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Your Halloween Soundtrack, From A Candy Frenzy To The Dance Of Death

Composer Camille Saint-Saëns' piece <em>Danse Macabre </em>draws on the late-medieval allegory of "the Dance of Death" — pictured here in a painting of the same name by Frans Francken II.
Composer Camille Saint-Saëns' piece <em>Danse Macabre </em>draws on the late-medieval allegory of "the Dance of Death" — pictured here in a painting of the same name by Frans Francken II.

'Tis the season for some holiday music. Don't worry, we're not cueing up Christmas carols quite yet — but Halloween is approaching and it got us to thinking about the soundtrack to this particular holiday. Sure, there's Michael Jackson's "Thriller," with that eerie Vincent Price voice-over, and if you want something kitschy, you've got the "Monster Mash." But after that, you're left in a musical abyss.

Music writer Colin Fleming joins NPR's Rachel Martin to introduce some Halloween music you might not have thought of, including a jazz clarinet piece that's truly scary and an R&B groove to get a mummy dancing. Hear their conversation at the audio link, and check out the music and Fleming's commentary below.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: October 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM EDT
In the audio of this story, as in a previous Web version, our guest incorrectly refers to Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman as a movie from the 1950s. It was released in 1943.