Various Artists – More Halloween Nuggets


Every year at Halloween you are, without fail, likely to hear the same old tunes; ‘Monster Mash’, ‘Frankenstein’, ‘Amityville (The House On The Hill)’. Like Dracula masks and fake blood, you know these songs will be played to death on the radio, so much so that their familiarity has bred a kind of contempt, and that’s where More Halloween Nuggets steps in. Digging deep into the crypt and pulling out 18 unfamiliar spooky cuts (22 on the CD) this compilation is guaranteed to make any (monsters) ball go with a bang.

Hence its title, this CD taps into a similar type of aesthetic as the classic Original Artyfacts double album set, with each song bearing a distinctly garage rock vibe. Although many of these songs date from the 1960’s, in some ways they remind me of the punk era; the songs are parred back, short and energetic, and in many cases these songs were all the artists left as evidence of their existence. That’s certainly the case with the aptly-titled The Mystrys, who open things in fine style with ‘Witch Girl’. Often appearing onstage hidden behind velvet masks, this Australian combo deliver a fine slab of beat guaranteed to get any party started.

Many of these songs have a novelty feel (‘Why Do I Love You’ by Bela La Goldstein) that share a similar sonic space with the aforementioned ‘Monster Mash’, yet that in no way negates their power, and in many cases (‘Count Macabre’ by The Connoissurs) they were not written as novelty songs, and this gives them a huge amount of kitsch appeal. In fact, The Connoissurs’ track was written in tribute to the real Count Macabre who hosted a late night show on on Baton Rogue’s WBRZ-TV.

Terry Gale gets his voodoo working on ‘The Voodoo’, and it’s a surf-inspired rocker that perfectly illustrates the joy of this collection. The obscurity of these songs means you might only be familiar with one or two tracks (at most) so More Halloween Nuggets will constantly throw up new surprises. In fact, listening to this compilation is very much like prospecting for gold, and it’ll reward continuous plays, with each successive spin revealing lumps of precious metal. One piece that sparkles particularly brightly is Gary Warren giving us some fine rock n’ roll sci-fi with ‘Werewolf’, bringing the compilation to a howling conclusion.

Four pieces of dialogue are added to the CD version of this release, but whether you chose the compact disc or vinyl version, this set is sure to get things jumping (and not only with fright). But remember, these Nuggets are for life, not just Halloween.

Track List:

  1. Witch Girl — The Mystrys
  2. The Beast Of Sunset Strip – Teddy Durant
  3. Seance – The Ebb-Tides
  4. Night Of The Blood Beast – Film Trailer *
  5. Why Do I Love You – Bela La Goldstein
  6. Tombstone Number 9 – Murray Schaff And His Aristocrats
  7. I’m The Wolf Man – Round Robin
  8. The Werewolf – Sound Effect *
  9. Deep Sleep Chance Halladay
  10. Count Macabre – The Connoissurs
  11. Haunted – The Madmen
  12. Frankenstein And Dracula – Film Trailer *
  13. The Voodoo – Terry Gale
  14. Ghost Guitars – Baron Daemon & The Vampires
  15. Vampire’s Ball – Mann Drake
  16. The Mummy – Film Trailer *
  17. Zoola Zooky – Johnny Alderson
  18. Mr. Frankenstein – Peter & The Wolves
  19. Dr. Spook (Twist) – Frankie Stein And His Ghouls
  20. The Raven – Kenny And The Fiends
  21. The Guillotine – The Executioners
  22. Werewolf – Gary Warren

* Bonus Track (not on vinyl edition)