Samhain’s November Coming Fire Is My Favorite Album…Ever

Yes folks, this album is my favorite ever. Seriously, I can listen to it over and over again and not be bored out of my mind. You know how you liked¬† a band when you were younger but don’t listen to them any longer for various reasons? This album defies that curse!

For those of you who don’t know Samhain was Glenn Danzig’s second band after The Misfits broke up, and I consider this period to be his best musically. Sure, I love old school Misfits songs, and the first four Danzig albums, but there is something perfect about Samhain, and particularly November Coming Fire, that makes it stand above anything else that Glenn has done. The first time I ever heard of them was when I was in high school on a trip to an amusement park with some friends when a girl wearing a November Coming Fire shirt gave me shit for wearing a Sex Pistols shirt. Go figure, there was elitism even back in the 80’s! It wasn’t until 1990 that I cold bought November Coming Fire and instantly fell in love with it. That’s right, I bought the album without even listening to it. These were the days before the internet kids so you had to do things like that to discover new bands. I was a huge fan of The Misfits and like the first two Danzig albums that were out at the time so it seemed like a natural step.

The beautiful thing about Samhain is that Danzig incorporated goth, punk and some metal all into one neat package that didn’t sound like anything else. People still try to imitate the sound but nobody has gotten it so spot on in my opinion. I would dare to even call November Coming Fire a deathrock album. After all the songs are about spooky shit, are very morbid sounding and sung by a guy who knows how to fucking sing!. Seriously, listen to the link above in a candlelit room in the middle of the night and don’t tell me that it doesn’t sound in turns otherworldly and beyond macabre.

My favorite song off the album has got to be Halloween II, which is a remake of The Misfits song. Instead of being fast, like the original, it is slow and deliberate, and what makes it spooky as shit is the fact that just like the original it is sung in Latin. When I saw Danzig perform in 1992 they played it as an encore and I almost cried I was so happy! Back then he didn’t like to play old material as much so it was kind of a shock.¬† I don’t dislike ANY of the songs on the album and find some of the placement of them in the order in which they appear to be brilliant. Let The Day Begins, which is a faster paced song, follows To Walk The Night, which is slower in tempo. In some ways November Coming Fire could be seen as a concept album of sorts because all of the album centers about overcoming obstacles. Yeah, that may be stretch, but what the hell?

I remember trying to get goth clubs to play songs off this album back in the day, and it was considered too ‘punk’ even though it sounded more full of dirge than a lot of the stuff they spun. Philistines! November Coming Fire brings back so many fuzzy warm memories! It reminds me specifically of the times that I used to drive around San Jose and Santa Clara with my friend Sheri. I would blast it in my car with the windows rolled down and sing along at the top of my lungs. Awww….memories!

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Bands I Love Who Aren’t Goth

I listen to a lot of music that isn’t Goth. Back when I started getting into Goth in the mid-late 1980’s I was also getting into punk, so effectively I had one foot in each camp. Nowadays I would have probably been called a deathrocker, but that term wasn’t really used that much back then so I was just being me. On Friday I would go to Gilman St. in Berkeley to catch a punk show and on Saturday I would go to the Twilight Zone in Alameda to hear new wave/goth/industrial music. There were a few of us who did that and there were certain people, especially at the Twilight Zone, who looked down at that. Yes, there were total elitists in the Goth subculture even back then. The funny thing is that the ones who looked down their nose at me were mostly the weekend warrior types so they were really boring.

The Exploited are probably my all time favorite punk band. Especially the above song called Maggie that totally sings about what a cunt Maggie Thatcher was. The day that she died I played this song over and over again in celebration. Those of you who say that we shouldn’t celebrate the death of anybody did not live in the time of Thatcher and Reagan. What I’ve always loved about The Exploited is their politics. There have been people over the years saying they are Nazis, which of course is bullshit. Siouxsie also wore a swastika armband at the start of punk, so does that also make her a Nazi? Yeah, that’s what I thought. The Misfits are a very close second, but the pure aggressiveness of The Exploited still gets me worked up.

Growing up in the 1970’s/1980’s exposed me to lots of funky music, be it R&B or disco. The Gap Band are one of my favorites in this category because the heavy base/synth lines in their songs are beyond awesome and make me want to get down! I remember the above video being on MTV and totally grooving to it.

This is the most bad-ass cover of a song ever! Vanilla Fudge were a psychedelic band from New Jersey that were around mostly during the late 1960’s. I just love the sound of the Hammond organ and the heavy guitar playing. I love a lot of their music, which can be strange and trippy, but this is my favorite song of theirs. Imagine, in this clip they are actually playing live! They toured with Cream! I wish I could have gone to that show!

I have always had a crush on Bryan Ferry, he’s like the James Bond of the music world; suave and totally irresistible. *fans herself* Anyway! I love his solo work and Roxy Music. Listening to him sing makes me feel like I’m in a slightly seedy cocktail lounge surrounded by mysterious people. That’s a good thing!

I love Public Enemy. How dare I love some old-school rap…how dare I! The first time I ever heard Public Enemy was in the bedroom of a punk guy in Santa Cruz. That’s right, punks and other freaks were listening to Public Enemy before upper middle class annoying white teens ever heard of them. Again I love them because of the political message they sent out, which is so lacking in today’s world of rap. Even their newer songs are really good!

Next year will be 30 years since I started listening to PiL. They were a total gateway band for me in terms of discovering ‘strange’ music. In my opinion they are the best post-punk band of the late 70’s/80’s. Seriously, John Lydon can write circles around Morrissey. Yeah, go ahead and try to argue with me about that! I saw them three times live in the late 1980’s and they were some of the best shows I’ve ever been to. I can’t describe enough about how much this band means to me. Lydon’s later work with the band isn’t quite as good as the earlier material, but as a whole it’s excellent stuff!