Time to get into the Halloween groove with some scary classic soul favorites. Four out of the five haunting melodies below are guaranteed to bust a move on the dance floor.
Our fright night tunes embody entertaining performances with whistling wind, creaking doors, howling wolves, and blood-curdling screams.
Here are my top five soulful Halloween heavyweights, ranked in order.
1) Thriller - Michael Jackson
"Thriller" gets the nod as the best production. With Quincy Jones and Vincent Price in your corner, how can you lose?
Jacko ain't wacko on this one. Michael delivers the goods. An international mega hit. Rating: 9.5 out of 10.
2) Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr.
Having a popular movie (of the same name) to promote your song always helps the cause.
The video was fun, the song is bouncy, the rhythm is memorable. Who you gonna call? Rating: 9 out of 10.
3) Addams Groove - Hammer
Hammer creates a tale about the spooky Addams Family, (a 1960's hit television series), and details their bizarre behavior in this hip-hop pop gem.
He raps about the ghastly but harmless Addams', a family with Frankenstein, Dracula, and Wolf Man lookalikes.
With a tip of the hat to James Brown, Hammer takes "Addams Groove" to the bridge for fun and laughs. Rating: 8.5 out of 10.
4) I Put a Spell on You - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Jalacy J. Hawkins wanted to sing opera like his idol, Paul Robeson.
Fortunately for R&B fans, the desire for quick money channeled the Cleveland, Ohio native towards more popular fare.
Hawkins is famous for his screams, howls, and vocal grunts. Screamin' Jay recorded "Spell" several times. The 1956 version caused outraged parents to call radio stations to ban airplay.
Even with an eventual ban, a million copies were sold. This one is wild - a classic and an original. Rating: 8 out of 10.
5) The Skeleton in the Closet - Louis Armstrong with Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra
Once upon a time, the big band sound ruled the dance floor.
The legendary Louis Armstrong gets the joint jumpin' with this 1936 recording along with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.
Armstrong sings about an old deserted mansion haunted with spirits. Uptempo, eerie, and clever, "The Skeleton in the Closet" is entertaining, campy, and cool.
The song was also featured in the movie, "Pennies From Heaven," starring Bing Crosby. Louis pulls a stylistic Cab Calloway here, rappin', struttin', and singing. He plays his trumpet too.
Seventy years later, "Skeleton" stands the test of time. Rating: 8 out of 10.
Halloween music lights up the imagination of listeners of all ages. These five songs capture suspenseful drama at it's best.