My Top Five Halloween Songs
5. "Ghostbusters", Ray Parker Jr. To be honest, it took dating my now-husband Zack, bonafide Ghostbusters efficionado and obsessee, to finally see the movie itself. But the theme song has been a favorite since I was a little kid. We used to sing the song using my older brother's name in place of "Ghostbusters". Is it a rip off of Huey Lewis and the News's "I Want a New Drug"? Maybe, but it's a wonderful cheese fest and sweeter than a juicebox full of Ecto Cooler.
4. E.T. Score, John Williams. It's one of the most recognizable film scores out there, and it's difficult to listen to the music without imagining Elliott and E.T. riding across the full moon on a bike. When I was younger, this movie scared me to death - or at least the government agents who invade Elliott's house did. But now, I can appreciate this beautiful score and wonderful film.
3. "I Put a Spell on You", Bette Midler. Hocus Pocus is a Halloween favorite of mine, ever since seeing it when I was a kid in 1993. ABC Family shows it multiple times every year around Halloween, and I have to watch it at least once. It's a pure nostalgia-fest. Before she was Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker flirted with Garry Marshall dressed as the devil and ate spiders. To go back and rewatch this childhood classic years later, it amazes me how many stars were in the movie. Each year, the movie feels like a blast from the past, but really at this point, it's just a blast.
2. "Over at the Frankenstein Place", Rocky Horror Picture Show. OK, so it's not the shivering with antici.....pation romp that is "Sweet Transvestite" or even the Halloween party staple "The Time Warp", but "Over at the Frankenstein Place" features the sweetly innocent Janet (played by Susan Sarandon), and is the first time we hear Riff Raff and see Dr. Frank-n-Furter's mansion. I love how it builds all the way up to the end. "There's a light, light, in the darkness of everybody's life."
1. "Thriller", Michael Jackson. As if anything else could ever better number one on any list in regards to the best Halloween songs out there. It was recorded almost 30 years ago and released in 1984. The music video is legendary. Michael Jackson died just months before I got married, and it became my mission to learn the "Thriller" choreography and dance it at our wedding. We succeeded, and I've subsequently taught it to two more friends for their weddings. It is a song that will bring the house down wherever and whenever you hear it; from the zombie walk to Vincent Price's laugh at the end, it's hard not to imitate. I don't think that I can forgive Party City for adopting the song for their commercials around Halloween time, but one thing's for darn sure: "Thriller" will live on forever.
Honorable Mention: The entire Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack. My favorites from the movie ("Jack's Lament", "Sally's Song") aren't very Halloween-y, so they didn't make the cut. But no Halloween, or Christmas for that matter, would be complete without this Burton classic.