This time of year just doesn’t feel right without hearing season-appropriate songs like “Monster Mash” and “This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas (a film our own  Dan Casey has strong opinions about). And no Halloween playlist is complete without the ultimate creepy pop song by someone with a high-pitched vocal range, “ Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell. Just kidding; we’re talking about Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” here. And while the original can’t be beat, the folks at Postmodern Jukebox came about as close as you can with this new 1930’s jazz version.

Joining the PMJ crew to dress up the ’80s classic in a ’30s costume is none other than comedic tour de force, Wayne Brady. As we’ve pointed out with other PMJ covers, there’s a certain magic when they pick a song that’s written well and, really, you can’t do better than Michael Jackson. The horror classic could likely fit well in any genre but we’re pretty darn glad they chose ’30s style jazz. The bass lines and horn in the original translate really well into a more vintage style of music.

The video starts with a nod to Cab Calloway and jumps right into the upbeat cover and ’cause this is “Thiller” (Thriller night!), PMJ even brought on a few tap dancers in order to pay homage to the iconic dance moves from the original video. They even worked in some  Charleston moves for good measure. Is it weird that we’d want to see all the dancing in the original video with this era-specific spin?

The original is already perfect, but we’re glad to have this jazzy version by PMJ ( available to download here) to add to our Halloween playlists.

Image: Postmodern Jukebox