Back in the late 80s, I loved Helloween–they played speed metal, they had intricate solos, and they were German–what’s not to love? Oh, and also, they were quite funny, with their little pumpkin mascot.
In 1987, they released The Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1, a concept album (hooray), with this song as the 13 minute centerpiece. They also released a “radio friendly” version that’s about 3 minutes long. How do you eliminate ten minutes of a song? Take out some verses, some riffs, a whole middle section of vocals, a cool section that sounds like Queensrÿche, a little spoken word section and a whole lotta solos. Surprisingly you do get the essence of the song, just none of the theatricality.
So Helloween are still around, although I gave up on them after the sequel to this album (Part Two) which really didn’t live up to the majesty of Part One.
But this song is fun and whether you choose the 13 minute or the 3 minute version, Happy Halloween.
[READ: November 7, 2012] The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror #18
Yes, that’s right, I read this after Halloween! Hurricane Sandy means I can throw convention to the wind until I catch up. Sarah bought this for me before Halloween, but I didn’t really feel like reading it on Halloween, so here it is.
Unlike in the TV show, this Treehouse of Horror has four stories! The first thing you have to get used to in Simpsons comics is that the characters don’t look like the ones on TV. This is deliberate–they get different artists to draw the pages, so the artist’s own style comes in. The characters are obviously The Simpsons; it’s amazing how many liberties can be taken with icons and have them still be recognizable.
The first story is a parody of Evil Dead. Homer takes the family to a cabin in the woods where Henry K. Duff created the secret recipe for Duff beer. But when the recipe is read aloud…the spirit of the beer possesses the family. This story is actually kind of gruesome, although my five-year old enjoyed flipping through the pages. The twist at the end is completely unexpected and wonderful.
The second story is “Margemary’s Baby.” I liked this one because they gave Marge Mia Farrow’s haircut (which is very weird). This story actually has a maturity warning, as it should, since Marge is impregnated by Satan. But the humor is great–Mr Burns is the neighbor who tries to get them into the dark arts along with his wife Smitherina (a hilariously creepy drawing if ever there was one). The color scheme of the comic is wonderful too, it’s all pale blues except for the Satanic splashes of red.
“One Bart and Stormy Night” is a Bartman story. I don’t really remember Bartman all that well, but in this one, he is more or less playing the Christian Bale Batman, so it’s very dark. He gets a call from Lisa who is in an insane asylum where chaos has broken loose. There’s a great moment when Lisa is revealed as The Giggler. But once again, there’s a very funny twist at the end.
The final one is a strange story called “The Bride.” In it, all the men at the bar try to remember the classic movie The Bride. They each remember it differently with the final revelation being rather silly. It’s a lighthearted end to a rather dark book.
I enjoyed the back page where they tell you how they came up with the “Halloween” names in this year’s TV show. If your first name is less than five letters, you pick column A, then match up to the first letter of your last name and voila. For 2012, I am signing off, Paul “Devilish” Debraski.
For ease of searching, I include: Queensryche