With a bit of a chill in the air and leaves changing bright hues of yellow and red (on TV, anyway, or up in Oak Creek Canyon), it's about as fall-y as you can get around these parts. And what else heralds the arrival of the season? "The Monster Mash," Bobby "Boris" Pickett's 1962 novelty tune about the creepiest party this side of a foam fiesta. Me, I love it; I once listened to it about 10 times in a row on a drive from Phoenix to Atlanta, though that might've also been the driving-through-West-Texas dementia.
But it's a little omnipresent, and it can start to grate after hearing it for the 30,000th time on Halloween. Here, then, are six tunes in a similar vein -- retro, Halloween-y, not too serious -- that should delight.
1. Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages - "She's Fallen in Love With the Monster Man"
This British weirdo rocker is best known for his song "Jack the Ripper," which has been covered by The Black Lips, The White Stripes, and a bunch of others. This spooky tune has teenage melodrama, monster movies, ripping guitar solos and a surprise ending.
2. Ted Cassidy - "The Lurch"
The 6-foot-9 actor who played monstrous butler Lurch onThe Addams Family
had his own dance song, back when dance songs were the logical next step for a novelty career. He doesn't do much besides provide moans and groans and groove around in his tux.
3. Lord Luther - "I Was a Teenage Creature"
Backed up by The Kingsmen of "Louie Louie" fame, Lord Luther -- a '50s Bay Area doo-wop guy -- delivers what is on the surface a little monster tune, but actually works just as well as an allegory for the physical awkwardness of the teenage years.
4. The Bollock Brothers - "Horror Movies"
A pretty aptly titled tune, "Horror Movies" by this early-'80s British group starts off just listing a bunch of classic movie titles. The synthy electro tune draws some influence from horror movie soundtracks of the time, particularly those of John Carpenter and Dario Argento.
5. Red Lipstique / The Famous B Brothers - "Drac's Back"
"Drac's Back" is another tune from the Bollock Brothers, this one released under a number of alternate aliases, including Red Lipstique as well as The Famous B Brothers. The minimal disco tune was released in anarguably better dub version
6. "The Monster Swim" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett"The Monster Mash" offered up a grotesque version of the mashed potato dance, so this follow-up to that tune takes on the swim, and brings in some more monster guest stars.
"It's bigger than the mash!" sings an aspirational Pickett, which -- given that song's enduring ubiquity -- seems like kind of a stretch.