Wednesday, February 9, 2011

10 Great Vampire Songs

I like to mix things up here at VampChix, and felt we were in dire need of some vamp-ish music recommendations.  The only obvious choice to ask to write up such a list was Derek Tatum, owner of the Mondo Vampire blog, and expert on all things goth, musical and vampish.  So take notes!  Below you'll find an excellent guide to creating a vampire playlist.  

Welcome to my list of “10 Great Vampire Songs.” Lists like these are always subjective, and I’ll be the first to admit that most songs literally about vampires are kinda cheesy. I initially wanted to avoid “the usual suspects” that you see on lists like these. But while
paring my song choices down, I realized that some of those “old chestnuts” are iconic for a reason. For me, a great “vampire song” is one that evokes a similar mood or touches on some of the themes that you’d find in a great vampire tale. The point is, not all of these songs are necessarily “about” vampires, but they all have a vampiric ambience. 

“Closer,” by Nine Inch Nails
Album: “The Downward Spiral”

I seriously doubt that Trent Reznor was thinking about the undead when he wrote “Closer,” but, nevertheless, it’s the most vampiric song I have ever heard. Despite the erotic throb of the music, a sinister pall hangs over the entire thing, creating a palpable sense of unease. Bonus points go to the excellent video, which combines religious iconography, freakshow imagery, and fetishism into what I imagine that the world looks like from a vampire’s point of view.
[Link to video is 18+ so did not post video here.]

“Moon Over Bourbon Street,” by Sting
Album: “Dream of the Blue Turtles”

Directly inspired by Anne Rice’s “Interview with the Vampire,” “Moon Over Bourbon Street” is a case study on how to create a classy song that actually is about a vampire. Sting keeps it subtle, and the result is a successful use of vampirism as something other than cheap

“Cry Little Sister,” by Gerard McMann
Album: “The Lost Boys” soundtrack

I don’t think you could create a list of great vampire songs without this one. Obviously used to great effect during the opening sequence to “The Lost Boys,” “Cry Little Sister” is a great example of a song that sets an appropriate mood without resorting to lyrical clichés (though what the lyrics are actually about is anyone’s guess!).

“Suspended in Dusk,” by Type O Negative
Album: “Blood Kisses” (digipack re-release)

While I love Type O Negative, this song is so overwrought that isborders on farce. Who knows, that might have been the band’s intent -it’s not like they ever hid their satirical streak (look at some ofthe other songs on the album for proof). Regardless, the song featuresgreat imagery, and does a good job of depicting the suffocation ofbeing a reluctant vampire. Peter Steele, RIP.

“Darkening of the Light,” by Concrete Blonde
Album: “Bloodletting”

Hey look, I faked you out! Bet you thought I was going to pick
“Bloodletting (The Vampire Song),” didn’t you? While that song introduced me to Concrete Blonde, this one has more staying power with me. Great stuff.

“The Lost Boys,” by The 69 Eyes
Album: “Devils”

The 69 Eyes love vampires so much that their album “Back in Blood” was entirely about the subject. And while I would recommend that release, my favorite vampire song by them is this one. No subtlety here; “The Lost Boys” is a fun tribute to the movie of the same name, and even re-uses a couple of lines from “Cry Little Sister.” No matter how you look at it, you can’t get away from Gerard McMann.

“Wrapped Around Your Finger,” by The Police
Album: “Synchronicity”

I didn’t plan on featuring two songs sung by Sting on this list, it just worked out that way. While the song is about a reversal of power (possibly in a relationship), I find it thematically similar to stories of vampire progeny overtaking their makers. Again, not really about vampires per se, but Sting never hid his appreciation for Anne Rice’s early works, either.

“Passion of Lovers,” by Bauhaus
Album: “Mask”

I could have included the old standby “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” and maybe I should have, but I wanted to go with this song instead. Bauhaus is one of my favorite bands, and this is one of my favorite songs by them. I am including this for the mood it evokes as much as anything, but the line “the passion of lovers is for death” isn’t hurting its standing here.

“Day of the Lords,” by Joy Division
Album: “Unknown Pleasures”

A writer for “White Wolf” magazine back in the ‘90’s said that he imagined that this is what a vampire apocalypse would sound like. I am hard pressed to disagree. Grim, lurching, and full of finality.

“London,” by Queensryche
Album: “Rage For Order”

Merely being inspired by vampires doesn’t always make for a great vampire song, but “Rage For Order” is a landmark progressive metal album regardless of its subject matter. Luckily for our purposes, vampiric imagery rears its head throughout this album. I was trying to choose between “London” and “The Whisper,” and went with the former. Check ‘em both out if you like this style of music.

Bonus song! “Wicked Game,” by HIM
Album: “Greatest Love Songs 666”

I’ll offer this one as a bonus, simply because when I first heard HIM in 2000 or thereabouts, I thought, “so that’s what The Vampire Lestat band would sound like.”

- Derek -

[VampChix chose the videos to go along with the songs (which may not necessarily fit with Derek's idea of the song), but we tried for the vamp look.]


SandyG265 said...

I'd also suggest Nosferatu and I Love the Night both by Blue Oyster Cult.

Rory Hartshorne said...

I am very excited HIM made your list, even if you did pick a cover song rather than an original (of which there are many vampire-y inspired tunes to pick from in their back catalogue). It just makes my Heartagram go all warm and fuzzy.

And the rest of this list is tops, too!

Anna (Bite Club) said...

Stellar list! About half of these songs are on my ipod right now but I have to admit that I haven't listened very much lately, something I will rectify as soon as I leave for work. I'm thinking the day calls for Bauhaus and HIM, maybe some NIN on the way home. Will be checking out Joy Division when I get some time to play on itunes.

Thanks, Derek!!

the cautionary tale said...

WOOO HOOO for the Concrete Blonde song!!!And I freakin loved that it was to old Dark Shadows. Super Squee!

Derek Tatum said...

I picked "Wicked Game" because it was one of the first ones I heard by HIM about 10 years ago. But that is exactly how I imagined Lestat would sound.

BOC's "Nosferatu" is a good call, but it's a little too obvious for my tastes.

Thanks for running the list, Michele!

Michele Hauf said...

Thank you, Derek, for the awesome list!

Terri Garey said...

Excellent, excellent list.

Dot S. said...

Fab list! loved the HIM and Concrete Blonde songs especially. I'm a romantic so Annie Lennox' "Love Song For A Vampire " made my list.

Tanya1224 said...

Very cool! I love that song by is just creepy though. Thanks Michele

pegsiders said...

Very nice list, Closer is a personal favorite. Did you consider Dragula, or Human by White Zombie, Rob Zombie? The only other song that is almost as obviously vampire is Diamond Eyes by the Deftones. OOOH "...when the coffin shakes..." Thanks for showing me a couple of new ones for my list.

Anonymous said...

I would also consider Hunter by 30 Seconds to Mars. It has a very dark, dangerous, and seductive feel. That's what vampires are, after all, isn't it?

Max Look dj said...

My list of blood suckers :
1) Frank Zappa – Transylvania boogie
2) City Center – profondo rosso (in English : deep red)
3) Meco – love me, Dracula
4) Sting – moon over Bourbon Street
5) Killing Joke – love like blood
6) Gorillaz – Dracula
7) Atahualpa – luna de sangre (in English : bloody moon)
8) Sam Harris – sugar don’t bite
9) Muse – supermassive black hole
10) Mokka – rock me Dracula
11) David Bowie – cat people
12) Gerry Bribosia – Dracula disco
13) Fad Gadget – collapsing new people
14) Teena Marie – I’m a sucker for your love
15) Praenestum 452/Red Blood/Soul Dracula Band – soul Dracula
16) Fad Gadget – arch of aorta
17) Radiorama – vampires
18) Device – hanging on a heart attack
19) Evanescence – bring me to life
20) Black Sabbath – paranoid
21) Lio – bebe vampire (in English : baby vampire)
22) Neil Young – vampire blues
If you want, you can listen to this playlist at

Anonymous said...

Try also "Vampire Girlfriend" by The Glam Republic. Here - Vampire Girlfriend or maybe there's some other place to download.