Another playlist for Halloween


A follow-up to last year’s list. Seeing as Joy Division are very much in the news at the moment with the release of Control and the re-issue of the albums, I thought a post-punk theme would be appropriate. The period which immediately followed punk in the late Seventies saw a lot of doom being imported into what was then still a proper alternative to the mainstream of popular music. This trend quickly ossified into the distinct and far less adventurous genres of goth and post Throbbing Gristle/Cabaret Voltaire industrial but between 1978 and 1982 everything was in a state of fascinating flux.

Hamburger Lady (1978) by Throbbing Gristle.
TG’s heart-warming ode to a burns victim.

6am (1979) by Thomas Leer & Robert Rental.
Leer and Rental’s The Bridge album was originally one of the few none-Throbbing Gristle releases on TG’s Industrial label, one half songs, the other moody electronic instrumentals. 6am perfectly conjures a picture of empty streets at dawn and sounds like a precursor of Ennio Morricone’s score for The Thing.

Bela Lugosi’s Dead (1979) by Bauhaus.
The first Bauhaus single and the only song of theirs I liked. Put to great use at the beginning of the otherwise pretty risible The Hunger.

Day Of The Lords (1979) by Joy Division.
If anything shows that Ian Curtis was a Romantic in the 19th century sense, it’s this grandiose wallow in the atrocities of history. “Where will it end?”

James Whale (1980) by Tuxedomoon.
Church bells toll and a lonely violin shrieks for the director of the Universal Frankenstein films.

Halloween (1981) by Siouxsie & the Banshees.
With a title like that, how could it not be included here?

Goo Goo Muck (1981) by The Cramps.
Always superior collagists of rockabilly weirdness and early garage riffs, The Cramps started out in the horror camp (“camp” being a big part of their act) with the Gravest Hits EP. Goo Goo Muck was a cover of a great single by (I kid not) Ronnie Cook & the Gaylads. “When the sun goes down and the moon comes up / I turn into a teenage goo goo muck.”

Raising The Count (1981) by Cabaret Voltaire.
An obscure moment of resurrection originally on the Rough Trade C81 cassette compilation from the NME.

Gregouka (1982) by 23 Skidoo.
Gregorian monks meet Moroccan pipes and drums with the result sounding like a voodoo ceremony taking place in cathedral catacombs.

The Litanies Of Satan (1982) by Diamanda Galás.
The formidable Ms Galás was part of last year’s list and her first album is just as hair-raising as her later works. The second part is the marvellously titled Wild Women With Steak-knives (The Homicidal Love Song For Solo Scream).

Happy Halloween!

Previously on { feuilleton }
White Noise: Electric Storms, Radiophonics and the Delian Mode
The Séance at Hobs Lane
A playlist for Halloween
Ghost Box

8 thoughts on “Another playlist for Halloween”

  1. Having been a goth dj for 15 years, all of these songs are like old friends. I never listen to them anymore, but they’re all great!

  2. Heh, I still give these an outing once in a while, and most are in iTunes now so random play throws them up.

    Goth DJ sounds like a good way to overdose on hairspray.

  3. I was addicted to hairspray since my teenage years. Theatre, you know! Then new wave and assorted madness,leading to what was eventually called “goth”. But all that is long ago and far away. And the hairspray? Now I have no hair at all!

  4. lets start a support group “I was a teenage robert smith”….

    you guys heard nouvelle vauges “bande a part” album? it does covers of classics like “bela lugiosis dead” and “a forest” etc and presents them as bossanovafied french chanteuse type ditties, which is either beautiful or terrible depending on how you view such things… Me, I love it, definately worth checking out, done in a far more tasteful fashion than say mike flower pop and his ilk.

  5. Thom: I’m the same with the hair loss (well, mainly on the top). The thing that used to annoy me about goth hair (which I’ve never personally sported, I hasten to add…) was the way it got in the line of sight at gigs. Bad enough being shorter than average without peering through a forest of back-combed hair!

    Xtiaan: No I hadn’t heard of them, sounds fun though. One of the guys from Atom Heart did something similar with Kraftwerk and YMO under the name Senor Coconut. Very funny stuff, like Perez Prado playing electronica.

  6. just got some Senor Coconut off soulseek, well cool, right up my alley, thanks for the tip. If you like them Id say youd definately like the ‘Vauges “Bande a part”, its the sort of thing thats great to play at boring dinner parties and keeps everyone happy.

    “I say this music is lovely what are we listening to?”
    “Well actually this is dancing with myself which was sung originally by billy idol”
    *awkward lull*
    “…oh really? how…wonderful”

  7. Oh, Nouvelle Vague is great fun. I recommend the first album. Senor Coconut is a riot!

    I began shaving my head 15 years ago—once again, ahead of the curve!—the better to display the tattoos on the back. I could grow it still, it’s just rather sparse on top. And quite grey! Plus I feel that a shaved head makes a stronger impression than a receding hairline.

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