When late singer-songwriter Andrew Gold set out to record his Halloween Howls: Fun and Scary Music album, he knew he was filling a void. The composer-lyricist of "Thank You for Being a Friend" and "Lonely Boy" wrote in the 1996 CD's original liner notes, "Each holiday has a mood and usually has music to go with it. However, it's been very hard to find any tapes or CDs of Halloween music. In fact, there's mostly just scary sound effects available and very few songs. So, I fixed that." Over the years, Halloween Howls became a cult favorite but it took YouTube to make it a sensation. When a YouTuber set Gold's song "Spooky, Scary Skeletons" to footage from Walt Disney's 1929 Silly Symphony "The Skeleton Dance," the tune gained a new lease on life. It earned over 34 million views, inspiring a new generation to embrace the song. Over seven million clips of the song have been uploaded on TikTok, and over four billion (yes, billion) views have accumulated via various versions on YouTube. In 2020, it hit No. 1 on the Billboard Children's chart.
Tomorrow, the frightfully enjoyable Halloween Howls will be making its vinyl debut from Craft Recordings in standard black (available everywhere) and neon orange (available at independent record stores) pressings. Additional swag can be found at Craft's official store. For the gatefold release, Craft has commissioned new artwork by illustrator Jess Rotter and added one bonus track, the "Undead Tombstone" remix of "Spooky, Scary Skeletons."
Halloween Howls has the same hallmarks of musicianship and wit that mark Gold's more traditional singer-songwriter offerings. It features original songs ("Spooky, Scary Skeletons," "It Must Be Halloween," "In Our Haunted House") and covers of Halloween favorites ("Ghostbusters," "Monster Mash," "The Addams Family") plus a bevy of special guests. Linda Ronstadt, Andrew's old Bryndle bandmate Karla Bonoff, and Stephen Bishop all joined in to do the "Monster Mash." In addition to that graveyard smash, the other guest Howl-ers include the late David Cassidy on "Halloween Party" and vocalist Greg Prestopino on "Gimme a Smile (The Pumpkin Song)." Vocalist Nicolette Larson, who passed away just a year after the album's original release, joined in the festivities, too.
It may be cliché, but it's true: Halloween Howls is fun for the whole family from singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Gold. The album is still available from Craft in CD and digital formats (the latter including an extended version of the Undead Tombstone Remix of "Spooky, Scary Skeletons"), but the new vinyl releases arrive tomorrow, September 17. You'll find the track listing and pre-order links below.
- It Must Be Halloween
- The Monster Mash (featuring Linda Ronstadt, Karla Bonoff, and Stephen Bishop)
- Spooky, Scary Skeletons
- Trick or Treat
- The Addams Family
- Gimme a Smile (The Pumpkin Song) (featuring Greg Prestopino)
- Don't Scream (It's Only Halloween)
- The Creature from The Tub
- Halloween Party (featuring David Cassidy)
- Witches, Witches, Witches
- In Our Haunted House
- Spooky, Scary Skeletons (Undead Tombstone Remix) (Bonus Track)