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Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 10/29/2010

Five tracks for your Halloween playlist

By Jen Chaney

When most people create a Halloween playlist, they head right to the old, obvious standbys. "Monster Mash." The theme from "Halloween." Michael Jackson's "Thriller." (By the way, feel free to use the video above, or this one, as a resource while preparing your zombie flash mob dance moves.)

The classics certainly have their charms. I mean, who among us can resist the funk of 40,000 years? Still, sometimes it's nice to change things up a little.

With that in mind, here are five tracks that could serve as fresh alternatives to the usual scary-song suspects on the playlist at your Halloween party.

As an alternative to "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo, try: "Ghost Town" by The Specials, another '80s-era favorite, but with an eerier, ska vibe.

As an alternative to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," try: "Dracula's Wedding" by Outkast. Obviously there's no replacement for MJ's classic, which long ago overshadowed "Monster Mash" as the quintessential Halloween pop song. But Andre 3000's exploration of commitment issues dressed up in vampire fangs definitely delivers in the funky department. Van-Hel-sang.

As an alternative to the usual oldies like CCR's "Bad Moon Rising," try: "Little Red Riding Hood" by Sam the Sham and Pharoahs. It's theoretically possible to listen to this sexy take on the fairy tale without gyrating one's neck or tapping one's foot. But I haven't figured out how to do it yet.

As an alternative to "Monster Mash," try: "Meet Ze Monsta," a track from PJ Harvey's breakthrough 1995 CD, "To Bring You My Love." Another more modern (and obvious) suggestion? Lady Gaga's "Monster."

As an alternative to "The Addams Family" theme: "The Simpsons" version of "The Addams Family" theme. Because it's not Halloween until someone references a "Treehouse of Horror" episode.

Last of all, should you wish to take a music break and add a little comedy to your playlist, Jerry Seinfeld's bit on Halloween reminds one of his most memorable pieces of material, even if he did turn it into a goofy children's book. As a parting Halloween gift, please enjoy a vintage (vintage= 2007) YouTube clip featuring two young boys lip synching Seinfeld's stand-up. "Get candy, get candy, get candy!"

By Jen Chaney  | October 29, 2010; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Music, Pop Culture  
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"Scary Monsters." And while we're talking Bowie, one of the great Halloween movies, The Hunger, which includes "Putting Out Fires With Gasoline."

Me, I'm watching the Bride of Frankenstein and Ginger Snaps tonight whilst scarfing a "black" pizza: Death Trumpet Mushrooms and black truffles over orange tomatoes.

Posted by: kabuki3 | October 31, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

You missed the best one, ladies, Boogie Man by KC and the Sunshine Band,

Trick or Treat? lol.

Posted by: darkasnight1234 | October 31, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Nothing beats Michael Jackson's Thriller. It's timeless and well, the it's just the Best.

Posted by: pina3 | November 1, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

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