Friday, 2 June 2017

My Top Ten Stalker Songs (Volume 1)

There should be a question mark in that.
But maybe the fact that there isn't... 
making it more of an imperative than a question...
is actually quite apt.

This is one of those Top Tens I've been wanting to do since I started this blog... the only problem being, there are way too many songs about stalkers and stalking people to only choose ten. Because songwriters are a bunch of creepy, obsessive weirdos. So this is Volume 1... of, quite a few, probably. I have loads more saved up for future volumes, but feel free to make suggestions.


10. The Police - Every Breath You Take

Let's start with the obvious one. Iffypedia says that this one song is "estimated to generate between a quarter and a third of Sting's music publishing income". Stalking pays for the Popo.

9. Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Possess Your Heart

I don't know what's more creepy about this song: the lyrics or the bassline.
There are days when outside your window
I see my reflection as I slowly pass
And I long for this mirrored perspective
When we'll be lovers, lovers at last
8. Eels - Restraining Order Blues

Here's one stalker you almost feel sorry for...

Life goes on

Nothing is new

Judge made it clear

I can't be near you

Everybody knows that I'm not a violent man

Just someone who knows he's in love...
7. Doobie Brothers - What A Fool Believes

This is one of those amiable radio hits that everybody knows... but nobody really knows what it's about. I have to confess, I didn't realise just how creepy it was until recently.

Ladies... So this guy turns up from your past. You remember him, you act friendly towards him. But there was never anything between you. Except... he thinks there was. And there's no point trying to tell him otherwise...

But what a fool believes

He sees

No wise man has the power

To reason away

What seems to be

Is always better than nothing...
Weirdly, there's another story connected to this song which makes those lyrics take on a different meaning entirely. When Michael Jackson claimed to have sung uncredited backing vocals on the track, the song's writers, Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, went, "Eh? We don't recall that, Michael..."

6. Badly Drawn Boy - Everybody's Stalking

When self-confessed Springsteen obsessive Damon Gough sings, "strap your hands across my engines" in the opening verse of this stalker song, maybe it's time for Bruce to keep an eye out for a weirdy-beardy in a Benny hat who might be following him home...

5. Lydia Loveless - Steve Earle

Dedicated to a creep who used to stalk Lydia... he looked just like Steve Earle. (Thanks to Charity Chic for bringing this one to my attention.)

4. REO Speedwagon - Keep On Loving You

If you think this is just a harmless, slushy soft rock ballad, then you've obviously never listened to the first verse in detail... or watched the ultra-creepy video in which lead singer Kevin Cronin goes all Norman Bates.... brrr.
You should've seen by the look in my eyes, baby
There was something missing
You should've known by the tone of my voice, maybe...
But you didn't listen
You played dead
But you never bled
Instead you lay still in the grass
All coiled up and hissing...
When he said that he loved you, he meant that he loved you FOREVER.

3. REM - Losing My Religion

Consider this, the hint of the century: Michael Stipe compared REM's breakthrough hit to Every Breath You Take...

That's him in the corner. Coo-eee! I can see you!

2. The Four Tops - Walk Away, Renee

Originally by The Left Banke, yes, but for me, nobody beats Levi and the boys...
Just walk away, Renee
You won't see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries
Although Billy Bragg's completely different Version (with Johnny Marr on guitar) comes damned close. Luckily, Billy doesn't get arrested for stalking though, even when Renee starts going out with Mr. Potato Head. She cuts her hair and he stops loving her...

1. Soko - I'll Kill Her

Because stalking isn't just something men do. Don't mess with Soko's bloke: she'll keel you.




That's volume one done. There'll be another ten following very soon. You won't know where or when, but they will be coming after you...


24 comments:

  1. Similar to no 8 Jon Dee Graham who I feature today has The Restraining Order Song

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    1. Thanks, CC, I will investigate that one.

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  2. Blondie's "One Way Or Another" is another candidate for creepy stalker songs

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    1. A definite for Volume 2... or Volume 3.

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  3. The more you ignore me the closer I get.

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    1. So you keep telling me, Adrian.

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  4. I trust The Wedding Present's "Bewitched" will feature...

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    1. SOMETHING by the Weddoes is guaranteed. That isn't Mr. Gedge's only foray into creepiness, after all...

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  5. I was so impressed with your chutzpah for calling this Volume 1 in your headline. Then I get to the comments and see such fantastic suggestions. This is a very bright audience. Never thought about those lyrics by REO before. I grew up down the road from most of that band. Guess I should have been scared. My favorite here is Walk Away Renee. Some great versions of that one out there.

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    1. I would have moved to a different town if REO Speedwagon lived down the street.

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  6. Aargh, just too scary to know how many stalker songs there are out there. I was once semi-stalked by a man who'd offered me cash and pretty things to be his "companion". One day I noticed him waiting secretly in his car after work and I had to sneak out the back way and have never walked home so fast. He was in his 80s!!!! It seems you're never too old to stalk. Trust no-one. That said, I'm looking forward to part 2 of this!

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    1. I've had two stalker situations in my life. One of them is still ongoing. Perhaps I'll discuss this in the next post...

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  7. Fertile territory indeed. From Boz-Eyed Barlow's I Should've Followed You Home to Costello's Alison - it's like shooting fish in a barrel; looking fwd to Pt.2.

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    1. Costello, like Gedge, has a history of stalking songs.

      Boz-Eyed Barlow is definitely one to look up.

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  8. I don't think of a stalker when listening to Every Breath You Take. I imagine a love song. Interesting it can be perceived on that level. Good catch on Doobie Brothers.

    According to Thom Yorke on genius.com; “ 'Creep' tells the tale of an inebriated man who tries to get the attention of a woman to whom he is attracted by following her around". So I think that qualifies. Although Jonny Greenwood said the song was in fact a happy song about “recognizing what you are”.

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    1. I think I'll stick with Thom's interpretation.

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  9. the Night by Frankie Valli is the only stalker song anyone needs to hear

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    1. Blimey. Yes. I'd forgotten the lyrics to that one.

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  10. Just remembered, 'Obsession' by Punishment of Luxury. Horrific!

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  11. Not possibly a stalker song as such but the shouty And I Am Telling You by Jennifer Holliday would scare the bejesus out of me if I was a man.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Alyson. Not familiar with that. Will be soon.

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