Ten greatest monster songs that are not 'Monster Mash'

Categories: Lists

1027_werewolves.jpg
Werewolves of London, probably the best picture disc ever released.
So October (or Monstober, if you're into annoying nicknames) is the month of monsters, when we take an evening to support kids in dressing up like their favorite killing beast and threaten neighbors for candy, and adults in dressing like sexualized versions of traditional nightmares at parties. So it makes sense that our music would do the same: take monsters head-on and dismiss the darkness by wearing its shroud. Or, you know, making some quick cash on holiday tie-ins. Either way.

Of course, "Monster Mash" is the one that first pops to mind. So in the interest of fairness, and in not burying that earworm deep in your auditory canals, we'll start by stipulating that one and then focus on ten that aren't so obvious.

10. "Dracula's Wedding," OutKast


From the Grammy-winning double-solo Outkast effort Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (which also spawned "Hey Ya!" and "The Way You Move") comes this song celebrating everyone's favorite vampire, who becomes a rapper and is terrified when he finds his one true love. Or something like that. Really, it's best not to question most of the songs on this list.


9. "Frankenstein," New York Dolls


There's something fitting about the proto-punk New York Dolls singing about Frankenstein, who is basically a giant doll himself. So you'd think that David Johansen and company would have more to say about Frankie in this song from their 1973 album Seven Day Weekend. All the lyrics really refer to are his shoes being too big and his jacket too small. And that last question ("Did you think that you could make it with Frankenstein?") really makes you wonder if Mel Brooks listened to this when writing Young Frankenstein. Oh, sweet mystery of life, at last I've found you!

8. "Werewolves of London," Warren Zevon


From Zevon's most successful album, 1978's Excitable Boy, comes "Werewolves of London," which focuses on what must be the hippest werewolf that ever bayed at the moon. After all, this is a dude that drinks pina coladas at Trader Vic's...and his hair was perfect. Maybe not the scariest lycanthrope ever, but he'll still rip your lungs out, Jim.

7. "Scary Monsters," David Bowie


David Bowie is something of a scary monster himself. It's just an act, of course, but he pulled it off for decades. This song, from his eponymous 1980 album, is ostensibly about a woman's descent into madness, but Bowie fans know that it's really just one more eyeshadow-and-blush opportunity for the Thin White Duke.


6. "Furry Happy Monsters," REM/Sesame Street


The original "Shiny Happy People," from REM's 1991 album Out of Time, was something of a mixed bag. It was a hit, but Michael Stipe is on record as disliking it. It was, at one time, slated to be the theme song for Friends, but was also named as one of Blender magazine's 50 Worst Songs Ever. Whatever you think of the original, though, you have to give props to the monster cover from Sesame Street. It's just genius. The scariest thing about this song is that I'm still seriously attracted to Kate Pierson, even as a Muppet.




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6 comments
Barry King1
Barry King1

I agree that GODZILLA should be on the list!  I'll add THE PURPLE PEOPLE EATER by Sheb Wooley; DRAC'S BACK by Red Lipstique; MONSTER by Steppenwolf (only because of the name of the song); FRANKENSTEIN by The Edgar Winter Group; and THE BLOB THEME SONG (the theme to the movie The Blob).

ColfaxAvenue.com
ColfaxAvenue.com

You forgot "She's Fallen in Love With a Monster Man" by Jonny Barber & The Living Deads!!

marc474
marc474

GODZILLA by Blue Oyster Cult is easily one of the best monster songs and should have been on this list. FAIL.

MissDroplette
MissDroplette

In addition, Jay Hawkins was very into a kind of "voodoo vampire" horror schtick.  He jumped out of a coffin in his act, for years.

MissDroplette
MissDroplette

how can you compare wesley willis in any way with Screaming Jay Hawkins?  Screaming Jay Hawkins was not schizoid or crazy.  He had a trained voice (the opposite of Willis!) and was merely a very eccentric man, as far as what I have heard (at least we can say that he was employable and "with it" and he wasn't a street person like Willis by any stretch of the imagination!!!).  Everyone knows the old story about the producer of the record getting Hawkins drunk before they cut "I Put a Spell on You" in order for him to loosen up and sound wilder on the song.  

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