Top 5 Halloween Songs By Chicago Bands


"Every Day Is Halloween" by Ministry

It's really too bad Al Jourgenson woke up one day and decided he had to be a death metal bad-ass because his true forte was cranking out delightfully decadent dancefloor fodder like "Halloween", which remains just as much the guilty pleasure today that it was when it came out 25+ years ago. Back then, of course, Halloween wasn't the month-long retail cash-in that it is today, so Jourgenson could not have possibly foreseen a future where his song ends up on numerous Halloween-themed compilations, but, hey, there are worse things in this world, I guess. Truth be told, this song is always a good time, whether it be October, July or February and therein lies its true genius.


"Ghost On The Beach" by Insiders

These heartland rockers stuck around long enough to make one album for CBS Records in '87 before falling victim to label politics, which has killed many a great band. The title cut from that album, "Ghost On The Beach", remains an XRT fixture despite the band having called it a day long ago. Guitarist/producer Jay O'Rourke has gone on to work with everyone from Material Issue to Robbie Fulks and Anna Fermin. Still, this song remains his biggest accomplishment and a perfect addition to anyone's Halloween mixtape.


"Jordan, Minnesota" by Big Black

There are few songs as hauntingly fucked-up as this one and could only come from the twisted mind of Chicago's very own Steve Albini. Sure, he's best known as a producer and owner of Electrical Audio, but in the early 80's, he was singer and guitarist for one of the most subversive punk bands to ever walk the earth, Big Black. Play this song at your next haunted house or Halloween gathering and you will not only scare the shit out of your guests, but also any cows within a five-mile radius.


"This Could Be Love" by Alkaline Trio

I’ve always thought AK3 was a cool band, but what really set them apart from the very beginning was their ghoulish symbolism and dark look. Of course, on their Good Mourning album, they came closest to Emily The Strange caricature, but, hey, it worked. No song more brilliantly captures the band’s love of the macabre than “This Could Be Love”. Every time I listen to this song, I’m struck by Matt Skiba’s lyrics that describe in hilariously chilling detail pyromania, mutilation, and ultimately, murder. We at The Shit call that the Halloween Trifecta. Additionally, Skiba gets major bonus points for his ability to paint wicked pictures in the mind’s eye. Anybody who can come up with a line like “I shat the bed and laid there in it thinking of you wide awake for days”, much less sing it with a straight face earns my utmost respect. This song, off of their landmark album, Good Mourning, is ripe for Halloween airplay.


"We Only Come Out At Night" by Smashing Pumpkins

Let’s face it, since he shaved his head, Billy Corgan has resembled an alt-rock Uncle Fester and, for that reason alone, he deserves a place on this list. Of course, his band’s name alone should qualify them, too. Thankfully, he also has a few great songs that are worthy of consideration. In this case, we went with the oddly buoyant “We Only Come Out At Night” because we always see some really cute/sinister Tim Burton movie in our head whenever we listen to this track.

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