The year is 2001. You walk into a record store with roughly 10 bucks in your pocket that you’ve saved by not eating lunch at school for a few days. You have one goal, stretch this 10 bucks and walk out of this Sam Goody with as much music as possible. Would it be nice to leave with a new album? Sure, but those usually run you anywhere from 15 to 20 bucks. You can’t go two weeks without food, and your neighbor doesn’t need their lawn mowed for the third time this month. You have one viable option and that’s to hit the used bins. With any luck you’ll find something undervalued, maybe a comp with some cool artwork, maybe a Sabbath or Priest CD that’s hit the five dollar bargain bins. Or maybe you’ll find a soundtrack to a killer movie from your youth that introduces you to tons of new bands and artists, setting you on the inevitable path that ends with you writing essays for your friend’s blog for free.
That was me, just about every time I could scrape together a couple bucks that wasn’t going to pizza or movie rentals. As a self-proclaimed king of the bins, I want to share with you some cheap finds from my youth that would ultimately shape my highly questionable taste in music. And because it “tis the season,” we’re gonna focus on only the spookiest of soundtracks.
Spawn: The Album
First up, we got the metal/techno mashup no one was asking for, Spawn: The Album. I scored a used copy of this tape and WWF’s Full Metal: The Album from a now defunct record store in the Food Lion shopping center in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. As soon as we got in my dad’s truck, he was kind enough to let us give this thing a spin. Right out the gate we started with Filter and Crystal Method’s “(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do,” a song I love and still play to this day. We got all the way to track two, Marilyn Manson and Sneaker Pimps’ remix of “Long Hard Road Out of Hell” before that tape came out of the stereo, and I received a lecture from my born-again father. For people who like to eat their own skin, check out Butthole Surfers’ “Tiny Rubberband. For people that hurt themselves to feel, check out DJ Spooky’s god awful remix of Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”
Lost Highway: Original Soundtrack
First time I got my hands on the Lost Highway soundtrack wasn’t until I was in high school, but we’re counting it because I scored the “Perfect Drug” single from Tunes, in Seaford, Delaware. Fun fact, I got my first pair of black, wide-leg OTB jeans from Peebles on the very same trip. Lost Highway features one of the coolest curated groups of bands for a soundtrack. It features everything from Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson to Lou Reed and David Bowie. Nothing but good memories here. For fans of the time on Sprockets when we dance, check out Rammstein’s “Heirate Mich.” Goths who converted to cowboys after listening to Orville Peck once should check out Lou Reed’s cover of “This Magic Moment.”
Demon Knight: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
This movie and soundtrack is responsible for a lot of firsts in my life. First time hearing the Melvins, Biohazard, and Ministry. First time hearing a song featured in every late 90s soundtrack, Filter’s “Hey Man Nice Shot.” First time realizing the fluidity of sexuality when introduced to hot, cowboy demon Billy Zane. I saw this movie during a sleepover at my friend Adam Lewis’ house, and I believe I got the soundtrack years later from Record and Tape Traders in Rehoboth. Full disclosure, I’ve bought and rebought this soundtrack like four times. People who value the glory of a sweet riff should check out Megadeth’s “Diadems.” If you’ve worn sweatpants to a job interview, check out Gravediggaz’ “1-800 Suicide.” THIS PROPERTY IS HEREBY CONDEMNED.
Blade: Music From and Inspired By the Motion Picture
Back when Iron Man was still strung out on coke and breaking into your kid’s bedrooms, Blade was wasting suckheads and saving you from becoming livestock. 90s soundtracks were an absolute treasure chest for random hip hop and techno singles. Blade features some choice cuts from both genres before eventually smashing them together into a series of super unnecessary collabs on the Blade 2 soundtrack. Though I definitely didn’t respect it at the time, this soundtrack introduced me to some real deal heavyweights like EPMD and Gang Starr. The Blade soundtrack will remain one of my favorite thrift store finds. For fans of members-only Goth night clubs with passwords, check out The Pump Panel’s Reconstruction mix of New Order’s “Confusion.” Fans of the Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks Dragnet rap song should check out KRS-One and Channel Live’s track “Blade.”
The Crow & The Crow: City of Angels, Original Motion Picture Soundtracks
No exaggeration, these are not only two of my favorite soundtracks, but two of the most important albums I heard as a kid. I’ll need to verify this with my sources, but I’m pretty sure the copy of The Crow soundtrack in my collection is the same one previously owned by my sister, or one of her friends (I stole it). My copy of The Crow: City of Angels is the same cassette I received for Christmas in 1996. Quick rundown, these were my first intros to The Cure, Hole, White Zombie, Korn, Rollins Band, Deftones, and several others. Music was a big escape for me as a kid, and lot of these songs were and still are antiseptic for some not so great childhood memories. Very near and dear stuff here. Fans of ruining shit your parents loved should check out Hole’s cover of “Gold Dust Woman.” Fans of painting A.C.A.B. in white-out on your black, JanSport backpack should check out Pantera’s cover of the Poison Idea classic “The Badge.”
If you’ve read this far, thank you for indulging me in this trip down memory lane. My last gift to you is a collection of some of my favorite songs from 90’s Horror soundtracks. Know the soundtrack the song is from? Hit the comments below. Too much work? Whisper the answers to yourself on the bus.
KING OF THE BINS!