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Shock Rock Sunday

Sorry for the multiple posts... KINJA!!!!!!

Horror rock, shock rock, goth rock - whatever you call it, there's always been a market for scary rock n' roll. This isn't meant to be a comprehensive list of shock/horror rock songs, but some of the signposts of the very loosely defined genre.


Shock rock is as old as rock itself, and the most well-known early song is "I Put A Spell On You" by Screaming Jay Hawkins. Much of the death imagery in shock rock comes directly from his performances:

This next one, from 1962, is the rockabilly Ronnie Cook and the Gaylads (yes, as far as I can tell that's their real name) with "Goo Goo Muck," clearly inspired by 50s monster movies like I Was A Teenage Werewolf.

I'm skipping "The Monster Mash" for now, moving on to Screaming Lord Sutch, who was directly inspired by Screaming Jay Hawkins."Jack The Ripper" is a twisted ripoff of "Alley Oop" and is of course about the infamous serial killer.

Horror wasn't a huge part of the swinging 60s, at least until the end, when flower power gave way to more sinister forces. One of the first to bring back the extreme theatricality of Screaming Jay was The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, who hit in 1967 with "Fire."

The 1970s began with two artists who defined shock rock. The first is Black Sabbath, who presented themselves as anti-hippie occultists.

The other is, of course, Alice Cooper, who despite early claims were NOT named after a witch contact by the band via Ouija board.

In the late 70s punk adopted horror as part of its nihilistic aesthetic. The Damned were the first punk band to release an album, and Dave Vanian (a former gravedigger) played up the slick vampiric look to the hilt.

The other British goth rock pioneer was, of course, Siouxsie Sioux, who developed the look that inspired thousands of fright queens who followed her.

Meanwhile, in the US The Cramps created a mix of rockabilly and horror that was very different from their British counterparts.

Similarly, The Misfits took a hardcore punk approach to horror.

Marilyn Manson has been accused of "trying too hard," but this is still a decently creepy song.

This is possibly NSFW and definitely the most extreme act here: The Voluptuous Horror Of Karen Black covering "My Heart Will Go On."

Finally, here's Mors Syphillitica, a band featuring Lisa and Doc Hammer of Venture Bros. fame, playing in a style they call "gothgrass."

Please, add your own faves!

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