As Halloween approaches, you might find yourself in the mood for music that resonates with the holiday season. Here at Lemonwire, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you, and have brought seven hellish, classic rock tunes. So let’s journey back to a time when people actually thought rock and roll songs held the power of dark magic, and see if we can find some.
Six seemed like the appropriate number.
1. The Rolling Stones – “Sympathy for The Devil”
You can never go wrong with the Stones. Mick Jagger’s first person account as Satan describes the part the devil took in several moments throughout history. These include the crucifixion of Jesus, the assassination of the Czar in St. Petersburg, and the John F. Kennedy assassination.
While none of the Stones took the subject material seriously, some of their listeners did. And with that screeching guitar solo, who else but the devil could be responsible?
2. Led Zeppelin – “Stairway to Heaven” (reversed)
If you’ve never heard the old rumor about Led Zeppelin’s subliminal messages heard in their music, you’re in for a treat. Both fans of Led Zeppelin, as well as anti-rock zealots believed that you could hear devil-worshiping messages in “Stairway to Heaven” when the song was played in reverse.
It’s claimed that the Robert Plant’s voice carried this message: “There is no escaping / Whose path will make me sad, whose power is Satan / He will give you 666 / Here’s to my sweet Satan”.
3. AC/DC – “Highway to Hell”
We couldn’t well leave this one out of the mix. It’s easily one of the most influential rock songs of all time, or at least one of the most well-known. The song led many to belileve that the band were Satanists, even though the real meaning of the song is inspired by the hardships of constant touring.
4. Primus – “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (Charlie Daniels Band cover)
While this song isn’t necessarily one that caused listeners to accuse the band of being Satanists, it still fits quite well thematically into our list. The song tells the story of a young fiddler named Johnny who battles the devil for a golden fiddle.
It’s a nice twist on the old trope of selling your soul to the devil for supernatural musical abilities, in that Johnny ends up winning and mocking the devil by the end.
5. Black Sabbath – “War Pigs”
Really, you could pick almost any Black Sabbath song and it would fit in this list. But we like “War Pigs” for its multiple layers and political commentary. This classic heavy metal tune brings in droning guitars, haunting vocals, and a haze of lush echoes that wash over you.
The allusions to the devil come in during the second verse. “Day of Judgment, God is calling /On their knees the war pigs crawling/ Begging mercy for their sins/ Satan, laughing spreads his wings.”
6. Tenacious D – “Explosivo”
All right, I know I said these were all classic rock songs, but I couldn’t resist throwing one in that pokes fun at the trope of satan-fueled rock and roll.
In another silly song from the comedy rock duo, Jack Black sings, “We are fueled by Satan. / Yes, we’re schooled by Satan. / Fueled by Satan!”
Towards the end of the song, Jack Black’s voice morphs into a demonic chant. “I am not one of you. / I come from an ancient time. / I am known as the kicker of elves. / I am also known as the angel crusher”.
That about does it for our list today. If there are any other good ones I missed, be sure to leave a comment below with it.