He’s got all the best tunes, you know.

It has often been said that the Devil has all the best tunes. There is also supposed to be something diabolic about certain types of music and there is the interval known as diabolus in musica (the Devil in Music) a.k.a the tritone, an interval known for dissonance.

Diabolic and Satanic imagery has long been associated with heavy metal and Goth has always been as much about decaying ruins, vampires and death as it has about music.

Jimmy Page was, at one time, deeply interested in Aleister Crowley, the so-called Wickedest Man Alive and founder of the occult religion of Thelema (motto – Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law) and the late Graham Bond was so obsesed with Crowley that he formed a band called Holy Magick and believed himself to be Crowley’s son.

Earlier still, it was said that Robert Johnson bacame a blues guitar phenomenon because of a pact with the Devil, signed at midnight, down at the crossroads. This idea later spawned a film about the same subject, culminating in a guitar battle between the Devil’s guitar hero, played by Steve Vai and the hero of the film, Eugene (guitar work by Ry Cooder).

So, music has a long tradition of dealing in the Black Arts and this playlist covers all the bases from posession and exorcism, through witchcraft, occult ceremonies and the Undead athrough to Hell and Damnation.

As you can see, we have 11 tracks. The task here is to decide which one will be saved from the Pit and which one will be cast into the Outer Dark forever.

The track listing is:

Charlie Daniels Band – The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Siousxie and the Banshees – Spellbound
David Byrne and Brian Eno – The Jezebel Spirit
Dr John – Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya
Black Widow – Come To The Sabbat
Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead
Cassandra Wilson – Hellhound On My Trail
John Martyn – I’d Rather Be The Devil
King Crimson – The Devil’s Triangle
The Clash – Straight To Hell
AC/DC – Highway To Hell

11 thoughts on “He’s got all the best tunes, you know.

  1. A great invocation list. I actually knew nine of these beforehand, so I sort of skipped a few I’ve played recently. My faves would be Black Widow, Bauhaus, and Byrne and Eno. Black Widow are often mentioned by Hexvessel, Jex Thoth, Sabbath Assembly and they all get my cloven hooves moving to the dark arts. I also like Jess and the Ancient Ones, whose musical style can only be described as ancient.

    The only track that didn’t make me a believer was Cassandra Wilson, so I’ll put JatAO’s Astral Sabbat in its place.

  2. I liked all of them (well, I had to grit my teeth over King Crimson a bit) except the Byrne/Eno…but my favourite by far and away was the Charlie Daniels Band. Love love love it!

    (And my son was a bit surprised when I told him I was listening to AC/DC.)

  3. I like the list, can live without the Clash, of course I love Siouxsie and Bauhaus. I think I’d add in Up Jumped The Devil by Nick Cave because it sounds so wicked.

  4. Hi Carole, a great idea for a list, so much potential.

    Some familiar tracks here that will stay by rights: Charlie Daniels Band, (have you seen this version Devil Went Down to Jamaica) Siouxsie, King Crimson, the Clash and of course AC/DC; that opening guitar.

    Byrne & Eno, Black Widow, Bauhaus and John Martyn – wouldn’t get an incantation from me.

    Really liked Dr. John and Cassandra Wilson – both new to me. They’re in my pentangle.

    If I can only dump one then it’s Byrne & Eno I’d sacrifice and induct Band of Skulls’ The Devil Takes Care of His Own

    • Love that “Devil Went Down To Jamaica”. I avoided Ozzy because I am not a huge fan of his solo stuff. I like the photos of Aleister Crowley on that YouTube vid though. He looks such a twazzock in his magickal regalia.

  5. Great list; I knew some and liked most ot them but struggled with King Crimson, so into the pit they go (sorry). Faves were Charlie Daniels and AC/DC, I liked Cassandra Wilson, too. The only thing I can think of for the pot is “The Revenge of Vera Gemini” by Blue Oyster Cult.

  6. loved the list – some real fav’s in there – I think Black Widow is for the pit (if I had to choose)

    Bauhaus – Brian and Byrne – the Banshees – Charlie Daniels Band will be making my stay in hell a warming one, instead of a bbbbbbbbbbbbrrrrrrrrr one.

    great fun. thanks.

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