Judas Priest, ’The Ripper’ vs. the Who, ‘Boris the Spider’: 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.
"Boris the Spider" was reportedly the first song ever written by Who bassist John Entwistle, and although his ode to an arachnid was inspired by nothing more serious than some inebriated goofing around during a night of drinking with Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, it made quite an impact: Released as part of their 1966 LP A Quick One, it soon became a live favorite, and remained a frequent part of the group's set list — to the point that he was inspired to write "The Quiet One" for 1981's Face Dances in the hopes of creating something popular enough to keep him from having to perform "Boris" all the time.
"The Ripper," as even anyone who's never heard it can guess, is inspired by the infamous killer "Jack the Ripper," and was originally penned by Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton for the band's 1974 debut album, Rocka Rolla. Originally a much longer track performed as something of a heavy metal dirge, "The Ripper" was overhauled for the group's next release, 1976's Sad Wings of Destiny, ultimately being recorded as a faster, far shorter look back at its subject's bloody exploits, told through the eyes of the killer himself. Although the band's stab at horror metal would later be lampooned in the Spinal Tap bit about their song "Saucy Jack," it's also become a longtime fan favorite; in fact, former Priest singer Tim "Ripper" Owens took his nickname from the song.
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 the Who's 'Boris the Spider'
Listen to Judas Priest's 'The Ripper'