Blue Oyster Cult, ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper’ vs. the Doors, ‘People Are Strange': Rock’s Scariest Song Battle
In honor of Halloween, we've chosen 16 of rock's scariest songs. The field will be sliced, diced and chopped in half every week based on your votes, until only the scariest song in rock history remains alive.
"(Don't Fear) The Reaper," which was released on Blue Oyster's Cult 1976 album, Agents of Fortune, attempts to make the inevitable a little less scary. Death comes to all of us, after all, and the song more or less makes peace with this fact. Still, it doesn't erase the scary thought of facing that great unknown, does it? Buoyed by a guitar riff for the ages (not to mention some mighty awesome cowbell), "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" shrugs off the dude with the robe and scythe in the most tuneful way possible.
"People Are Strange," meanwhile, comes from the Doors' second album, 1967's Strange Days. Like the rest of the LP, the song takes a demented-carnival approach to it music, which transports vintage cabaret music to hippie culture. The song itself deals with isolation and the sort of bizarre perception life can take on under certain influences ("People Are Strange" is as much about the counter-culture as it is about drugs). The song, like Blue Oyster Cult's, peaked at No. 12.
You can listen to both songs below so you can make an informed choice. You can vote once per hour in each of the eight first round Rock's Scariest Song battles until polls close on Oct. 12 at 11:59PM ET. Your choice for Rock's Scariest Song of all time will be revealed on Nov. 1, 2015.
Listen to Blue Oyster Cult's '(Don't Fear) The Reaper'
Listen to the Doors' 'People Are Strange'