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10 Best Misfits Songs

The Misfits
Scott Gries, Getty Images

To say the Misfits defined a genre is an understatement. They essentially created horror-punk and owned it so definitively that any band who followed in their footsteps looked like they were doing a second-rate impression. By combining their love of punk rock, 1950s doo-wop and horror flicks, the Misfits crafted a sound and an image so unique they’ll never be duplicated. And while the band has gone through various iterations over the past two decades, Misfits fans will always recognize those first few years, when they were fronted by Glenn Danzig, as the golden era of Misfits. From that glorious period come the tunes on this list of the 10 Best Misfits Songs.


No label
No label
10

'Who Killed Marilyn?'

 
 
From: ‘Who Killed Marilyn’ 12” (1979)

If you’ve followed Danzig’s career, you probably know that he doesn’t seem like the easiest guy to work with. He claims that he could not get bandmate Jerry Only to practice this song, so he recorded the entire thing himself. Only, on the other hand, claims he has no idea what the hell Danzig is talking about. As a result, no. 10 on our list of the Best Misfits Songs was actually first released as a Danzig solo single in 1981. It later appeared on the ‘Legacy of Brutality' album. As you might guess from the title, the narrator claims to know who killed Marilyn Monroe. (Hint: It was him.)

 
Plan 9 Records
Plan 9 Records
9

'Die, Die My Darling'

 
 
From: ‘Earth A.D.’ (1984)

This song was released in 1984, months after the band had broken up, and it's since been covered by Metallica for their 'Garage, Inc.' album. Like many Misfits songs, it's named after a '60s horror film, and it is about death. Pretty textbook Misfits right here.

 
Plan 9 Records
Plan 9 Records
8

'Attitude'

 
 
From: 'Bullet' 7" (1979)

You know a song has made it big when Guns N' Roses decides to cover it. Like most Misfits songs, 'Attitude' doesn’t even top two minutes, and really, there’s not much to it. Danzig’s message is pretty simple: Keep acting like an a--hole, and I’m gonna knock you out. Of course, there is a certain infamous YouTube video that argues otherwise.

 
Plan 9 Records
Plan 9 Records
7

'Horror Business'

 
 
From: 'Horror Business' 7" (1979)

In 1978, Sid Vicious stabbed his girlfriend Nancy Spungeon to death in a hotel bathroom. A year later, the Misfits recorded this tune -- No. 7 on our list of the Best Misfits Songs --  which is said to be based on her death, hence the reference of “Psycho ‘78.” The lyrics make an ominous threat: “You don’t go in my bathroom with me / I’m warning you / I’ll put a knife right in you.” Typical Danzig. Always so vague with his lyrics.

 
Plan 9 Records
Plan 9 Records
6

'We Are 138'

 
 
From: ‘Bullet’ 7” (1978)

Former Misfits members have claimed that this song is a reference to George Lucas’ sci-fi movie 'THX-1138.' Danzig, meanwhile, has claimed that, “They didn't write it, and they don't know what the f-- it's about. It's about violence." Also a valid argument.

 
Ruby/Slash Records
Ruby/Slash Records
5

'Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?'

 
 
From: ‘Walk Among Us’ (1982)

To say a Misfits song is particularly disturbing is like saying an Elliott Smith song is particularly depressing. But this one -- no. 5 on our list of the Best Misfits Songs -- is unsettling even by their standards. Told from the point of view of a bullied child, it’s about a doing homework like a good student during the day and murdering enemies at night. And the icing on the cake: The narrator brings his victims' body parts home to his mother as souvenirs. There’s a real Ed Gein/'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' vibe to the song.

 
Plan 9 Records
Plan 9 Records
4

'American Nightmare'

 
 
From: ‘Legacy of Brutality’ (1985)

Glenn Danzig has often been dubbed “Evil Elvis," and if you’d like a great example of why -- you know, other than his sweet sideburns -- give this song a listen. Danzig sounds as though he is quite literally channeling the ghost of Presley. It's a chilling, eerie homage to the King.

 
Plan 9 Records
Plan 9 Records
3

'Hybrid Moments'

 
 
From: ‘Legacy of Brutality’ (1985)

‘Hybrid Moments’ appears on ‘Legacy of Brutality’ and is one of several songs that Glenn Danzig overdubbed the guitar and bass tracks for so that he would not have to pay his former bandmates any money. Because that’s how Danzig rolls.

 
Plan 9 Records
Plan 9 Records
2

'Where Eagles Dare'

 
 
From: ‘Night of the Living Dead’ 7" (1979)

This song features one of the most well-known lyrics in punk rock history. If you ever find yourself at a punk show and say, “I ain’t no goddamn son of a bitch,” a hundred out of a hundred people there will know to respond with, “You better think about it, baby!” None of them will know exactly what it means, however, but man, is it fun to sing.

 
Plan 9 Records
Plan 9 Records
1

'Last Caress'

 
 
From: ‘Beware’ 12” (1980)

An entire reality show could be made by filming surburban housemoms and their reaction to this, the chart-topper on our list of the Best Misfits Songs. It starts with a fairly harmless declaration, “I got something to say.” OK, Glenn, we’re all ears. Let’s hear it. “I killed your baby today, and it doesn’t matter much to me, as long as it’s dead.” Wow. OK, can’t get much more offensive from there. Until the next line: “I raped your mother today, and it doesn’t matter much to me, as long as she spread.” That’s basically the entire song, except for a few desperate pleas for death to come.

 

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