27 Jun

We Bite: 10 Songs about vampires.

Posted by Bryan White | Sunday June 27, 2010 | Whimsy

Every now and then I go on a vampire kick. Can you blame me? They’re pretty sexy monsters. I also wrote a short piece about how Dracula is my favorite vampire movie for The Vault of Horror/Brutal As Hell collaboration, Lucky 13, so I’m sort of in that mode right now. Movies are one thing, but if there’s another place that the vampire allure has also proliferated, it’s music. The idea of young and sexy forever is extremely compatible with rock. So for your enjoyment, here’s 10 songs about vampires.

The Pretty Reckless – Make Me Wanna Die

My wife, Denise, turned me on to this one. Prior to her mentioning the band, I’d never heard of them or their singer, Taylor Momsen, who I guess is some kind of actress on Gossip Girl. Never seen the show but she turns out a fairly smoky performance of a song full of veiled references to vampires.

Concrete Blonde – Bloodletting

By the time Concrete Blonde released Bloodletting, they’d been at it a while without making much of an impact on the rock world. They had a brief hit with their single Joey but that was about it and it’s a shame because they’re pretty good and singer, Johnette Napolitano puts on a hell of a show. This song lifts a lot of themes from Anne Rice novels.

Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead

Chances are if you’re reading this, you know who Bauhaus is and if that’s the case then you definitely know Bela Lugosi’s Dead. It’s not entirely clear what the song is actually about and even though the band is on record about how the song was some kind of obtuse joke, they unwittingly spawned an entire genre of music with devotees clad head to toe in black, silver jewelry and white makeup to get that vampire look just right.

Roky Erickson – Night of the Vampire

Roky Erickson made his name as the frontman for The 13th Floor Elevators, allgedly the first band to coin the term psychedelic rock. Heavy acid use and some troubles with the law in native Texas wound Roky up in a mental facility where he went even crazier and when he came out, he released a collection of songs with a heavy horror bent.

Wesley Willis – Vampire Bat

Continuing with the theme of vampirism and mental illness, here’s Wesley Willis. The late Chicago schizophrenic “musician” was known for a shit ton of songs about whatever happened to be on his mind at the time and were often performed to the preset songs on his keyboard. Most of them began with the words “once upon a time”. Wesley is confused about the differences between bats and birds and exactly how a bat might extract blood from a human but then again, Wesley was confused about most things.

Mazzy Star – Taste of Blood

It’s a shame that Mazzy Star never broke out bigger than they did. Back when radio was hungry for anything moody and “alternative”, their single Fade Into You popped into MTV rotation and then they were never heard from again, leaving most people with the impression that Mazzy Star was the name of the singer, whose name is actually Hope Sandoval. In actuality, they released three really good albums full of moody, jangly pop songs, combining shoegaze with The Doors. Among those pop songs is this one about being killed by a vampire.

Slayer – At Dawn They Sleep

It’s actually kind of alarming to me that Slayer has a song about vampires. The horror of their lyrics has often been relegated to Satan and true-crime death metal variations on horror. This one’s from their second album, Hell Awaits, an album that I really don’t care much for. Show No Mercy hasn’t exactly aged well, but it’s still a killer album and a tough one to follow and in my opinion, Hell Awaits doesn’t really stand up, but here’s what it sounds like when a thrash band takes on the vampire thing. See? It’s not just for goths!

Outkast – Dracula’s Wedding

Speaking of not just for goths. Here’s what happens when hip-hop takes on vampires. Dracula’s Wedding appears on The Love Below half of the Outkast double album with Speakerboxxx, that is, Andre 3000’s half of the album. Outkast has always been on the edge of hip-hop conventions but without Big Boi to tether him, Andre 3000 released what basically amounts to his interpretation of Purple Rain. The whole album is abstract and silly but everything lived in the shadow of Hey Ya, a single so strong that is absorbed just about everything else on the album.

Calabrese – Vampires Don’t Exist

I really wanted to avoid writing about a horror punk band because just about every one of them has a song about a vampire and just about every one of them sounds like The Misfits but Calabrese is the official band of Cinema Suicide and I fucking love this song.

Type O Negative – Black No. 1

I hate to speak ill of the dead but I always hated Peter Steele’s lyrics. The guy had a great voice, for sure, but the melodrama of “happy Halloween, baby” gives me eye strain from rolling them so hard and let’s not even approach the lyric, “boo bitch craft”. What the fuck is that? What would a list of vampire music be without at least one Type O Negative song, though? That was pretty much their thing and sometimes Peter Steele’s issues with enunciation in the vocals department led me to believe that he was singing with a pair of plastic fangs capping his canines.

29 Comments 

  1. June 27, 2010 10:50 pm

    Tony

    Neil Young – Vampire Blues

  2. June 28, 2010 9:33 am

    giania

    I always thought The Toadies “Possum Kingdom” was either about a vampire, or a serial killer/rapist. The confused teenage girl in me had REALLY wanted it to be a vampire, cause dying is sexy when it means you then live forever as a superbeing of the night.

  3. June 28, 2010 5:01 pm

    Bryan White

    I think it’s based on one of those campfire stories about the crazy guy who lives in the woods near the campground, you know? That’s how I always interpreted it.

  4. July 1, 2010 4:50 pm

    Troy Z

    Don’t forget this critical entry in the “Not Just For Goths” category: Peter Tosh’s “Vampire.” I bought the “No Nuclear War” album just for this gem. Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye32wGgx3Hc

  5. July 3, 2010 4:57 pm

    Jeremy

    Actually, (I’m a HUGE Toadies/Burton Bros. fan), Possum Kingdom is based upon the lead singers first sexual experience. Possum Kingdom is a lake near Ft. Worth, Tx.

  6. October 22, 2010 3:56 pm

    NinjaBrikk

    Vampires Will Never Hurt You by My Chemical Romance. :)

  7. December 20, 2010 11:41 pm

    animeangel58

    enrique iglesias-tired of being sorry
    sweet, mysterious, romantic, deadly, intoxciating vamps

  8. January 10, 2011 4:47 pm

    Brandi Paige

    Unbury Me – Brandi Paige

    I wrote this song about vampires!

  9. January 10, 2011 4:52 pm

    Bryan White

    Jeez, Brandi. That’s pretty good! Kind of has that True Blood theme song vibe going for it. Nice work.

    Peeps. Hear it here: http://www.reverbnation.com/brandipaige

  10. April 8, 2011 10:03 pm

    LILY OSBORN

    tis music tell the world about vampires are different in mny wys bt thy show how i feel towrds the world

  11. June 1, 2011 3:28 pm

    tom

    “Closer” by Kings of Leon. Anyone actually listened to the lyrics?!

  12. June 29, 2011 2:23 pm

    Jessie-Lynn

    Live Forever – Soulidium

  13. October 14, 2011 4:36 pm

    SayntMykl

    “Boo Bitch” is a derogatory term for a goth chick.

  14. October 14, 2011 7:57 pm

    Bryan White

    That’s great. It’s still a stupid lyric.

  15. October 26, 2011 4:32 pm

    Draco

    Can’t forget ..

    Forsaken by David Draiman
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuCAjTbRfL8

    Black No. 1 by Type O Negative
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xjtxCdMyQ4

    Cry Little Sister by Gerard McMann (aka) G Tom Mac
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fFo-WZsm5Q

  16. October 26, 2011 4:38 pm

    Draco

    Sorry for the repost of Black No 1.. just can’t get enough

  17. October 26, 2011 4:42 pm

    Bryan White

    Ha! I love Cry Little Sister. Lost Boys is a favorite of mine. It’s not really a vampire song but it’ll do by association alone. Looked up the lyrics and, quite frankly, I can’t tell you what that song is about.

  18. October 28, 2011 5:58 pm

    Jami

    Dudes! You totally forgot Look Out For The Vampire by The Short Circus!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPwuC8Rrc1E

    Yes, that is Morgan Freeman. This is a clip from the 1970s children’s educational show The Electric Company. Morgan made many appearences as Dracula on the show. (Though one time he was Vincent The Vegetable Vampire.)

  19. December 18, 2011 1:34 pm

    Fayth Salem

    Transylvanian Concubine

  20. January 21, 2012 4:26 pm

    Talli

    Speaking of Mazzy Star, I always felt “Into Dust” had a bit of a vampiric theme. Certain lore that vampires, when staked, turn into dust. Plus, “breathless” is mentioned twice; “growing colder”; and themes of fate imply to me a possibility of being about vampires. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t as all of the above could very well just be about two people in love.

    Also, The Spill Canvas’ “This Is For Keeps”:

    pluse is flat-lined
    my fangs are aching
    pale complexion
    leave this human race
    eternity
    your chin, it drips a bloody color of rust
    immortalize you and me

  21. January 30, 2012 12:31 pm

    Nightmare

    You should have a BlutEngel song on here! Their German dark techno.

    Bloody Pleasures, Vampire Romance, Children of the Night, and Resurrection are all good. :3

  22. July 25, 2012 4:11 pm

    Hissssss

    I like A White Demon Love Song by The Killers.

  23. August 23, 2012 7:48 pm

    Inigo

    other vampire rock song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPGg9wrNOM0

  24. September 13, 2012 10:07 am

    Bryan White

    Wow! That track is killer!

  25. October 23, 2012 8:21 am

    Dusk

    *cough* Paralysed Age – Bloodsucker 2000

    Hands down best, with Voltaire’s the Vampire Club being a close second.

  26. October 23, 2012 9:44 pm

    Aspera

    Biggest Vampire song you have all heard of, but may not realize is a vampire song:

    Have you listened to the lyrics of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”? Bonny Tyler didn’t write that song, Jim Steinman wrote it originally thinking he’d use it for Nosferatu. But offered the Song to Meatloaf, but he didn’t need it so they gave it to Bonnie Tyler.

    Steinman did eventually use the song in the theatrical play for the play “Tanz der Vampire” (“Dance of the vampires” in English, but I hear the German version is better than the translated “Dance of the Vampires”.

  27. October 23, 2012 10:32 pm

    Bryan White

    Dope intel! I knew it was a Steinman song but I had no idea it was a castoff from Nosferatu.

  28. December 10, 2012 2:23 pm

    LadyMacabre

    What’s up with this guy? Peter Steele was a good lyricist..wasted on people who can’t accept creativity

  29. February 25, 2013 5:13 pm

    TG

    Check also this one – “Vampire Girlfriend”: https://soundcloud.com/theglamrepublic/vampire-girlfriend


Leave a comment