The Creepiest Songs in Rock History
‘Round about this time every year, rock fans can always count on two things. First, radio stations all over the world will be celebrating “Rocktober” for the millionth year in a row. Second, every music website worth their salt will inevitably release a list of “scary” rock songs just in time for Halloween.
Usually those lists consist of classic rock staples like Ozzy’s “Bark at the Moon”, “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Stones, along with requisite shock rockers Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie and every thrash metal band on the planet. Admittedly, most of those lists are very good. However, here’s a few personal picks for the most dastardly and diabolical songs of all time. Because sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to find the really demented, maniacal music.
#1. Talking Heads – Psycho Killer. This first person account of a serial killer on the prowl comes from the 1974 debut album “The Artistic”, which helped pave the way for scores of New Wave and Punk rock bands who would later delve into darker subject matter. Nearly 40 years after its release, Psycho Killer remains one of the most truly deranged tracks in the annals of rock n’ roll.
#2. AC/DC – Night Prowler. Appropriately, this was the last song on Bon Scott’s final album. Unlike the overtly sinister songs that would follow in the Brian Johnson era, “Night Prowler” truly showcases the understated lechery that defined Bon Scott’s life and career. Coincidentally, it would later inspire a real life serial killer, Richard “The Night Stalker” Ramirez.
#3. David Bowie – Please, Mr. Gravedigger. The last track from Bowie’s 1967 self titled debut, this song embodies the macabre genius of a twisted mad man who would later evolve into the enigmatic “Ziggy Stardust”.
#4. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath. No list of creepy classic rock songs is complete without the founding fathers of heavy metal. With respect to “NIB”, “Children of the Grave” and countless Ozzy solo songs that followed, “Black Sabbath” stands out as the most malicious of a beastly bunch. Particularly evil is the opening riff, crafted in the diminished fifth harmonic progression which has been associated with the occult for centuries.
#5. Pearl Jam – Dirty Frank. Typically, Pearl Jam is not known for the brooding lyrical content of their grunge counterparts in Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. However, this haunting homage to cannibalism, allegedly based on the crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer, invokes just enough sarcasm to make necrophilia more palpable than it’s been since Alice Cooper penned “Cold Ethyl” back in 1975.