One of the best things about working at a record store for a good portion of my young adult life was that I was turned onto so much music that I otherwise would've never heard. Before I got to tackle fixing the "horror" section in video at Tower Records or creating the foam core art displays that dressed the store, I was assigned the "world" section. I knew nothing about World Music, but it was in the Jazz room, which also harbored some of the weirder more obscure stuff sold on CD. One October, I stumbled upon a promo CD for an album titled "Music Of The Vampires" which featured 8 original songs composed, arranged and performed by a musician named Matt Fink. This was around 1994 that this CD came into circulation and although Fink would long be associated with horror themed music, at the time I was unfamiliar with his work. Now a simple search on iTunes will bring up Fink's reinterpretations of various famous, well-known horror themes. (I just purchased an MP3 of his version of Richard Band's 'Puppet Master' theme since it's the only one available on there.)
Anyways, I was a horror nerd, and I saw a CD called “Music Of The Vampires” that had a photo of Bela Lugosi's 'Dracula' on the front and thought, hell, I'll put this on. Needless to say, I fell in love with this CD. Each track opens with some dialogue of Lugosi in character and then what follows is some of the most unique, beautiful and moody "vampire" music I've ever heard. I frequently played this CD during that one October back in 94 in the Jazz room, and it was special enough that customers would constantly come up and ask about it. I even have a vague memory of a very strange, pale fellow asking me what it was and when I turned around to grab the CD to show him, he simply vanished. Vampire himself, perhaps?
To me, music is just as important as aspect of truly appreciating the Halloween season as the movies you choose to watch. And I was always impressed by Fink's ability to shift from different musical styles from track to track on "Music Of The Vampires." The opening two tracks "Dark Ecstasy" and "Trance Romance" are lush, gorgeous piano ballads, rich with equal parts melody and melancholia. "Midnight Seduction," the third track on the album is a lot more sensual and funky. Reminds me of something that would probably play during the moody sections of 80's classics like 'Fright Night' or 'Vamp.' Track 4, "Rapture In Moonlight" is as gothic as it gets. Organs, piano and an overall dark, sad feel. "Tears Of Blood" sounds like a dreamy lullaby, while "Soul Stalker" is a bizarre full on synth score, reminiscent of video game music you'd find in a 'Castlevania' game. The final two tracks "Into Oblivion" and "Requiem For A Vampire" are as mournful as it gets. Creepy tunes that feel like the sort of thing you'd hear blaring on an organ in a church. And yet, the entire disc as a whole embodies all the feelings I have about vampires and vampire lore. It's a wonderful work of art. And yet, I bet you've never heard of it!
Hence, this article. Some of the tracks were re-released from the same company K-tel on a CD compilation called "Vampire Songs: Music From Dracula's Castle" which boasts 32 tracks, the first 8 being a recycled version of "Music From The Vampires," but there's something really special about this original release. And since it's the Halloween season, I really wanted to turn some new people onto this great album. You can find Matt Fink's "Music Of The Vampires" on iTunes for a mere $3.99, or sample snippets of the album on LastFM, or you can do a search on Amazon and find fairly inexpensive used copes of the CD from various retail dealers. Just to give you a taste, below is the opening track "Dark Ecstasy." Seek this one out, and sink your teeth in. You'll be glad you did.