There were monsters in rock songs before Alice Cooper surfaced in the early '70s with songs like "The Ballad of Dwight Fry," "Dead Babies," and "Killer," But there weren't monsters in rock. Cooper changed all that.
Yet despite his violence and gore, Cooper's style of horror has always been akin to a carnival ride or a monster movie. The thrills are real, but the terror is not, which makes Cooper the ultimate character for Halloween tricks and treats.
Cooper recently talked to Yahoo Music about his 10 favorite Halloween songs, 30 percent of which happen to be his own. "I'm going to have a lot of songs in this top 10," he explained, "because I'm the only one that really writes scary songs."
1. Alice Cooper, "Wind Up Toy"
This song is so psychotic, I'm afraid to listen to it myself. If features a very mature 10-year-old Calico Cooper on vocals, and it's about a little boy that thinks of himself as nothing buy a wind-up toy to his parents. Very creepy.
2. Ozzy Osbourne, "Mr. Crowley"
It's a tip of the hat to Aleister Crowley, who was considered the most wicked man in the world. I had a feeling that this guy was a bit of a fake, but Ozzy did a song for him, so hey, what can you do?
3. The Doors, "The End"
It tells a little story of Jim Morrison's psychopathic trauma going on in his head. Who knows where he was when this took place, but you can't listen to this song without getting creeped out a little bit.
4. Alice Cooper, "Feed My Frankenstein"
This of course features Steve Vai and Joe Satriani on guitar and Nikki Sixx on bass. It's a pretty creepy little song.
5. Pink Floyd, "Careful With That Axe Eugene"
They went through a period, when Syd Barrett was writing, of just being insane. And insanity is pretty scary to me. [Editor's note: This song was actually written during Floyd's post-Syd era.]
6. The Rolling Stones, "Midnight Rambler"
It's a song about the Boston Strangler. Yeah, I think this song qualifies.
7. Arthur Brown, "I Put a Spell on You" (originally by Screamin' Jay Hawkins)
Just because Arthur Brown is as creepy as can be.
8. Alice Cooper, "Dangerous Tonight"
This is the best vampire song ever written. I'm sorry. It's just great. If you listen to the lyrics on this [there are] all the double entendres. It's my favorite.
9. Warren Zevon, "Werewolves of London"
This is Warren Zevon at all his scary best.
10. The Misfits, "Monster Mash" (originally by Bobby "Boris" Pickett)
I'm going to throw this in only because you can't have Halloween without Bobby "Boris" Pickett.
—as told to Jon Wiederhorn