‘American Horror Story’

By Steve McSteveface

“American Horror Story is an American anthology horror television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. Each season is conceived as a self-contained miniseries, following a different set of characters and settings, and a storyline with its own “beginning, middle, and end.” Some plot elements of each season are loosely inspired by true events. Actors are common across the seasons while playing different characters”

Now about to begin it’s 8th season with ‘Apocalypse’ beginning on September 12th let’s take a look back at some of the stand ot songs from previous seasons and then share an ultimate soundtrack covering all songs from all seasons.

MURDER HOUSE

Set in the year 2011, the season follows the Harmons, consisting of psychiatrist Ben, his wife Vivien, and their teenage daughter Violet as they move from Boston to Los Angeles to make a fresh start after Vivien’s miscarriage led to Ben having an affair with one of his students; which almost tore their family apart. They move into a restored mansion and soon encounter the residence’s housekeeper, Moira O’Hara, as well as their neighbors – the eccentric Langdon family consisting of Constance and her daughter Adelaide. The Harmons’ lives are troubled by the meddling Langdons, the incompetent realtor Marcy, as well as by the disfigured Larry Harvey, a former resident of the mansion who is secretly in love with Constance, and the scorned Hayden McClain, Ben’s student who follows him to Los Angeles and is pregnant from their affair. Ben and Vivien try to rekindle their relationship as Violet, suffering from depression, finds comfort with Tate, the ghost of Constance’s psychopathic son. The family soon discovers that the home is haunted by the ghosts of anyone who has ever died on the property, including its creators Charles and Nora Montgomery ; and their deformed son Thaddeus. Flashbacks depict the mansion’s previous homeowners throughout the last century, dating back to its construction in the 1920s. The season deals with infidelity, as well as other themes including depression, family, school violence, religion, and sexuality.

One of my favourite tracks from Murder House is Hannah Peel’s cover of ‘Tainted Love’.

ASYLUM

Set in the year 1964, the season follows the patients and staff members of the church-owned Briarcliff Manor, located in Massachusetts, which was founded to treat and house the criminally insane. Kit Walker, accused of being prolific serial killer “Bloody Face” after the disappearance of his wife Alma—though he claims she was abducted by aliens—is incarcerated at Briarcliff. This piques the interest of ambitious journalist Lana Winters , who is yearning to find a story for her big break. At Briarcliff, Kit meets the other patients, many of whom claim to be unjustly institutionalized, including microcephalic Pepper , who was framed for her nephew’s murder; nymphomaniac Shelley; and the unassuming Grace Bertrand from France, who appears to be harboring a deep secret of her own. Believed to be a violent serial killer, he becomes the subject of interest of pragmatic psychiatrist Oliver Thredson and the sadistic Dr. Arthur Arden, the latter of whom routinely conducts scientific operations on patients. The institution is run under the watchful eye of the stern Sister Jude, as well as her second-in-command, the naive Sister Mary Eunice, and the founder of the institution, Monsignor Timothy Howard. Briarcliff’s inhabitants are routinely subject to supernatural and scientific influences, including demonic possession and extraterrestrial abduction. The season mostly deals with insanity, with other themes including female sexuality, corrupt ambition, religion versus science, racism, prejudice, death, and faith.

By far my highlight of this season is when Sister Jude does her performance of ‘The Name Game’.

COVEN

Set in the year 2013, the season follows the dwindling descendants of the witches who survived the Salem Witch Trials and their struggle to hide their identity in the modern world. Those who share this genetic affliction are being subjected to violent attacks from outside forces, such as religious townspeople and witch hunters. Zoe Benson, a young teenager completely unaware of the existence of witches, discovers her identity as a Salem descendant after a violent accident that causes the death of her boyfriend. She is sent to an all-girls boarding school in New Orleans which aims to protect and house young women who carry this unique bloodline, and keep them from the dangers of the outside world. There, she meets the other students, narcissistic film star Madison Montgomery, outspoken Queenie, and enigmatic Nan, and gets romantically entangled with Kyle Spencer, a non-witch and good-natured college student. The school is run by headmistress Cordelia Foxx, head of the Witches Council and eccentric fashionista Myrtle Snow, and the mute butler Spalding. Cordelia’s mother, Fiona Good, is the Supreme and most powerful witch of her generation, though she regularly avoids her responsibilities, much to the chagrin of Cordelia and her long-time rival Myrtle. After a mob of townspeople discover and nearly kill a young witch living in the swamps named Misty Day, Fiona returns to the school to ensure the safety of the other young witches, but also to fulfill her own hidden agenda. Events reveal a long-held rivalry between the witches of Salem and the voodoo practitioners of New Orleans, as well as a historic grudge between Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau and socialite serial killer Delphine LaLaurie. This season mostly deals with oppression, with other themes including witchcraft, voodoo, racism, prejudice, death, and the relationships between mothers and daughters.

If Stevie Nicks is a with then this track from the show is pure black magic!

FREAK SHOW

Set in the year 1952 in the quiet town of Jupiter, Florida, the season follows a struggling freak show led by Elsa Mars. Decades have passed since the public has looked upon freak shows as a form of entertainment, but Elsa dreams of finding a home for her “monsters”, as well as for her own fame and fortune. Other members of her troupe include Jimmy Darling, a boy born with syndactyly who dreams of living a normal life, and his mother Ethel, a bearded lady who is Elsa’s second-in-command by maintaining law and order under the tent. A strongman from Ethel’s troubled past named Dell Toledo, and his three-breasted wife Desiree Dupree, make waves when they arrive to join the freak show. To drum up business and save her troupe once and for all, Elsa also recruits conjoined twin sisters Bette and Dot Tattler to perform for her show. In a time when the era of television is beginning to reign high above sideshow acts, these individuals must overcome those who persecute them based on their looks. However, as events unfold, it is revealed that multiple dark entities have taken up residence in Jupiter, with all of their eyes being set on the freaks. A conman named Stanley , posing as a Hollywood executive, arrives with his young protege Maggie Esmerelda, with the intention of murdering the freaks and sending their bodies to a museum for profit. The wealthy and spoiled Dandy Mott, enabled by his doting mother Gloria, develops an unhealthy obsession with the freaks, particularly Bette and Dot. Perhaps most dangerous of all is a mysterious, deformed killer clown, only known as Twisty, who wreaks havoc among the town and appears to be targeting freaks and townspeople alike. This season mostly deals with discrimination, with other themes including prejudice, acceptance, exploitation, entertainment, television, and medical oddities.

Jessica Lange steals the show again with this cover of Lana Del Ray’s ‘Gods & Monsters’.

HOTEL

Set in the year 2015, the season follows the strange and dangerous happenings that seem to center around the retro Hotel Cortez in downtown Los Angeles, California, initially built as a secret torture chamber to fulfill the violent desires of founder James March. Detective John Lowe arrives at the hotel, based on intel from an anonymous tip, to investigate a grisly string of murders, each of which exemplify a sin in violation of one of the Ten Commandments. He has become estranged from his wife Alex, who suffers from depression, and his daughter Scarlett, after the disappearance of their son Holden. As the season unfolds, the Lowes discover that the disappearance of Holden may be related to the strange activities at the hotel, led by March’s fashionista widow Elizabeth Johnso, also known as the Countess—who was turned into a vampire by her former lovers, actor Rudolph Valentino and his wife Natacha Rambova —and her current lover Donovan. Throughout his investigation, John also becomes entangled with the spirits of heroin junkie named Sally , hotel maid Hazel Evers, and James March, who is looking for a protege to continue the violent acts he started when he was alive. The hotel’s tireless staff includes the surly front desk manager Iris, Donovan’s mother who took the job to be close to her son, and her best friend, the transgender bartender Liz Taylor, both of whom hesitantly cater to Elizabeth and her vampiric children. Elizabeth’s relationship with Donovan becomes troubled with the arrival of male model and cocaine addict Tristan Duffy, New York fashion designer Will Drake , and her scorned ex-lover Ramona Royale, all of whom become entangled in her violent life. This season mostly deals with addiction, with other themes including sexuality, insanity, revenge, debauchery, religion, sin, drug use, forgiveness, and death.

For a season that has the first ever acting role by superstar Lady Gaga I was a little disappointed that at the lack of musical performances in the script. Nonetheless a great soundtrack and how could you not enjoy hearing this again?

ROANOAKE

Set in the years 2014-2017, the season follows the supernatural events that occur in a renovated farmhouse in North Carolina, which is situated on the land where the Roanoke Colony moved after their infamous 1580s disappearance. In 2015, Shelby Miller, her husband Matt, along with Matt’s sister Lee Harris recount their harrowing experience living in the farmhouse a year prior in a popular documentary series titled My Roanoke Nightmare, including their encounters with the ghosts of the house’s previous residents, the violent ghosts of the Roanoke Colony, the cannibalistic Polk family who live nearby, and the beautiful, yet terrifying Celtic goddess, Scáthach. The documentary becomes a huge success, featuring dramatic reenactments of the Millers’ story starring Audrey Tindall as Shelby, Dominic Banks  as Matt, Monet Tumusiime as Lee, Agnes Mary Winstead as Thomasin White, leader of the ghost colony, Audrey’s husband Rory Monahan as Edward Philippe Mott, the creator and first owner of the house, William van Henderson as Dr. Elias Cunningham, a professor who becomes entranced with the paranormal happenings of the area, and Dylan (Wes Bentley) as Ambrose White, Thomasin’s son and accomplice. In 2016, the success of the documentary leads to a sequel titled Return to Roanoke: Three Days In Hell, spearheaded by the producer of the original series, Sidney Aaron James, who invites the Millers, as well as many of the reenactment actors, to return to the farmhouse for three days, where all their actions will be captured by hidden cameras. Although the Millers are aware of the entities that reside in the house, all three agree to return, each with their own agenda. The production eventually descends into disaster, however, as cast and crew alike are quickly targeted when the violent entities begin to surface. This season mostly deals with exploitation, with other themes including reality, fame, motherhood, family, drug abuse, publicity, revenge, the media, and television.

Slightly lacking in the soundtrack I thought but it did have ‘Perfect Illusion’ by Lady Gaga as one in on of the promos.

CULT

Set in the year 2017, the season is set in the fictional town of Brookfield Heights, Michigan, is left divided upon the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential election. Local restaurant owner Ally Mayfair-Richards is left utterly distraught, along with her wife Ivy. Despite the help of her psychiatrist, Dr. Rudy Vincent Anderson, Ally becomes increasingly unstable in the following weeks, her long repressed phobias begin to re-emerge, and they begin to affect her relationships with her wife as well as their son Oz. Across town, misogynistic alt-righter Kai Anderson rejoices at the election results, enticing him to pursue political power by running for city council, led by Bebe Babbitt, an old-school feminist, with the help of his reluctant, liberal sister Winter, who was also hired by the Mayfair-Richards household as their nanny. As Ally attempts to adjust to regular life despite her growing anxiety and paranoia, she becomes terrorized by a group of masked assailants in clown attire who are only present when she is alone, leaving those around her to wonder if she was truly attacked, or if they were merely hallucinations. Kai’s faithful followers include Ally’s eccentric neighbors Harrison  and Meadow Wilton, newscast reporter Beverly Hope, rogue detective Jack Samuels, as well as local grocery cashier Gary K. Longstreet . With Kai’s rise to power revealing sinister motives, Ally starts to draw connections between her alleged clown attackers and the many strange incidents occurring in Brookfield Heights. She begins to fear that everyone in town is out to get her, amplifying her growing distrust of those around her, especially her neighbors. This season mostly deals with marginalization, with other themes including politics, government, conspiracies, the media, fear, power, disenfranchisement, revenge, sexism, and oppression.

Either by this season the writers are focussing less on the soundtrack or I am missing some songs. Either way ‘Holy’ by SORNE really sums up this season.

APOCALYPSE

On January 12, 2017, the series was renewed for an eighth season, set to premiere on September 12, 2018. Murphy has announced the season will be set 18-months in the future, in October 2019, and will feature an Asylum and Coven tone. Initially, Murphy stated that the ninth season would most likely be the crossover season between Murder House and Coven, but the eighth season was chosen instead. A crossover season was first announced on October 30, 2016. On July 19, 2018, it was announced at the San Diego Comic-Con that the title of the season would be Apocalypse. Filming for the season began on June 16, 2018. So far that’s all we know but I am pretty sure this could be one of the best season to date!

So, as we wait for the songs from Season 8 why not also enjoy the playlist featuring all songs from previous seasons. If you think I have missed any please let me know and I will add them in.

American Horror Story Playlist

Don’t have a music streaming service yet? Try one of these:

SpotifyApple Music or Amazon  |

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Written by Steve

I’m Steve and live in a village called Alford (home of Emeli Sande & birthplace of the Aberdeen Angus cow) in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. I currently work in the IT industry (yawn) I just want to share my ideas, findings and general reflections with whoever wants to listen.

9 comments

  1. I love this playlist! Coven was my favourite soundtrack wise, I love Stevie! She’s been on set for Apocalypse so I’m hopeful for a great soundtrack and a great series!

    Like

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