#7: Heaven and Hell
Black Sabbath’s relentless metal apology is aging very well at 41 years, thank you.
#8: Square Hammer
Oops, second Ghost song, much less to say here, except that the video is just amazing. The references to silent film era horror/scifi are very well presented.
But we could take a moment to talk about “As Above, So Below: Art of the American Fraternal Society 1850-1930,” by Lynne Adele and Bruce Webb, but edited by Victoria. Just morbid and surreal enough to be collectible, this is an art genre that deserves a guided tour. It’s also very Texas. A Dispatchist field trip to Waxahachie surely must happen someday. We’ll find a way to make it relevant.
#9 Devil Woman
Take a ride back to the 70s. We are in disagreement as to whether this is a GOOD seventies or a BAD seventies, but it is, very much, the 70s.
Synopsis of the story, which is easy to lose when it’s in song: Man meets stray cat with evil eyes, man cursed by stray cat with evil eyes, man finds psychic to break curse, man finds out psychic turns into cat, originally placed curse. Really feels like a lot of the old werewolf/witch stories from back in the day.
Recently, say, 2017, this song had a moment in the comedy documentary “I, Tonya.” And it definitely fits the character of Tonya they’re creating.
It’s somewhat unfortunate that there is no official music video for the Cradle of Filth cover of Devil Woman, which we trust you will find a gentle journey into an occult dreamland. Now enjoy a moment with Richmond. “It’s Cradle of Filth, it got me through some very bleak times.”
Labyrinth was such a huge part of my childhood (says Jacob) that it’s hard to believe it wasn’t a success, not really a movie that moved the needle much. Even so it had some soaring moments. Like “Underground,” which Jim Henson said was the single biggest thing Bowie could have given to the movie. There’s some high powered back-up vocals in there too, Chaka Khan, Luther Vandross, and the choir of New Hope Baptist Church.
Incidentally, Bowie was not a fan of the video. He was kind of hands-off, and felt it was a bit lazy. Regardless of the reception of the movie itself, this song places high on the grand list of 80s themes and is definitely one of Bowie’s hits.
If you ever have a chance to slow dance to this at a goth club with your future spouse, I recommend taking that and running with it.
Is this a song about Hell? No? But fairyland and hell are in the same zip code.
#11: Party of the First Part
This is the part of the mix tape where it’s starting to get weird. I’m curious about the reception of this piece but there’s very little floating around out there about it, except the general agreement that it’s “based” on The Devil and Daniel Mouse. Mildly interestingly, this is Nelvana’s second film. Some day they would go on to produce Strawberry Shortcake and Inspector Gadget. But not today.
Plot: Wannabe rock star makes deal with devil to get the ultimate agent. Interestingly, this shares several notes in common with “The Apple,” which along with “You Can’t Stop The Music” and “Xanadu” is one of the canonical three movies that killed disco. The Apple is a dystopian near-future retelling of the book of Revelations, though, and there the similarity ends.
#12: The Devil in Disguise
The second song we added to the track list for this project, way early in the initial brainstorming phase. But not a lot to say about it beyond that it was big in Japan. Your hosts are split on whether we’d go with the Elvis version or the Misfits version…you be the judge! Turn to page 63 if you prefer covers to originals in your satanic mixes.
That said, and I wish we’d seen this before recording, the official Elvis Presley channel’s animated video is quite the bomb. I’m more ambivalent to the psychobilly Scum Rats version.
#13: Conversation 16
The National’s Conversation 16 is sad and whistful, a meditation on suburban repetition dressed up just a bit for halloween. The video somehow blends bittersweet with comedy gold. The title is reminscent of that old joke where (insert disparaged outgroup) is sitting around throwing out numbers and laughing at them…apparently they’ve been telling the same jokes so long they assigned numbers to them. That one guy that can’t stop laughing hadn’t heard that number before. Anyway. It’s disjointed, fragmentary, and achey. Consider listening first and then watching the video? The video’s perfect but it’s hard to capture the words and the video together.
#14: Bunny Rabbits, Satan, Cheese, and Milk
Jacob here, because the hosts abandoned me 🙁 This song comes from the world of mic-in-track found audio. If you want to grab a moment with this distinctly millenial art form, start on Stark Effect’s collection page.
Sooo much musical weirdness can be found on the WFMU music blog, which was a decade of wonderful. The outsider music show “Incorrect Music” was one of their many, many treasures. Sorry to see this one go.
#15: Bad Things Will Roll With The Devil
Epic horror mashup by Titus Jones. This monster quotes from Manson, Christina Aguilera, Jace Everett, Rihanna, Gaga, Katy Perry, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Drowing Pool, 666, “Tubular Bells,” Candyman, Hellraiser, Poltergiest, Blair Witch, The Saw II, Misery…so much going on here. This and other very…something…tracks from the Bootie Mashup blog, which has been making my DJ sets regrettable for years now. In particularly their halloween and christmas collections…*chef’s kiss*
Oh, fun, this ended up being track 16. This was not intended.
#17: Runnin’ with the Devil
Classic. And very tight glossy shirts. Sometimes you realize that the difference between “glam” and “metal” is about as significant as the genetic differences between, say, varieties of apples. Like you could make a hybrid species if Glam rockers were able to breed, I’m not sure they are. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah. Mr. Halen’s shirt is amazing.
#18: Kiss the Devil
Who were the Eagles of Death Metal?
No seriously, not a rhetorical question. Well, it is, actually, because Wikipedia. They were something more than a garage band, working with a number of artists and ide projects, and in fact they’re still touring, and their lead vocalist performs with Queens of the Stone Age.
Not a death metal band. Their origin story has a few variations on the unlikely idea of the Eagles doing death metal, “and then the name stuck.”
Strange, awful, side story, the band was performing this song on 11/13/2015, when their concert venue was caught up in the post-Charlie-Hebdo terrorist attacks in Paris. I wonder if we would have mentioned that if we’d known it when we were recording?
#19: Devil’s Haircut
From Wikipedia: “Bob Dylan made reference to the song and its lyrical complexity on his weekly XM Satellite Radio show: “We’re talkin’ about the Devil here on Theme Time Radio Hour. And the Devil always looks sharp. One of the reasons he looks sharp is that he had a good haircut. Here’s Beck to tell you all about it. This is from his hit album Odelay, produced by the Dust Brothers. Beck says ‘This song is a really simplistic metaphor for the evil of vanity.’ I just thought you could dance to it.”
#20: Devil Inside
Don’t laugh at this kid. Sure, playing subway satan is arguably the worst possible way to pick up anyone, even a vampire LARPer. But…isn’t there some part of this that’s inside all of us? There’s no other way to end this set…triumphant, confused, hopelessly retro…than INXS’s Devil Inside. Thank you for staying with us on this ride. We’ll be back again later this month with our usually-scheduled quasi academic rambling!
Hey! I made a Spotify playlist! Not all of the songs we chose were available, so I added a few alternates…
Sooo glad to see so many Ghost songs included! Nema!