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The Top 10 80's Rock For Halloween

Updated on October 1, 2013

On the month of All Hallow's Eve, do you remember the 80's?

Besides being the most fiendishly ghooooulish holiday of the year, Halloween is one of those awesome occasions where you can really pour on the mystique and horror. The entire month of October can be lined with parties, movie nights, haunted house escapades and moments of fear and laughter.

One item of interest that puts people in the "Halloween spirit" is the macabre and dark mood that precedes The All Hallow's Eve; most of the time, you'll see it comes in the form of your music choices.

And fortunately! a great choice for music comes from rock bands and musicians of the 80's. Sounds surprising, but when you think about it, the wild hair and feral makeup, the flashy spandex costumes, and some of the rhythms they produced eerily contributed to morbid tones and cacophonies.

So sit back and prepare to have your retro needs tantalized; if you're looking for Halloween-themed music, these Top 10 80's Musicians have everything you need. Look no further. Before you know it, you'll be humming "Crazy Train"...

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Dancing Undercover

If you didn't pick up a Ratt album in the 80's, you probably weren't into Heavy Metal.

That's because lead vocalist Stephen Pearcy clearly established the group as a frontrunner with albums such as Ratt (EP) (1983), Out of the Cellar (1984), Invasion of Your Privacy (1985), Dancing Undercover (1986), and Reach for the Sky (1988)

; they were not entirely "glam", but did have origins in the "Los Angelos Strip" rock scene.

Distinctive; that's the keyword with Ratt. With a rough-edged voice, Pearcy's singing packed a punch, coupled with some "interesting" backup harmonies, and hard guitar shreds.

Ratt, after contributing strong to the 80's, probably will serve us best with these songs for Halloween:

  1. Round and Round

  2. Back For More

  3. Lay It Down

  4. Wanted Man

For the Ratt Enthusiast - CDs

Out Of The Cellar
Out Of The Cellar

For Ratt, this was considered their breakout release. If you've never listen to them, this is their best, and a primer for their music.


Under Lock & Key

Originally starting up as a group named Airborn, Don Dokken had to change the band's name because of infringement copyright laws. But that didn't stop them; eventually their musical tones, with underpinnings of danger and threat, landed them a lead track in Nightmare on Elm Street III: The Dream Warriors (1987).

Fans who remember Dokken cannot forget three distinct parts of their music: Don Dokken's lyrical range, the high-pitched chorus, and lead guitarist Jon Levin's incredibly agile picks. The haunting symmetry came across perfect if you were imaging a dark, forbidding night.

1984 became Dokken's actual year of infamy, once their album Tooth and Nail received American recognition. Other albums they released were Breaking the Chains (1983), Under Lock and Key (1985), and Back for the Attack (1987).

Dokken's songs best recommended for Halloween are:

  • Unchain The Night

  • In My Dreams

  • Dream Warriors

AC/DC at
AC/DC at

Number 8: AC/DC

For those about to (Halloween) rock, we salute you.

"Bourne" from Austrailia, AC/DC has achieved world renown with numerous rock cuts and a list of near 20 albums spanning since 1975. Their members include Brian Johnson on lead vocal, Angus and Malcolm on guitars, Cliff William on bass, and Phil Rudd on drums.

One item which may escape the casual listener, though, is how foreboding some of the bands songs can be. While most of their songs are hard-hitting, rough-edged, rock hits, they have been known to throw some darker melodies into the field of despair.

The albums which have been released by this band in the 80's are Back in Black (1980), For Those About to Rock We Salute You (1981), Flick of the Switch (1983), Fly on the Wall (1985), and Blow Up Your Video (1988).

If you're interested in hearing some of their Halloween-style songs, try:

  • Hell's Bells

  • Evil Walks
Special Note: AC/DC has many songs from earlier years (like "T.N.T") which fit nice into the 80's and Halloween.

David Bowie at
David Bowie at

Number 7: David Bowie

A "Space Oddity" in his own right.

When you first see the name David Bowie, you might think "Him? An 80's Musician for Halloween?"

But yes, it's true. While he actually emerged on the scene in 1969 with "Space Oddity", David Bowie also continued his career strongly through the 1980s, with enterprising albums such as Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) (1980), Let's Dance (1983), Tonight (1984), and Never Let Me Down (1987).

If you're a fan of David Bowie, then you know how some of his tunes seem extremely morbid (to say the least). And if that's not enough, many of you remember his psychedelic makeup and costumes; when you look back, it's obvious why Halloween and Bowie work so well together.

In the 1980s, you'll be looking Bowie songs such as:

  • Ashes to Ashes

  • Cat People (Putting Out Fire)

  • Loving the Alien

  • Bang Bang w/ Iggy Pop

Mötley Crüe at
Mötley Crüe at

Number 6: Mötley Crüe

The group who could make "Trick or Treat" a federal crime.

Although there have been some variences, the "Crüe" is mostly recognized as lead vocalist Vince Neil, guitarist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee and lead guitarist Mick Mars. Like Ratt, they originated out of Los Angeles and the strip-bar scene, with antics that should have put them in jail (Well, actually, they've been in jail many times...).

If you happened by a television during the 80's era, one reoccurring bit of news was when the band was in trouble; drug troubles, fighting, vandalism, and violations that still can't be sorted out to this day. Somehow, proud of their acheivementsm, their fans couldn't get enough.

Evil, has always been the underlying theme of Mötley Crüe, which can be seen in the form of the pentagram on the album Shout at the Devil (1981), in the 80's, they also released, Too Fast for Love (1981), Theatre of Pain (1985), Girls, Girls, Girls (1987), and Dr. Feelgood (1989).

For Halloween, Mötley Crüe songs are:

  • Shout At The Devil

  • Too Young To Fall In Love

  • Looks That Kill

Number 5: Alice Cooper

No, not a princess...

Born Vincent Damon Furnier, the world would come to know this entertainer as Alice Cooper, a fantastic stage musician who portrayed unsettling scenes of guillotines and electric chairs, chains and products of torture to his hard rock audience. Alice started his act in the 70's like a dynamo, eventually leaving the Alice Cooper Band and going solo in the 80's.

And If his show and album covers are any indication, Alice is a big fan of horror and Halloween; even his face is marked with black streaks of eye makeup and dribbling blood on his pale white visage. Notably during his career, he took a film role in John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness and wrote and sang the soundtrack theme song He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask) for Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.

In the 80's, Alice Cooper released the following albums: Flush the Fashion (1980), Special Forces (1981), Zipper Catches Skin (1982), DaDa (1983), Constrictor (1986), Raise Your Fist and Yell (1987), and Trash (1989). According to an interview, he had bouts of alcoholism during this decade and couldn't even remember making some of the tracks.

For Halloween-style entertainment, here are some Alice Cooper recommendations:

  • Poison

  • Teenage Frankenstein

  • He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)

  • Prince of Darkness

  • House of Fire

  • Bed of Nails

Iron Maiden at
Iron Maiden at

Number 4: Iron Maiden

The name says it all.

From England, came a group of "gentlemen" who sported a mascot of a zombie-like skeleton named "Eddie the Head". Calling themselves Iron Maiden, they are lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson (the most notable lead vocalist), guitarist Adrian Smith, guitarist Dave Murray, bassist Steve Harris, and drummer Nicko McBrain.

You really didn't need to know much more about Iron Maiden than their name; if that didn't cut it for you, then take a look at some of their albums. The zombies, the decay and drekk, the evil grin covering their lips; but this was complimentary to Dickinson's ability to hit the high notes and the enduring, fretted charges of guitar shredding that easily marked this group.

In the 80's, Iron Maiden released Iron Maiden (1980), Killers (1981), The Number of the Beast (1982), Peace of mind (1983), Powerslave (1984), Somewhere in Time (1986), and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988).

For Halloween, try this from Iron Maiden:

  • Wasted Years

  • The Number of the Beast

  • Flight of Icarus

  • The Trooper

Metallica at
Metallica at

Number 3: Metallica

The men who inspired Death Metal.

Formed in 1981, Metallica is James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Kirk Hammett, with various bass players filling the final role. They scoured a path through the Metal genre in the 80's, carving their own niche and making the mold (sometimes their music was known as "Death Metal").

If you ever want to see loyal fans, feel free to ask around. A Metallica fan comes from the 1980s; he or she will never accept anything but the original tunes from the group who later became more "marketable" in the 90's.

Among their 80's albums, Metallica released Kill 'Em All (1983), Ride the Lightning (1984), Master of Puppets (1986), and ...And Justice for All (1988).

For your Halloween-Death Metal interested, try:

  • Master of Puppose

  • Seek & Destroy

  • The Call of Ktulu

  • For Whom The Bell Tolls

Judas Priest at
Judas Priest at

Number 2: Judas Priest

Some of the most hellish music ever.

Some bands tried, some bands screamed; none had the range or level of lyrical depth as Rob Halford of Judas Priest. Coupled with the twin guitarist shreddings of K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton, there was no stopping the emergence of Britsh Rock onto the 80's scene.

You have now been warned: Judas Priest will overwhelm you with their melodies of spawned hell overflowing from the brim of despair. Fans know, all to well, the screaming pitches, like demons vying in malicious battle; this is what Judas Priest will sound like through your speakers!

From the 80's, we have been gifted with their following works: British Steel (1980), Point of Entry (1981), Screaming for Vengeance (1982), Defenders of the Faith (1984), Turbo (1986), and Ram It Down (1988).

If you played Judas Priest during Halloween, you would probably like:

  • Hell Patrol

  • Painkiller

  • Nightcrawler

  • The Ripper

Special Note: Yes, I'm a big fan.

Ozzy Osbourne at
Ozzy Osbourne at

Number 1: Ozzy Osborne

There is only one "Ozzy".

And when Ozzy Osbourne first approached our ears, the gods of rock cringed in fear. For they new he was one of their own...

Yes, he was the lead singer to Black Sabbath, a rock band with dark lyrics and even darker musical rhythm, but later he decided to walk his own, sinister road. And some time thereafter, word got around that he was biting the heads off of bats.

Definitely at the top of Halloween-inspirational music, Ozzy radiates the holiday; they even pay tribute to him with a show called "The Ozfest" tour every year.

As of today, Ozzy is probably known as the most iconic figure of Dark Rock in the 80s, having now sold over 100 million albums worldwide. His 80s creations were Blizzard of Ozz (1980), Diary of a Madman (1981), Bark at the Moon (1983), The Ultimate Sin (1986), and No Rest for the Wicked (1988).

Examples of Ozzy-based Halloween music would be:

  • Bark At The Moon

  • Crazy Train

  • Shot In The Dark

  • Diary Of A Madman

  • The list just gos on and on...

Special Mention - There's Other's Out There...

...and you should give them a try. For one reason or another, I just couldn't fit them into the list. Still, I appreciate the sounds they mastered and gave to us over the decades. After all, where would Halloween be without them?

  • KISS: KISS is one of those bands who really deserves to be on the 80's Halloween Rock List, but did most of their makeup effects during the 70's. They are still a premeire band for the occasion.
  • Stryper: This band is a great alternate to the regular 80's bands, especially if you are into Christian Rock.
  • Dream Theatre: Scenes From A Memory is an album that I highly recommend, but it came out in the 90's. It's one of those that you play the whole way through for the entire effect.

80's Halloween Songs We May Have Missed

Other songs that fit Halloween

Sisters Of Mercy - The Floodland album.

The Lost Boys Soundtrack

1. Nobody's Fool - Cinderella

2. Thriller - Michael Jackson

3. Pet Semetary-Ramones

4 Dead Man's Party - Oingo Boingo (The Dead Man's Party album might work)

5 Somebody's Watching Me - Rockwell

6 Halloween - Siouxie and the Banshees (many of their songs are Halloween-perfect)

7. All You Zombies - Hooters

8. Everyday is Halloween - Ministry

Choose For Yourself - By Popular Vote, 80's Songs For Halloween

Interested in providing your opinion? Feel free to submit, choose, vote up, or vote down on songs for the 80's era. Remember, they have to fit into the Halloween theme; the title alone is not enough. The sound and the music is important!

Try An 80's Rock Playlist for Halloween!

Hell's Bells - AC/DC

Nobody's Fool - Cinderella

Cat People (Putting Out Fire) - David Bowie

Without Warning (followed by) Unchain The Night - Dokken

Hell Patrol - Judas Priest

Shout At The Devil - Mötley Crüe

Mr. Crowley - Ozzy

I couldn't have possibly found every 80's song - every melody of the decade - that carried the macabre timbre and pitch so necessary for a proper Halloween party.

Or did I?

If you can come up with any songs, or just want to pipe in and comment on the previous lists, feel free to contribute.

The Grimoire of Ghouls - Sign in.

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      haha nice lens! and good idea to make a lens for this. Also nice set up and easy to read. Easy Thumbs up

    • RonnieV74 profile image


      6 years ago

      Cool lens ! All great acts for a hard rock Halloween.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great job dude! I looooove all of them...


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