Sunday, 14 October 2012

10 Devilish Songs

They say the Devil has all the best tunes. Judge for yourself with these ten diabolic ditties. So many top tunes in fact that Cliff Richard's "Devil Woman" doesn't quite sneak in...

1) Robert Johnson - "Me And The Devil Blues"
From the original Grandaddy of all things devilish and selling your soul for the gift, comes this song from the crossroads where only the unholy got buried...

2) Pink Floyd - "Lucifer Sam"
A bit 60s psychedelic, but dem were the times. Animal familiar of the Devil rather than Old Nick himself, still that's hippies for you...

3) Laibach - "Sympathy For The Devil"
A Rolling Stones cover version, made suitably diabolic by the totalitarian posturing of this group from war-torn Yugoslavia. The Stones' song had a film dedicated to it made by Jean Luc Godard "One Plus One" when people really did think the Devil was about to inherit his realm with all the revolutionary upheaval of the late 1960s.

4) Daniel Johnston - "Don't Play Cards With Satan"
Daniel Johnston's mental disorders (schizophrenia and bi-polar) lend his art a heart-wrenching intensity (think of a musical version of Van Gough maybe). Just listen to his voice in this track and you have to credit that Daniel really, really believes in the Devil. Even the guitar strumming sounds possessed.

5) Funkadelic - "Miss Lucifer's Love"
Funky devils and why not? The devil in this case is almost certainly human and mortal, but when it's George Clinton you're talking about, that can be pretty other-worldly anyway! Groovy little devil.

6) Beck - "Devil's Haircut"
Beck doing what Beck does best and with the usual impermeability of his lyrics. Just a good song really...

7) Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - "Up Jumped The Devil"
Seeped in Southern Gothic as Nick Cave is, Old (horned) Nick was going to make an appearance sooner or later in his music.

8) Big L - "Devil's Son"
Rappers are often portrayed as Folk Devils threatening the moral fibre of society. Here's a song that certainly had its fair share of trouble because of its extreme subject matter and kept getting pulled from release. Big L imagines that he is indeed Satan's offspring and goes on the rampage against Satan's enemies; er that would be Christians...

9) B52s - "Devil In My Car"
Just to lighten the mood a touch, the B52s bubble-gum rock camp it up when they discover that the devil has hitched a lift with them...

10) Butthole Surfers - "Sweatloaf"
The Devil always pops up in heavy metal music, but I'm not a metalhead really. But the Butthole Surfers always wanted to be Black Sabbath and this song is as funny as hell. Literally. Its starts quietly, so give it a chance. It was always great live, when lead vocalist Gibby Haynes ad libbed the intro with his insane mental jottings. Great fun.

11) Max Romeo - "Chase The Devil"
If Heavy Metal pays lugubrious homage to all things satanic, you'd imagine Reggae would play it for real as the enemy of their beliefs. And Max Romeo here does exactly that to fine effect.

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