Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Rockin From the Grave

A few years back I stumbled into a bizarre alternate universe: Ollie's Bargain Outlet store.
Like all outlet stores, it features a bizarre mix of closeout items side by side with dollar store merchandise.

Still, Ollie's was different.

Maybe it was the clientele, and their lack of sleeves. Seriously, I like a good tank top as much as the next guy, but EVERYONE in the store was wearing one. Did they all look in the mirror that morning and say "Yes! I am going to share these armpits with the whole world!"??????

Or, perhaps it was the stack of novelty cereals based on movies that were over a year old, or the absurd display of Jenny McCarthy's biography on audio cassette.

Whatever the reason, Ollie’s seemed really odd to me. So, after grabbing a beverage I headed to the checkout line. Right by the checkout line was a large bin of strange closeout cassettes. The one that caught my eye was ROCKIN FROM THE GRAVE.
Released by K-Tel, Rockin is an attempt at a spooky Halloween party tape. You can listen to clips from the album on Amazon by clicking here. The CD has some extra music.

The tape starts off well with Theme From 'The Munsters' performed by Milton Delugg & The All Stars. This is not the version of the song that opened the TV show; instead it is a groovy rock and roll version of it.

Track 2 is Addams Groove by M.C. Hammer. This has got to be the stupidest song ever written. Here are some lyrics:
They do what they wanna do, say what they wanna say
Live how they wanna live, play how they wanna play
Dance how they wanna dance, kick and they slap a friend

What? KICK AND THEY SLAP A FRIEND? Hooo boy. Anyone wonder why Hammer doesn't rock the charts any more? Not only is this a bad lyric, it makes little sense. I have never seen any of the Addams kick or slap their friends.

Oddly, this isn't the dumbest rap song on the tape, but that comes later. Next is (Don't Fear) The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult. Awesome song, too bad it's sandwiched between two stupid movie themed rap songs.

Track 4 is Nightmare on My Street by D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. Fresh Prince raps about watching Nightmare On Elm Street (he never mentions it by name, they didn't get clearance.) At the end of the song, a pathetic Freddy Krueger impersonator chimes in.
He sounds more like Henry Kissinger, but he rattles off every Freddy catch prase they could think of. It was as if he was reading transcripts of Nightmare movie trailers. I almost expected him to say "rated R, starts Friday at the Cineplex Odeon." The song ends with Freddy killing DJ Jazzy Jeff, so I guess there was SOME good in it.

Next we get some pretty cool songs, neither of which really fit the Halloween theme: Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen by Santana and The Devil Went Down To Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band.

The Devil Went Down To Georgia tells the story of Satan having a hoedown against a redneck.
You may think Satan would have used temptation to capture his soul, but instead he makes a bad bar bet.
Satan shows up and challenges Johnny to a duel. You would think that just by gazing upon Satan your eyes would melt and your blood would boil you alive, but not Johnny. Johnny puts his soul on the line against a fiddle 'made of gold.'
This is actually a pretty stupid prize. Sure, you melt down the Satanic fiddle and make a gold chain as big as Mr. T's, but why make a FIDDLE out of gold? Fiddles are generally made from wood, and crafted specifically so they music can flow from them. Gold would be a pretty lousy way to make a string instrument. It's no wonder the devil lost.

The chorus of this song goes like this:
He played Fire on the Mountain
Run boys, run
The devil's in the House of the Rising Sun
Chicken in a bread pan picken' out dough
Granny does your dog bite
No child, no

No the dog doesn't bite, but it will slap a friend.

What is this lyric about? Why is the devil in the House of the Rising Sun? I thought he was on a hickory stump in Georgia!

The cassette rolls on. Next is Freaks Come Out At Night by Whodini. This sounds like a brilliant Shakespearian sonnet after the nonsense that Hammer and Fresh Prince contributed earlier.

The Guess Who performs Clap For The Wolfman all about Wolfman Jack. He shows up and talks throughout the song. Man, I miss Wolfman Jack!

Rockin From The Grave
closes with Twilight Zone by Golden Earring (Ghost) Riders In The Sky by The Outlaws and then Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs doing Lil' Red Riding Hood.

Overall, the tape is great, but don't really seem like a Halloween tape. Maybe you should just play them when you have some buddies over. Then you can slap a friend and think of Wolfman Jack.


  1. This tape sounds Spook-tacular. Perhaps, I'll listen to it on Air Force this weekend. Errrr uhhh, Air Force One next weekend.

  2. Anonymous10/26/2004

    Whodini! I havent heard of them in years! Great article!

  3. Anonymous10/26/2004

    I liked the stuff about Oliies!

  4. "Chicken in a bread pan picken' out dough " I am as confused as you!