NPR logo

The Songs That Scare

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/141775027/141775047" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
The Songs That Scare

Halloween Tricks And Audio Treats

The Songs That Scare

The Songs That Scare

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/141775027/141775047" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Clockwise from top: Sufjan Stevens, Iron Maiden's "Eddie" mascot, Psycho's Bates Motel, Tom Waits.

Clockwise from top: Sufjan Stevens, Iron Maiden's "Eddie" mascot, Psycho's Bates Motel, Tom Waits.

Courtesy of the artists hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artists

If you're going out this weekend, there's a good chance you'll hear "Monster Mash," Purple People Eater" or the Addams Family theme at some point — and you won't be scared at all. On this edition of All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen and Jacob Ganz, editor of NPR's music news blog The Record, put those Halloween staples aside to focus on the music they and our listeners find truly, deeply terrifying.

Included are suburban horror stories from Tom Waits, Liars and Hayden, fantastical tales from Iron Maiden and The Decemberists, Bernard Herrmann's legendary score for a fictional killer and Sufjan Stevens' creepily empathetic ode to a real one.

The Songs That Scare

Cover for Psycho

Bernard Herrmann

  • Song: Psycho Suite
  • from Psycho
YouTube
Cover for Powerslave

Iron Maiden

  • Song: Powerslave
  • from Powerslave
YouTube
Cover for Illinoise

Sufjan Stevens

  • Song: John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
  • from Illinoise
YouTube
Cover for Mule Variations

Tom Waits

  • Song: What's He Building in There
  • from Mule Variations
YouTube
Cover for Hazards of Love

The Decemberists

  • Song: The Rake's Song
  • from Hazards of Love
YouTube
Cover for Ummagumma

Pink Floyd

  • Song: Careful With That Axe, Eugene
  • from Ummagumma
YouTube
Cover for It Fit When I Was a Kid

Liars

  • Song: It Fit When I Was a Kid
  • from It Fit When I Was a Kid
YouTube
Cover for Everything I Long For

Hayden

  • Song: When This Is Over
  • from Everything I Long For
YouTube
Cover for White Light/White Heat

The Velvet Underground

  • Song: The Gift
  • from White Light/White Heat
YouTube

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.