We do seem to love our monsters, don’t we? Not real ones, of course. At times, we are surrounded by real monsters, and we either ignore them or sometimes even join them. However, we love the fictitious “Hollywood” monsters because they might scare us, but they can’t hurt us.
They seem to have been a part of our culture for thousands of years. Some are just stories passed down through generations. Usually aimed at frightening kids to be good or “something that will get you.”
They are in the films we watch, you might see them on TV, and they are even represented in songs. That’s why I decided to take a look at the best songs about monsters. And not just the Hollywood kind. Some will be the “real” kind. And they are far scarier than anything Hollywood can come up with.
Top 115 Best Songs About Monsters
Monster Mash by Bobby ‘alias Boris’ Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers
So, let’s start with a fun song about monsters. This was a “graveyard” smash in 1962 and has been a regular fixture at Halloween parties ever since.
It is a song that is a novelty about a party for zombies. The Original Monster Mash is also included on an album of similar ghoulish efforts. Interestingly, it has been covered by plenty of people, including, rather surprisingly, Ray Charles.
Mr. Pickett, or as he likes to be called “Boris,” enjoys seeing himself as the doctor in the Frankenstein book and films. And, in later years, perhaps Dr. Emmett Brown might have fit his idea of a mad scientist.
Pickett co-wrote the song, and it was poking the finger of fun at some of the dance crazes going around in the early 60s. The Twist, of course, was one, but also the Mashed Potato, which helped to inspire his title.
It reached #1 in America but wasn’t released in the UK until 1973, when it got to #3. Although, I have to say I cannot remember that happening. I just remember the early 60’s effort. A bit of fun, as I say, but fun that is still hugely popular today.
Vampire Blues by Neil Young
So, let’s take a look at a song about a real live monster. You never know quite what you are going to get with Neil Young. He has often got something to say that some just don’t want to hear. This song taken from his album, On the Beach, is one of those.
From the title…
You might think this is a bit of a spoof similar to “Monster Mash.” But this is Neil Young, and it won’t be. It’s not about actual vampires either. In the song, he takes on the persona of a boss of a big oil company.
In other words, he is not interested in anything else but the money he earns. And, he certainly isn’t bothered about how “dirty” his business is. Young refers to him as a “vampire sucking blood from the earth.” The blood is the oil that he will sell you at $20 a barrel.
He is criticized for his stances on certain issues. But, the last time I looked, he had the right to freedom of speech and having an opinion. Presumably, no one has considered a law against that. Yet.
Frankenstein by Edgar Winter
I happened to stumble upon this track many years ago by accident. It was included on the album, They Only Come Out At Night. And with this commentary, I am going to do the first of two things I normally don’t do. More of that in a minute.
It was the only instrumental on the album and was only included at the last minute. Edgar played keyboards and saxophone. It was named “Frankenstein” because of all the cutting and piecing together that it took to complete the radio edit.
And, it had to be chopped up to get everything in the right place and sound good enough for a single release. As was commented at the time, it became a ‘monster’ of a track when it was finished. It was lifted from They Only Come Out At Night for a single, but that isn’t why I bought the album.
The first of the things I don’t usually do…
We are talking about the best songs about monsters, and Frankenstein fits the bill. But, I am going to include three links that are not songs from this album and have nothing to do with monsters.
The reason is that they are great songs and vary in style so much. If you haven’t heard them, then you should have a listen.
Allow me to indulge…
“Round & Round” is almost a Country song in its style and delivery. Almost a song you could have heard The Byrds or maybe The Eagles sing some years before. Excellent song with a great hook and a chance to show off some nice vocals.
They get a little bit rockier with “Free Ride.” Again with some good harmony vocals, a good bass line, nice guitar licks, and interesting breaks. A little bit of the Doobie brothers about it.
From that to “Autumn.” A gentle love song ballad about missing someone. Such a great melody and arrangement and is certainly, in my view, the best track on the album. Okay, indulgence over, back to those nasty, nasty monsters.
Thriller by Michael Jackson
So, now on to the second thing I don’t usually do. When compiling these lists, I don’t include artists and their songs that I don’t like. I have to make this one of the very few exceptions. Not so much because I like the song, but because it will be expected.
I thought the Jackson Five were excellent, especially “I Want You Back” and “ABC.” “Ben” was also good, a nice plaintive ballad. And, of course, “Beat It.” That one was special because of the Dutchman letting rip on a guitar solo to die for. But the rest since?
Sorry, not for me…
I can hear the complaints of incredulity, but, sorry again, I was never impressed at all. Just not my sort of music, I suppose.
But, if we are talking songs about ghosts and monsters, then this just has to be included whether I like it or not. A big hit just about everywhere, with an impressive music video and plenty of monsters everywhere. In the eyes of the public probably his most important work.
The Monster Is Loose by Meat Loaf
Bat out of Hell was a trilogy, and this was the first track on the last album, Bat Out Of Hell III, of that trilogy. This project certainly created a stir when it was released, and Jim Steinman’s input in the first two albums cannot be underestimated.
However, his involvement in the third album was limited to a lawsuit over the Bat Out Of Hell moniker. He held the trademark on the name. It was resolved when some of Steinman’s songs were included.
A Dark Atmosphere
As you might expect for a song about a monster, it has a very dark Gothic feel, which suits its style. The song talks about not being worthy to receive the love of another because it has not been earned. Not his best track by any means but one that is representative of what you might expect.
Monsters by James Blunt
James Blunt is an interesting singer-songwriter. It seems to be considered a sport in some circles to have a go at him on Twitter. Unfortunately for those that do, he has plenty of wit and hyperbole and makes them look stupid.
He is best known for his song “You’re Beautiful,” which went to #1 in the UK, America, and many other countries. Ironically, that work is also the song that attracts the most criticism. The song “Monsters” is from his sixth studio album released in 2019, Once Upon A Mind.
A tragic story attached to it…
He wrote it for his ailing father, who had chronic kidney disease. After his father’s death, Blunt said that he was glad he was able to use the song to say all the things to him that he wanted. He does that in the music video, which is a bit of a tearjerker.
All royalties from the song have been and are still being donated to charities that were close to his father’s heart. Album sales saw it reach #3 in the UK, but the single only reached #74.
Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon
Not a part of the film of the same name, but certainly inspired by it. This is a song about a werewolf that is stalking the streets of London. It was taken from the album, Excitable Boy.
It’s quite a catchy song and really should have performed better than it did. It only just made the top 100 in the UK but did get to #21 in America.
The song had some pretty good session players helping it along. Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass. They are joined by Waddy Wachtel on guitar. If they can’t make it work, I suppose no one can.
Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) by David Bowie
Take a guess what this song is about. Taken from the album of the same name, this 1980 release saw the beginnings of a change in direction for Bowie.
In all honesty, this album sounds a little tired compared with some. But what do I know? It was universally praised and went to #1 on the album chart in the UK and #12 in America.
It was his last collaboration with Tony Visconti, with whom he had worked for twenty years. As a song, it is a little darker than some, with some strange lyrics, even though the title has a lighthearted feel to it.
The Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley
As I move towards the end of my list of the best songs about monsters, I haven’t included anything yet for the kids. And, there is nothing most kids enjoy more than a good monster. This is a lighthearted kids’ song about monsters that was first released in 1958.
Quickly, it became a novelty hit, as many did in the late 50s. It reached #1 in America and Australia and #12 in the UK. It portrays a picture of a one-horned, one-eyed, flying bird-like creature that likes eating purple people.
But, that is not why it has come to earth. It wants to be in a rock n roll band. The voice used for the monster is not dissimilar to Alvin from the Chipmunks. Just a bit of fun for the kids, and why not.
He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask) by Alice Cooper
If you are putting together a list of famous songs about monsters, you have to include something from Alice Cooper. The man who could have invented “real shock-rock.” And anybody that saw any of his stage shows at the time will know what I mean.
There were plenty of songs to choose from, so there was no need to go hunting. This song was used in the “Friday the 13th” films.
The image he created for some of his shows was exactly the opposite of what Alice Cooper is all about. One of music’s nice guys, he is well-known for his philanthropic activities. And the music was pretty good as well.
The Green Manalishi by Fleetwood Mac
Earlier, I mentioned the “real” monsters amongst us and that they are more frightening than anything in films. This song is about one of them. And, before you go rushing to a dictionary, there is no actual Green Manalishi, other than in a metaphorical sense.
What Is This Monster?
It isn’t complicated; the green manalishi is money. Not as “the wise” have written, LSD. Peter Green was indeed using the drug at this point. But then you get the “all-knowing” assumption that this is the result and what he is talking about.
The meaning of this song is what money can do to us when it takes over. And, in some people’s lives, it has taken over, as their wealth fuels their ego. Unfortunately, they drag us all down with them.
What would Peter Green have made today of these people spending billions on ridiculous, self-serving projects that do nothing? While a quarter of the world starves? That is what he is on about here.
Green was a troubled soul. And, even in those days, he couldn’t understand why his bandmates wouldn’t donate some of their newfound wealth to help others. It didn’t help their relationship.
He was given accolades even when he was young. John Mayall turned up at the Studio in West Hampstead to record the album, A Hard Road. The engineer asked, “Where’s Clapton?”. Mayall answered, “Oh, he’s gone; we’ve got someone better.” And they had; Greeny had arrived.
Back to the song, though, Greeny seemed to know even then the way money corrupts like nothing else. And don’t we see that today? In everything. A real-life living monster. Be careful, folks; it’s coming to get ya.
The Munsters Theme Song by Jack Marshall
Frankenstein’s Niece by Jefferson Starship
The Boogie Monster by Gnarls Barkley
The Creature From The Black Lagoon by Dave Edmunds
Godzilla by Blue Öyster Cult
Phantom of the Opera by Iron Maiden
Zombie Stomp by Ozzy Osbourne
Abominable Snowman In The Market by Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
Devil’s Workday by Modest Mouse
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by The Who
Demons by Imagine Dragons
Ghosts by Michael Jackson
The Invisible Man by Queen
The Beast Inside by INXS
The Horror Of Our Love by Ludo
Creature With The Atom Brain by Roky Erickson & The Aliens
She-Wolf by Shakira
The Bogeyman by Henry Hall & The BBC Dance Orchestra
Feed The Beast by Alice In Chains
The Abominable Dr. Phibes by The Misfits
King Kong by Dinosaur Jr.
Living Dead Girl by Rob Zombie
Killer Klowns From Outer Space by The Dickies
The Phantom Of The Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Hellhound On My Trail by Robert Johnson
The Vampire Lovers by Michael Nyman
Monster by Kanye West feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver & Nicki Minaj
The Hounds of Winter by Sting
Blackout by Muse
The Devil and the Jinn by Paul Kelly & The Messengers
Yeti by Radkey
Zombie by The Cranberries
Phantom Limb by The Shins
Monster Magnet by Monster Magnet
My Name Is Mud by Primus
The Werewolf by Paul Simon
Werewolf Heart by Dead Man’s Bones
The Witch Queen of New Orleans by Redbone
The Boogieman Surprise by Hollywood Vampires
Mỏe 65 Best Songs About Monsters
- Graveyard Shift by Uncle Tupelo.
- Dracula’s Wedding by OutKast feat. Kelis
- Feed My Frankenstein by Alice Cooper
- Haunted by Beyoncé
- Wolf Like Me by TV on the Radio
- Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.
- Monster Hospital by Metric
- The Addams Family Theme by Vic Mizzy
- Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Öyster Cult
- In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg
- Beast of Burden by The Rolling Stones
- Black Magic Woman by Santana
- Psycho Killer by Talking Heads
- The Devil Went Down to Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band
- Devil Inside by INXS
- Killer Queen by Queen
- Devil in Disguise by Elvis Presley
- Devil Woman by Cliff Richard
- Hell’s Bells by AC/DC
- Devil’s Haircut by Beck
- Don’t Let the Devil Take Another Day by Stereophonics
- The Devil Made Me Do It by Golden Earring
- The Devil’s Bleeding Crown by Volbeat
- Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
- God of Thunder by Kiss
- Bat Out of Hell by Meat Loaf
- Runnin’ with the Devil by Van Halen
- Burn in Hell by Dimmu Borgir
- Little Red Riding Hood by Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs
- Superbeast by Rob Zombie
- I Put a Spell on You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
- The Witch by The Sonics
- The Mark of the Beast by Rudimentary Peni
- The Monster by Eminem feat. Rihanna
- A Nightmare on My Street by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
- Wolf by First Aid Kit
- Devil Devil by Milck
- Devil in Me by 22-20s
- Bloodletting (The Vampire Song) by Concrete Blonde
- Dead Man’s Party by Oingo Boingo
- I’m Your Boogie Man by KC and the Sunshine Band
- The Thing That Should Not Be by Metallica
- Creatures by Motionless in White
- Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown) by Tenacious D
- The Man With the Child in His Eyes by Kate Bush
- Welcome to My Nightmare by Alice Cooper
- Waking the Witch by Kate Bush
- The Boogie Woogie Pumpkin Man by Brian Setzer
- Phantom Lord by Metallica
- Batdance by Prince
- The Death and Resurrection Show by Killing Joke
- Highway to Hell by AC/DC
- A Little Wicked by Valerie Broussard
- Thrash Unreal by Against Me!
- House of 1000 Corpses by Rob Zombie
- The Drunken Scotsman by The Irish Rovers
- Alligator by Of Monsters and Men
- Devil’s Work by Miike Snow
- Monster You Made by Pop Evil
- Demon Days by Gorillaz
- Loch Ness Monster by Big Dipper
- Attack Of The Fifty Foot Woman by The Tubes
- The Beast In Me by Nick Lowe
- Hells Bells by AC/DC
- The Man Who Was Too Loud by The Dead Weather
Looking For More Awesome Songs?
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Best Songs About Monsters – Conclusion
Some for fun, some that are pure imagination, and others that are real if we let them become so. Monsters are in our culture, and they can just be a bit of fun, except, of course, for the real ones.
Until next time, happy listening.