gothic-acrobatic-industrial-funk grooves. Future goth rockers were taking note while listening to The Idiot. Listener Warning: while listening to The Idiot, Joy Divisions lead singer Ian Curtis hung himself (well, maybe it was other things as well), so approach with caution.

Number 8

Bauhaus/ In a Flat Field:

If goth has a poster boy it is Peter Murphy (part Vampire, part lead singer of Bauhaus), with his Bella Lugosi inspired croon and pale-white appearance. Bauhaus’s debut single? The 7 minute plus “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”.  ‘Nuff said.

Number 9

The Doors/ Strange Days: tied with the The Cramps/ Songs the Lord Taught Us:

The 9th spot on the list cuz’ Magnificent Bastard sez so, all you really need to know.

Number 10

Echo and the Bunnymen/ Ocean Rain:

Speaking of, during the 80’s kids in long black overcoats had their own Jim Morrison in Echo and the Bunnymen’s Ian McCullach. McCullachs dramatic vocal style and delivery was straight out of the Jim Morrison handbook, and the group’s classic anthem the “The Killing Moon” is still widely used on music soundtracks from Gross Pointe Blank to Donnie Darko.

So there we are my top ten, the ten albums that will be included in my Halloween music playlist.


Noise Unit’s DRILL (1997). Spooky Industrial by Front Line Assembly and beats by Haujobb. Every vocal is culled from Clive Barker’s LORD OF ILLUSIONS (1995). May be the perfect soundtrack for a horror movie.

Posted October 30, 2010 04:10 am
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