I'm obsessed with obsession songs.
September 7, 2012 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Help me make an "songs about obsession" playlist!

I was struck by the cutesy but obsessive nature of Taylor Swift's You Belong With Me, and want to collect all kinds of obsession-based songs.

Off the top of my head I came up with Every Breath You Take (The Police), Shame (Stabbing Westward), Stan (Eminem), and You're All I Need (Motley Crue), but I know I must be missing some great songs out there. Also Previously and previously... but those are both several years old. What about some newer songs?

Songs about sexual obsession are a given, but what about obsession in general? What are some great (and not so great) songs about being obsessed with someone or something?

Help me, AskMeFi!
posted by southpaw to Media & Arts (70 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Mountain Goats & Kaki King - Mosquito Repellant
The Magnetic Fields - Andrew in Drag
posted by griphus at 1:44 PM on September 7, 2012

Weezer -- El Scorcho
Human League -- Don't You Want Me
Blondie -- One Way or Another
Kasey Chambers -- Barricades and Brickwalls
posted by jeffmshaw at 1:51 PM on September 7, 2012

Ke$ha - Your Love Is My Drug
Michelle Branch - Everywhere
Kylie Minogue - Can't Get You Outta My Head
The Black Keys - Girl Is On My Mind

For a more upbeat take on the subject, Iyaz - Replay
posted by capricorn at 1:52 PM on September 7, 2012

Almost forgot: Of Montreal -- Our Riotous Defects
posted by jeffmshaw at 1:56 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've always thought that The Spinners' I'll Be Around was a much more obsessive/creepy song then they seem to want it to present it as.
posted by .kobayashi. at 1:56 PM on September 7, 2012

Obsessed by Mariah Carey.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 1:57 PM on September 7, 2012

Depeche Mode: I Am You
Depeche Mode: The Sweetest Condition

You know, Martin Gore has written a slew of these types of songs, so I'll just say Depeche Mode.
posted by droplet at 1:59 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also Magnetic Fields "Crazy for You (But Not That Crazy)
posted by shortyJBot at 1:59 PM on September 7, 2012

I've always thought Every Breath You Take was pretty stalker-ish
posted by apcmwh at 2:00 PM on September 7, 2012

XTC : Another Satellite, from the point of view of the person obsessed over
posted by mollweide at 2:00 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Obsession by Animotion (which I will always fondly remember as the theme song for good ol' 90's staple House of Style!)
posted by lovableiago at 2:03 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

Eurythmics Love is a Stranger from 1983.
posted by Dragonness at 2:03 PM on September 7, 2012

I thought it would be easier to come up with these, but so far I've only got two. I didn't look for video links, sorry. I'll ponder this some more on my commute home tonight.

From the point of view of a band/singer with obsessive fans: Matthew Sweet -- Write Your Own Song

From the point of view of the person being stalked: The Cure -- Wendy Time
posted by tckma at 2:03 PM on September 7, 2012

father figure by george michael.
posted by koroshiya at 2:06 PM on September 7, 2012

Insanely Jealous by the Soft Boys (Robyn Hitchcock)
posted by larrybob at 2:08 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

A lot of 60s songs that were innocent in their day could be currently seen as obsessive or creepy. Another example: The Vogues - Turn Around, Look At Me ("There is someone, walking behind you, turn around, look at me. There is someone, watching your footsteps, turn around, look at me.")

The ever-easy-to-find-online +/- (Plus Minus): No One Sees You Like I Do.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:09 PM on September 7, 2012

Jewel - Haunted
posted by batonthefueltank at 2:12 PM on September 7, 2012

The Donnas - I Don't Want To Know (If You Don't Want Me)
posted by corvine at 2:12 PM on September 7, 2012

Paparazzi by Lady Gaga. I've always thought it was about a stalker.
posted by wwax at 2:13 PM on September 7, 2012

Army of Lovers — Obsession (NSFL).
posted by Nomyte at 2:15 PM on September 7, 2012

Ash - Envy
posted by corvine at 2:15 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Better Than Ezra -- Porcelain
The Arrogant Worms -- Celine Dion
posted by tckma at 2:16 PM on September 7, 2012

Ludo, showing the duality of obsession:

Anything for You
The Horror of Our Love
posted by areodjarekput at 2:25 PM on September 7, 2012

Elvis Costello's I Want You. Here's Fiona Apple's almost frighteningly intense cover version.
posted by yasaman at 2:25 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]

Sarah McLachlan's "Possession" is taken at least in part from a creepy fan letter she received.
posted by Flannery Culp at 2:31 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

Obsession, by Frankie J, or the original Spanish version, Obsesion, by Aventura.
posted by dynamiiiite at 2:31 PM on September 7, 2012

I have a stalker playlist, so this question is great for helping me add to it. Thanks for asking it!
They're not all necessarily about obsession, except as much as stalking is inherently a type of obsession, but I figured I'd list them all anyway.

So far, I've got:
i drove all night - roy orbison & cyndi lauper versions (you're on your own if you want the celine deon)
i want you to want me - cheap trick
are you lonesome tonight - carter family, though it's been done by many others
i will follow - u2
prove my love - violent femmes
father figure - george michael
say you love me - fleetwood mac
hey joe - jimi (not quite a match, but kinda)
watching the detectives - elvis costello
turning japanese - liz phair version, but not the vapors for some reason
watching and waiting - moody blues (also not quite a match, unless you interpret it a certain way)
hungry like the wolf - duran duran
pictures of you - the cure
mr brightside - the killers
the more you ignore me, the closer i get - morrissey
one way or another - blondie
everybody's stalking - badly drawn boy
posted by lesli212 at 2:51 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Liz Phair - Flower
posted by Thorzdad at 2:57 PM on September 7, 2012

Crash into Me - Dave Matthews
posted by Seeking Direction at 3:07 PM on September 7, 2012

Dave Rawlings - Sweet Tooth
posted by Specklet at 3:20 PM on September 7, 2012

The Mekons - Where were you?
posted by dtp at 3:28 PM on September 7, 2012

The Judy's - Mental Obsession.
posted by immlass at 3:34 PM on September 7, 2012

Does homocidal jealousy count? How about the Beatles Run for Your Life?

PJ Harvey has a few I'd consider a little obsessive. Rid of Me. To Bring You My Love.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:37 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Houseguest, as performed by The Mountain Goats.
posted by MsMolly at 3:52 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

John Cale & Brian Eno, Lay My Love. Listen closely -- it's creepifying.

Pixies, Cactus, also covered by Bowie.
posted by vers at 3:56 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Tainted Love, the original and.... Rihanna version!
posted by kettleoffish at 4:00 PM on September 7, 2012

I Touch Myself by The Divinyls.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:49 PM on September 7, 2012

Not sure it's your cup of tea but From Her to Eternity by Nick Cave is a rather extreme example.
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:56 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Eric's Trip Allergic to Love
Modern Lovers I'm Straight
posted by to recite so charmingly at 5:19 PM on September 7, 2012

A couple of 90s hits:
The Cardigans - Lovefool
Jennifer Paige - Crush
posted by ohkay at 5:26 PM on September 7, 2012

Found Out About You by the Gin Blossoms:
"You know it's all I think about
I write your name drive past your house
Your boyfriend's over I watch your light go out "
posted by Ostara at 5:27 PM on September 7, 2012

Also "Everybody Knows" by Leonard Cohen (The Concrete Blonde version is moody and amazing too)
"Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you've been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows "
posted by Ostara at 5:32 PM on September 7, 2012

These are all great suggestions! I'm looking forward to listening to them and obsessing. ;)

I've made Spotify playlists - one for obsession, and one for stalker that I've shamelessly stolen from lesli212 - under my Spotify username tcsouthpaw, in case anyone is interested.
posted by southpaw at 5:34 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Veronicas - Untouched
Florence and the Machine - Howl
Robyn - Be Mine!
posted by keep it under cover at 5:55 PM on September 7, 2012

You might think of it as one of the great breezy 60s bubblegum hits, but it's really sinister if you consider the singer as a stalker: Happy Together.

Then there's Tom Lehrer's I Hold Your Hand In Mine.

Also, Robyn Hitchcock's She doesn't exist is an exercise in (failed) post obsession recovery.
posted by scruss at 5:56 PM on September 7, 2012

The Smithereens, Behind the Wall of Sleep.
posted by dilettante at 6:10 PM on September 7, 2012

Soko, I'll Kill Her
posted by JDHarper at 6:26 PM on September 7, 2012

I thought of another one: I Don't Want To Get Over You, by The Magnetic Fields

I don't want to get over you
I guess I could take a sleeping pill
And sleep at will
And not have to go through what I go through
I guess I should take Prozac, right,
And just smile all night
At somebody new,
Somebody not too bright
But sweet and kind
Who would try to get you off my mind
I could leave this agony behind
Which is just what I'd do
If I wanted to,
But I don't want to get over you

Cause I don't want to get over love
I could listen to my therapist,
Pretend you don't exist
And not have to dream of what I dream of;
I could listen to all my friends
And go out again
And pretend it's enough,
Or I could make a career of being blue
I could dress in black and read Camus,
Smoke clove cigarettes and drink vermouth
Like I was 17
That would be a scream
But I don't want to get over you
posted by Specklet at 7:17 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Police: Does Everyone Stare

The Beatles: No Reply
posted by troywestfield at 7:30 PM on September 7, 2012

File under "stalkeriffic, creeptacular, poppy earworm goodness": Passenger: Night Vision Binoculars
I'm the boy who's calling your house
I'm the boy who's freaking you out
With my thermos flask of tea
Up there in your neighbor's tree
I'm the boy who's crossing borders
I'm the boy with a social disorder
I'm the boy with restraining orders
I'm the boy…

Well, I just want to walk you home
I just want to walk you home
Well, I know that it's not right to creep
But I just want to watch you sleep… alone
posted by Lexica at 7:33 PM on September 7, 2012

Belle & Sebastian: Funny Little Frog
posted by Navelgazer at 7:45 PM on September 7, 2012

Bonnie Raitt "Love Letter" sort of fits.
posted by bjgeiger at 7:48 PM on September 7, 2012

R.E.M., "Losing My Religion."
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 8:03 PM on September 7, 2012

Assuming you don't mind synthpop, how about Freezepop's "Stakeout"?
posted by Kortney at 8:40 PM on September 7, 2012

here is an 8tracks mix i made about crazy/obsessive/creepy love.

i will bold the tracks best suited to your purpose...


love interruption - jack white
gallery piece - of montreal
to bring you my love - pj harvey
25 o'clock - they might be giants (cover of an XTC song)
off to the races - lana del rey
something beautiful - clem snide
glendora - rilo kiley
use me - holly golightly
drumming song - florence + the machine
bad ambassador - divine comedy
unsuffer me - lucinda williams
heartburn - rufus wainwright
sweet pear - elvis costello
insane asylum - koko taylor & willie dixon
ever since you told me that you loved me (i'm a nut) - tiny tim

a couple more:
ruby over diamonds - kashmir
here beside you - holly golightly
dark paradise - lana del rey
posted by quiteliterally at 8:41 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

OH DANG i forgot one of my (lovely, creepy, giggly) favorites:

if... - divine comedy
posted by quiteliterally at 8:48 PM on September 7, 2012

Garbage - #1 Crush
posted by maggieb at 9:28 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'm not sure if this is too obvious, but nobody else has mentioned it:
Gotye's Somebody That I Used to Know (And it's the only one I could think of that's not in the previouslies)
posted by RobotHero at 9:38 PM on September 7, 2012

Cole Porter's "Night & Day" as covered by U2. I LOVE this song, but Bono makes it sound downright spooky.
posted by alchemist at 11:43 PM on September 7, 2012

Seconding #1 Crush (and frankly, I can't believe it to so long for someone to suggest it).

Would also suggest It's You by PJ Harvey. Those two songs are basically the epitome of tear-out-my-own-guts obsessive love songs. Dark enough to make you feel the dirt on your skin.
posted by dephlogisticated at 12:55 AM on September 8, 2012

Barenaked Ladies - "Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank". I believe it's based on the true story of a farmer stalking Canadian treasure Anne Murray.
posted by themissy at 6:42 AM on September 8, 2012

Majesty Crush - #1 Fan
Breathless - I Never Know Where You Are
posted by otters walk among us at 6:44 AM on September 8, 2012

Oh, you guys!111!!!!1 We totally, like, forgot that big hit from the 80s:

Stephen and The Colberts - Charlene (I'm Right Behind You)
posted by droplet at 7:39 AM on September 8, 2012

More from BNL: The Old Apartment

Oh, and Daniel Lanois — The Collection of Marie Claire (lyrics with translation here)

Also previously: Restraining order music.
posted by Lexica at 8:47 AM on September 8, 2012

Wow. So much obsession! Thank you all for this - I've discovered new artists, rediscovered some forgotten favorites, and broadened my music collection. AskMeFiers are awesome. :)

I've made a YouTube playlist as well, if anyone is interested. I'm sure I missed a few, so will be adding to this and the Spotify playlist as I go.
posted by southpaw at 9:33 AM on September 8, 2012

I Put a Spell on You. ("I put a spell on you . . . because you're mine . . .") Originally Screamin' Jay Hawkins, but this version is Nina Simone.

Someone Like You, Adele. Blown away this hasn't been mentioned yet.

From ~1860s to to today, as covered by Cordelia's Dad: Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still, #8 here. ("It's been a year since we last met / We may never meet again / I have struggled to forget / But the struggle was in vain."

Or, you can have . . . 19th-century Russian art song! Svetik Savishna, Modest Mussorgsky. ("Love me, fool that I am . . .")

(There are also numerous versions of Long Lankin to check out if you want a really creepy folk song about obsessive revenge on someone who cheated you on a business deal.)
posted by ostro at 10:30 AM on September 8, 2012

Massive Attack: Live With Me or, even moreso.. the Twilight Singers cover

I always got this vibe off an album by Smog (aka Bill Callahan), The Doctor Came At Dawn - obsessive and unsettling and grim: You Moved In

And Pere Ubu: Codex. super creepy
posted by citron at 1:10 PM on September 8, 2012

Stalk U (I Didn't Mean To) - Los Abandoned
posted by krikany at 9:17 AM on September 9, 2012

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