Music for a black heart
April 30, 2006 8:54 PM   Subscribe

Help me fill a villainous playlist.

I'm looking to create a playlist of music you would expect to accompany a villain. I'm not necessarily looking for soundtrack music (though "The Imperial March" is a given). Some examples of "standards" would be Holst's "Mars, Bringer of War," Prokofiev's "Montagues and Capulets," Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor," and Saint-Saens's "Danse Macabre." By all means, don't limit yourself to classical pieces; The Who's "Behind Blue Eyes" or The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" would be naturals. Finally, don't assume the music must be dire, sinister, or sad. If there's a peppy piece extolling the virtues of evil, I'm all for including it.
posted by nightengine to Media & Arts (64 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
There are sites dedicated to playlists.
Tiny Mix Tapes
Art of the Mix

Just saying, since this is the 2nd playlist thread I've seen tonight. Not being snarky - trying to help. :)
posted by IndigoRain at 9:05 PM on April 30, 2006

Lucifer over London by Current 93 has an eerie and wordy quality that I always imagined would accompany the closing credits of a film about the destruction of London (by someone evil).

Diary of a Madman by Gravediggaz

Nip/Tuck used John Wayne Gacy by Sufjan Stevens in an episode involving a serial killer. Pretty literal.

The Grand Conjuration by Opeth for some awesome death metal villainry.

Finally, Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen for another first person story of a killer.
posted by Falconetti at 9:12 PM on April 30, 2006

If the villain enjoys killing wabbits, there's always Ride of the Valkyries
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:22 PM on April 30, 2006

Venetian Snares - Hajnal.
posted by subtle-t at 9:30 PM on April 30, 2006

Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King, of course.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:38 PM on April 30, 2006

Also, from the soundtrack side of things, Danny Elfman's Waltz to the Death (Batman). I would also think a true villain would enjoy Kidnap the Sandy Claws from Nightmare Before Christmas.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:42 PM on April 30, 2006

Red Right Hand by Nick Cage.
Baby did a Bad, Bad Thing by Chris Isaak.
NWO by Ministry. Three I could think of off the top of my head - maybe my version of 'villian' is a little strange, though.
posted by rmm at 9:44 PM on April 30, 2006

aphex twin - come to daddy
posted by ori at 9:46 PM on April 30, 2006

Its a wedding song, but I've always kinda thought that Wagner's Lohengrin can sound kinda evil, if you let it.
posted by gsteff at 9:47 PM on April 30, 2006

Oh, and the march from Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis is one of my favorite songs, and consumately evil.
posted by gsteff at 9:48 PM on April 30, 2006

er, Symphonic Metamorphosis
posted by gsteff at 9:49 PM on April 30, 2006

How about "39 Lashes" from Jesus Christ Superstar? Great if your villains have a touch of funk in them. The Cows did a noisier (less funk, more evil) version on their Sexy Pee Story LP. (Cover art is NSFW.) JSC has some other fun evil-extolling songs, like "This Jesus Must Die".
posted by hydrophonic at 9:51 PM on April 30, 2006

How about something by Huey Lewis and the News??
posted by cosmicbandito at 9:57 PM on April 30, 2006

Cirque du Soleil's "Pursuit", off the Ka album, is one of the most impressively evil-sounding tracks I've ever heard.
posted by wanderingmind at 10:01 PM on April 30, 2006

Night on Bald Mountain.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:04 PM on April 30, 2006

autechre - drane (from peel session 1)
posted by juv3nal at 10:04 PM on April 30, 2006

Gorecki, Symphony No. 3
Orff, Carmina Burana
Williams, Imperial Attack
Vangelis, Miami Vice theme song
posted by mrmojoflying at 10:11 PM on April 30, 2006

Not sure how villainous you wanted... these are songs that I guess in theory have evil content but I wouldn't necessarily consider them to be 'black'. Anyway, glancing at my playlist...
"Maxwell's Silver Hammer" - The Beatles (murderous bastard)
"Friend of the Devil" - The Grateful Dead (guy is an adulturer)
"Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts" - Bob Dylan (there's murder, robbery, etc)
"I shot the Sheriff" - Bob Marley & the Wailers (duh)
"Date Rape" - Sublime (duh)
"Guilty Conscience" - Eminem (about feeling guilty for robbery, statuatory rape...)
"I Hung my Head" - Johnny Cash (murder)
"Sam Hall" - Johnny Cash ("my name is Samuel and I'll see you all in hell!")
"You Beautiful Militant" - The Brunettes (beautiful song about someone picking up a gun and shooting people)
"Mack the Knife" - Bobby Darrin (gangster who kills people)
"Paint it Black" - The Rolling Stones (no actual evil in but damn evil sounding)

Dunno if that's what you're looking for.
posted by shokod at 10:25 PM on April 30, 2006

Blue Oyster Cult - Career of Evil. The line about the sheep always cracks me up.

John Gorka's 'Raven in the Storm' is gloomy/doomy and always seems to me to be about a personification of madness, like a chaos god on a bad day.
posted by cobaltnine at 10:52 PM on April 30, 2006

David Usher -- Black Black Heart

"Something ugly this way comes
Through my fingers sliding inside
All these blessings all these burns
I'm godless underneath your cover"

The 'hook' is from the Flower Duet (Lakme?) which lends to an overall erie / evil feeling for a song. Its good.
posted by maxpower at 11:00 PM on April 30, 2006

Voltaire, When You're Evil.
Anything from Univers Zéro's Heresie.
posted by kenko at 11:20 PM on April 30, 2006

For chaotic doings, maybe Nurse With Wound's "Two Mock Projections" from Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and Umbrella?

There are some more atmospheric suggestions here, for when you're trying to set the mood.
posted by kenko at 11:21 PM on April 30, 2006

The Dead Kennedys - I Kill Children
posted by pompomtom at 11:22 PM on April 30, 2006

The Misfits or Metallica - Last Caress
posted by IronLizard at 11:25 PM on April 30, 2006

Second "Night on Bald Mountain" (which is, of course, by Mussorgsky). Also consider Ravel's "La valse." Heard in its entirety, it's a beautiful, increasingly unhinged meditation on the Viennese waltz.
posted by rob511 at 11:25 PM on April 30, 2006

Am I Evil?
posted by IronLizard at 11:26 PM on April 30, 2006

That Voltaire song is definitely peppy.

Some more instrumental groups a blackhearted villain might enjoy: Miasma & the Carousel of Headless Horses, Nazca, Shub-Niggurath.

Wumpscut's "Totmacher" gets the idea across pretty straightforwardly (the chorus, "tot! tot! tot! Ich mach' dich tot!", translates as "dead! dead! dead! I'll make you dead!").
Neurosis' album with Jarboe (formerly of the Swans, whom you might want to check out), cleverly called Neurosis and Jarboe, is pretty evil-sounding.
Oingo Boingo's Helpless is good ("I just had to kill him, like my poor dear old mother").
Slayer, "Criminally Insane".
Much of Rope's album Widow's First Dawn

Red Right Hand by Nick Cage.

Barf. Nick Cave.
posted by kenko at 11:36 PM on April 30, 2006

Amon Tobin - Four ton Mantis
Tom Waits - Just the right bullets, Russian Dance (depending on if you prefer instrumental or not)
Liszt - Totentanz
Stravinski - Danse infernale du roi Kachtchei (from The Firebird)
posted by vernondalhart at 11:38 PM on April 30, 2006

The stones' "Midnight Rambler"

"Hey Joe", "Frankie and Johnnie", The Smiths "Suffer Little Children"...
posted by brujita at 11:41 PM on April 30, 2006

"Trash" by Korn.
posted by Marla Singer at 2:33 AM on May 1, 2006

Also, I second "Career Of Evil" by Blue Oyster Cult.
posted by Marla Singer at 2:34 AM on May 1, 2006

I can't stop!

If your focus is more on the music, and less on the lyrics, I would also say Blue Oyster Cult's "Vengence - The Pact," and Ozzy Osbourne's "S.A.T.O." and "Diary Of A Madman."

Oh! And how could I forget Iron Maiden's "Number Of The Beast" and "Run To The Hills"?

And if the music doesn't cheese you out, you might try "Just A Job To Do" by Genesis (it's about being a hit man).

I have a feeling I'll keep thinking of more of these all week now.
posted by Marla Singer at 2:48 AM on May 1, 2006

How did we all miss "Psycho Killer" by the Talking Heads?
posted by Marla Singer at 2:54 AM on May 1, 2006

"Murder By Numbers" by The Police.

That's it, I'm stopping now, really.
posted by Marla Singer at 2:56 AM on May 1, 2006

I see Nick Cave's "Red Right Hand" has already been suggested. That's one of my favorite evil songs. Warren Zevon has a couple good ones also; "Excitable Boy" and "Mr. Bad Example" come immediately to mind.

Finally, I can't believe that nobody's come up with Disney soundtracks, especially from the tragically brief Ashman/Mencken era. "Poor Unfortunate Souls" from The Little Mermaid and "Gaston" from Beauty and the Beast would suit your needs perfectly. Heck, why not "The Siamese Cat Song" from Lady and the Tramp?

I'd love to hear this mix when it's done.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:38 AM on May 1, 2006

Current 93's Hitler as Kalki (SDM). Oh, and any black metal at all - Darkthrone or Mayhem or Emperor or...
posted by ubersturm at 3:42 AM on May 1, 2006

Misfits - Skulls
Just about anything by Viktor Vaughn (aka MF Doom). DOOOOOOOMMMM!
posted by sluggo at 3:51 AM on May 1, 2006

Most of Voltaire's Devil's Bris should have stuff you like.

Tom Waits' 'The Ocean Doesn't Want Me' and 'What's He Building In There?' are both pretty creepy. If you like the gypsy-esque sounds, also do 'I'll Be Gone'.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:14 AM on May 1, 2006

Seconding MF Doom and his various identities. "ALL CAPS" off of the album Madvillainy for choice, but like sluggo says, virtually all of his songs have some reference to being a super villain.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:16 AM on May 1, 2006

Almost anything by the Afghan Whigs.
posted by kickerofelves at 5:24 AM on May 1, 2006

'Tear You Apart' by She Wants Revenge.
The rest of the cd is pretty decent too.
'Unmarked Helicopters' by Soul Coughing, off the X-files TV show CD (not the movie one. A few other tracks off that may fit too. A few other Soul Coughing tracks may fit too. 'Bus To Beelzebub' perhaps?
'Don't Fear the Reaper' - Blue Oyster Cult, allways had that creepy feel to me.
posted by JonnyRotten at 5:55 AM on May 1, 2006

Used To Love Her - Guns & Roses

I used to love her, but I had to kill her
I used to love her, but I had to kill her
I had to put her
Six feet under
And I can still hear her complain

posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:29 AM on May 1, 2006

The tune of Camper Van Beethoven's Jack Ruby feels just as villanous as the lyrics.
posted by hsoltz at 7:02 AM on May 1, 2006

That bad man, Stagga Lee.
posted by LarryC at 7:08 AM on May 1, 2006

Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead

Cure- Lullaby (the spiderman is having you for dinner tonight!)
posted by kimdog at 7:20 AM on May 1, 2006

The Decemberists have a couple of songs that may fit.

The Shankill Butchers:
They used to be just like me and you
They used to be sweet little boys
But something went horribly askew
Now killing is their only source of joy

The Bandit Queen:
And sitting up, she adjusts her turban
And takes another swig from a bottle of bourbon
Listening to the whistling of the train in station
Odds are it will never reach it's destination
Cause the bandit queen astride her steed will ride
Oh, let me be the one to lay within your thieving arms tonight

The Mariner's Revenge Song:
It gives my heart great joy
To see your eyes fill with fear
So lean in close
And I will whisper
The last words you'll hear:

"Find him, bind him
Tie him to a pole and break
His fingers to splinters
Drag him to a hole until he
Wakes up naked
Clawing at the ceiling
Of his grave"

posted by amarynth at 7:30 AM on May 1, 2006

LarryC - good choice. I can't believe I didn't think of that one.

He said "Mr. Motherfucker, you know who I am"
The barkeeper said, "No, and I don't give a good goddamn"
To Stagger Lee

He said, "Well bartender, it's plain to see
I'm that bad motherfucker called Stagger Lee"
Mr. Stagger Lee

Barkeep said, "Yeah, I've heard your name down the way
And I kick motherfucking asses like you every day"
Mr. Stagger Lee

Well those were the last words that the barkeep said
'Cause Stag put four holes in his motherfucking head

And so on - Stagger Lee, by Nick Cave.
posted by vernondalhart at 8:10 AM on May 1, 2006

If your looking for villianous songs I would certainly say that Boingo is a great place to start. I would probaby through the longer version of Insanity on there, maybe even Only A Lad.
I would probably put Soul Coughing's City of Motors on there as well.
posted by Restlessavenger at 8:13 AM on May 1, 2006

I second Bella Lugosi's dead. Was just about to say Insanity by Oingo Boingo.

Anything by Mr. Bungle. Bonus for having the creepiest liner notes art ever, their first album's art is from a book called "Cotton Candy Autopsy"
posted by ill3 at 8:25 AM on May 1, 2006

The first thing I thought of was an album by The Mountain Goats called The Coroner's Gambit, which seems to have a lot of songs about villains on it. Among these:

Seneca's Trick Mirror, which is about Nero.
Insurance Fraud #2

posted by Hildago at 8:27 AM on May 1, 2006

If you don't mind it being in German, you can try Mein Teil, by Rammstein. It has cannibalism -- it's about the guy a few years ago who searched the net for someone who wanted to be killed and eaten, found him, and obliged.
posted by komilnefopa at 8:31 AM on May 1, 2006

John Cale - Guts
posted by rfs at 8:42 AM on May 1, 2006

oy, the 'Nick Cage' thing was obviously a typo... sheesh...
posted by rmm at 9:29 AM on May 1, 2006

Your time is gonna come -- Led Zep
posted by maxpower at 9:58 AM on May 1, 2006

"You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"
posted by kirkaracha at 10:01 AM on May 1, 2006

Hope these aren't too perky and peppy. They're not really about evil, just songs sung by those who are nauseated by "Virtues" and "Goodness". I listened to these as a child and considered them fun. Although reading the lyrics to "Fie on Goodness" shows how "boys will be boys" standards have changed. Hard to imagine that song would be okay now.
posted by marsha56 at 10:27 AM on May 1, 2006

Barry Adamson has some nice tracks on As Above, So Below worth considering, from the campy "Jazz Devil" to the more bitter "Still, I Rise."

Rasputina's "Gingerbread Coffin" might be worth considering depending on your interpretation. And the lyrics of "Hardest Button to Button" and the last verse of "Cold Cold Night" by the White Stripes are highly creepy.

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor suffers because it is overused to death. Try the Mozart Requium, or "March to the Scaffold" by Berlioz, followed by the last movement, "The Witches Sabbath."

Going into opera and musical theatre. Sweeny Todd might be worth a listen.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:44 AM on May 1, 2006

I'm afraid most of my suggestions aren't going to be terribly subtle...

My first choice for a tape like this would be "12 Souls" by Sigh, which is probably the most evil-sounding song I have ever heard. I've described Sigh before as being sort of a Japanese black metal Mr. Bungle, to give you a bit of an idea, and that particular track is just downright frightening.

Other possibilities in the metal vein... there's quite a few, as might be expected. I'd second "The Grand Conjuration" by Opeth, but I think "Bleak" by them might be an even better choice. Opera IX's "Under the Sign of the Red Dragon", about Vlad the Impaler, is a pretty evil sounding one. Arch Enemy's "Savage Messiah". And going way back to the very first metal band of them all, there's always "Black Sabbath", by Black Sabbath.

Outside the metal field, yeah, I'd second Current 93's "Hitler as Kalki". And if you can actually find anything by a band called The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath a Cloud, most of their songs that I've heard would fit in nicely on something like this. Very dark stuff, hard to describe, but "medieval death-folk industrial" might be the simplest description, with lyrics about things like the Children's Crusade and brutal feudal lords and corrupt priests and so on. They had the annoying habit of not titling their songs, so I can't give any song names, but the first track on their album "Rest on Your Arms Reversed" is a particularly scary, evil-sounding one.
posted by a louis wain cat at 12:55 PM on May 1, 2006

The best villian music I have ever heard was in Charlie's Angels when Knox was dancing to "Simon Says" by Pharoah Monch. Definitely set the scene.

In the first Batman, the Joker's music was always kooky - i mean, he was insane. So whenever you heard the music, you never knew whether to laugh or be scared.

Finally, I can't remember where I heard it..... but in one movie, the villian's soundtrack was nothing but classical music. Nothing too dark or anything like that. At one point, the music was "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies".
posted by damnjezebel at 1:17 PM on May 1, 2006

Ertha Kitt - I wanna be Evil

I wanna be evil, I wanna spit tacks
I wanna be evil, and cheat at jacks
I wanna be wicked, I wanna tell lies
I wanna be mean, and throw mud pies

I want to wake up in the morning
with that dark brown taste
I want to see some dissipation in my face
I wanna be evil, I wanna be mad
But more that that I wanna be bad

I wanna be evil, and trump an ace,
Just to see my partner's face.
I wanna be nasty, I wanna be cruel
I wanna be daring, I wanna shoot pool

And in the theatre
I want to change my seat
Just so I can step on
Everybody's feet

I wanna be evil, I wanna hurt flies
I wanna sing songs like the guy who cries
I wanna be horrid, I wanna drink booze
(I want to be horrid, I want to make news)*
And whatever I've got I'm eager to lose

I wanna be evil, little evil me
Just as mean and evil as I can be

posted by atom128 at 2:59 PM on May 1, 2006

Er, want to, not wanna.
posted by atom128 at 3:00 PM on May 1, 2006

Arthur Brown : Fire
posted by Dr.Pill at 3:36 PM on May 1, 2006

Cult of Personality - Living Color
Doc Ock's theme from Spider-Man 2 soundtrack
Enter Sandman - Metallica
posted by sherlockt at 7:14 PM on May 1, 2006

I Wish I Had An Evil Twin, by the Magnetic Fields.
Chiron Beta Prime and Skullcrusher Mountain, both by Jonathan Coulton.
posted by yankeefog at 8:01 AM on May 18, 2006

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