Since the first time that rock and roll was blasted out of the speakers, this genre was meant to be fairly excitable. The rest of the world may have had the soft sounds of pop, classical, and jazz, but this was the kind of wild music that could turn parties inside out, having just as much emphasis on backbeat as they did on the massive volume of the guitars. Rock may have been about the party vibes in the beginning, but it doesn’t take much to turn that into something darker.
As long as rock and roll has thrived, there have been just as many bands looking to embrace the darker side of life, writing songs that either have to do with more morbid subjects or creating something that’s meant to scare you to death before the singer even opens their mouth. It might not be the most radio friendly music known to man, but each of these records seem to put you through the musical equivalent of a horror movie.
Across every one of these records, there’s always a moment where you almost start to feel a bit unsafe in your headphones, whether that’s because of the uncomfortable story in the lyrics or feeling like the singer is about to reach through the speakers and tear you apart. Rock and roll has always been about deviating from the norm though, and each of these records found their audience by flirting with the darker side of life.
10. The Stooges - The Stooges
Rock has come a long way since the '60s to have anything be considered scary. Even though bands like the MC5 and Alice Cooper may have seemed wild and insane back in the day, it's nothing compared to what someone like Rammstein is doing these days whenever they level their stage with pyro. On the other side of shock rock though was the rise of punk, and Iggy Pop made the sounds of dirty rock and roll sound a lot more dangerous when he burst onto the scene with the Stooges.
Although most of these songs tend to fit in the general format of heavier rock up until that time like The Doors and Cream, there's a certain ramshackle energy to the entire record that makes the entire band sound unhinged, like the hypnotic groove behind I Wanna Be Your Dog or hearing the guitars and drums push and pull against each other on 1969. Once you get into the meat of the project though, there's a more tortured soul behind everything, with songs like Real Cool Time and Ann being almost metallic in construction, with Iggy absolutely losing his mind behind the microphone.
There are even a few songs that seem to defy any sort of category, like the 10 minute We Will Fall, which sounds like you walked down the wrong alley way in Detroit and came across an occultist ritual that will end up using you as a human sacrifice. Rock and roll was already starting to get meaner at the end of the Flower Generation, and Iggy was the definition of what a rock frontman could do when he let go of all inhibitions.