Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Spooktober Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Dead Skin Mask By Slayer, Album: Seasons in the Abyss 1990

This song is about serial killer Ed Gein, who skinned his dead victims and wore their skins as suits, hence the name “Dead Skin Mask.” At the end of the song, a voice can be heard saying things like, “I don’t want to play anymore, Mr. Gein.” and “LET ME OUT!”

Edward Theodore Gein August 27, 1906 – July 26, 1984), also known as the Butcher of Plainfield or the Plainfield Ghoul, was an American convicted murderer and body snatcher. Gein’s crimes, committed around his hometown of Plainfield, Wisconsin, gathered widespread notoriety in 1957 after authorities discovered he had exhumed corpses from local graveyards and fashioned trophies and keepsakes from their bones and skin. Gein also confessed to killing two women: tavern owner Mary Hogan in 1954 and hardware store owner Bernice Worden in 1957.

Slayer’s first two albums with producer Rick Rubin saw the band take their uncompromising thrash to new levels of high-speed hate (Reign in Blood) and doomy evil (South of Heaven). They closed their definitive trilogy with 1990’s Seasons in the Abyss, which followed the slower, moodier direction of its predecessor to an even darker, more malevolent place with songs like the title cut and “Dead Skin Mask.” It also led Slayer to one of their biggest tours, dubbed the Clash of the Titans, as well as to the end of their classic lineup, following drummer Dave Lombardo’s departure in 1992.

JEFF HANNEMAN told Revolver Magazine that he feels Seasons is just an extension of South of Heaven. We were still in that frame of mind after South. “Dead Skin Mask” is definitely my favorite song on that record — the riff is just haunting.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Spooktober Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Totengott By Celtic Frost, Album: Monotheist 2006

I chose the song Totengott for todays Spooktober edition because of its disturbing sound and haunting lyrics. While the band doesn’t host a myriad of tragedy in their past they do posses an interesting history, originality and collective talent.

The influence of Celtic Frost (/ˈkɛltɪk frɒst/) on the extreme metal scene is undeniable. Since forming, the Zürich band – led by Thomas Gabriel Fischer (then opting for the surname Warrior) – released six albums and two EPs.

Celtic Frost and their primordial predecessor, Hellhammer, have long been an immutable part of early extreme metal’s most unholy triumvirate (alongside Bathory and Venom). From the earliest, messiest days of Hellhammer up to and including the band’s weighty final statement, Monotheist, Celtic Frost consistently and fearlessly seared their black mark upon rock ‘n’ roll history. Whether they were busily introducing the avant-garde to metal or simply hammering out one of those goddamn riffs, it may sound hyperbolic to say, but there’s no denying it: Celtic Frost changed the world.

Contrary to popular belief, Hellhammer never changed its name to Celtic Frost, even though the band formed very quickly after Hellhammer’s demise.

The classic Celtic Frost lineup circa 2006.

They first disbanded in 1987 but six months later Warrior reformed the band. When they reformed in 2001, they founded their own record label called Prowling Death Records and their own publishing imprint called Diktatur des Kapitals, to gain absolute control over their music. Later, Celtic Frost and Prowling Death Records signed a worldwide licensing deal with Century Media Records, so the rights for their new material is their own and is released by Century Media.

A demo tape called Prototype exists. Among other tracks, it contains two Apollyon Sun tracks, “Relinquished Body” and “Deep Inside”.

Cold Lake is largely different from anything else they have ever recorded. The band has repeatedly disowned this release and attribute the shocking change in style to pressure from the record company.

Singer and guitarist Tom Gabriel Fischer announced his departure from Celtic Frost on 9th of April 2008, due to “the unresolvable, severe erosion of the personal basis so urgently required to collaborate within a band so unique, volatile, and ambitious.” It was confirmed in a joint statement by Fischer and Martin Ain in September of that year that Celtic Frost had disbanded again. Fischer later founded a new band called Triptykon and Ain planned to carry on with a new project with drummer Franco Sesa.

Monotheist is the fifth and final studio album by the Swiss extreme metal band Celtic Frost. The album was released in May 2006 and was the first new recording released by the band in sixteen years. Upon its release, the album was met with critical acclaim.

Celtic Frost’s earlier work melded elements of thrash metal and black metal. The sound of Monotheist has been described as difficult to reduce to specifics, as the songs vary from doom metal to “blackened thrash” to gothic metal to symphonic metal. The result is a wide-ranging but very dark heavy metal experience. Don Kaye at Blabbermouth called it “a monstrously heavy and oppressive slab of metal” which goes “into even heavier, blacker territory” than previous albums. Adrien Begrand of PopMatters said that the album was nearly a masterpiece of “brutally heavy” metal, “completely devoid of light.” Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic noted more subtle touches such as the “instantaneously infectious melody” of “A Dying God Coming into Human Flesh”, and the “haunting female voices” heard in duet with bandleader Tom Warrior on “Drown in Ashes”.

According to Fischer, some of the lyrics were influenced by the writings of the English occultist Aleister Crowley. This influence manifests itself in tracks such as “Os Abysmi Vel Daath”, which is the partial name of one of Crowley’s books.

In an interview with Louder Sound, Fischer would speak in detail on the culmination of the album based on artistic merit and the “spark” to close out their career on a high note:

“Celtic Frost eventually dissolved in the early 1990s and I think both Martin and I felt that on the one hand we didn’t want to have anything to do with Celtic Frost at the time because of the way that it ended, but at the same time, given that these last two albums of Celtic Frost were such failures, we always felt that not everything had been said. We always said, this cannot be how Celtic Frost ends. I think we always carried that little spark in ourselves. We always knew that one day we would probably have to talk about it, whether it should be the end or whether we should attempt to resurrect that. But we weren’t in the mood throughout the 1990s, and that was a good thing. We received sometimes incredibly lucrative offers to reform the band for certain festivals. There was this one offer particularly that was monstrously big, and Martin and I talked about it and we decided we were not going to reform Celtic Frost for money. If we ever reform it, it has to be for artistic reasons, and I’m very proud we did this. So we waited a few more years, but eventually in 2001 we met for dinner in Zürich, and we just said, look, we have to attempt at least to provide some kind of artistic conclusion to Celtic Frost that is worth the name. That’s really when Monotheist became a reality from having been in the back of our minds as a concept for many years, but that’s when it became a reality.

“It’s the album that should have followed Into The Pandemonium really. To me it’s different from the other Celtic Frost albums, but then every album is different to the other Celtic Frost albums, that is why it’s a Celtic Frost album. And to me, Monotheist counts as one of the important Celtic Frost albums. To me, there are four albums that Celtic Frost did that are crucial to the band’s history and those are the first three and Monotheist. And I’m extremely glad that we have the guts to do this and we had the patience to work for five-and-a-half years on that album to make it right.”

— Thomas Gabriel Fischer, Louder Sound

On 15 September 2006, Century Media released a music video for “A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh”. 

What would follow would be the band’s most extensive touring cycle of their entire career, with over 120 shows spanning over the course of two years. Even more notable is the band managing to perform more live shows in these two years than in the entirety of their initial run.

Adrian Winkler and a team of camera crew followed the band on these tours, filming for a documentary entitled Celtic Frost – A Dying God. The documentary aired on Sunday, 16 November 2008 on Swiss national TV station SF1 (After the band’s demise.)

In May 2008 Fischer would form a new band in Triptykon with former Freitod bassist Vanja Slajh, Dark Fortress guitarist V. Santura and former Celtic Frost drummer Reed St. Mark (though he would be replaced the same year). This new band would evoke a similar sound as to what was displayed on Monotheist, with the band also performing classic Celtic Frost and Hellhammer songs live.

This new band has two studio albums and an EP released to date with a third on the way.

Notably in 2018 Fischer would begin involvement in two new musical projects: Niryth (A triple-bass project whose music has yet to be revealed and thus “Unclassifiable”.) and Triumph of Death (A Hellhammer tribute band with a host of festival appearances set for 2019.)

Martin Eric Ain stopped actively playing music entirely and owns a DVD shop and a bar in Zurich called Acapulco. He is also a co-owner of the music club Mascotte, which has become well known for hosting upcoming international bands. He would however perform spoken word on occasion and contribute his voice to a handful of releases. Ain would pass away from a heart attack on 21 October 2017.

On 30 March 2010 Bazillion Points Publishing would release a book of Hellhammer and early Celtic Frost entitled Only Death Is Real: An Illustrated History of Hellhammer and Early Celtic Frost 1981–1985, featuring an introduction by Nocturno Culto of Darkthrone and a foreword by author Joel McIver. Two follow-up books have since been announced in the works: A revised version of Are You Morbid? detailing the entirety of the band’s first run and a book detailing the band’s reunion and Triptykon.

In the fall of 2016 BMG would acquire the Noise Records catalog with plans to do expanded reissues of many classic albums among the label, with Celtic Frost being among those artists. BMG would approach Fischer about participation in the reissue project to which he would contribute to it, including unheard bonus tracks, new liner notes, photos and a re-mastering by Fischer and V. Santura. Cold Lake would once again be omitted as Fischer considers it “an abomination”. However on 17 May 2017 Fischer would announce that due to censoring and editing of proposed liner notes he would no longer endorse the reissues.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Spooktober Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

In honor of Spooctober I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the old tales of Norway’s notorious black metal scene. Creepier than most Hollywood horror films because these stories are real life.

Before I continue I must warn you of the mature subject matter which may be triggering to some containing murder, suicide, desecration of animal corpses, self mutilation and church burnings. With that said, you have been warned. Happy Reading!

For many people, their knowledge of extreme metal mainly springs from the activities of a small group of Norwegian black metal musicians.

In the early 90s, Norway’s black metal scene turned into a satanic cult as musicians burned churches, self-harmed and killed. There was even a film, “Lords of Chaos” released about it.

In 1993, Varg Vikernes from the band Burzum was convicted of stabbing Euronymous, guitarist from rival band Mayhem to death 23 times. Euronymous was stabbed two to the head, five to the neck, and 16 to the back. Various other musicians associated with the scene were also implicated in murders, assaults and rapes, while others committed suicide. And, most notoriously of all, black metal musicians were involved in – and openly encouraged – the burning of churches, up to 20 of which were torched between 1992 and 1996. In terms of musicians walking it like they talked it, these were unprecedented acts, unmatched before or since.

Mayhem’s “classic” lineup in 1990: (left to right) Dead, Hellhammer, Euronymous and Necrobutcher

Mayhem and the growing Norwegian black metal scene distinguished themselves by railing against religion. Myriad belief systems underpinned the movement, from paganism to Aarseth’s fervent communism, but Christianity was public enemy No 1. “Christianity never suited Norway,” says Dolk, founder of the band Kampfar. “It never belonged here. The black metal scene reacted to that. Norwegians are an introverted kind of people.” The starkness and coldness of Norway itself is embedded in the bones of Norwegian black metal.

Mayhem declared themselves satanists, not because they worshipped the devil, but because the creed promoted individualism, riled Christians – and got attention. They pioneered an unforgiving sound: demonic wails; hostile, pulsating riffs; a trance-inducing wall of noise. The more primitive the production, the better.

Looking for musical opportunities Dead contacted the members of Mayhem, sending them a package which contained a demo tape, a letter and a crucified mouse. Weeks later, in the spring of 1988, Dead moved to Norway and became the band’s vocalist. During his time with Mayhem, Dead’s mental state worsened considerably as he became more and more obsessed with death and dying. Reflecting his decaying mental health, Dead’s behavior degenerated as well, becoming more and more extreme, especially on stage.

Dead started wearing corpsepaint, a style of black and white makeup meant to make the wearer appear demonic and corpselike. While other musicians have utilized makeup before, like Alice Cooper and the members of KISS, Dead’s corpsepaint was different and original. According to Mayhem bassist Necrobutcher:

It wasn’t anything to do with the way KISS and Alice Cooper used makeup. Dead actually wanted to look like a corpse. He didn’t do it to look cool.”

Drummer Hellhammer claimed that Dead “was the first black metal musician to use corpsepaint”, thus being the originator of the most identifiable aspect of the black metal aesthetic.

To further shape his ghoulish image, before shows Dead began burying his clothes days or weeks before a live performance so that they could start to rot and get that grave scent. He was a corpse on a stage, only digging them up hours before the show. On one occasion he even asked his band mates to bury him alive before a concert so he can look more like a corpse while on stage. In the words of Hellhammer:

Dead also carried dead, decomposing birds with him while on tour, keeping them in plastic bags. Before a concert, he would inhale the rotting miasma so that he may perform “with the stench of death in his nostrils.” Morbid props, like mutilated pig heads impaled on pikes, adorned the stage for Mayhem performances and Dead made a habit of hurling pig heads at the crowd. He also began cutting himself, slashing his arms with hunting knives and broken bottles while singing. Dead explained in an interview that all this was meant to scare away the “posers”:

“We had some impaled pig heads, and I cut my arms with a weird knife and a crushed coke bottle. That wasn’t brutal enough! Most of the people in there were wimps and I don‘t want them to watch our gigs! Before we began to play there was a crowd of about 300 in there, but in the second song “Necro Lust” we began to throw around those pig heads. Only 50 were left, I liked that!”

Dead’s Suicide

“Dead didn’t see himself as human; he saw himself as a creature from another world. He said he had many visions that his blood has frozen in his veins, that he was dead. That is the reason he took that name. He knew he would die.”

One of Dead’s many drawings depicting a goat-man with a scythe in the Carpathian Mountains.

In time, Dead became just as deranged off-stage as he was onstage during performances. He started to self-mutilate during rehearsals and even when he was just spending time with his band mates and friends. He kept rotting, dead birds and other small animals under his bed and barely left his room; he starved himself intentionally to become skinny and pale, to look like a corpse. Dead often told his friends that he is not human, that he is a creature from another world, that the blood in his veins is frozen or coagulated, and that he is dead.

Most of Dead’s friends were alarmed by his increasingly erratic behavior. Hellhammer described him as a “very strange personality” who suffered from crippling depression. Others, like Euronymous, the founder of Mayhem, thought Dead was insane:

” I honestly think Dead is mentally insane. Which other way can you describe a guy who does not eat, in order to get starving wounds? Or who has a t-shirt with funeral announcements on it?”

Years after Dead committed suicide, black metal drummer and convicted murderer Faust talked about Dead in an interview. Recollecting his memories, he said that:

“He wasn’t a guy you could know very well. I think even the other guys in Mayhem didn’t know him very well. He was hard to get close to. I met him two weeks before he died. I’d met him maybe six to eight times, in all. He had lots of weird ideas. I remember Aarseth (Euronymous) was talking about him and said he did not have any humor. He did, but it was very obscure. Honestly, I don’t think he was enjoying living in this world, which of course resulted in the suicide.”

Euronymous became fascinated with Dead’s suicidal tendencies and precarious mental health, and started encouraging him to end his life. Dead did so on April 8, 1991. At the time he was living together with Euronymous and Hellhammer in a house located in the woods near Kråkstad. When Hellhammer went to visit his parents, Euronymous deliberately left Dead alone in the house to kill himself.

Dead slit his throat and his wrists with a knife and then shot himself in the head with a shotgun. When Euronymous returned to the house he discovered a bloody mess, and Dead’s corpse with its brain leaking out of the shattered skull.

He left a note behind that read:

Please excuse the blood, but I have slit my wrists and neck. It was the intention that I would die in the woods so that it would take a few days before I was possibly found. I belong in the woods and have always done so. No one will understand the reason for this anyway. To give some semblance of an explanation I’m not a human, this is just a dream and soon I will awake. It was too cold and the blood was coagulating all the time, plus my new knife is too dull. If I don’t succeed dying to the knife I will blow all the shit out of my skull. Yet I do not know. I left all my lyrics by “Let the good times roll” — plus the rest of the money. Whoever finds it gets the fucking thing. As a last salutation may I present “Life Eternal”. Do whatever you want with the fucking thing. / Pelle.

Instead of calling the police, Euronymous rushed to town to buy a camera and take pictures of the gruesome scene. He even tampered with the potential forensic evidence by rearranging the weapons and other items in order to get a “better shot”. One of these pictures was later used as the cover for Mayhem’s bootleg live album Dawn of the Black Hearts, which was released in 1995 (two years after Euronymous was murdered by the infamous Varg Vikerners of Burzum). Euronymous also collected fragments of Dead’s skull and made necklaces out of them. He gave these necklaces to other black metal musicians whom he deemed “worthy”, such as Faust of Emperor and Evil of Marduk.

The 1993 murder of Norwegian black metal “inner circle” leader Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth by Mayhem band mate, Burzum’s Varg Vikernes, is one of the most notorious crimes in the history of metal.

The incident put the underground sub genre of black metal on the map.

Metal is already a hard sell for most people, given that it is a genre that likes to push boundaries. As the name suggests, in extreme metal, taking something as far as possible, further than before, whether sonically, lyrically or visually, is what musicians aspire to. Given that this can mean confronting some of society’s taboos head-on, extreme metal can seem threatening and frightening.

Why did Varg Vikernes kill Euronymous?

The whole thing is still a matter of controversy.

Many say it was after a woman, but the most believed fact is that Varg Vikernes had a kind of rivalry with Euronymous.

To clear this up, Euronymous was the pivotal figure in the Norwegian Black Metal. Around the late 80s, hell of a lot of Norwegian bands were playing the old school death metal, but Mayhem was one of the bands that was emerging as a brutal black metal band in the underground, the sound heavily influenced by Bathory and Celtic Frost.

Mayhem released Deathcrush in 1987, something I would describe as a horrible album depicting Hell at its finest. Horrible because the album was extremely poorly produced, and you could hardly understand what the vocalist was saying.

It was around 1991 that Euronymous basically ‘converted’ all the Norwegian death metal bands into black metal. Oslo’s Black Death, which had already released a full-length called Soulside Journey, became Darkthrone. Bergen’s Old Funeral became Immortal, and Old Funeral’s guitarist Kristian Vikernes formed his own project called Burzum.

Euronymous then took Vikernes, five years his junior under his wing.

But then Dead committed suicide in 1992, and Necrobutcher left Mayhem, so Euronymous decided to offer Vikernes the spot of the bassist. Attila Csihar joined Mayhem as the vocalist. Csihar, who was a vegetarian, was disgusted by Mayhem’s stage antics, because of all those pig heads and blood used in their gigs.

In the interviews printed in the 1998 book Lords of Chaos, Vikernes discusses his background and childhood. Lords of Chaos also includes an interview with his mother, Helene Bore (the book and a newspaper depicted there refer to her with the given name Lene, whereas Vikernes’ own website uses the name Helene. In a 2004 interview, Vikernes said his mother was “working in a large oil company”. His father is an electronics engineer, and his older brother is a civil engineer.

In the Lords of Chaos interview, Vikernes recalls that when he was 6 years old, the family moved for about a year to Baghdad, Iraq, because Vikernes’ “father was working for Saddam Hussein” developing a computer program. Since there were no places available in the English school in Baghdad, the young Vikernes went to an Iraqi elementary school during this time. According to his interview, Vikernes here became “aware of racial matters”. Corporal punishment was not uncommon in the school, and on one occasion, Vikernes had a “quarrel” with a teacher and called him “a monkey”. But as Vikernes perceived it the teachers “didn’t dare to hit me because I was white”. Vikernes’ mother also recalls how they “spent a year in Iraq” and that “the other children in his class would get slapped by their teachers; he would not”. She mentions that this created problems, but generally she “has no good explanation” of how Varg developed his views.

When asked about his father, Vikernes states that he “had a swastika flag at home.” However, Vikernes feels that his father was a hypocrite because he was worried about Vikernes “being a Nazi”, whereas he too was “pissed about all the colored people he saw in town”. About his mother, Vikernes states that she was “very race conscious”, in the sense that she was afraid that Vikernes “was going to come home with a black girl!” At the time of the 1995 Lords of Chaos interview, Vikernes still had a positive relationship with his mother but “very little contact” with his father. He also stated that his parents are divorced; Vikernes’ father is said to have “left about 10 years ago”, which would have been 1985, when Vikernes was 11 or 12.

The Encyclopedia of White Power and historian Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke have both alleged that Vikernes was part of the neo-Nazi skinhead culture as an adolescent. When asked in the Lords of Chaos interview whether he hung out with skinheads in Bergen, Vikernes said that: “there were no skinheads in Bergen.”

A fan of classical music as a child, Tchaikovsky in particular, Vikernes started listening to heavy metal at 12, citing Iron Maiden as his biggest inspiration. Later he discovered other metal bands whose sound would be influential on his own band, such as Kreator, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Destruction, Megadeth, Slayer, Pestilence, Deicide and Von. Although Venom are widely considered the primary influence on black metal, Vikernes has always denied to be influenced by them, as well as defining the band as “a joke”. He once wore a T-shirt of Venom’s Black Metal to promote the genre but stated he later regretted doing that.

Burzum released three albums from 1992 to 1994, but the problem was probably because Euronymous had delayed the release of the albums.

Plus, after Dead’s suicide, Euronymous had gone insane and was considering himself as a God figure. That was probably the reason why Vikernes was fed up of Euronymous’ antics.

In early 1993, animosity arose between Euronymous and Vikernes. After the Bergens Tidende episode, Euronymous decided to shut Helvete as it began to draw the attention of the police and media.

Dead (left) and Euronymous (right)

On the night of the murder, Vikernes and Snorre “Blackthorn” Ruch drove from Bergen to Euronymous’ apartment at Tøyengata in Oslo. Blackthorn allegedly stood in the stairwell smoking while Vikernes went to Euronymous’ apartment on the fourth floor. Vikernes said he met Euronymous at the door to hand him the signed contract, but when he stepped forward and confronted Euronymous, Euronymous “panicked” and kicked him in the chest. Vikernes claims Euronymous ran into the kitchen to fetch a knife. The two got into a struggle and Vikernes stabbed Euronymous to death. His body was found in the stairwell on the first floor with 23 stab wounds—two to the head, five to the neck, and 16 to the back. Vikernes claims his final stab to the skull was so powerful the knife remained stuck in Euronymous’ skull, but no physical evidence or bodily injuries support his claim. Vikernes contends that most of Euronymous’ wounds were caused by broken glass he had fallen on during the struggle. After the murder, Vikernes and Blackthorn drove back to Bergen. On the way, they stopped at a lake where Vikernes disposed of his bloodstained clothes. This claim of self-defense is doubted by Emperor drummer Faust, but Mayhem bassist Necrobutcher believes Vikernes killed Euronymous due to multiple death threats he received from him and the rest is history.

Varg Vikernes’ was sentenced to prison in 1994 for murder as well as the infamous Norwegian church-burnings. The fourth Burzum album, which was recorded in 1993, would be released in 1996. Varg recorded a couple dark ambient albums from prison before deciding to give up on music for a while and focus on his political views, which some would describe as “those of a Nazi sympathizer.” So before even listening to the music of Burzum, we have here an arsonist, murderer, neo-Nazi who spent his time recording abrasive lo-fi black metal albums. He was released from prison in 2009, after which he resumed his Burzum project by releasing more black metal albums and more dark ambient albums while living with his family in France. But don’t think he’s stayed out of trouble since then. He was arrested earlier for supposedly plotting a terrorist attack with his wife, who have both since been acquitted due to lack of evidence. Need I even say anything about his music, which does happen to be quite terrifying (especially if you’re unfamiliar with black metal)?

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Spooktober Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Witchcraft By Frank Sinatra. Album: All the Way (1957)

Ive decided to go back in time with an old classic sung by an American singer, actor and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is also one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide, Francis Albert Sinatra.

The lyrics for the verse makes it clear at the outset that “Witchcraft” is about seduction, seduction that is devilish, poisonous and untrustworthy, seduction that should not be submitted to but is irresistible:

Shades of old Lucretia Borgia!
There’s a devil in you tonight,
‘N’ although my heart adores ya,
My head says it ain’t right.
Right to let you make advances, oh no!
Under normal circumstances, I’d go,
But oh!

The refrain then delivers the specifics of the seduction and what makes it irresistible.

Those fingers in my hair, That sly come-hither stare…

Finally, the onus is removed when at the end of the song, the singer admits or rationalizes his inability to resist by asserting, “There’s no nicer witch than you.” –And don’t forget to appreciate The wicked rhyme of “Borgia” with “adores Ya.”

Will The Real “Witchcraft” Please Stand Up

The origins of “Witchcraft” are a bit murky It’s not a problem of who wrote the standard. The music comes from Cy Coleman; the words from Carolyn Leigh. And they wrote it early in 1957, not long after Coleman suggested to Leigh that they get together to write and she agreed. David Ewen in his article on Coleman and Leigh in his book American Songwriters (1987), says they wrote their first song together, “A Moment of Madness,” recorded by Sammy Davis, Jr., only two days after Coleman asked her to collaborate; and pretty quickly the pair found some success writing at least four other songs in ’57, one of which was “Witchcraft,” the only big hit, as recorded by Sinatra, of that first bunch.

The conventional wisdom regarding the origins of “Witchcraft,” (the song featured on this page) as related on many websites and in some print sources, is that it was introduced by Gerry Matthews in the 1957 Julius Monk revue Take Five and was then recorded by Frank Sinatra and released later in 1957 reaching #20 on the charts. This sequence is wrong. There was, in fact, a song in Take Five titled “Witchcraft” and it was sung by Gerry Mathews but it is a completely different song than the one with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh that Sinatra later made famous. 

The Witchcraft” in Take Five is a completely different song written by Michael Brown.

The incorrect notion that the song from Take Five is the same song as recorded by Sinatra has been promulgated on many websites and a few books because there is a considerable amount of circumstantial evidence to support that case: Both songs have the same title; Both songs originally appeared in 1957; the lyrics for one of the songs in the Julius Monk revue Take Five, titled “Westport,” were in fact written by Carolyn Leigh the lyricist for Sinatra’s “Witchcraft”; Leigh also wrote lyrics for the 1958 Julius Monk revue Demi-Dozen, one song from which, “You Fascinate Me So” was written with her then new songwriting partner Cy Coleman, the composer of the Sinatra “Witchcraft.” Nevertheless, despite all of this circumstantial evidence, the two “Witchcrafts” are not even close to being the same song. Some people, of course, knew this all along; for example David Jenness and Don Velsey in their book discuss “Witchcraft” (It has “a fine boogie-like vamp and bass” and “shows Leigh’s ability to use colloquial language that remains just a little obscure: ‘It’s such an ancien pitch / But one I wouldn’t switch. . . .’ also state quite matter-of-factly that “Another good song named ‘Witchcraft’ from the same ears, is by Michael Brown.”

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Spooktober Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Season Of The Witch By Donovan, Album: Sunshine Superman 1966

One of the first songs to fit the “psychedelic” genre, Donovan recorded it in May 1966, shortly before his highly publicized arrest for possession of marijuana.

The genesis of this song goes back to an evening at folk music notable Bert Jansch’s house in north London, when fellow acoustic master John Renbourn showed Donovan a D ninth chord. From that Donovan built up a riff that, according to the memories of those present, he then played solidly for the next seven hours.

“There was a feeling, even then, that all was not perfect in the Garden of Eden,” he said of the song in an interview with Mojo magazine June 2011. “Dealers were moving into bohemia and hard drugs were on the fringes. The song was also prophetic. It was about the bust, although of course I couldn’t know that then.”

During Led Zeppelin’s soundchecks, they often warmed up by playing this. The song allows for lots of jamming when played live, which makes it a popular cover for many bands.

This song is ideal for long jams. The two main chords (A and D) are played during the verses, and during the chorus there are three chords (A, D and E). In Mojomagazine, January 2005, Donovan said: “Season of the Witch’ continues to be a perennial influence because it allows a jam – not a 12-bar or Latin groove, but a very modern jam. Led Zeppelin used to warm up every day to it on the road during the soundcheck. It makes me very proud that I’ve created certain forms that other bands can get off on, to explore, be experimental, or just break the rules.”

Donovan’s producer was Mickie Most, an interesting character who oversaw many hit records in the ’60s and ’70s (for more on Mickie, see our interview with Alan Merrill of The Arrows).

In the same Mojo interview, Donovan said: “I remember the bass line going down and Mickie saying, ‘We’ve got a problem. The engineers are saying that they can’t turn the bass up.’ I said, Why? They said, ‘Well, it’s going into the red.’ And so he said to the engineers, ‘Look, you go into the red, I’m giving you permission. Go in the red! That’s the bass sound I want. Very, very loud.’ And they said, ‘Well, we’ll have to have a meeting.’ So they went upstairs and had a meeting about whether the bass should go into the red. And they came down, they said, ‘No, I’m sorry, the equipment can’t stand it.’ So Mickie Most said, ‘Look, I’ve just made a record deal with your boss Clive Davis for $5 million and seven bands. And he’s given me $1m right now. So do you think if I phone him up, you’d give me a little bit more bass?’ And they looked at each other, and immediately realized that their jobs were on the line. They said, ‘OK, you’ve got more bass.’ We got more bass the needle went into the red, the equipment didn’t blow up. I guess next time they made that needle, they did that thing by just moving the red bit a bit farther to the right, like in Spinal Tap: ‘My amp goes up to 11!'”This song was covered by Al Kooper (Blood Sweat & Tears, The Blues Project) and Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield, Crosby Stills Nash & Young) on the historically significant 1968 album Super Session. That gives us an excuse to tell a fun story: Stills was brought in midway through recording the album to replace Mike Bloomfield (Butterfield Band, Electric Flag). Now, Kooper was originally enthusiastic to play with Bloomfield, but Bloomfield had a habit of ditching at the worst possible time. So when he showed up at Al Kooper’s house, Bloomfield complained of an infected toe, then proceeded to use the most expensive crystal bowl in the house to soak his toe in.

A photo of this (the toe) ended up on the back cover of the Super Session album. Then Mike Bloomfield simply disappeared in the morning, leaving only a note saying that he’d had insomnia. It wouldn’t even be the last time he stood up Al Kooper!

In his memoir Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards, Al Kooper mentions that he’s been moved to cover this song after a trip to London, when he’d heard Donovan’s “Season of the Witch” coming out of every shop on King’s Road.

“Fast” Eddie Hoh played drums on this song. He also played drums on the Super Session cover. Eddie Hoh also played percussion for The Mamas & The Papas, The Monkees, and dozens of other acts.

Other covers of this very portable song include Vanilla Fudge on a 1960s single and several of their 2000s albums, Luna on a 1996 single, and Joan Jett on her Naked album of 2004.

Many came across the song for the first time in late 2010 after it was used in an ad for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.

This song plays during a pivotal scene in the 1973 George Romero film, Season of the Witch. The film is about a conservative Catholic woman who gets drawn into the ’70s occult craze.

Lana Del Rey recorded a spooky cover for the soundtrack of the 2019 horror movie Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Spooktober Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

American Witch By Rob Zombie, Album: Educated Horses 2006

This song is about the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, when women suspected of performing witchcraft were burned alive. When Zombie sings about “20 innocent,” he is referring to the 20 people who died during the witch trials.

Depiction of the Salem witch trials c 1692
(Library of Congress)

Robert Bartleh Cummings a.k.a. Rob Zombie has made his career by combining Texas Chainsaw Massacre-style theatrics (think: deformed hillbillies) and commercially accessible heavy-metal/industrial musical style, sometimes referred to as part of the genre of “shock rock,” of which Marilyn Manson is an example. With a love of horror movies, Zombie’s songs are like listening to an episode of Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer in three-and-a-half minutes. Zombie’s vision has extended into the realm of cinema in recent years, where he has directed six of his own satirical and highly-enjoyable horror films (think: same deformed hillbillies doing an improvised performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show to a great soundtrack).

Zombie’s retelling of the events surrounding the Salem Witch Trials in “American Witch,” a song from his third solo album entitled Educated Horses (2006), is just one of many interpretations. First dramatized in Arthur Miller’s seminal work The Crucible, released on Broadway in 1953, this horror story began when two little girls, cousins Abigail and Betty Parris, began to act very strangely, possibly after having eaten bread made from ergot-infected rye. By that I mean: bad LSD. Their behaviour had all the hallmarks of a bum trip; writhing around in pain, pricked by invisible forces, trying to climb up the chimney… Substantive scientific evidence supports this theory, and ergot poisoning was not at all uncommon in areas conducive to its growth, Massachusetts being a prime example. This fungus, from which Albert Hoffman first extracted this notorious psychedelic in the 1950s, was known for its ability to produce strange behaviour in subjects if ingested, as well as paranoia, hallucinations, immune-system dysfunction, and even death in some cases (it has been linked with large drops in the populations of affected areas). 

After examining Abigail and Betty, the local physician was stumped and could not find any medical cause for their ailments. Witchcraft always came in handy in those days as a spare medical diagnosis in situations where the common cold wouldn’t suffice, so he suggested that. It was not long before other women in the village began to exhibit similar behaviour, and arrests started taking place. The two little girls made the first accusations, which started a shock-wave of accusations throughout Salem and surrounds. A year later, over 150 people had become implicated, and some had been hanged on Gallows Hill, referred to by Zombie as the “20 innocents.”

Judge Corwin “Witch House” in Salem

In “American Witch,” Zombie uses Salem during the witch trials as a context in which to place the listener, a starting point for his MacBeth-ian description of the experience of being a witch in this place, barely stopping short of “Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble.” He combines rich traditional black-magic imagery interspersed with vague social-commentary.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Spooktober Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

“Every Day is Halloween” By Ministry Band, Album: Twitch 1986

The Man Who Celebrates Halloween Every Day

All Day” and “(Every Day Is) Halloween” are songs by American band Ministry, both written and produced by Al Jourgensen. These were originally released by Wax Trax! Records in 1984 as Ministry’s “comeback” single following their departure from Arista Records, 78 with “All Day” on the A-side and “(Every Day Is) Halloween” on the B-side, respectively. In 1987, these were included on Ministry’s compilation Twelve Inch Singles (1981–1984). The remixed version of “All Day”, titled “All Day Remix”, was featured on Ministry’s 1986 album Twitch. “(Every Day Is) Halloween” has been featured in the 1998 Rhino Records compilation Just Can’t Get Enough: New Wave Halloween.

Ministry first made noise as a synthpop band, then evolved into an innovative industrial act, and soon after became a punishing industrial metal group. Along the way Jourgensen had numerous side-projects and a huge club hit with “(Every Day Is) Halloween.” His journey is chronicled in his autobiography Ministry: The Lost Gospels According To Al Jourgensen(Da Capo Press)

As told to writer Jon Wiederhorn, the book is a warts-and-all tale of music, excess, and addiction with a rogue’s gallery of bold names (Courtney Love, Madonna) that is hilarious and tantalizing.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Spooktober Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

“All Hallows Eve” By Type O Negative, Album: World Coming Down 1999

As with the band’s previous album, October Rust, this album also has a ‘joke intro’: in this case, “Skip It”, 11 seconds of staccato band noise, is meant to sound as if the listener’s CD player is skipping. Cassette versions had the noise of a tape being ‘eaten’ by the tape player, whilst the vinyl version begins as if the record is damaged and stuck in a locked groove during the intro of “White Slavery”. The track ends with the band’s guitarist, Kenny Hickey, shouting “Sucker!”

The first song, “White Slavery”, deals with cocaine addiction. Discussing his dalliance with the drug and inspiration behind the song in a 1999 Kerrang! interview, Steele recalled: “There were a handful of times that were fucking horrible, but one night in particular was really bad, and that’s when I stopped doing it. I was really depressed and homesick, and the worst part is when you’re coming down from it. It’s five in the morning and there’s no one to talk to, you’re on a tour bus doing 80mph and you look out the window and it looks like you’re on Mars. All I could think about was jumping out of the bus while it was moving, but that would have made too many people happy.”

Two other songs, “Everyone I Love Is Dead” and “Everything Dies”, touch on the difficulties of watching family members and loved ones die. Another track, “Who Will Save the Sane?”, which deals with mental illness and psychiatry, incorporates, among other oddities, Peter Steele reciting the number pi to 9 decimal places (3.141592653).

The album contains three “soundscape” tracks, which are named after internal organs, as segues between songs. Each of these songs is intended to suggest the possibilities of the deaths the members of the band may have suffered at the time: “Sinus” as death from cocaine use, “Liver” as death through alcohol abuse and “Lung” as death from smoking. In an ironic foreboding, Steele once told a close friend that he could not bear to listen to “Sinus” after it was mixed and completed, because the sound of the heartbeat escalating to its furious pace after the cocaine-snorting sound effect actually drove him to the point of an anxiety attack because of its realism.

Also included at the end of the album is a cover song, a medley of three Beatles songs. An additional song recorded during the album sessions, “12 Black Rainbows,” was issued as the B-side for the “Everything Dies” single; later, it was included on the compilation album The Least Worst Of with two other unreleased tracks from the same sessions (“It’s Never Enough” and “Stay Out of My Dreams”).

The reversed vocal technique of backmasking is used in several places on the album; some segments are more audibly apparent than others. In particular, backmasking during the intro section of “Creepy Green Light”, which was originally titled “Spooky Green Light”, refers to a third-person “spell” of a friend’s intention to be reunited with a dead spouse.

Following its release the members of Type O Negative had mixed opinions about the music on World Coming Down. Keyboardist and producer Josh Silver felt that the music was strong, while vocalist, bass guitarist and principal songwriter Peter Steele said the songs were too strongly connected to an uncomfortable period in his life. Live shows performed since the initial tour to support World Coming Down usually had very few, if any, selections from the album in the set list. However, the band often played the song “World Coming Down” in its entirety during the Dead Again tour.

The album cover features a photo of the Brooklyn Bridge.

All Hallows Eve” is a song related to “Creepy Green Light” in some ways, including lyrically. According to Simple Anime reviewing WCD. This song is about Steele making a pact with the devil who’ll give Pete a spell in return used to bring back his girlfriend from the dead. Hearing this song makes fans wish they had ability to bring back loved ones.

Psychedelic Lunch


Los Angeles, CA (October 7, 2020)—Craft Recordings announces its exciting line-up of exclusive titles for Record Store Day’s tenth annual Black Friday event, taking place at independent record stores across the country on Friday, November 27th. This year’s sonically diverse selections include two live albums: the first-ever release of Jewel’s early coffeehouse sessions, Live at the Inner Change, and George Thorogood and The Destroyers’ blistering Live in Boston, 1982: The Complete Concert. Also available is a tenth-anniversary reissue of Meridional from Georgia metalcore stars Norma Jean, as well as the latest installment of the popular Jazz Dispensary series, Orange Sunset, which features choice funk, soul, and jazz cuts. Rounding out the titles is a 7” of “Christmas Time Is Here” from Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas to kick off the holiday season.
Since 2008, Record Store Day has championed the culture of the independent record store, offering music lovers the chance to pick up exclusive releases and support their local music retailer at the same time. Record Store Day’s Black Friday is no exception, and now—more than ever—is the perfect time to show love to our local independent retailers and our favorite musicians. While the day after Thanksgiving is the start of the biggest shopping season in the country, this special event subverts the mass consumerism model—instead, placing the focus on creating special limited-edition releases from revered musical artists. For a full list of participating retailers, visit RecordStoredDay.com.

Jewel — Live at the Inner Change

(2 LPs, Individually Numbered with Keepsake Show Flyer)
As Jewel celebrates the 25th anniversary of her landmark 12x Platinum debut, Pieces of You, this previously unreleased live performance from 1994 offers fans a chance to hear the GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer-songwriter nearly two years before she became an international sensation.

These captivating, formative performances were recorded at San Diego’s Inner Change coffeehouse, where the promising young artist honed her craft, and later, was discovered.
In the liner notes for a forthcoming Pieces of You 25th-anniversary reissue, Inner Change owner Nancy Porter recalls, “This is where she really built herself, developed her music, and I think everyone felt that. And the bigger the crowd got, the better she got…People would come in and just be in awe.”
The two-LP set features remastered audio from the legendary engineer Bernie Grundman and includes early versions of such favorites as “Morning Song,” “I’m Sensitive,” and Jewel’s debut hit single, “Who Will Save Your Soul.” Limited to 3,000 copies worldwide, each individually numbered album includes a replica of the original show flyer, designed by Jewel herself.

Tracklist – Live at the Inner Change:

Side A

1. Who Will Save Your Soul

2. Pieces of You

3. Little Sister

Side B

1. Near You Always

2. Painters

3. Morning Song

Side C

1. Adrian

2. I’m Sensitive

3. Don’t

Side D

1. Daddy

2. Angel Standing By

3. Amen

George Thorogood and The Destroyers — Live in Boston, 1982:

The Complete Concert (4 LPs, Red-Marbled Vinyl with Poster)
This comprehensive reissue of George Thorogood and The Destroyers’ Live in Boston, 1982 captures the band’s triumphant Bradford Ballroom concert in its entirety for the very first time.

Full of energy, power, and focus, Thorogood and The Destroyers play a blistering set that includes such classics as “Bad to the Bone,” “Who Do You Love?” and “Move It on Over.” Newly remastered by the GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Paul Blakemore, the 27-track Live in Boston, 1982: The Complete Concert adds 12 previously unreleased tracks to the original 2010 release.
“1982 was an absolute high-water mark for us,” exclaims Thorogood, whose band had recently scored a supporting slot on the Rolling Stones’ tour, performed on Saturday Night Live, and released their fifth studio album. “Everything was going our way and it shows in this recording… This is George Thorogood and The Destroyers at our best!”
Limited to just 1,800 copies, this special Black Friday edition comes pressed on four red-marbled vinyl LPs and includes new liner notes, plus an eye-catching poster.

Tracklist – Live in Boston, 1982: The Complete Concert:

Side A

1. House of Blue Lights

2. Kids from Philly

3. Who Do You Love?*

Side B

1. I’m Wanted

2. Cocaine Blues*

3. One Way Ticket

Side C

1. One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

2. As the Years Go Passing By

Side D

1. Spoken Introduction: The Dance Floor*

2. It Wasn’t Me

3. Bottom of The Sea*

4. Night Time*

Side E

1. New Boogie Chillun’

2. I’ll Change My Style*

3. Miss Luann

Side F

1. Madison Blues*

2. The Sky Is Crying*

3. Can’t Stop Lovin’

Side G

1. Spoken Introduction: Audience Participation*

2. Same Thing*

3. Bad to the Bone*

4. Move It on Over

5. Wild Weekend6. Nobody but Me

Side H

1. No Particular Place to Go*

2. Ride on Josephine*

3. Reelin’ and Rockin’*
* Previously unreleased

Norma Jean — Meridional (2 LPs, Turquoise Marble Vinyl):

2010’s Meridional is the fifth studio album from the GRAMMY®-nominated metalcore band,Norma Jean, and marked the Georgia band’s debut with Razor & Tie. Produced by Jeremy SH Griffith (Underøath, Johnnyswim, Five Iron Frenzy), Meridional—which features such fan favorites as “Leaderless and Self Enlisted” and “Deathbed Atheist”—received wide praise from the likes of Revolver, AbsolutePunk, and Exclaim!, which ranked the LP among one of the best metal albums of the year.

MAllMusic, meanwhile, praised that Meridional shows “a band that has really hit its stride creatively, taking the techniques it has developed and putting them all together into one enjoyable package.” Limited to 3,400 copies, this special tenth-anniversary reissue comes as a two-LP set pressed on turquoise marble vinyl.

Tracklist – Meridional:

Side A:

1. Leaderless and Self Enlisted

2. The Anthem of The Angry Brides 3. Deathbed Atheist

4. Bastardizer

Side B:

1. A Media Friendly Turn for The Worse

2. Septentrional

3. Blood Burner

4. High Noise Low Output

Side C:

1. Falling from the Sky: Day Seven 2. Everlasting Tapeworm

3. Occidental

Side D:

1. The People That Surround You on a Regular Basis

2. Innocent Bystanders United

3. Oriental

Vince Guaraldi Trio — “Christmas Time Is Here” (7” Single, Green Vinyl)
Vince Guaraldi’s timeless score for the 1965 television special, A Chalrlie Brown Christmas, endures as one of the most popular holiday albums ever and one of the best-selling jazz records in history. The soundtrack, which introduced generations of children to the joys of jazz music, features a mix of traditional yuletide fare—arranged in Guaraldi’s playful style, plus originals, like the instantly recognizable “Linus and Lucy,” and “Christmas Time Is Here.” The latter song, now a holiday standard, was the only vocal track on the album, featuring young choir members from the Bay Area’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Now, for the very first time, a 7” single of the song will be available, featuring the original vocal version on side A, with an alternate vocal take on side B.

Released in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of Peanuts, this collectible single is pressed on green vinyl and will be limited to 5,000 copies.

Tracklist – Christmas Time Is Here:

Side A

1. Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal)

Side B

1. Christmas Time Is Here (Alternate Vocal Take 5)

Various Artists — Jazz Dispensary: Orange Sunset (1 LP, Yellow Starburst Vinyl)
Take a trip to a land where every hour is happy and the sunsets are always lush in Orange Sunset—the latest addition to the popular Jazz Dispensary series. Kick back with a perfect soundtrack of impeccably crafted grooves from the likes of Merl Saunders, Johnny Hammond, Funk, Inc. and The Blackbyrds, with production by David Axelrod, The Mizell Brothers, and Dale Warren. All tracks were remastered from their original analog tapes, while the album comes pressed on fanciful, yellow starburst-colored vinyl. Limited to 3,500 copies, Orange Sunset comes housed in a jacket featuring original designs by singer-songwriter and visual artist Dana Falconberry.

Tracklist – Orange Sunset:

Side A:

1. David Axelrod — Everything Counts

2. The Blackbyrds — Funky Junkie

3. Johnny Hammond — Shifting Gears

Side B:

1. Roger Glenn — Don’t Leave

2. 24-Carat Black — 24-Carat Black (Theme)

3. Merl Saunders — Righteousness4. Funk, Inc. — Goodbye, So Long

About Craft RecordingsCraft Recordings is home to one of the largest and most prestigious collections of master recordings and compositions in the world. Its rich and storied repertoire includes legendary artists such as Joan Baez, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Vince Guaraldi, John Lee Hooker, Little Richard, Nine Inch Nails, Thelonious Monk, Otis Redding, R.E.M. and Traveling Wilburys, to name just a few. Renowned imprints with catalogs issued under the Craft banner include Concord, Fania, Fantasy, Fearless, Milestone, Musart, Nitro, Prestige, Riverside, Rounder, Specialty, Stax, Sugar Hill, Vanguard, Vee-Jay and Victory, among many others. Craft creates thoughtfully curated packages, with a meticulous devotion to quality and a commitment to preservation—ensuring that these recordings endure for new generations to discover. Craft Recordings is the catalog label team for Concord Recorded Music.

For more info, visit CraftRecordings.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify.

Craft Recordings announces exclusive releases for RSD Black Friday event

EXPANDED EDITION OF GEORGE THOROGOOD AND THE DESTROYERS’ BLISTERING CONCERT ALBUM, LIVE IN BOSTON, 1982, SET FOR REISSUE Live In Boston, 1982: The Complete Concert features 12 unreleased tracks, including fan favorites “Who Do You Love?” and “Bad to the Bone”
Pre-order the album on vinyl or CD now
Band confirms 27-date tour for 2021 with stops in North America, Europe, and the UK

Los Angeles, CA (October 7, 2020)—Craft Recordings announces a comprehensive reissue of George Thorogood and The Destroyers’ Live in Boston, 1982. Newly remastered by the GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Paul Blakemore, the 27-track Live in Boston, 1982: The Complete Concert captures the band’s fiery set in its entirety, including spoken introductions. Plus, the release includes 12 previously unreleased tracks (including performances of “Bad to the Bone,” “Who Do You Love?,” and “Cocaine Blues”) and marks the first time the set will be available on vinyl.
Available to pre-order today (10/7), Live in Boston, 1982: The Complete Concert will be available December 4th as a four-LP set on 180-gram vinyl, a two-CD set, and across digital platforms. Complimenting the collection are new liner notes by longtime Boston Globe music critic and Berklee College of Music professor, Steve Morse, who spoke with Thorogood about that incredible evening. In addition, a special deluxe edition of the new collection (pressed on red marble vinyl, including an eye-catching poster, and limited to a 1,000 units) will be released exclusively for Record Store Day’s Black Friday event on November 27th. Coinciding with this week’s announcement is the release of the first instant grat track, “Bad to the Bone,” available this Friday (10/9) to stream or download on all major digital outlets.
George Thorogood and The Destroyers were hometown heroes when they played to a packed audience at Boston’s Bradford Ballroom (now the Royale Nightclub) on November 23, 1982. Hailing from Wilmington, Delaware, Thorogood and his band had settled in Boston in the late ’70s, where they became mainstays in the scene—releasing their 1977 self-titled debut and their 1978 follow-up, Move It on Over, with the then-locally based Rounder Records. By the fall of 1982, the blues rockers were fast-rising stars on a national level. Just one year prior, they scored a supporting slot on The Rolling Stones’ tour, while that October, they appeared on Saturday Night Live, promoting their fifth studio album, Bad to the Bone. As the busy year came to a close, the album’s hard-driving title track—which would become one of Thorogood’s most iconic songs—was getting steady airplay on the radio and its video was a mainstay on the burgeoning MTV.
After a non-stop year, the triumphant band returned to Boston, where they were embraced by their longtime fans. Full of energy, power, and focus, Thorogood and The Destroyers played a blistering set that included original material (“Kids from Philly,” “Bad to the Bone,” and “Miss Luann”) blues classics (John Lee Hooker’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” and Elmore James’ “The Sky Is Crying”), early rock ’n’ roll and R&B covers (Chuck Berry’s “No Particular Place to Go” and Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?”), and a few country tunes that The Destroyers had already made their own (Hank Williams’ “Move It on Over” and T.J. “Red” Arnall’s “Cocaine Blues”). In addition to Thorogood’s legendary guitar riffs, the songs are accentuated by the incendiary Hank Carter, who played saxophone with The Destroyers for 23 years. Luckily for fans, the incredible evening was captured in exquisite clarity by the award-winning engineer Guy Charbonneau, known for his “Le Mobile” remote recording truck.
For his liner notes, Steve Morse also interviewed Scott Billington, a longtime Rounder Records producer who oversaw the original, 2010 edition of Live in Boston, 1982. “It was exciting to revisit the entire show,” Billington told Morse. “Listening back to these recordings also reminded me of how George had taken the original rock ’n’ roll blues aesthetic and brought it back into the mainstream at a time when that was not a particularly popular aspect of rock. Hearing a manifestation of that in the early ’80s was a breath of fresh air.”
Reflecting on Live in Boston, 1982: The Complete Concert, Thorogood says, “1982 was an absolute high-water mark for us. Everything was going our way and it shows in this recording from the Bradford Ballroom. This is George Thorogood and The Destroyers at our best!”
George’s peers also lauded the album. Legendary Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash declared, “George Thorogood has been a hero of mine since I first heard his music in the ’70s. One of the baddest rock ’n’ roll songwriters/electric slide guitar players ever and The Destroyers are a kick-ass, tight rhythm section. This recording proves it!” Blues rocker Jared James Nicholsadded, “Power, attitude, emotion! I feel the energy and spirit, as if I’m actually at the show. George and band are undeniably at the top of their game this rockin’ night in Boston. Above all, this recording further solidifies the legend that is George Thorogood. Crank it up and get ready to boogie!”
Since forming in 1974, Thorogood and his band—which currently consists of Jeff Simon (drums, percussion), Bill Blough (bass guitar), Jim Suhler (rhythm guitar), and Buddy Leach(saxophone)—have released 16 studio albums, played more than 8,000 ferocious live shows, and sold over 15 million records. For more than two generations, George Thorogood and The Destroyers have remained one of the most consistent—and consistently passionate—progenitors of blues-based rock in pop culture history. Showing no signs of slowing down,
Thorogood returned to Rounder Records to release his solo debut, Party of One, in 2017 and he continues to tour regularly with The Destroyers.
Looking ahead, the band is excited to return to the road with a 27-date global tour, kicking off May 4, 2021 at the Revolution Place in Grande Prairie, AB, Canada (full tour itinerary below).

Click here for tickets and more information.
Click here to pre-order Live in Boston, 1982: The Complete Concert on 4-LP, 2-CD, and digital formats.

Tracklist – Live in Boston, 1982: The Complete Concert (2-CD Set)

Disc 1

1. House of Blue Lights

2. Kids from Philly

3. Who Do You Love?*

4. I’m Wanted

5. Cocaine Blues*

6. One Way Ticket

7. One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

8. As the Years Go Passing By

9. Spoken Introduction: The Dance Floor*

10. It Wasn’t Me

11. Bottom of the Sea*

12. Night Time*

13. New Boogie Chillun’

Disc 2

1. I’ll Change My Style*

2. Miss Luann

3. Madison Blues*

4. The Sky Is Crying*

5. I Can’t Stop Lovin’

6. Spoken Introduction: Audience Participation*

7. Same Thing*

8. Bad to the Bone*

9. Move It on Over

10. Wild Weekend

11. Nobody but Me

12. No Particular Place to Go

13. Ride on Josephine

14. Reelin’ and Rockin’

Previously unreleased 

Tracklist – Live in Boston, 1982: The Complete Concert (4-LP Set)

Side A

2. House of Blue Lights

2. Kids From Philly

3. Who Do You Love?

Side B

1. I’m Wanted

2. Cocaine Blues*

3. One Way Ticket

Side C

1. One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

2. As the Years Go Passing By

Side D

1. Spoken Introduction: The Dance Floor

2. It Wasn’t Me

3. Bottom of the Sea*

4. Night Time

Side E

1. New Boogie Chillun’

2. I’ll Change My Style*

3. Miss Luann

Side F

1. Madison Blues*

2. The Sky Is Crying*

3. Can’t Stop Lovin’

Side G

1. Spoken Introduction: Audience Participation*

2. Same Thing*

3. Bad to the Bone*

4. Move It on Over

5. Wild Weekend

6. Nobody but Me

Side H

1. No Particular Place to Go*

2. Ride on Josephine*

3. Reelin’ and Rockin’*

* Previously unreleased

George Thorogood and The Destroyers 2021 tour dates:

May 4: Grande Prairie, AB @ Revolution Place

May 6: Edmonton, AB @ River Cree Resort and Casino

May 10: Saskatoon, SK @ TCU Place

May 11: Winnipeg, MB @ Burton Cummings Theatre

May 19: Kitchener, ON @ Centre In The Square

May 20: Montreal, QC @ M Telus

May 22: Niagara Falls, ON @ Fallsview Casino Resort

May 29: Stateline, NV @ Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa

May 30: Avila Beach, CA @ Avila Beach Blues Festival

July 14: Madrid, ES @ Noches Del Botánico

July 17: Peer, BE @ Blues Peer

July 18: St. Julien, FR @ Festival Guitare En Scène

July 19: Frankfurt, DE @ Hugenottenhalle

July 21: Utrecth, NL @ Tivolivredenberg

July 23: Nottingham, UK @ Nottingham Royal Concert Hall

July 25: London, UK @ London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

July 26: Liverpool, UK @ Liverpool Philharmonic

July 28: Birmingham, UK @ Birmingham Symphony Hall

July 30: York, UK @ York Barbican July 31: Glasgow, UK @ Glasgow SEC Armadillo

August 1: Manchester, UK @ Manchester Bridgewater Hall

August 3: Berlin, DE @ Columbiahalle

August 6: Notodden, NO @ Notodden Blues Festival

September 9: Waukegan, IL @ Genesee Theatre

September 16: Ocean City, MD @ OC Bikefest

September 17: Hampton Beach, NH @ Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

September 23: Huntington, NY @ The Paramount

About Rounder Records:

Rounder Records is one of the world’s most historic Americana and bluegrass record labels. Rounder’s rich catalog includes critically-acclaimed offerings by iconic artists like Gregg Allman, Alison Krauss, and Steve Martin as well as rising stars Samantha Fish, Sierra Hull, I’m With Her, Sarah Jarosz, Ruston Kelly, the SteelDrivers, Billy Strings, and The War And Treaty.
Rounder has consistently demonstrated a commitment to nurture and develop careers over the long haul—a number of artists who got their start at Rounder are still recording with the label today, including Jerry Douglas, Béla Fleck, and George Thorogood. A leader in the preservation of precious historic recordings, Rounder has brought the music of the Carter Family, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, and Jelly Roll Morton back to vibrant life and released epic anthologies from the Library of Congress and the Alan Lomax Collection that have been universally acclaimed.
About Craft Recordings:Craft Recordings is home to one of the largest and most prestigious collections of master recordings and compositions in the world. Its rich and storied repertoire includes legendary artists such as Joan Baez, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Vince Guaraldi, John Lee Hooker, Little Richard, Nine Inch Nails, Thelonious Monk, Otis Redding, R.E.M. and Traveling Wilburys, to name just a few. Renowned imprints with catalogs issued under the Craft banner include Concord, Fania, Fantasy, Fearless, Milestone, Musart, Nitro, Prestige, Riverside, Rounder, Specialty, Stax, Sugar Hill, Vanguard, Vee-Jay and Victory, among many others. Craft creates thoughtfully curated packages, with a meticulous devotion to quality and a commitment to preservation—ensuring that these recordings endure for new generations to discover. Craft Recordings is the catalog label team for Concord Recorded Music.

For more info, visit CraftRecordings.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,YouTube, and Spotify.

Expanded edition of George Thorogood and The Destroyers’ ‘Live in Boston, 1982’ set for reissue