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Happy Halloween! I hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday. I’m sure you’ll now have plenty of songs to help celebrate this occasion.

My final Music of the Month of Halloween is a polarizing hip hop rendition of Goblin’s main title for the 1975 Dario Argento film ‘Deep Red’, also known as ‘Profondo Rosso’. I write polarizing because most fans of the original theme—at least those I’ve spoken to—regard this version as nothing more than a cringeworthy cash-grab by Claudio Simonetti, keyboardist for Golbin who released this reworking on his 1991 ‘Simonetti Horror Project’ album. Well, they might not be totally off the mark, but this hip hop spin on “Profondo Rosso” is still some awesome fun—granted I have a soft spot for this variety of cheese.

Admittedly the euro-dance loop is lacking imagination, but the bassline is undeniably groovy and the guitar breakdown really brings the song to life. I love the how the haunting keyboard melody of the original is shamelessly transformed into soaring dance floor lead, only vaguely recognizable to those familiar with the classic theme.

And then there’s the actual rapping, which is tacky at best though it perfectly complements the music.

“Deep red. The color of the blood that drippin’ …”

Oh geez.

The music video is really something wonderful too.

In the end Simonetti’s hip hop version of “Profondo Rosso” is competent, silly, and most importantly a huge slap in the face to any Goblin fan who might’ve been taking their music way too seriously.

http://www.discogs.com/Claudio-Simonetti-Simonetti-Horror-Project/release/251072
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I've saved some of the best tunes for last. This is indeed the sauciest song for my Music for the Month of Halloween. It’s probably not the sort of thing which comes to mind when one contemplates the holiday, but “Demon Lover” has a sinister swagger which puts me in the spirit.

The song has an interesting point of view, that of a woman who is visited nightly by a mysterious figure, presumably a vampire, before eventually embarking out to find her elusive ghoul. There are some creepy undertones perhaps worth discussion, but within the context of a cheeky 60s pop song it’s an enjoyable piece of music.
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Today’s selection is taken from John Carpenter and Alan Howarth’s score to the 1988 Carpenter film ‘They Live’. Although not as creepy or revered as Carpenter’s classic ‘Halloween’ theme, “Coming to L.A.” has a menacingly slow tempo and stripped-down bluesy feel which skirts the line between eerie and campy. I think it would make fun background music for any ghoulish gathering.


Hearing this, I confess that my soundtrack collection needs more Carpenter. Earlier this year the famed director and composer even released ‘Lost Themes’, an album of music scored for imaginary films, which has since been recommended to me from multiple sources. Perhaps I’ll have to give it some consideration.

It's kind of amazing how much his music has influenced dance music over the past couple years, citing the whole Outrun craze which apparently strives to reproduce the sound of the 80s along with certain visual aesthetics, to varying degrees of success.
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My Music for the Month of Halloween wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of James Bernard, the British composer best known for his Hammer Film scores, particularly their popular ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’ horror movies. Along with elaborate gothic interiors, bright red blood and busty bosoms—all in glorious Technicolor, no less—Bernard’s music helped solidify the thrilling atmosphere now commonly associated with Hammer Horror. Today’s selection is taken from his score for the 1962 film ‘Kiss of the Vampire’, one of his earlier works for Hammer. While it’s difficult to pick any one piece that sums up with Bernard’s talent, “Vampire Rhapsody” is great example of the composer’s work.


As a side note, I wish Hammer OSTs and rerecordings were more readily available on CD. Those which exist are apparently out of production and currently command ridiculous prices on the marketplace. Though the Silva Screen label released three volumes of Hammer music in 2011, these were unfortunately only available as mp3 downloads from either Amazon or iTunes. It’s just not the same as hardcopy.
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Today’s selection is Nico Fidenco’s theme for the 1980 Italian horror film ‘Zombie Holocaust’. This is a very haunting yet sensual piece of music, and I really dig how the steady percussion, frail wind instruments, and airy vocals carry you through the piece. It’s a wonderfully foreboding track with a spiritual essence which resonates with me. Hearing this, I imagine myself aboard a forsaken raft that’s approaching an exotic island where upon unspeakable horrors may dwell. Oh yeah.

Fidenco’s score is not something one would except from a zombie movie, but that makes it all the more significant and intriguing. Through the 70s Fidenco had scored music for the popular ‘Black Emmanuelle’ sexploitation films, and apparently someone heard these smooth, sleazy grooves and considered Fidenco’s style appropriate for the likes of ‘Zombie Holocaust’. Go figure. He was later composed music for the 1981 film ‘Porno Holocaust’, but let’s not journey down that road.

At any rate, Fidenco’s ‘Zombie Holocaust’ score is a real treat. I haven’t seen the actual film, nor do I have any intentions of watching it anytime soon, but I can enjoy the score for its anomalous, erotic atmosphere.

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This Music of the Month of Halloween has been severely lacking in doo-wop, so here's "Zombi" by the Monotones.

Such a great song. I love the howling in the background!
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Today’s Music for the Month of Halloween selection is Claudio Gizzi’s main title for the 1974 Italian-French Paul Morrissey film ‘Blood for Dracula’, which was produced by Andy Warhol and later marketed in the US as ‘Andy’s Warhol’s Blood for Dracula’. I have yet to see the movie in its entirety, but Gizzi score has a dramatic, gothic atmosphere which I really enjoy, and his main theme, otherwise known as “Old Age of Dracula”, is especially sad. Equally evocative is his score for Paul Morrissey’s ‘Flesh for Frankenstein’, released in 1973. Great stuff.

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Today’s selection is Giovanni Cristiani’s “Hell Flames”, composed for the 1990 Lucio Fulci film ‘Demonia’.  There’s little chance of me ever sitting down to watch the likes of ‘Demonia’, but recently I heard the Cristiani’s score, included on Beat Record Company’s ‘Lucio Fulci's Horror & Thriller’, a compilation of music from the director’s films, and this piece of music really made an impression on me.

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I’m not largely familiar with the music of Polish composer Krzysztof Komeda but I’ve enjoyed his scores for Roman Polanski’s films, including ‘Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’. Today’s selection will be his hypnotic title for ‘Killers’. The vocals strike me as very powerful yet unhinged, like a gathering of holiday carolers who had their egg nog spiked with LSD.

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Today’s Music for the Month of Halloween selection is from The Ventures’ ‘Ventures in Space’. As a kid this album was available to me through brothers’ vast record collection and it quickly became one of my favorite LPs. Yes, as one would expect from The Ventures, this is surf rock, but this particular album always seemed to possess a sonic quality which I associated with outer space. Maybe my imagination was captured by the cover sleeve, featuring the illustration of an astronaut drifting outside earth’s orbit alongside a fender guitar, but to me this sounded like music for exploring the galaxy and beyond. 90s Shoegazers are great indebted here.


Written by Harry Lubin for the TV show ‘One Step Beyond’, “Fear” was later covered The Ventures and included on this album. Amid the more conventional offerings on ‘Space’, “Fear” really stands out as an oddity; It’s only 2 and a half minutes long, but this song is so slow, casual and dreary that it feels much longer than that, and around the halfway point I can feel myself beginning to float into the dark abyss of outer space. It just keeps going on and on and on. It’s beautiful music for finding yourself lost in limbo.
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Today’s selection was performed by the Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra using music composed by Paul Ferris for the 1968 film ‘Witchfinder General’, starring Vincent Price as the titular character, otherwise known as the historical figure Matthew Hopkins, a witch-hunter active during the English Civil War.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the film, included in on DVD in MGM’s wonderful Midnite Movies series, and I have only a faint memory of the accompanying score, but listening to today’s Music for the Month of Halloween feature as a stand alone track, I find it an outstanding, dramatic arrangement of music.

After a noisy, unsettling opening, our piece introduces a seductive, noble melody which accompanies the listener through the song while a disquieting force lurks underneath. The harp section at 2:30 is especially pretty, but as the piece progresses this aspect turns sublime, creating a foreboding atmosphere which would undoubtedly compliment our film’s subject matter.
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Twelve days until Halloween and I'm already here rockin' in the graveyard. What an appropriate place to be on Monday morning. Enjoy!
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My Music for the Month of Halloween continues, and today’s entry has an especially gothic vibe which suits the approaching holiday. I’ve long admired this song by Alessandro Alessandroni, lifted from his score to the 1971 Italian film ‘La terrificante notte del demonio’, aka ‘The Devil's Nightmare’. It’s such a dreamy, hypnotic piece of music, creating an unsettling atmosphere which lingers after the song’s completion, and I really enjoy the juxtaposition of Edda Dell'Orso’s ethereal vocals and that sinister guitar fuzz in the background. Just amazing. The entire soundtrack is great, composed of mystic soundscapes which explore this same spooky melody with varied results.
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Today’s piece comes from Luboš Fišer’s score to the 1970 Czechoslovakian surrealist film ‘Valerie and Her Week of Wonders’. I have yet to see the movie, but the soundtrack, yet another release of obscure music from Finders Keepers, provides an eerie listening experience that’s perfect for Halloween. A majority of the tracks are short–roughly around 2 to 3 minutes–but the music takes you through a wide range of emotions with many abrupt changes in mood and instrumentation. The soundtrack is like a roller coaster ride, but despite these variations it still manages to stay on course as one cohesive work. Chanting choirs, soothing melodies, haunting chimes, and ominous organ pieces create to create a dreamlike soundscape, which I imagine compliment the visuals within the film. And yes, apparently there's a carnival here too.

It's a really beautiful, creative score, which for better or worse never lets you get too comfortable with any given offering of music.
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Today's Music for the Month of October selection is from Angelo Francesco Lavagnino's score for the 1966 film 'War of the Planets'. It's a very tense music piece, suitable for a chilling outer space adventure, and I love the mounting suspense created by his use of strings, horns and vocals.

I found this track on 'Gamma 1 Quadrilogy - 60s Italian Cinematic Science Fiction Sounds', a compilation of Angelo Francesco Lavagnino's scores for the movies, 'Wild Wild Planet', 'War Between the Planets', and 'Snow Devils', along with the aforementioned 'War of the Planets'.

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Today's song is a rockin' number from the 60s. I really dig the energy in the singer's performance. This song always lifts mood, and obviously it's perfect for Halloween.

Also, Colin loves the part where Round Robin growls. Such a fun piece.
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Considering that much of my Music for the Month of Halloween is featuring songs from movies, it would be criminal not to include Verne Langdon's hypnotic organ solo from the 1962 film 'Carnival Of Souls'. It's been many years since I've seen the movie, but hearing this piece of music always reminds me of the film's distinct, haunting atmosphere.
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Today's selection is taken from the score to Lucio Fulci's 1977 film 'Sette note in nero', also known as 'The Psychic'. Credited to Franco Bixio, Fabio Frizzi and Vince Tempera, each notable Italian composers, the entire soundtrack is amazing, heavy in atmosphere with several suspenseful yet beautiful pieces. This particular track really stood out to me for its intriguing combination of eeriness and jazz, and I love that blaring saxophone!

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Today’s Music for the Month of Halloween song was taken from the 1995 Crippled Rick Hot Wax! release ‘Vampyros Lesbos’, a compilation featuring choice cuts from Manfred Hübler & Siegfried Schwab’s ‘Psychedelic Dance Party’ and ‘Sexadelic’ LPs, both released in 1970 and featuring music written for the Jess Franco films ‘Vampyros Lesbos’, ‘She Kills in Ecstasy’, and the ‘The Devil Came from Akasava’.

It’s great party music, heavy in atmosphere and “far-out” ghoulish charm. In this particular song I really enjoy the organ playing and that wonderful rush of music toward the end. It’s such a smooth, sexy build up, but still very tongue-in-cheek. From what I understand "The Vampires' Sound Incorporation" is simply an alternate name for Manfred Hübler & Siegfried Schwab’s project.

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Taking a break from soundtrack pieces, here's a fun novelty song from the late 60s. Though it wasn't used in Tim Burton's 'Mars Attacks', this song always reminds me of the movie. Enjoy!

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