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The 11 best Helloween songs, by Chris Jericho

The best of everything, every Hallowe'en on

For the last 30 years, I've been an avid fan of Helloween. So much so, that I took my last name from their first album and even have their pumpkin logo tattooed on my arm.

It's pretty near impossible to choose only 11 of their songs as my favourites, but after some serious deliberation, this is my list. Remember if you don't like these classic tunes, you run the risk of being turned into a savage pumpkin...

RIDE THE SKY (Walls Of Jericho, 1985)
The kick off track from their debut album was the first Helloween song I ever heard. It was the template for the power metal genre they single-handedly created. What would it sound like if Bruce Dickinson joined Metallica?  If James Hetfield joined Iron Maiden? With Ride The Sky, we now know.  

HALLOWEEN (Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1, 1987)
With the arrival of Michael Kiske, Helloween now had the world class singer and frontman they were missing previously. With him, their songwriting matured in leaps and bounds – and this 13 minute epic was the standout.

EAGLE FLY FREE (Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 2, 1988)
If I was to make a heavy metal mixtape for aliens to discover thousands of years from now, Eagle Fly Free *would be the first track on it. It's the epitome of the classic Helloween sound and features a drum *and bass solo. How metal is that?

I WANT OUT (Keeper Of The Seven Keys, Part 2, 1988)
This is the closest Helloween ever came to a 'hit single' and it still holds up to this day. Their singer Michael Kiske sounds amazing and the video – that apparently takes place inside his mouth – is a kitschy classic. 

KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS (Keeper Of The Seven Keys, Part 2, 1988)
This was even better than their previous 13 minute opus and it may have overtaken Iron Maiden's Rime Of The Ancient Mariner as my favourite heavy metal epic of all time.

**KIDS OF THE CENTURY **(Pink Bubbles Go Ape, 1991)
Kiske slowly gained control of the band after a record company legal battle sidelined them for two years and ground their momentum to a halt.  But even though the title of the album was pretty stupid and wimpy, this blistering Kiske penned opening track was anything but.

LONGING (Chameleon, 1993)
Helloween pretty much created power metal, but the secret to their longevity and brilliance is the diversity that most bands of their ilk don't have. And this lush power ballad masterpiece was pulled off brilliantly by Kiske, even though it was the last song he ever recorded with the 'Weenies. He should have been Bruce Dickinson's replacement in Iron Maiden.

SOLE SURVIVOR (Master Of The Rings, 1994)
How many bands have been successful with a third singer? Van Halen? Iron Maiden? Black Sabbath? Nope to all of them... but Helloween did it after Andi Deris was brought in to replace the departing Kiske. This crushing song kicked off their 'return to form album', bringing the band back to metal relevance – they haven't looked back since.

ANYTHING MY MAMA DON'T LIKE (The Time Of The Oath, 1996)
Diversity comes back to play on this excellent party metal tune that sounds like a heavy Scorpions. Fun lyrics, fun riff and another example of why Helloween is unlike any of bands that have followed in their trail blazing path.

FALLEN TO PIECES (Gambling With The Devil, 2007)
Part ballad, part thrash metal, this is the kind of song that Metallica needs to write in 2015. It could've been a huge hit, but Helloween doesn't write hits – only classic tunes.

BATTLE'S WON (My God Given Right, 2015)
30 years later, Helloween still does the "swing your beer stein and win the fight" song better than any other band, and that's what makes them the best in the world at what they do. And so?


HEAVY METAL HAMSTERS (Pink Bubbles Go Ape, 1991)
Heavy Metal Hamsters as a song title. 'Nuff said.

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