Halloween is almost here, and what better way to celebrate the spooky holiday than by spinning some of the coolest soundtracks ever put to wax?
With vinyl seeing a major resurgence these days, we thought we’d home in on some of the coolest special-edition releases in the horror aisle. From cult hits to iconic classics, the horror genre is well represented these days with some extremely cool (and often rare/expensive) vinyl releases. But, if you’re a horror fan with some cash to burn, there’s never been a better time to pick up some epic collectible pieces.
So dig out that record player (or snag some decent hi-fi equipment), and let’s dig in …
Blood-filled Friday the 13th Soundtrack
The Friday the 13th soundtrack, by composer Harry Manfredini, is a signature piece of 1980s horror. What better way to enjoy it than with a vinyl copy that is literally filled with blood? It’s one heck of a weird gimmick, but considering the subject matter, it works. Released as part of a series of special editions (this is arguably the most “special”), the release also features exclusive liner notes from Manfredini and director Sean Cunningham. As for the music, itself? The film’s score is a testament to the era, and definitely evokes the sense of being chased just by the iconic audio cues.
Pet Sematary Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2XLP
You have to love the Mondo releases, and they’ve made soundtrack releases into an absolute art form. Released to commemorate the film’s 25th anniversary, the Mondo two LP collection is the most comprehensive version of the soundtrack to date, featuring more than a dozen bonus tracks never released on vinyl. Even cooler, this set also includes "Pet Sematary," and "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" by The Ramones. The release includes some gorgeous gatefold art, and is available in a stunning green/blue vinyl with black haze.
Slumber Party Massacre Original Soundtrack
Put together by Death Waltz Recording Company on neon pink and green vinyl, this release focuses on the electronic soundtrack to The Slumber Party Massacre. The film, and its soundtrack, eventually went on to become a cult hit. The music is electronica inspired, with goth undertones. Very cool. The cover art also looks fantastic, so this might be a good one for framing, if you’re a horror junkie (and have a very creepy office space).
Halloween 3 Vinyl Soundtrack
The film, itself, was a major change of pace for the franchise, and the soundtrack was no different. Put together by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth, the soundtrack largely trades in the piano melodies for a slower, electronic theme played on a synthesizer with beeping tonalities. Carpenter is one heck of a composer, and though the soundtrack obviously fits like a glove with the film, it can also stand on its own. It’s a unique work for Carpenter fans, and well worth tracking down on this format.
George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead
Released on premium 180 gram colored vinyl, this collection features John Harrison’s complete score for the cult hit zombie film. The original 1985 master tapes were restored and remixed by the composer, and re-mastered for vinyl by former White Zombie guitarist J. Yuenger. The full package artwork was created by artist Jay Shaw, and includes essay length liner notes from George A. Romero, himself. There’s also an 11x22 replica of ''THE DEAD WALK!'' newspaper article from the opening credits tucked in there.
Aliens Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
If you want all the fun of being stuck in space will a xenomorph without all the drama, this is the perfect solution. The score, by James Horner, is an eclectic mix of terror and adventure. The set comes in colored vinyl that creepily evokes a xenomorph, and features over a dozen cues that have never before been released on vinyl. It also includes five bonus tracks. The packaging is also primo, with some gorgeous art splayed out in the gatefold.
The Thing Soundtrack
Admittedly, the only thing really special about this release is the fact that the soundtrack is really, really good. This one is, sadly, still awaiting a modern-day reissue. So, anyone looking for Ennio Morricone’s fantastic score to this film has to dig a bit deeper and track down an older release. This one can be found at used record stores, or floating around on eBay, and it’s well worth the effort. Plus, it checks both the horror and sci-fi geek boxes. A win-win.
Bonus Pick: John Carpenter’s Lost Themes
OK, this isn’t exactly a film soundtrack, but trust us — it’s well worth checking out. John Carpenter’s first original album release (outside of his myriad film soundtracks), this album is an instrumental piece that veers wildly between creepy, terrifying, spooky and tense, then back again, all in one track (usually). It’s a nice stock, gatefold LP release, and c’mon, Carpenter's spooky sound is basically created for the warmth of vinyl. Put this on at the Halloween party and blow some minds.