In the wonderful world of Science Fiction, we (the living) have created a number of ways to re-animate the non-living. Radiation, pathogens, parasites, vectors, scientific accidents and even being bitten and infected by zombie carriers.
As for the popularity of our brain-starved ancestors, the 1929 book The Magic Island got things started in the U.S. followed by films in the 1930s including White Zombie starring Bela Lugosi. More recent that that were all the Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead films of the 70s and 80s and then of course modern TV shows like The Walking Dead. Thankfully many of our favorite rockers also embraced the undead world and here are a few of my personal favorites.
Zombie Stomp – Ozzy Osbourne: This is a great song anytime. The slow, stalking buildup leading to Zakk Wylde’s rip your head off power riffage is pure delight. And besides, it’s Ozzy Osbourne! And you just can’t enjoy Halloween without Ozzy.
Living Dead Girl – Rob Zombie: The lyrics include the passage: “Raping the geek – And hustling the freak. Like a hunchback juice – On a sentimental noose. Operation filth – They love to love the wealth. Of an S.S. whore – Making scary sounds” What in the holy hell! I have a feeling that only makes sense to Mr. Zombie himself and the occasional dead girls of which he sings.
Zombie Woof – Frank Zappa: Frank provides the ultimate example of music that requires an acquired taste. His unparalleled musical genius mixed with a sharp sense of humor and those ever so twisted lyrics like: “Have you ever waked up in the morning with a Zombie Woof behind your eyes?…Just about as evil as you can be.” Zappa’s greatest asset might just be that he never ever cared what anybody thought about him or his art. “I’m Telling you all the zombie truth, here I’m is…the Zombie Woof” purposely terrible English, yet still so delicious.
Dead Bite – Hollywood Undead: I’m hooked right from the opening line of “Good Night, Sleep Tight don’t let the dead bite” follow that up with the creepiest line ever “I Know that we have never really met before, but tell me does this rag smell like chloroform?” Talk about getting right to the point. Where is the sinister laugh when we need it?
Children of the Grave – Black Sabbath: Its not as scary as it sounds. The song is actually about activism. It is a warning that if you do not stand up against corruption…you will die. Your dreams and freedoms will die…thus we will become the Children of the Grave.
Zombie Zoo – Tom Petty: Yes, TP has a fun Halloween song that even makes reference to Boris Karloff…It falls way more in the silly side than haunted or scary side, but I’ll take it anyway.