Greetings, Friends of FRAULEIN!
In honor of tomorrow’s official release by Amazon’s Kindle Press of my new novel FRAULEIN FRANKENSTEIN, your humble mad scientist DJ has assembled a set of his favorite Frankenstein songs–a soundtrack for the laboratory of your mind. Igor, spin those platters!
- “Frankenstein,” The Edgar Winter Group. The classic instrumental monster jam. Winter said he spliced together scraps of several unfinished songs he’d recorded, a process that reminded him of how Frankenstein cobbled together his creature from the disparate parts of dead bodies. Hence, the song’s title. The resulting tune is so apropos that it’s hard not hear the thumping keyboard bass line as the monster clomping its way toward some unsuspecting village.
- “Teenage Frankenstein,” Alice Cooper. I suspect most of us felt like this at some point during adolescence: an ill-proportioned freak put together by someone who didn’t quite know what he was doing.
- “She’s Got a Frankenstein,” The Scared Stiffs. A paean to the delights and detriments of loving a make-her-yourself woman. The Scared Stiffs are one of my all-time favorite Halloween bands, and this track is from their spooktacular second album, The Last Horror Movie.
- “It’s ALIVE!,” Bobby “Boris” Pickett. Pickett is best-known for that Halloween perennial “Monster Mash.” “Mash” is, of course, a Frankenstein chestnut in its own right, but I thought you monster mavens might enjoy hearing this catchy, lesser-known “sequel” song, which Pickett recorded thirty years after the original.
- “Frankenhooker,” The 69 Eyes. It is hard to imagine a guiltier pleasure than the demented slapstick B-movie Frankenhooker, the (abnormal) brainchild of writer/director Frank Henenlotter, who also gave us such celebrated cinematic mutants as Basket Case and Brain Damage. Unless, of course, the guiltier pleasure happened to be a song based on said movie. This is a track by a great Finnish heavy-metal band called The 69 Eyes, who have also done English-language musical tributes to such horror movies as Lost Boys, Pitch Black, and From Dusk ’til Dawn. And, yes, both the movie and the song “Frankenhooker” deal with a prostitute composed of pieces of dead prostitutes. A lady of the night, indeed!
- “Weird Science,” Oingo Boingo. Danny Elfman meets John Hughes–’nuff said! I’m sure I wasn’t the only teenage boy in the ’80s who wished he could fabricate Kelly LeBrock in his bedroom.
- “Over at the Frankenstein Place,” The Rocky Horror Show. Of course, several songs from the musical and movie about Dr. Frank N. Furter and company would fit in this list, but I chose this song as the one that most explicitly references Frankenstein…and is also one of the prettiest of the lot.
- “Feed My Frankenstein,” Alice Cooper. The King of Shock Rock returns with another Frankenstein hit, in this case using the monster as a metaphor for sexual appetite. Listen closely for a cameo by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, at the end of the song.
- “Here Comes the Bride (The Bride of Frankenstein),” Elvira (featuring Fred Schneider). Did somebody say “Elvira”? In honor of FRAULEIN FRANKENSTEIN, I had to include this swell novelty song by the one-and-only Mistress of the Dark. Fred Schneider, frontman of the B-52’s, adds the perfect touch of mad-scientist quirk to the chorus.
- “Body Shoppin’,” The Scared Stiffs. Although not directly inspired by Mary Shelley’s classic, this Scared Stiffs song is definitely in the Frankenstein tradition, since it draws its inspiration from the 1962 Frankensteinian B-movie The Brain that Wouldn’t Die. The movie concerns a surgeon whose girlfriend gets decapitated in a tragic traffic accident–hey, these things happen! Our enterprising hero manages to keep the head alive, then goes out cruising the red-light district looking for a woman with the perfect body onto which he can graft his girlfriend’s head. Both moody and tongue-in-cheek, the Scared Stiffs song manages to make this silly scenario both hilarious and haunting, accenting the melancholy tune with eerie quotations from the original movie.
Well, that’s it for this set! I would love to hear any suggestions you have for other Frankenstein tracks, so please offer your “requests” in the Comments section. I realize there are at least two entire musicals based on Frankenstein from which I haven’t drawn a single song. For those interested in either Young Frankenstein: The Musical or Frankenstein: A New Musical, my lovely monster mate Kelly Dunn wrote an excellent article for Famous Monsters of Filmland in which she interviewed Shuler Hensley, who had the distinction of playing the Monster in both shows. You may find her article in in this issue.
You can hear many of these songs and other cool, spooky tunes on my favorite internet Halloween radio station, http://www.halloweenradio.net. I also recommend the Slacker radio app, which offers both mainstream and indie rock Halloween radio stations.
And when you’re done rocking out to these monster hits, don’t forget to check out FRAULEIN FRANKENSTEIN. The ebook is available on Amazon for only $2.99–more monster for your dollar! Here’s the link:
Thanks for reading…and listening! Please LIKE and SHARE this list with any fellow Frankenstein music fans you may know. Stay tuned for more Frankenstein fun!