Various Artists

100 Hits: Halloween

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Following albums designed to soundtrack Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Father's Day, Halloween is the latest holiday to receive the hugely successful 100 Hits series treatment. With five discs' worth of material, it's undoubtedly the most comprehensive scary-themed collection of songs on the market, featuring everything from the hugely familiar (Ray Parker, Jr.'s "Ghostbusters," Damian's "Time Warp") to the deliberately obscure (Landscape's 1981 minor hit "Norman Bates," the Beth Orton album track "Devil Song"). Indeed, it's this randomness that makes the album such an intriguing listen. Unlike other similar compilations, which focus on the mainstream party hits that reenter the lower end of the charts every year, it appears that at least some imagination has gone into finding other Halloween-appropriate songs from sources you wouldn't particularly associate with the annual festival. Of course, some links are tenuous (Steps' "Better the Devil You Know"), but songs like Bloc Party's "Hunting for Witches" and Kula Shaker's "Grateful When You're Dead" are given a new lease on life when put into a different context. Even better than the pop-based first two discs is the instrumental-heavy third, which features some of the most iconic TV/film horror soundtracks such as The Exorcist's unsettling "Tubular Bells," the Gregorian chant-style "Ave Satani" from The Omen, and the comical theme tune from The Addams Family. Alongside a fourth disc of classic '50s/'60s spooky songs from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Roy Orbison, and Glenn Miller, there's also a fifth karaoke disc featuring cover versions of the Specials' "Ghost Town," Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell," and perhaps the most famous horror-themed song of all time, Michael Jackson's "Thriller," ensuring that the 100 Hits: Halloween compilation is definitely more treat than trick.

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