Spotlight in Stereo – Halloween Special!
October 31, 2023
It’s the spookiest day of the year, a celebration of all things creepy and freaky. Whether you think it’s a load of hocus pocus or a night of lost souls, there’s plenty of fun to be had. If you’re getting dressed up, carving a jack-o-lantern or prepping popcorn for a scary movie marathon, let our office playlist dare to scare!
Ray Parker Jr. – Ghostbusters
“Who you gonna call?” It’s a classic movie franchise and an iconic theme song. From the opening haunt of guitar through its kitsch squelching bassline to that rush of call-and-response chorus, Ray Parker Jr.’s camp concoction has a timeless soul.
The original track was released in the summer of 1984 to coincide with the film, becoming Ray’s first and only US number one. In the UK it experienced chart revivals in 2008 and 2021, both times around Halloween.
The song’s star-studded music video was directed by Ivan Reitman, who also directed the Ghostbusters film, and features cameos from the likes of Chevy Chase, John Candy and Danny Devito. Even if you ain’t afraid of no ghost, cower in the immortal power of this Halloween classic!
MGMT – Little Dark Age
The title track from the NY duo’s fourth album, this dark cut of soviet-era-inspired synth-pop was released in 2018 only to explode on TikTok two years later. A steady and haunting world of industrial sound with an 80s aesthetic, the song has been used to soundtrack millions of videos.
The track’s official video is a tongue-in-cheek homage to gothic imagery, from candelabra and taxidermy to singer Andrew VanWyngarden’s Edward Scissorhands attire. Speaking to Spin about the clip, Ben Goldwasser said it was, “Very much a love letter to goth music videos from the ‘80s, where we just referenced a bunch of things that we like.”
Co-produced by an all star cast of MGMT, Patrick Wimberley of Chairlift and Dave Fridmann of Mercury Rev, the track has caught attention with its dark, illustrative and open lyricism. Likes like, “The feelings start to rot, one wink at a time,” paint an ominous portrait that’ll send shivers through any speaker.
Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
One of the greatest songs of all time, with its pulsing bassline and ominous soundscape of 80s synths, it sailed Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart to international acclaim. Released at the start of 1983, the track slowly climbed the US Billboard Hot 100 to take the number one spot that September, just in time for spooky season.
The track was recorded across two studios in North London using equipment that was bought with a bank loan. Their most notable purchase was a Movement Systems Drum Computer, of which only about thirty were ever built. The boxy orange machine even got a cameo in the song’s creepy Dada-esque music video!
Urban legend has the song’s title as one of the most misheard lyrics of all time, often mistaken for “Sweet dreams are made of cheese.” There are plenty of fromage’s to this error online, the lyrics dairy-ingly altered proving it’s a track to both trick and treat!
Shakira – She Wolf
“S.O.S, she’s in disguise!” The opening scene of Shakira’s howling hot video for She Wolf sees her silhouette naked in the full moon, her manicure growing into claws. Since its release in 2009 she’s surely inspired many wild Halloween costumes.
Resurrected in 2020 for her co-headline performance during the Super Bowl halftime show, which she shared with Jennifer Lopez, Shakira dropped a ferocious performance flanked by an ensemble of dancers all dressed in blood red.
It might be a bright cut of electro-pop but this track has teeth. Written with esteemed producer John Hill and The Bravery frontman Sam Edicott, the track contains a sample from the song Good Times by Chic. Just one bite of this savage hit and you’ll forever be howling the refrain. Ahh-woo!
Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)
From its pulsing flashes of percussion to its chaotic traffic of synths, this classic from English band Dead or Alive will get even the most tightly-wound mummy dancing. Singer Pete Burns’ deep pop vocal is at risk of raising zombies and awakening souls with its rich and encapsulating crescendo.
Released in autumn of 1984, the track was inspired by the combination of legendary American singer Luther Vandross and Australian singer and actress Little Nell, famed for her role as Columbia in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The track was also produced by the then unknown production trio Stock Aitken Waterman who went on to become one of the most successful songwriting and production partnerships of all time. This record became both theirs and Dead or Alive’s first UK number one the following March, and has been spun round for many spooky seasons since!
It’s the spookiest day of the year, a celebration of all things creepy and freaky. Whether you think it’s a load of hocus pocus or a night of lost souls, there’s plenty of fun to be had. If you’re getting dressed up, carving a jack-o-lantern or prepping popcorn for a scary movie marathon, let our office playlist dare to scare!Read more
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This week’s Video of the Week is Shakira’s ‘Hips Don’t Lie’.Read more
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This week’s Video of the Week is Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)’.Read more