Table of Contents
- 1. “Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon
- 2. “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” by David Bowie
- 3. “Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley
- 4. “A Skeleton in the Closet” by Anthrax
- 5. “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett
- 6. “Some Kind of Monster” by Metallica
- 7. “Zombie” by The Cranberries
- 8. “Monster” by Michael Jackson
- 9. “Monster” by Lady Gaga
- 10. “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon
- 11. “Night of the Living Dead” by Misfits
- 12. “Ugly” by The Exies
- 13. “Return of the Vampire” by Mercyful Fate
- 14. “Pet Semetary” by The Ramones
- 15. “Godzilla” by Blue Oyster Cult
- 16. “The Monster” by Imagine Dragons
- 17. “Green Monster” by Suicide Silence
- 18. “Furry, Happy Monsters” by R.E.M.
- 19. “Monster is Loose” by Meat Loaf
- 20. “Black Sabbath” by Black Sabbath
The concept of monsters has been a source of fascination for centuries, inspiring a vast array of stories, songs, and other forms of art. From mythical creatures to horror movie villains, monsters have been used as a way to explore our deepest fears and anxieties, as well as our wildest imaginations. In music, the theme of monsters has proven to be a popular subject, with countless artists across genres crafting songs that range from playful and humorous to dark and ominous. This list of the top 20 songs about monsters offers a diverse selection of tracks that showcase the range and depth of this theme in popular music.
Starting off the list at number 20 is “Feed My Frankenstein” by Alice Cooper, a hard rock track that draws on classic horror movie tropes to tell a tale of love and lust. At number 10 is “The Time Warp” from the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” soundtrack, a campy and catchy song that has become a staple of Halloween parties and midnight screenings. And at the top of the list is “Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon, a rock classic that features a memorable piano riff and witty lyrics about werewolves prowling the streets of London. These songs, along with the others on the list, offer a glimpse into the enduring appeal of monsters in popular culture, and the many ways that musicians have tapped into this theme to create memorable and enduring works of art.
1. “Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon
“Werewolves of London” is a rock song by American musician Warren Zevon, released in 1978 as a single from his album “Excitable Boy.” The track features a memorable piano riff, catchy chorus, and witty lyrics that tell the story of werewolves prowling the streets of London. The song’s upbeat tempo and irreverent tone, combined with Zevon’s distinctive growling vocals, make it a memorable entry in the rock canon. “Werewolves of London” became a commercial success, reaching the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earning Zevon a reputation as a cult icon. The song’s lasting popularity is due in part to its association with Halloween and the supernatural, as well as its status as a classic of 1970s rock music.
2. “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” by David Bowie
“Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” is a song by English musician David Bowie, released in 1980 as the title track of his album “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps).” The track features a driving rhythm section, edgy guitar riffs, and Bowie’s distinctive vocals, which blend singing and spoken word. The lyrics of “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” explore themes of fear, paranoia, and anxiety, drawing on imagery from horror movies and science fiction. The song has been praised for its innovative sound, which blends elements of punk, new wave, and art rock, as well as its lyrics, which offer a commentary on contemporary society. “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” remains a beloved track in Bowie’s discography and has influenced countless musicians in the decades since its release.
3. “Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley
“Purple People Eater” is a novelty song written and performed by Sheb Wooley, released in 1958. The song tells the story of a friendly “one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater” who lands on Earth looking for a tasty treat. The track features a catchy melody, playful lyrics, and Wooley’s distinctive vocal performance, which includes a spoken word section where he imitates the voice of the creature. “Purple People Eater” was a massive commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming a pop culture phenomenon. The song’s lasting popularity has been attributed to its whimsical and lighthearted nature, as well as its association with childhood nostalgia.
4. “A Skeleton in the Closet” by Anthrax
“A Skeleton in the Closet” is a thrash metal song by the American band Anthrax, released on their 1987 album “Among the Living.” The song features aggressive guitar riffs and pounding drums, as well as the signature vocal style of frontman Joey Belladonna. The lyrics of “A Skeleton in the Closet” explore the theme of a dark secret that haunts an individual and their family, a topic that was inspired by the band members’ own experiences. The song has since become a fan favorite and a staple of Anthrax’s live shows, known for its intense energy and powerful performance.
5. “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett
“Monster Mash” is a novelty song written by Bobby “Boris” Pickett and Leonard Capizzi, and recorded by Pickett in 1962. The song tells the story of a mad scientist’s Halloween party, where he and his guests perform a new dance called the “Monster Mash.” The track is characterized by its catchy melody, spooky sound effects, and Pickett’s exaggerated vocal performance, imitating horror film actor Boris Karloff. “Monster Mash” became a massive hit upon its release, peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and has since become a Halloween classic. The song’s legacy is evident in its continued popularity and frequent use in movies, TV shows, and advertisements.
6. “Some Kind of Monster” by Metallica
“Some Kind of Monster” is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica, released in 2003 as the third single from their eighth studio album, “St. Anger”. The track is notable for its raw and aggressive sound, with pounding drums and distorted guitars that convey the band’s frustration and intensity. The lyrics speak to themes of inner turmoil, self-doubt, and personal demons, with the title suggesting that the subject of the song may be a reference to the band members themselves. The accompanying music video features footage from the documentary of the same name, which chronicles the making of the album and the band’s struggles during that time. “Some Kind of Monster” is a powerful and introspective track that showcases Metallica’s ability to create music that is both musically and emotionally powerful.
7. “Zombie” by The Cranberries
“Zombie” is a protest song by Irish rock band The Cranberries, released in 1994 as the lead single from their second studio album, “No Need to Argue”. The track is known for its heavy guitar riff and powerful vocals by lead singer Dolores O’Riordan, who wrote the song in response to a deadly IRA bombing that took place in 1993. The lyrics address the violence and senselessness of the conflict in Northern Ireland, and express frustration and grief over the loss of innocent lives. The song was a commercial success and became one of the band’s signature hits, solidifying their place in the alternative rock genre. “Zombie” remains a powerful and poignant statement against violence and a timeless classic in the rock canon.
8. “Monster” by Michael Jackson
“Monster” is a posthumous release from the legendary pop singer Michael Jackson, featuring the rap stylings of 50 Cent. With a funky, up-tempo beat and a catchy chorus, the song delivers a message of empowerment, encouraging listeners to stand up against those who would tear them down. Jackson’s signature smooth vocals are on full display, while 50 Cent’s edgier verses add a modern touch to the track. “Monster” was recorded during sessions for Jackson’s “Invincible” album but was never released until 2014. Its themes of perseverance and resilience make it a fitting addition to the King of Pop’s catalogue.
9. “Monster” by Lady Gaga
“Monster” is a song by American singer Lady Gaga, released as the third single from her debut album, “The Fame”. The electropop track features a driving beat, catchy hooks and anthemic choruses that showcase Gaga’s signature pop sensibility. The lyrics tell a story of a toxic relationship where the singer feels trapped and unable to escape from the grasp of her lover, whom she describes as a “monster”. The accompanying music video is a surreal visual feast, featuring Gaga in a variety of outrageous outfits and makeup looks, as she dances and performs in a club setting. Overall, “Monster” is a standout track from Gaga’s early discography and remains a fan favorite to this day.
10. “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon
Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” is a 1972 hit song that tells the story of a self-centered man who thinks the song is about him. The lyrics are filled with playful jabs at the man’s vanity and ego, with Simon’s signature vocals and piano creating a light, breezy feel. The song’s catchy chorus and memorable melody have made it a classic, and the mystery surrounding the identity of the man it’s about has kept listeners guessing for decades. “You’re So Vain” has been covered by many artists over the years and is considered one of the greatest pop songs of all time, with its witty lyrics and infectious melody capturing the spirit of the 1970s.
11. “Night of the Living Dead” by Misfits
“Night of the Living Dead” is a song by the American punk rock band Misfits, released in 1979. The track is characterized by its driving guitar riffs, pounding drums, and frontman Glenn Danzig’s signature howling vocals. The song’s lyrics draw on horror movie imagery, referencing the classic zombie film of the same name, and painting a picture of a world overrun by the undead. The song’s energy and catchy melody have made it a favorite of Misfits fans and a staple of the band’s live shows. “Night of the Living Dead” remains a testament to Misfits’ enduring influence on the punk rock genre, as well as the enduring appeal of horror-inspired music.
12. “Ugly” by The Exies
“Ugly” is a song by the American rock band The Exies, released in 2003. The track is characterized by its driving guitar riffs, pounding drums, and powerful vocals, which blend together to create a catchy and high-energy rock anthem. Lyrically, the song deals with themes of self-acceptance and overcoming insecurities, with the chorus urging listeners to embrace their flaws and imperfections. The song’s message of positivity and self-love has resonated with audiences around the world, and it remains a fan favorite of The Exies’ discography. “Ugly” is a testament to the power of rock music to uplift and inspire, even in the face of life’s challenges.
13. “Return of the Vampire” by Mercyful Fate
“Return of the Vampire” is a song by the Danish heavy metal band Mercyful Fate, released in 1992. The track is characterized by its thunderous guitar riffs, driving percussion, and haunting vocals, which blend together to create a dark and ominous atmosphere. Lyrically, the song deals with themes of evil, the occult, and the supernatural, drawing on the band’s signature horror-inspired imagery. The song’s mix of classic heavy metal and gothic horror influences have made it a favorite of fans of the genre, and it remains a testament to Mercyful Fate’s enduring influence on the world of heavy metal music.
14. “Pet Semetary” by The Ramones
“Pet Sematary” is a song by the American punk rock band The Ramones, released in 1989. The track was written for the horror movie of the same name, based on a novel by Stephen King. The song’s catchy melody and sing-along chorus, combined with its macabre subject matter, have made it a fan favorite and a staple of The Ramones’ discography. Lyrically, the song deals with themes of death and resurrection, with the “pet sematary” of the title representing a place where the dead can be brought back to life. The song’s mix of dark subject matter and punk rock energy have made it a standout track in The Ramones’ catalog.
15. “Godzilla” by Blue Oyster Cult
“Godzilla” is a classic rock song by the American band Blue Oyster Cult, released in 1977. The track is characterized by its heavy guitar riffs, driving rhythm, and catchy chorus, which has become an iconic part of the song’s legacy. Lyrically, the song is a tribute to the famous Japanese movie monster, with references to his size, strength, and destructive power. The song’s energy and catchy melody have made it a favorite of classic rock fans for decades, and it has been covered and referenced by numerous other artists over the years. “Godzilla” remains a testament to Blue Oyster Cult’s enduring influence on the world of rock music.
16. “The Monster” by Imagine Dragons
“The Monster” is a song by the American rock band Imagine Dragons, released in 2021. The track is characterized by its soaring vocals, dramatic piano chords, and pounding drums, which build to a powerful climax in the chorus. Lyrically, the song deals with themes of self-doubt and personal demons, with the “monster” of the title representing the fears and insecurities that can hold us back in life. The song’s message of confronting one’s fears and rising above them has resonated with audiences around the world, and the track has become a popular choice for motivational playlists and sports montages.
17. “Green Monster” by Suicide Silence
“Green Monster” is a song by the American deathcore band Suicide Silence. The track was released in 2014 and is known for its intense and brutal sound, which combines heavy guitar riffs and pounding drums with guttural vocals and screamed lyrics. The song’s dark and aggressive energy is characteristic of Suicide Silence’s signature style, which has made them a leading band in the deathcore genre. Lyrically, “Green Monster” is a scathing commentary on the state of modern society, taking aim at the greed and corruption that often dominate our world. The song’s unrelenting intensity and powerful message have made it a favorite among fans of heavy music.
18. “Furry, Happy Monsters” by R.E.M.
“Furry, Happy Monsters” is a playful and upbeat song by the American rock band R.E.M. The track was released in 1989 and featured on the popular children’s television show, Sesame Street. The song’s catchy melody and simple, easy-to-remember lyrics make it a hit with young children, while the band’s trademark jangly guitars and driving percussion give it a distinctive R.E.M. sound. The song’s message is one of joy and celebration, encouraging children to let loose and embrace their furry, happy inner monsters. “Furry, Happy Monsters” remains a beloved classic of children’s music and a testament to R.E.M.’s musical versatility.
19. “Monster is Loose” by Meat Loaf
“Monster is Loose” is a rock song by Meat Loaf that was released in 2006. The track opens with a haunting instrumental that sets a foreboding tone for the rest of the song. As the lyrics kick in, the listener is taken on a journey through a surreal and fantastical world filled with monsters and other creatures. Meat Loaf’s powerful vocals add to the epic feel of the track, which is filled with soaring guitar solos and pounding drums. The song’s catchy chorus and energetic rhythm make it a memorable addition to Meat Loaf’s discography and a popular choice for fans of classic rock.
20. “Black Sabbath” by Black Sabbath
“Black Sabbath” is a heavy metal classic by the British rock band Black Sabbath. Released in 1970, the track opens with the sound of thunder and church bells, setting a dark and ominous tone for the rest of the song. The slow, heavy riff that follows has become iconic in the world of rock music, and is often cited as one of the earliest examples of heavy metal. Ozzy Osbourne’s haunting vocals add to the song’s menacing atmosphere, as he sings about a figure lurking in the shadows. “Black Sabbath” has become a cornerstone of heavy metal, and a testament to Black Sabbath’s influence on the genre.