Along Comes Scary
Okay, it’s Halloween, and yes, that means that we’ve got to have a “Halloween” theme .
However, instead of rehashing “Thriller” and “Werewolves of London”, I thought I’d go for some genuinely disturbing songs – specifically, some of the creepiest (as in, most genuinely unsettling) songs ever recorded. Put ‘em on at your house Halloween night….if you dare…
BWA HA HA HA….sorry.
“Every Breath You Take” The Police
Let’s start with one that may surprise people.
I remember a DJ calling this song “Sting’s ‘Yesterday’”.
Really? I know what he meant, it was his big selling song with The Police, but…..THE SONG IS ABOUT A STALKER.
It’s music’s most famous tale of obsession. Sting’s lyric here is downright frightening: “Every breath you take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you.” Um… people get arrested for that kind of thing.
“I Love the Dead” – Alice Cooper
What a lovely subject for a song, I’m sure you’ll all agree. NECROPHILIA! Indeed, Cooper pulls out all the stops here, even topping some of his most creepy songs like “Dead Babies”, “Sick Things” and “Killer”. Not one to play at a dinner party, the opening lyrics proclaim, “I love the dead before they’re cold, their rotting flesh for me to hold, cadaver eyes upon me see…nothing”. It’s a bold confession of passion…TO A DEAD BODY!
I thought for sure this wouldn’t be a topic he’d ever explore again, unsavory as it is. Then, a few years later he put out a song called “Cold Ethyl”, an upbeat ditty sporting the catchy phrase, “She’s cool in bed, well she oughta be ‘CAUSE ETHEL’S DEAD!” Nice.
“Season of The Witch”- Vanilla Fudge
NOT the Donovan version, it’s just psychedelic and cool.
Vanilla Fudge took the Donovan song in 1968 and turned in into something creepier than “Tubular Bells” with that damn keyboard and devil vocals.
So the lesson here is: Unless you are suicidal, pick the Donovan version. Always.
“D.O.A.” – Bloodrock
To me, the absolute scariest song on this list.
What makes it so creepy is the intricate detail with which the narrator describes his final moments, even to the point of the attendant saying there’s no chance for him. He tells of how the sheets that cover his body are “red and moist” and how his girlfriend, sprawled out next to him in the morbid scene, “has such a distant stare”. To top it all off, the end of each chorus is punctuated with the sounds of a real ambulance, which delighted me as a young child when my dad pulled over, but freaks me out now. Macabre stuff, people.
“Revolution #9”- The Beatles
There is a scratch on my original white album because I would yank the needle off on about the third “Number 9, Number 9”.
And not just because it was a bad song. It scared the crap out of me.
Maybe it was all the supposed clues about Paul being dead and all….
Ever play the beginning backward? Or hear it? It says “Turn me on dead man”. It really does. It is freaky…
The sound of the ghoulish car horn and the fire are the worst parts for me.
I mean, any song that supposedly inspired Charles Manson has got to be one of the scariest songs of all time.
“Black Sabbath” – black Sabbath
When I was just a wee kid I was heavy into British invasion music. I was actually a little young for some of its heyday, but I went back and devoured it like other kids ate Pez. The Beatles were my obsession, but they got me into The Kinks, The Who, The Stones and all the rest.
I had a really good friend who was into Black Sabbath’s first record and I made the mistake of spending the night out at his parent’s house.
If I could have walked home I would have. It was simply too far. The song “Black Sabbath” by Black Sabbath almost made me soil myself. And he kept playing it over and over and over.
“Big black shape with eyes of fire
Telling people their desire
Satan’s sitting there, he’s smiling
Watches those flames get higher and higher
Oh no, no, please God help me”
Can you blame me? I was a kid for god sakes!!
By the way, the main riff is constructed with a harmonic progression including a diminished fifth. This particular interval is often known as “diabolus in musica” for its musical qualities which are often used to suggest satanic connotations in Western music.
Okay, I have to mention a couple of obvious ones before someone does below.
Anything by Slipnot or any other “Cookie Monster” Metal band. Don’t really listen to much of it. And there is a reason. Same with Marylin Manson (his version of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” is obviously just TRYING to be scary). But he just copped the Coop anyway (stole it all from Alice Cooper) so, forget him.
What about you? Any songs that just scare the crap out of you?