The single's cover photograph shows the band's lineup at the time of its release. Left to right: Jerry Only, Arthur Googy, Glenn Danzig, and Doyle.
|Single by the Misfits|
|Released||October 31, 1981|
|Misfits singles chronology|
"Halloween" is the fifth single by the horror punk band the Misfits. It was released on October 31, 1981 on singer Glenn Danzig's label Plan 9 Records. 5,000 copies of the single were pressed on black 7-inch vinyl, some of which included a lyrics sheet. This was the first Misfits release to use their Famous Monsters of Filmland-inspired logo, as well as the first to refer to the band as simply "Misfits".
The "Halloween" single was the last Misfits release to include guitarist Bobby Steele. Both songs on the single had been recorded in August 1980 for a planned album. During the sessions bassist Jerry Only was grooming his younger brother Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein to join the band, and Doyle recorded his own guitar tracks and overdubs separately in addition to Steele's. The tracks were mixed in September, but in October Steele was ejected from the band in favor of Doyle and the planned album was scrapped. Three of the songs were released as the 3 Hits from Hell EP, while "Halloween" and "Halloween II" were released as a single. In 2001 Caroline Records announced attempted to release the complete sessions as 12 Hits From Hell, but production was called off after Danzig and Only expressed concerns with the album's layout, packaging, liner notes, mixing, and mastering.
The lyrics to "Halloween II" are in nonstandard Latin, translating to:
Ancient formulas of exorcisms and excommunications
That witches and those made wolves believe
I maim now the demon clothed in wolfskin
Having to hide in the hollow of a tree
I say werewolves can change shapes
Following the band's breakup in 1983, the 12 Hits from Hell version of "Halloween" was reissued on the 1985 compilation album Legacy of Brutality, one of the few tracks on the album not to have overdubbed guitar and bass tracks recorded by Danzig. The single versions of both songs were re-released on Collection II in 1995, and all of the versions were included in The Misfits box set in 1996, along with the 12 Hits from Hell studio recording of "Halloween II".
All tracks are written by Glenn Danzig.
Mudhoney included a sample of "Halloween" in their 1988 cover of Sonic Youth's song of the same title on the "Touch Me I'm Sick"/"Halloween" split single. "Halloween" has been covered by several other bands in subsequent years: AFI covered the song for their All Hallow's EP (1999), and Dropkick Murphys recorded a version for the compilation Back on the Streets: Japanese/American Punk Unity (2000) which was later re-released on Singles Collection, Volume 2 (2005). The American death metal band Winds of Plague recorded a cover of the song that they included as an iTunes bonus track on their 2009 album The Great Stone War.
Danzig re-recorded "Halloween II" with his post-Misfits project Samhain. This version appeared on November-Coming-Fire (1986) and Live 85-86 (2001). "Halloween II" has also been covered by Tenebre on the tribute album Hell on Earth: A Tribute to the Misfits (2000) and by Cradle of Filth on the Underworld: Evolution soundtrack and Thornography (2006), though Cradle of Filth's cover is based on the Samhain version.
|Single by Alkaline Trio|
|"Children in Heat"|
|Released||October 31, 2002|
|Label||Asian Man (AM-097)|
|Alkaline Trio singles chronology|
The punk rock band Alkaline Trio recorded a cover version of "Halloween" in August 2002 while on tour. Their version was released as a single through Asian Man Records, with a cover of "Children in Heat" (from "Horror Business") as the B-side, and given away exclusively to attendees at their performance on October 31, 2002 at the Metro Chicago. This performance was filmed and released on DVD in 2003 as Halloween at the Metro, the fourth installment in Kung Fu Films' The Show Must Go Off! series. In 2004 the band re-released the single as a digital download exclusively to members of their fan club the Blood Pact, adding a cover of The Damned's "Wait for the Blackout" recorded in 2003 at the BBC's Maida Vale Studios.
All tracks are written by Glenn Danzig, except where noted.
|1.||"Children in Heat"|
|Blood Pact download version|
|2.||"Children in Heat"|
|3.||"Wait for the Blackout" (BBC session; originally performed by The Damned)||Rat Scabies, Captain Sensible, Paul Gray, Dave Vanian, Billy Karloff|