John Zacherle

Monster Mash

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AllMusic Review by

John Zacherley is the father of Halloween novelty music. Bobby "Boris" Pickett's "Monster Mash" may be its most popular hit, but Zacherley's gruesome "Dinner With Drac" hit the charts several years earlier in 1958. When "Monster Mash" broke in 1962, Zacherley's old label brought him back into the studio to make a new album to cash in on the sudden demand for singing vampires. They even titled the album Monster Mash to rope in inattentive buyers. Zacherley's Monster Mash can't be dismissed as a mere rip-off since his horror persona was already well established, but aside from that, his album is also very different from Pickett's. Pickett sang original Halloween novelties while Zacherley, aside from a cover of "Monster Mash" and his own "Dinner With Drac," delivered ghoulish remakes of recent dance hits. Zacherley's sense of humor is darker than Pickett's, with gory lyrics that frankly describe murder and other horrors. In his hands, "Hully Gully Baby" became "Hurry Bury Baby" ("got to hide the body!"); "Limbo Rock" became an ode to dismemberment, "Limb From Limbo Rock"; and "Bristol Stomp" was turned into "Pistol Stomp," a disturbingly prescient account of gun-toting teens. There are brief snippets of spooky sound effects between the songs, and for its time, the album is an impressively demented novelty disc.