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32 Days of Halloween Special Edition: Fun With Spotify!


Something occurred to me while we were talking about Spotify on the Halloween episode of our music podcast, The Sound Board (which will be up before long). Because I continually get surprised at the wealth of stuff that’s in the Spotify archives, they probably have a crapload of awesome Halloween tracks. So I set out to see what I could find. And my goal wasn’t finding spooky music (there’s plenty of that, and I do have some here) nor those atmospheric oooh-spooky albums we had on vinyl when we were kids (kids of today, ask your parents), but to find some seriously awesome stuff. Old-Time Radio (OTR). Spoken Word. Readings. That sort of thing.

The result is here: 30 essential links for your Halloweenish Spotify enjoyment as a special addendum to our normal 32 Days of Halloween marathon mischief. I thought about creating a playlist…but it would be huge and unwieldy. And we go all over the map with this one. If we missed any, share them in the comments. There’s always room for more Halloween goodness. Enjoy!

The Addams Family: A version of the soundtrack to the TV show is here. And while we’re on the subject, Ted Cassidy and “The Lurch.” Hell yes. In fact, if you want to see the video of him dancing and doing “The Lurch” (it was an actual dance), we can arrange that.

John Carradine: This must be a single of some kind, “Land of a Thousand Faces,” where Carradine intones about makeup and mirrors while an organ wails. Hey, it works.

Charles Dickens: A trio of ghost stories by Dickens, including a couple from the Weird Circle.

Frankenstein: Two radio broadcasts, one from 1938 and a really abrreviated 1944 version from Weird Circle. (And if you’re curious, I read part of the novel here.)

Goblin: A ridiculous array of the people who brought you the music for such classics as Suspiria, Deep Red and the original Dawn of the Dead. That can be found here.

Hamlet: Richard Burton and John Gielgud rock the living hell out of the scene between Hamlet and the Ghost.

Inner Sanctum: A classic trio of episodes from this OTR show are available here.

An Evening With Boris Karloff and FriendsBoris Karloff: One of the best spooky readers for children ever. Here’s Karloff doing a version of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle,” complete with many an overdone bit of sound FX. There’s also Radio Shows For Halloween, which is an array of different bits, including various Old-Time Radio shows like “Lights Out” and “Inner Sanctum.” The badass spoken word/autobiographical album An Evening With Boris Karloff and his Friends is available as well. The Creaking Door episode “Death For Sale” has one of the most wonderfully awful horror hosts ever…Karloff features in “Death For Sale.”

Christopher Lee: in addition to his metal concept album about Charlemagne (which we’ve told you about before and which must be heard to be believed), there is also Sir Christopher reading a version of Dracula.

Lights Out: Three volumes of fantastic OTR shows from this classic which we’ve touted before.

H.P. Lovecraft: Gareth David-Lloyd reads “The Call of Cthulhu.”

Bela Lugosi: Lugosi and John Carradine on the OTR show, Mystery House and a classic episode of suspense action called “The Thirsty Death.”

Nightmare Before Christmas: Many of the tracks from the special edition soundtrack are available. The Nightmare Revisited album is available as well.

Laurence Olivier: performs Oscar Wilde’s “The Canterville Ghost” and a Theatre Royal OTR version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Phantom of the Opera: Lux Radio Theatre’s 1943 radio broadcast of The Phantom of the Opera with producer Cecil B. DeMille! (We posted the 1925 film here.)

Edgar Allan Poe: “The Best of the Radio Years” is an array of OTR programs, with a few bits of overlap, but it’s a nice array of Poe goodness.

Vincent Price Witchcraft MagicVincent Price: There’s an album involving Price called Witchcraft Magic: An Adventure in Demonology which is pretty choice. Not as cool as some of his spooky spoken word, but it will work. There’s a lot of non-spooky dramatic stuff that he’s done on Spotify as well…so go nuts.

Basil Rathbone: Here’s Rathbone reading a trio of Edgar Allan Poe stories.

Lou Reed: Lou Reed? Yes. His 2003 album The Raven is on Spotify, featuring Willem Dafoe reading Poe. Also in attendance: Steve Buscemi, David Bowie, Laurie Anderson and…The Blind Boys of Alabama. No shit.

Orson Welles: The Ultimate Collection has a literal crapload of stuff, including a Mercury Theatre version of Dracula…the classic War of the Worlds…and a recording of H.G. Wells and Orson appearing together. If you listen to only one track I put out there, make it this one. This is from 1940. You get to hear Mr. Wells give Mr. Welles some well-intentioned ribbing about his name and also you’re hearing from a world on the brink of World War II. Fascinating.

Various: I didn’t put a lot of random anthologies on here…but there is one that stands out above all the rest. It’s called “Halloween’s Gravest Hits (Expanded Version)”. And it’s basically the party album you want. Anything that goes from Alice Cooper to The Ventures to David Bowie to Lou Rawls works for me, I don’t know about you.

Again, did we miss something you’ve found? It’s a gold mine in there. Share your finds in the comments!