Twilight tunes: Under a New Moon, a playlist to drink blood

By Mike Devlin, Canwest News ServiceOctober 18, 2009



Dance? Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.Photograph by: Mario Anzuoni, ReutersThe imminent arrival of The Twilight Saga: New Moon, the second film in the popular vampire-werewolf series, has pretty much sent the Internet into a tailspin.

The film isn’t due in theatres for another month, but the mere mention of the motion picture soundtrack back in August sent fans tweeting to such a degree that it almost bordered on inappropriate. Not surprisingly, the soundtrack was leaked online early last week, pushing the U.S. retail release date to Oct. 16 from Oct. 20, in order to meet rapturous demand. (The soundtrack is being released today in Canada.)

This much is certain: By the time the film hits theatres, fickle fans will be sick of the soundtrack.

With that in mind, we have created a new mix for New Moon, one that compiles some of the best werewolf- and vampire-themed songs in history.

1. Bauhaus, Bela Lugosi’s Dead (1979). The debut single from Peter Murphy and Co. is a haunting nine-minute masterpiece, arguably one of the best — if not the first — goth-rock songs in history. A shorter version of this tribute to the late actor who made Dracula famous was re-released in tandem with the 1983 vampire film, The Hunger, but stick with the original. It’s a casket full of gloomy goodness.

2. Concrete Blonde, Bloodletting (The Vampire Song) (1990). If you must own one album by Johnette Napolitano and Concrete Blonde, make it Bloodletting, a record reportedly inspired by the writings of The Vampire Chronicles author Anne Rice. Set in New Orleans, a haven of vampire folklore, the song is spectacularly spooky, and is sung with just enough drama by the wildly underrated Napolitano.

3. Warren Zevon, Werewolves of London (1978). The late, great Warren Zevon scored his biggest hit with Werewolves of London, a radio staple in the 1970s and a popular choice for movie producers needing a kitschy song that swings. It’s one of the most lighthearted songs about a werewolf — this particular “hairy-handed gent who ran amok in Kent” was spotted drinking a pina colada — but the song still leaves a huge impact on anyone who hears it.

4. Metallica, Of Wolf and Man (1991). The influence of former bassist Jason Newsted looms large on Of Wolf and Man, a slow grinder accentuated by his guttural growls during the song’s bridge. (In concert, he always made the song his own.) One of the better tracks on 1991’s mega-selling Metallica, it remains overlooked by a wide audience despite its awesomeness.

5. Misfits, We Bite (1984). Horror punk legends Misfits were masters of economy: In just over 70 seconds, they make We Bite (one of the last sides recorded with original singer Glenn Danzig) a rip-roaring hellride through streets filled with carnivores feasting on gore and blood. Most songs by this long-adored group were concerned with zombies, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise they have an affinity for werewolves, too.

6. Annie Lennox, Love Song for a Vampire (1992). Francis Ford Coppola’s film version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula has its detractors, but very little criticism has ever been thrust upon Love Song for a Vampire, the Annie Lennox original written specifically for the movie. It is heavy on pipe-organ drama, which her soaring voice wears like a warm jacket. An emotional, spirited song.

7. The Cramps, I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1980). Lux Interior howls at the moon on this psychobilly staple. Though it lasts all of three minutes, by its conclusion the singer is a shrieking, panting, undulating mess. The reverberating guitars of Poison Ivy and Byron Gregory cast a dark spell, but underneath its gloomy facade is a sense of humour (“I ran a two-minute mile/I had to blow my top”), not unlike Zevon’s ode to hairy beasts.

8. My Chemical Romance, Vampires Will Never Hurt You (2002). New Jersey rockers My Chemical Romance grew considerably less introspective once they got famous, but there’s bemoaning aplenty on the band’s 2002 debut, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. What the album’s second single (which never charted anywhere) never lacked was contempt for the world; Vampires uses the plight of the undead as a powerful metaphor for modern society.

9. Ozzy Osbourne, Bark at the Moon (1983). Dio guitarist Jake E. Lee turns in a masterful performance on the title track to Ozzy Osbourne’s third studio release, and while the album itself ranks as one of his weakest, the title track is considered a classic. Osbourne was mired in drugs and alcohol at the time, but his game delivery and some admirable shredding by Lee make for one heck of a night.

10. Harry Nilsson, Daybreak (1974). Even diehard Beatles fans have little interest in Son of Dracula, a failed attempt by Ringo Starr at making a rock ’n’ roll Dracula movie. The Nilsson vehicle (he starred as, ahem, Count Downe) is by all accounts a terrible film. But Daybreak, the one song written specifically for the movie, is the project’s lone masterstroke. It’s a typically Nilsson-esque song featuring a cast of heavy hitters (Starr, George Harrison, Peter Frampton, Bobby Keys, Klaus Voormann) and a multitude of Nilsson-isms, the best being “All that’ll save me is a total eclipse.”

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

THANKS TO VANCOUVER SUN

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