It's Halloween time! The season of scares, screams and ... wait for it ... 'EVIL!' We at UCR are generally not too too frightening, but we searched through the archives to pick out these oh-so evil songs for you. It's like an audio trick-or-treat, without the possibility of razor blades in the apples. We really are a nice bunch of folks!
So come now children, and bask in the dastardly glow of the Top 10 Evil Songs.
"Evil Hearted You"The Yardbirds
From: 'Having a Rave Up' (1965)
This moody 1965 rocker is one of a stockpile of killer Yardbirds records. The song was a Top 5 hit in the U.K., and its dark, brooding verses give way to some raunchy rave up bridges in true Yardbirds fashion. It's another in a long tradition of tales of woe about a woman stomping on a poor guy's heart. Jeff Beck delivers one of his many great guitar solos here, with a Spanish accent woven in this time out.
From: 'For Those About to Rock' (1981)
Here's another tale of an evil woman who's done somebody wrong song. This slow crawling little number is from the 1981 album For Those About to Rock. "Evil Walks" is one of AC/DC's lost gems. The blues tradition so loved by the band shines on here with lyrics like "Black widow weavin' evil notion / Dark secret's bein' spun in your web." Angus Young, as always, kicks out some killer lead guitar.
From: 'Abandon' (1998)
Abandon was Deep Purple's second album with guitarist Steve Morse, and his blistering pace leads the way on "Evil Louie." The track has vintage Purple written all over it and the band proves they were far from dead ... or undead. The song also includes some interesting lyrics about the inherent evil of the world, like, "Five point six billion versions of the truth under one roof, some revelation / Evil Louie is tomorrow's sadness, it's a game of madness in a perfect world."
From: 'Creeping Death' (1984)
Originally written and recorded by British heavy metal heroes Diamond Head, the song gained new life, fame and fortune in the hands of Metallica. Issued as the B-side of their 1984 "Creeping Death" single, "Am I Evil?" is a killer. Metallica had a knack for taking other people's songs and making them their own and "Am I Evil?" is no exception. The only thing as brutal as the music was the lyrics. With phrases like, "My mother was a witch, she was burned alive / Thankless little b----, for the tears I cried," it's a pretty intense seven-minute ride.
From: 'Santana' (1969)
How could we not include this gem on our Top 10 Evil Songs list? "Evil Ways" was the first taste most of the world got of Santana, and it captures their uniqueness just as they were taking off. Their blend of Latin, pop, psychedelia and biting guitar work was a force to reckon with, sending this single to the Top 10 on the Billboard chart. It's yet another tale of a poor little guy betrayed by the big bad evil woman. Those blues motifs never age!
"A Touch of Evil"Judas Priest
From: 'Painkiller' (1990)
Judas Priest's "A Touch of Evil" features a swirling round of strings giving way to a mean riff as the band kick into gear. Unlike other tales of woe, this guy is actually looking for evil, as expressed in the lyrics, "Arousing me now with a sense of desire / Possessing my soul till my body's on fire." The song is packed full of drama, though at times it sounds like the theme from some bad '80s teen horror flick.
From: 'Heaven and Hell' (1980)
"If you ever get to Witches Valley, don't dream or close your eyes," states Black Sabbath's "Lady Evil," a natural fit for the Top 10 Evil Songs. There is no denying the total rock action of the Heaven and Hell LP. Ronnie James Dio's first outing with Sabbath gave us one of the band's greatest albums, and "Lady Evil" is one of many stellar moments within. And what of the "evil lady who feeds the darkness." No fooling, "It eats right from her hand."
"Evil Woman (Don't Play Your Games With Me)"Crow
From: 1969 Single
Who was more evil than Black Sabbath in their heyday? No, it wasn't the Cowsills. Ironically, this song may spell "evil," but it's actually one of the lighter moments on their 1970 debut. The track was originally recorded by the U.S. group Crow, who had a minor hit with it in 1969. Sabbath seized on the riff and made it a heavier proposition. The song was the band's first single in the U.K., but did not appear on the U.S. version of the album. It has, however, been a part of reissues in recent years.
"Evil Woman"Electric Light Orchestra
From: 'Face the Music' (1975)
A Top 10 single in 1975 on both sides of the Atlantic, "Evil Woman" was another step toward mega stardom for ELO. One of many great tracks from the Face the Music album, "Evil Woman" showcased the trademark Jeff Lynne-style of employing a simple riff and working magic around it. Unlike many of the sob stories about the less than trustworthy female, Lynne calls her as he sees her here, telling her she "better get your face on board the very next train."
"A Career of Evil"Blue Oyster Cult
From: 'Secret Treaties' (1974)
We proudly put Blue Oyster Cult at No. 1 on our Top 10 Evil Songs list. This 'evil' tune opens their third album, Secret Treaties. It simply seduces the listener and never lets go, with lyrics like, "I plot your rubric scarab / I steal your satellite / I want your wife to be mine, baby tonight." Buck Dharma's always-killer lead guitar work shines and the sinister groove is relentless.