For a generation of rock and metal fans, Rob Zombie was proof that you could be a gore-obsessed weirdo and still get laid. The shock rock overlord has never deviated from his MO of writing rafter-shaking songs about the Manson Family being abducted by aliens and directing movies littered with vicious stab wounds, and yet has also managed to be a world-renowned rock star who married his bombshell muse. While so many other bands tried their damnedest to be evil in the starkest, most humorless way possible, Zombie toured the world dressed like a vagabond ringmaster at a haunted carnival, playing for millions of musically-addicted fans. He’s the fucking man.
But imagery and filmography aside, what has made Rob Zombie so vital to the metal scene is his music. Zombie’s ultra-massive crotch-metal tracks go right for the gut of rock and roll, with a satisfaction-guaranteed goal of total entertainment via high-flying morbidity. So in honor of the spookiest month of the year, we decided to rank every Rob Zombie song from worst to best (discounting the techno remix albums, though — those would really just be repeat entries).
Here’s every bone in Rob Zombie’s sonic graveyard, dug up for you to see…
98. “Shower of Stones” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
We’re not even sure if “Shower of Stones” should be on this list. Honestly, we don’t even know why it’s on Rob’s new album — the 27-second ambient track does nothing for the record’s flow. This might seem obvious, but given how good some of Rob’s other interlude tracks are these days, hearing one that’s so nothing is kind of mind-boggling. Anyway, moving on.
97. “Hovering Over the Dull Earth” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
See above. The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy has some really interesting connective tissue; unfortunately, this ain’t it. At this point, Rob’s interludes are cool enough that phoning them in almost feels like a waste. Dude, you’re striking gold with some of these — trim them down! Every song doesn’t need entrance music!
96. “Super-Doom-Hex-Gloom Part One” (The Electric Wizard Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, 2016)
Another interlude, though this time maybe with a little more character. Rob’s use of bizarre sounds and vintage samples make this track, which was featured as a B-side on the single of “Well, Everybody’s Fucking In A UFO,” an interesting little tidbit. That said, it never really goes anywhere, which is why it’s in the interlude swamp at the bottom of this list.
95. “What You Gonna Do With That Gun Mama?” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
At least on this between-track cut, Zombie adds some texture. There’s a discernible rhythm, and even a full-on vibe with its porno guitars and weirdo sample. Of course, it’s also just another piece of filler, and continues to raise the question of why Rob feels the need to include a mini-track between each individual song.
94. “A Brief Static Hum and Then the Radio Blared” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
This interlude on The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy at least has drumming and additional instruments. But once again, those compelling between-song songs on this album are so great that they make ones like these appear to be present just to fill out a tracklist. Will likely never listen to it after this.
93. “Transylvanian Transmissions Pt. 1” (The Sinister Urge, 2001)
At least with “Transylvanian Transmissions Pt. 1,” we get some weird, murky vocal ranting. That alone elevates this track to something more than just filler. At the same time, if Rob had drawn this out to a three-minute song with actual movements, it could’ve been really cool. Instead, it’s this bizarre almost-track that never lands.
92. “Theme for the Rat Vendor” (Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, 2013)
Overall, “Theme for the Rat Vendor” is just another Zombie interlude track. What sets it slightly higher above its hungry brothers in the dust is Rob’s indulgence in ‘60s psychedelic sitar. The song sounds like something you’d hear behind a bad drug episode of a TV show as someone tries the ganja-chron for the first time. Easily skippable, but also fine to leave on.
91. “Expanding the Head of Zed” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
As far as Rob Zombie opening instrumentals go, “Expanding the Head of Zed” is pretty cool. The choral singing of “Hallelujah” and medical descriptions of drug effects feels edgy, weird, and sacrilegious in all the right ways. Obviously, it’s 54 seconds of creepy noise, so it was never going to fall that high on this list. But hey, kind of rad!
90. “The Serenity of Witches” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
This interlude from 2021’s The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy is another example of how Rob’s between-track tracks have grown significantly. This feels like the seed to a whole new song — an alt-rock song that maybe doesn’t belong on a Rob Zombie record, but still, a new song none the less. At this point, other bands and rappers should be mining Rob Zombie’s short sharp shocks for beats, given the potential energy of bits like this.
89. “18th Century Cannibals, Excitable Morlocks, and A One-Way Ticket on the Ghost Train” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
Some things don’t work every time. We know that Rob’s redneck vocals added a killer atmosphere to “Well, Everybody’s Fucking In A UFO” on 2016’s The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, but that song also had a gripping beat and bizarre premise. This time around, Zombie feels kind of meandering, and his nonsense lyrics fall a little flat. It’s a nice try, and the title’s solidly long and out-there, but unfortunately it’s not his finest moment.
88. “Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga” (Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, 2013)
Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor was the beginning of Rob’s out-loud love of scat gibberish, and “Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga” feels like the real kick-off. The track’s profile is similar to its title — a thing you’ve heard before, indulging in an established style while never entirely buying it. In that respect, the track is also an example of Rob going all-in on his distorted redneck drawl, but that too is done better later on in his career. Maybe it needs more Laga Raga?
87. “Death and Destiny Inside the Dream Factory” (Hellbilly Deluxe 2, 2010)
We’re just not sure what “Death and Destiny Inside the Dream Factory” was meant to be. If it’s a Neil Gaiman reference, the screams of “Holly-wood” feel out of place. If it’s an examination of the film industry, why is it so fast and ragtag? When all is said and done, this track isn’t even awful, it’s just forgettable — the ultimate tragedy in the realm of shock.
86. “100 Ways” (Educated Horses, 2006)
Another moment where Rob’s interludes actually have some cool body to them. “100 Ways” feels in keeping with Educated Horses’ stripper-down, old-school vibe. It could also easily be a great soundtrack to one of the eerier scenes in Rob’s movies. Sure, it’s easily overlooked, but still, there’s something to hold onto here. Worth checking out just to know it.
85. “The Last of the Demons Defeated” (The Electric Wizard Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, 2016)
By opening this intro with a quote from Aleister Crowley’s “The Pentagram,” Zombie definitely seeded the esoteric influences that would run throughout this off-kilter album. But while it’s cool to hear an intro that has some heaviness, Rob yelling part of the record’s title over and over again doesn’t quite cut it. Interesting, but nothing we’d listen to on purpose.
84. “Perversion 99” (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)
See, this is how you do a solid interlude. “Perversion 99” from Hellbilly Deluxe is, admittedly, just a palate-cleanser, stationed between two songs to provide a little connective intermission. At the same time, it has a sleazy soundtrack-y quality that makes it a cut you don’t automatically skip. More of these, please.
83. “Cease to Exist” (Hellbilly Deluxe 2, 2010)
Plodding and frustrated, “Cease to Exist” seems to exist only because it shares a name with a Charles Manson song. Otherwise, the track lacks Zombie’s signature charm and never really takes the listener anywhere. It’ll make your car windows rattle in their casings, sure, but as far as Rob’s catalog goes, it’s a footnote at best. If only there was a little more here, but hey, Manson’ll always get his due from Zombie (Charlie, that is).
82. “Sinner’s Inc” (The Sinister Urge, 2001)
The opener of 2001’s The Sinister Urge definitely works with the record’s overarching themes. The track feels psychedelic and menacing while somewhat overdone, suggesting the unholy party vibe of the album as a whole. Samples like, “I don’t know what’s going to happen…to any of us…” exude a sense of uncertainty and horror that runs throughout. A strangely compelling minute-and-change of music.
81. “Brick House 2003” (featuring Lionel Richie and Trina) (House of 1,000 Corpses OST, 2003)
Yikes. It sort of feels like the producers of House of 1,000 Corpses saw the film in all its graphic glory and asked Rob to do this cover to let everyone know this was all a fun ‘70s throwback. Or maybe they were hoping for a breakthrough single on the soundtrack, and figured a cover (with an ill-advised rap verse) was a safe bet. Either way, the track is not Rob’s finest hour, but look, 2003 was a strange time. And hey, he got Lionel Richie to appear on it, which just shows what a hot commodity he was!
80. “The Ballad of Resurrection Joe and Rosa Whore” (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)
If there’s one track off of Hellbilly Deluxe that feels muddled and odd, it’s “The Ballad of Resurrection Joe and Rosa Whore.” The song takes some interesting risks, going full theater dust and curtain shadow, but it never quite pans out. Meanwhile, the strung-out ambience here doesn’t stand strong next to the rest of the record’s sonic lava. A song that no one ever sang along to that loudly.
79. “The Ballad of Sleazy Rider” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
You have to give Rob some credit for using the line, “An outer space motherfuckin’ boogeyman” in his songs, showing that his MO is intact to this day. But “Sleazy Rider” kind of feels like just that — a Rob Zombie song by the numbers, with all the stuff you like just crammed in there. The track never has a huge crash or a solid kick, just more of what you’d expect. A decent snapshot of Zombie in 2021, but little more than that.
78. “Virgin Witch” (Hellbilly Deluxe 2, 2010)
2010’s Hellbilly Deluxe 2 was fraught from the start, and “Virgin Witch” is an example of why. The song is just never quite fast or focused enough; it always sounds like it’s almost where it wants to be, but never quite gets there. As such, it’s a cool enough track at times, but smacks of filler as a whole. An example of Rob doing his thing hard and it just never landing right.
77. “Sawdust In The Blood” (Educated Horses, 2006)
As intro-ed out as an intro track gets, “Sawdust In The Blood” is a simple minute and change of pounding drums and lilting pianos. That said, hey, the drums pound, the piano lilts! This song accurately leads fans into Educated Horses, an album all about a heavy, organic impact on the listener. Appropriate and powerful, if just an intro.
76. “Shadow of a Cemetery Man” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
At least on The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Conspiracy, Rob’s playing around with tempo and riff style. That said, “Shadow of a Cemetery Man” feels like a Mad Libs of a Rob Zombie song. You got your Californian gibberish verse, your hillbilly vocal pre-chorus, and your big refrain featuring the phrase “sexy mama.” It’s a series of required holes filled with typical pegs. We’ve come to expect a little more — and really a little more would’ve done it.
75. “What?” (Hellbilly Deluxe 2, 2010)
On the upside, “What?” sounds like a great background song for a fun scene in a Rob Zombie movie. A roadside shopping spree after killing the gas station owners? Great. Trick or treaters trying to amass enough candy to appease an evil god? Killer. As a song on a full-length album? Not so much. While it has its cartoonish appeal, this one’s just not cutting it for us. At this point in his career, though, soundtracks were Rob’s bread and butter.
74. “Burn” (Hellbilly Deluxe 2, 2010)
Like much of Hellbilly Deluxe 2, “Burn” feels like it’s operating at 60% energy. The song could’ve used something to give it flavor — the redneck holler of “Well, Everybody’s Fucking In A UFO,” or the weirdo shade of “Rock and Roll (In A Black Hole).” Instead, the track bumps and grinds a little joylessly, and begs for an identity beyond Rob Zombie Track No. Whatever. As always, moments of coolness, but not enough of them.
73. “Get Loose” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
Sometimes, you just want to get the work done, which is what “Get Loose” feels like. The song isn’t bad, but it definitely isn’t great, and doesn’t ever get stuck in the listener’s head. Overall, what it sounds like is Rob Zombie writing a Rob Zombie song to fill out a Rob Zombie album. And that’s fine — sometimes, in the video game of life, you just want the power-up titled ‘Rob Zombie Song!’ — but it certainly keeps the track on the latter half of the list.
72. “White Trash Freaks” (Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, 2013)
It’s not that “White Trash Freaks” isn’t in keeping with Rob’s MO, it’s more that it feels like part of a different Rob Zombie song. If you want something heavy to shake your pelvis to, this track will leave a handprint on your ass cheek any day. But no part of it stands out, and makes one wonder if it was Frankensteined together from bits and pieces that were trimmed out of other tracks. Hey, gotta love a lyric about an unborn twin.
71. “Theme for an Angry Red Planet” (Hellbilly Deluxe 2 Special Edition, 2010)
This interlude from Hellbilly Deluxe 2 was originally part of “Mars Needs Women,” but was separated for the album’s special edition. Which is good — on its own, this weird, jangling guitar jam has a lot of character, while as a song intro it was just irritating and meant to be skipped. As far as momentary songs go, it’s not bad, and provides a moment of much-needed calm before the storm. Cool, just not that important.
70. “(Go to) California” (The Sinister Urge, 2001)
2001’s The Sinister Urge is known for its extra-hard tracks — which is why “(Go to) California” is so low on this list. The song has a decent groove, but not a very compelling one, and it’s big chorus just isn’t big enough. That, plus its string accents, make the listener want to do the opposite of its title. An interlude song that sounds like it mutated into a full-on track.
69. “The Beginning of the End” (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)
We’ll give “The Beginning of the End” credit: no Zombie interlude is as utterly terrifying. The closing track of Hellbilly Deluxe is an assault on the senses, a mixture of ambient horror and hard-hitting noise. The final distorted scream that closes it out is the kind of sound that Trent Reznor dreams of. To finish such a catchy album with such hostility just shows how Rob wasn’t here to make friends, only followers.
68. “Jesus Frankenstein” (Hellbilly Deluxe 2, 2010)
The title of the kick-off of 2010’s Hellbilly Deluxe is promising, as is its opening salvo of thick riffs and killer leads. Unfortunately, the ensuing track, while fine, doesn’t live up to either. The issue with “Jesus Frankenstein” is that of the entire album: it almost gets there, but it just doesn’t quite make it. And given that it’s the sequel to one of the greatest metal albums of all time, we expected it to go all the way.
67. “Get Your Boots On! That’s The End of Rock and Roll” (The Electric Wizard Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, 2016)
You gotta love the rubbery gallop of this track’s rhythm, and there’s something awesome about Zombie shouting, “GET YOUR BOOTS ON!” in an Iron Maiden way. That said, there’s just not enough to hold onto with “Get Your Boots On! That’s The End of Rock and Roll.” It’s so close to it, too — Rob’s vocal patterns are killer, and the moments when John 5 is allowed to go all-out are incredible. But it’s not there, and feels like it’s over before it even began.
66. “We’re An American Band” (Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, 2013)
The beauty of establishing yourself in your field is getting to do whatever the hell you want, and it’s obvious Rob Zombie was doing just that with this Grand Funk Railroad cover. Not everyone would hear “We’re An American Band” and think, This needs a monster metal cover. But it’s obvious that Rob had always wanted to jam this one out, and good on him for finally getting that chance. A lot of fun, just not necessarily a must-listen track.
65. “Everything Is Boring” (Hellbilly Deluxe 2, 2010)
It’s rare that a Rob Zombie song has a message beyond, ‘Check out these monster boobs,’ but “Everything Is Boring” goes in on its theme. The song is a slamming examination of modern existence, in which everyone is served everything all at once. That said, this song comes up just short of how heavy we’d like it to be, and instead kind of falls prey to its premise, going hard but not hard enough. As Alice Cooper put it, “If everything screams, nothing does.”
64. “Medication for the Melancholy” (The Electric Wizard Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, 2016)
What “Medication for the Melancholy” has in its corner is speed and vigor. The song kicks off hard and rocks solidly from start to finish. But the lyrics feel a little half-there, and the chorus never gets us to headbang like crazy. That’s its tragedy — the song sounds like it had the seeds of something badass, but maybe another track dragged focus away from it. In any event, an awesome demo if not an amazing song.
63. “Little Piggy” (House of 1,000 Corpses OST, 2003)
Zombie gone lounge? It happened. This cut from the House of 1,000 Corpses soundtrack sees Rob and a female singer (is it Sheri? Unsure) sounding like the Manson Family meets the Rat Pack. In many way, this makes this song interesting, illustrating the myriad of influences Rob juggles at any given time. On the other, well, maybe Rob Zombie wasn’t meant to be listened to while smoking in a white tuxedo. Coulda’ used a big-ass riff.
62. “The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore” (The Electric Wizard Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, 2016)
“Gore Whore” is a little like Shudder’s Creepshow series — there’s just too much nerdy inside baseball here. The latest Rob anthem for his female fans goes over the top with the horror references, making it feel a little ponderous and lacking in edge. Obviously, some of his more entrenched diehards will eat it up, but it just never has enough teeth to swallow the whole world. How about this: we’re glad Zombie had fun with this one. It’s obvious he enjoyed himself.
61. “Iron Head” (The Sinister Urge, 2001)
The creepy Halloween-decoration melody behind the grinding riffs of “Iron Head” is rad, and the accents throughout lend it awesome texture. But between Ozzy’s limp guest vocals, the DJ scratches throughout, and the steady bounce riff, this is just an early-2000s nu-metal track. It feels obvious that both Rob and Oz saw this as a potential radio single, so they toned down any weirdo tendencies to make it more typically muscular. A track that comes and goes without comment.
60. “Satanic Cyanide! The Killer Rocks On!” (The Electric Wizard Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, 2016)
“Satanic Cyanide” isn’t Rob at his most memorable, to be sure, but its intensity certainly kicks it up a few slots on this list. The track is just heavy as hell, plodding at an angry, hostile pace. Fans who are here for something catchy might find it a little much or not enough, but those listeners who truly love Rob’s whole thing will find plenty of darkness and weight here to occupy them. Not perfect, but in many ways that’s its strength.
59. “Revelation Revolution” (Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, 2013)
The problem with “Revelation Revolution” is that unlike the other songs on Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, it seems to give a fuck. The song sounds written to be a single, setting it apart from the misanthropic sneer of bangers like “Teenage Nosferatu Pussy.” Sure, lyrics about “a jackboot monkey with a lightning rod” will always delight Rob Zombie devotees, but this one could just stand to be an ounce less catchy. Sometimes, pitch will do over honey.
58. “The Eternal Struggles of the Howling Man” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
“Howling Man” was definitely a smart second single for this year’s The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, what with its uptempo urgency and pop culture references. On the one hand, the track’s energy carries it most of the way, and John 5 is in fine form. On the other, the song feels like it was one or two writing sessions away from becoming something far better, and as such only goes so far. The “Power to the people” chant at the end doesn’t help.
57. “The Girl Who Loved the Monsters” (Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, 2013)
The middle of Zombie’s musical journey saw the shock rocker focusing more and more on the people who made his career possible: the fans. “The Girl Who Loved The Monsters” feels like it’s dedicated to all of the horror-loving chicks who Zombie sees at his show every night. And while it might just be about Sheri (because c’mon, this is Rob Zombie here), it also feels like a touching nod to the hordes of young people out there who like wolfmen and witches more than superheroes and princesses. A nice song about what it’s like to be us.
56. “A Hearse That Overturns With The Coffin Bursting Open” (The Electric Wizard Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, 2016)
By 2016’s The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, Zombie’s interlude tracks were truly coming into their own. “A Hearse That Overturns…” isn’t just a piece of ligament on the record, but a blip of powerful atmosphere. The song’s twinkling guitars and overbearing ambient sounds make the listener feels something that maybe they don’t have words for. Interesting to feel a minute and a half of lyric-less music change the temperature in the room.
55. “Call of the Zombie” (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)
“Wait, this is just a 30-second intro track!” we hear some of you say. And that’s true — but it’s also the track that introduced millions of fans to the album that would make them bizarrely complete, 1998’s Hellbilly Deluxe. Not only that, but it also brings together what would become Rob’s trademarks — horror samples, eerie moods, fun rhymes, and an appearance by his wife. The 30 seconds that launched a career in the blood-spattered spotlight.
54. “Shake Your Ass – Smoke Your Grass” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
Rob Zombie has been much loved by heavy metal potheads for some time, but he’s never made an anthem out of it until this year. “Shake Your Ass – Smoke Your Grass” isn’t just about weed, either, it sounds good on weed. The track’s chill, bump-and-grind rhythm make it an excellent spin when it’s time to burn one down and take it easy. Kudos to Rob for knowing his audience and urging them to do their two favorite things.
53. “Helter Skelter” (featuring Marilyn Manson)
Zombie’s Beatles cover duet with Marilyn Manson gets a smack-dab-in-the-middle place on this list because, well, because it’s just a cover of “Helter Skelter.” Other than a lot of fuzz and shouting, the Twins of Evil don’t do much to shake it up. We’re glad they got to indulge in their Family fandom, but that’s about it. Side not: bet Rob wishes he’d gone with Alice Cooper on this cover now!
52. “How to Make A Monster” (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)
If it wasn’t oddly buried in under-the-pillow production, this rabid punk track off of Hellbilly Deluxe would be much higher on our list. As it is, “How to Make a Monster” is a fucking rad song that feels like an interlude due to its execution. Why Zombie decided not to make this crash-and-clatter a full-on song, or bury this rager under a bunch of reverb, is still a mystery. One of the rare tracks that came out better on the techno remix album that followed.
51. “The Man Who Laughs” (Hellbilly Deluxe 2, 2010)
Of all the movies for Zombie to write a tribute to, 1928’s bizarre silent epic The Man Who Laughs might not have crossed anyone’s mind. But to his credit, Rob does a great job of translating this bizarre tale of love, vanity, and intrigue into a horror metal song. The original’s massive drum solo in the middle only makes it a more unusual piece of Rob Zombie history; the album’s special edition replaced it with a beautiful guitar solo, only amplifying its mystery. Roll up, roll up.
50. “Trade In Your Guns for a Coffin” (Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, 2013)
While not its host album’s most insane free-for-all, “Trade In Your Guns for a Coffin” has Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor’s monster-truck energy right out the gate and never loses it. The song is fast, fun, and leaves a crimson smear on the highway. It’s the kind of track that a band like He Is Legend would kill to have written; that it was written by Rob Zombie just makes it a cool track among other, cooler ones. And that’s nice work if you can get it!
49. “Everybody Scream” (House of 1,000 Corpses OST, 2003)
So much of Rob’s output is great soundtrack music, but on this track from the House of 1,000 Corpses OST, he perfects that art. The theme for his fictional horror host Dr. Wolfenstein is a trundling accompaniment to anyone’s Halloween party, and manages to still bop and crush while overloading the listener with horror imagery. Not exactly a Zombie rager — it never quite kicks — but still a fun-as-fuck song that’ll make you want to switch in a green light bulb for your LED.
48. “Seventeen Years Locust” (Educated Horses, 2006)
“Seventeen Years Locust” is as sitar-driven as Zombie would ever get — a feat, given his track record. Even when the instrument isn’t directly in use, the song’s sleazy glam-rock stomp and clappable chorus ooze that Far East-obsessed feeling of the late ‘60s. While the track is by no means perfect, and could alternately use either a stiff drink or a strong cup of coffee, it definitely demonstrates Rob’s dedication to the retro energy of this album. Tune in, turn on, bang head.
47. “Werewolf, Baby!” (Hellbilly Deluxe 2, 2010)
The thing that makes “Werewolf, Baby!” special is also what sets it back a pace or two. The track’s twanging countrified vibe gives this track about lycanthropy a lot of character that’s especially fun and weed-friendly. At the same time, the song would benefit from being slightly more of a sternum-punch, and feels a little stripped down for its bloodthirsty intention. A great track about the curse of the moon, but a little too Lon Chaney and not enough The Howling.
46. “Run Rabbit Run” (House of 1,000 Corpses OST, 2003)
The soundtrack to Rob’s big-screen debut House of 1,000 Corpses is littered with some of his least-known — and some of his best — material. “Run Rabbit Run” isn’t a perfect Rob Zombie track by any means, but it has a drawn-out languidness that suits the cartoon nightmare of the film. It also showcases Rob merging his cinematic abilities with his sonic heaviness. Definitely worth going back and checking out this soundtrack once more.
45. “American Witch” (Educated Horses, 2006)
“American Witch” is a fitting entrance to 2006’s low-to-the-ground Educated Horses. The track feels chiller and more classic rock-oriented that Rob’s usual meat-grinder arena-metal. At the same time, that also gives it the profile of its namesake, calling on some hayride black magic to bestow upon it unique flavor which some Zombie diehards worship. Not an undying classic, but a solidly fun example of what Rob was doing well at the time.
44. “The Much Talked of Metamorphosis” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
There is perhaps no greater example of how Rob’s interlude tracks have evolved over the years than “The Much Talked of Metamorphosis.” The track is a haunting moment of October melancholy between kickass agro metal songs, a throwback to a ‘70s witchcraft movie that perhaps never was. It’s easy to blow off Zombie’s mid-album interludes, but a song like this stands out, even if it’s just a brief instrumental. When the ditches are dug and the witches are burnt, this song will ease you back into your coffin.
43. “Devil Hole Girls and the Big Revolution” (Hellbilly Deluxe 2 Special Edition, 2010)
For the special edition of Hellbilly Deluxe 2, Zombie realized that “Jesus Frankenstein” wasn’t cutting it as a Track #1, and kicked things off with this skull-crusher. And a good thing he did, too — “Devil Hole Girls” is not only a bigger, nastier number, it also feels more in touch with the original Hellbilly than most of the songs on the album’s sequel. It’s just proof that if you’re going to release a redux of an album, you might as well remodel it in your image. And this one is Rob Zombie to a T.
42. “Sick Bubblegum” (Hellbilly Deluxe 2, 2010)
While 2010’s Hellbilly Deluxe 2 is a really mixed bag overall, “Sick Bubblegum” is the track that most gives the listener what they came for. The riffs chug, the chorus pops, and Rob says ‘Motherfucker’ quite a bit. It’s a heavy, dark pop song, which is an art form that Zombie has been perfecting for ages. A rager, even if it’s just barely there.
41. “In The Age of the Consecrated Vampire, We All Get High” (The Electric Wizard Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, 2016)
“Consecrated Vampire” is an excellent illustration of one of Rob’s incredible abilities: he can pull off shit that would seem silly by other artists. A band like Ghost or Behemoth would look ridiculous dancing around to a crushing metal track while a sign reading ‘GET HIGH’ flashed in the background. But hearing a Rob Zombie song with that command at its center sounds like a call to action. Hey, if your whole life’s a circus, you can eat popcorn every day!
40. “Behold, The Pretty Filthy Creatures!” (Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, 2013)
One of Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor’s patented barn burners, “Behold, The Pretty Filthy Creatures!” blasts forward and never ceases. Excitement sparks off of this track’s riffs from the get-go, taking one back to the wildest shows they’ve ever been to. In that respect, this song feels like intimate Zombie; it could go over as well in a sweaty, crowded basement as it could in the arena. As the song says, “Grow your fucking hair and get in the van!”
39. “Foxy Foxy” (Educated Horses, 2006)
The first single from 2006’s Educated Horses provides an interesting dichotomy for Rob. On the one hand, the track tries for that traditional hard-hitting tempo and energy that Zombie has patented over the years. On the other hand, the song also embodies the laid-back classic-rock vibe of the whole record. The result is an unorthodox track for the king of shock-rock, a kind of stoner party anthem that’s cool even if it never really gets going all the way.
38. “Boom-Boom-Boom” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
What “Boom-Boom-Boom” lacks in heaviness, it makes up for in sexiness. This low-key throbber off of 2021’s The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy never rises above a low boil, but that makes it the perfect track from the post-Halloween party boudoir. Meanwhile, only Rob could write such a scintillating song using only references to Poe and Lovecraft. Get your smoke on, throw this on the stereo, and take off your clothes with someone wearing greasepaint.
37. “Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy)” (The Sinister Urge, 2001)
When Rob goes sexy, he goes fully erect. The second single from 2001’s The Sinister Urge definitely personifies that album’s desire to leave the haunted house and hit the mainstream. Still, Zombie’s focus on A Clockwork Orange ties the track into film history’s dark psychology, even if it’s more about being a dirtbag than a droog. A song you might find yourself clapping along to at the show.
36. “Werewolf Women of the SS” (Hellbilly Deluxe 2, 2010)
Only this dude would write a whole song about the five-minute fake trailer he made for 2007’s Grindhouse double feature. Then again, this song would be a Rob Zombie classic even without Nicolas Cage playing Fu Manchu. The track is a late-late-late-show movie theme for the ages, wallowing in its surf rock rhythm while smirking at its own ridiculous premise. If you can’t take the werewolf Nazi fly girl song, get out of the, uh, lycanthropic torture division?
35. “Michael” (Hellbilly Deluxe 2 Special Edition, 2010)
Rather than write a song for each of his Halloween remakes, Zombie decided to just delve into the mind of his version of Michael Myers. And his musical take is vivid — rather than focus on the Halloween worship of John Carpenter’s boogeyman, Zombie examines the twisted bloodthirst of his own broken soldier of darkness. While the lyrics lack October spookiness, the music brings it in spades, and hints at the autumnal darkness of the shape beneath the mask. A track that some might say is better than the movies.
34. “Spookshow Baby” (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)
While so much of Hellbilly Deluxe was heavy metal thunder, “Spookshow Baby” helped cement Rob’s bridge appeal. The track is still loud and shadowy as hell, but feels less riff-driven and more ambient, even goth. When fans heard it, they could see how Rob Zombie’s undead circus could inform music at large, inspiring listeners who’d never worn a denim vest in their lives. This was the soundtrack to many people’s daily existence in 1998 — which tells you a lot.
33. “Lords of Salem” (Educated Horses, 2006)
Zombie writing songs for each of his movies became a bit of a tradition, but “Lords of Salem” is certainly the heaviest of them. Unlike the twanging, strip-club grooves of previous cinematic themes, this one is a series of primal poundings backed by a rabid crowd. In that way, it’s much like the film which it represents, an assault on the senses without the cleverness and steaminess for which Rob was previously known. Play it backwards and see what happens.
32. “Ride” (Educated Horses, 2006)
Man, there’s a lot more going on with “Ride” than one might expect from the title and outset. The track moves from creepy, piano-driven moments of cinematic power to an absolutely punishing chorus at the drop of a hat. The result feels strangely tortured, like fans are getting to see a part of Rob that’s often overlooked for his traditional sonic mule kick. One of those songs you think should be lower on the list until you actually spin it.
31. “Crow Killer Blues” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
Whoa. So much of this year’s The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy feels like a tribute to classic southern rock…and then at the end of it all, there’s this crushing doom epic. “Crow Killer Blues” joins Zombie’s many other plodding, heavier-than-thou closers, sitting proudly alongside tracks like “Blood, Milk and Sky” and “Return of the Phantom Stranger.” It almost feels like Rob is teasing us, using all these songs to have grindhouse fun before slaying us with a sonic guillotine drop. Haters and purists, eat crow.
30. “Demon Speeding” (The Sinister Urge, 2001)
The opening song from 2001’s The Sinister Urge might not have been what some fans were expecting from the follow-up to Hellbilly Deluxe, which opens with the furious “Superbeast.” But a few extra listens definitely makes the strength of “Demon Speeding” known. The mid-paced stomper really comes to life when the record’s signature string elements begin going off in it. The result is a solid Zombie track for bumping out of your car windows, if not the fastest or angriest one.
29. “Let It All Bleed Out” (Educated Horses, 2006)
“Let It All Bleed Out” illustrates exactly what was cool about 2006’s Educated Horses. The song isn’t a traditional Zombie jam — too fuzzy and doomy at times, too frantic and metallic at others. But there’s a sense of honesty here, a real emotional exorcism that one wishes Rob indulged in more often. That plus its bitching solos and sweeping breakdown make it a perfect example of what Zombie was trying — and succeeding to do — with this unusual release. Some hot rods look even cooler when you scrape all the racing stripes off of them.
28. “Bring Her Down (to Crippletown)” (The Sinister Urge, 2001)
It’s rare that Rob’s instrumentation outweighs his epic choruses on a song, but “Bring Her Down (to Crippletown)” proves that there’s more to the dude than sonic booms. The track’s key and string arrangements give it a cinematic quality that’s exceptional, and the way they interplay with the guitars are exciting throughout. Sometimes, it takes an unorthodox track to show you what an artist can do, and that’s the case here. What the track’s about, well, that might be above our pay grade.
27. “The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition)” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
Zombie was smart to make “King Freak” the first single to this year’s The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy. Not only does the track come in heavier than the majority of his material over the past decade, but it also celebrates the misfit and outsider in us all. That one-two — coming in with a hard punch and giving a salute to all monsters around the globe — instantly made the record one to look forward to. Proof that Rob is going big and mean to this very day.
26. “Rock and Roll (In A Black Hole)” (Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, 2013)
While in no way a typical Rob Zombie joint, “Rock and Roll (In A Black Hole)” shows just how much fun Rob can be when he gets atypical. The track’s driving goth-beat verses have a weirdo spaceman power to them, and allow for Zombie to spit some of his finest kinetic nonsense lyrics. But it’s the crash that comes with every chorus which really makes this the kind of Rob Zombie track you’ll remember for years. Maybe patience can be a sin, too.
25. “In The Bone Pile” (The Electric Wizard Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, 2016)
“In The Bone Pile” is one of those songs that proves that when he puts his mind to it, Rob can just crank out some of the coolest metal singles out there. One one side, the track is as straightforward was can be — chugging riffs, simple chorus, lyrics about how evil and badass Rob is. On the other, its neatness makes it automatically catchy, so that it’s pure Rob Zombie without any muddled, long-winded experimentation. Perfect for what it is, even if it’s very much only that.
24. “Dead City Radio and the Gods of Supertown” (Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, 2013)
While Zombie’s latter-years embracing of classic rock and ‘70s sleaze can be hit or miss, it hits dead center on “Dead City Radio.” This song is just a party from start to finish, with a bizarre vibe, a beat that makes you want to bounce on the balls of your feet, and organ flourishes that make it all feel like stoner gold. The chant of ‘We listen to the radio’ only drives home the sense that this one was written after Rob went for a weed run in a time machine. Get bouncing.
23. “Halloween (She Get So Mean)” (feat. The Ghastly Ones) (Halloween Hootenany, 1998)
Some fans might not remember Rob’s short-lived horror-surf and garage-rock imprint Zombie-A-Go-Go Records. But their seasonal sampler Halloween Hootenany features a bunch of gems, including this collaboration between Rob and Van Nuys surf crew The Ghastly Ones. Spooky, fun, and perfect for every metalhead’s favorite holiday, the track shows listeners a side of Zombie they might have never seen before. A blast to listen to, even if it never truly blasts.
22. “What Lurks on Channel X?” (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)
Due to his vocals and lyrics being so much a part of his music, one might assume that a mostly-instrumental track wouldn’t be where Rob Zombie shines. But “What Lurks on Channel X” turned out to be one of Hellbilly Deluxe’s most awesome moments. A frantic, bludgeoning piece of primal riffage and psychological damnation, the song provides a moment of pure chaos amidst Zombie’s much-loved church-burners. Not the song to sing along to in the car, but definitely the soundtrack to some intense personal moments.
21. “Well, Everybody’s Fucking In A UFO” (The Electric Wizard Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, 2016)
On paper, “Well, Everybody’s Fucking In A UFO” doesn’t work. Rob doing hillbilly vocals about jizz on the walls over a mixture of sparse bumper beats and ultra-heavy John 5 riffs? Sounds iffy, right? But if anyone could pull it off, it’d be Rob Zombie, and lo and behold, the track is both one of his most memorable and a kickass staple of his insane live show. Don’t flaunt it if you don’t got it, but if you got it, flaunt like hell.
20. “Death Of It All” (Educated Horses, 2006)
Every Rob Zombie song is about Halloween in some ways, but this one might be more about it than others. The track is the closest Zombie has ever gotten to a ‘ballad,’ seeming to revel in the autumnal poetry of death. At the same time, the laid-back vibe of “Death Of It All” never feels sappy, instead exuding the rural New England folkiness of every horror fan’s high holy day. So often, Rob’s music is all blood and latex, but this one is a paper skeleton swept up in a gust of brittle leaves.
19. “Mars Needs Women” (Hellbilly Deluxe 2, 2010)
While 2010’s Hellbilly Deluxe 2 sometimes suffers from Album Sequel Syndrome, in the middle of it all is as fun a Rob Zombie song as one can find. Much of the power of “Mars Needs Women” comes from John 5’s absolutely delicious kick-in riffs and the foot-stomping rhythm. But Rob’s vocals and lyrics are inspired here, as sexy as they’ve ever been and going apeshit on Martian metaphors throughout. A song made for the darkest, loudest of strip clubs.
18. “Lucifer Rising” (Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, 2013)
Stomp on that gas pedal like you fucking hate it. Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor is littered with absolute bangers, and “Lucifer Rising” is a classic example of one that doesn’t get nearly enough praise. The song is as fast and driven as anything Zombie’s ever written, and it’s ‘Knock knock’ lyrical theme gives it a cool cohesiveness that keeps the listener headbanging the entire time. The chorus, a bonafide Zombie singalong, and brings the whole thing together in a sonic blood orgy.
17. “House of 1,000 Corpses” (The Sinister Urge, 2001)
The official theme song of Rob’s first movie provided one of his first — and most vital — expansions of sound. “House of 1,000 Corpses” proved that Zombie’s southern-rock grind could be as creepy and compelling as his enormous jock rock tracks. The song’s discordant piano and swamped vocals work perfectly with its countrified twang, making one think of bad things done in dark sheds on hot nights. An excellent example of how Rob being left alone to do his own thing yields impressive results.
16. “The Satanic Rites of Blacula” (The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, 2021)
If any track from The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy seems to sum up where Rob Zombie is now, it’s “The Satanic Rites of Blacula.” The song is fast, loose, and a shitload of fun, but also goes all-in on the groovy ‘70s musical influences. There’s a lot of tambourine to this track, both literally and spiritually, and its big ol’ chorus feels like a celebration of that jingle-jangle mania. That the refrain is also the title of a classic horror film doesn’t hurt, either — hey, Rob’s got a reputation to uphold.
15. “Wurdalak” (The Electric Wizard Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, 2016)
Zombie has a long tradition of closing his albums with slow, ultra-metal tracks, and The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser might have his heaviest one yet. “Wurdulak” is one of the record’s hidden gems, a looming beast of a track that acts as reward for those who listen all the way through. Eerie while utterly crushing, the song seems to grasp at the powerful hatred that only an immortal creature of the night can feel. It’s all fun jock jam riffs until someone gets their throat ripped out.
14. “The Devil’s Rejects” (Educated Horses, 2006)
Given how much fans loved his “House of 1,000 Corpses” theme and the massive success of the movie’s sequel, Rob had to do a song for The Devil’s Rejects. But in cinematic fashion, the director didn’t just write some big highway rock track, he got in touch with what made his movie scary. “The Devil’s Rejects” is all about the creeping fear of these menacing three criminals, the backwoods horror of outlaws who have already taken your escape plans into account. A diabolical anthem for those Hell can do without.
13. “Demonoid Phenomenon” (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)
Hellbilly Deluxe is packed with fist-pumping anthems and slinky stripper tracks, but right in the middle of it is a patented eye-blackener. “Demonoid Phenomenon” is pure chug and grind, with even its massive cult-chant chorus feeling bloody and forceful. That Zombie sunk the song into the thick belly of this classic record speaks to the fact that he obviously knew it was just too hardcore for the typical radio-rock fans out there watching the “Dragula” video. A great way to ruin one party while starting a very different, way better one.
12. “Dead Girl Superstar” (The Sinister Urge, 2001)
Man, the Living Dead Girl’s on a speed binge this time around! Whether or not “Dead Girl Superstar” was this fast and excitable before Slayer’s Kerry King agreed to provide guest guitars for it is unclear. At a certain point, it doesn’t really matter — the charging tempo and boundless energy say more than any backstory could. Not only that, but Zombie’s perfect sample use — Nichelle Nichols snapping, “I want you to go out there and shake your asses proper! Y’hear?!” — give this one the X-rated edge it deserves.
11. “Meet The Creeper” (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)
“…the Devil is in all of you!” There’s a reason that many of us first experienced “Meet the Creeper” at the opening of Twisted Metal 2. The song is a pneumatic bone-splitter that feels sewn together specifically for the soundtrack of a demo derby, a video game, or a combination of the two. Though a B-side caught in the big middle of Hellbilly Deluxe, the song has enough bristling dynamics to set it apart from other songs like it. Sometimes, you just need music for bro-ing down with your eventual killer.
10. “The Life and Times of a Teenage Rock God” (The Electric Wizard Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, 2016)
It was kind of unexpected to discover just how awesome “The Life and Times of a Teenage Rock God” was. A 51-year-old shock rockers shouting about being a “teenage rock god” felt kind of risky and weird on paper. But Rob’s voice sounds as nasty as ever on the verses of this song, and the lyrics are the kind of carefully-poised grindhouse sleeptalk that has always made Rob Zombie a unique solo artist. A track some listeners might have forgotten about, but which lands hard when they return to it.
9. “The Scorpion Sleeps” (Educated Horses, 2006)
Zombie’s always been a showman, but with “The Scorpion Sleeps,” he went full Alice Cooper. The track seems written for a line of skeleton Rockettes, its swinging rhythm giving it a danceability that his other straight moshers don’t quite have. The All Rights and Yeahs, a longtime staple of Rob’s music, feel carefully placed to add maximum theatricality here. While Rob’s stripped-down vibe on Educated Horses was a risky bet, it also spawned one of his most organically rad tracks.
8. “Teenage Nosferatu Pussy” (Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, 2013)
“Teenage Nosferatu Pussy” is the definition of a return to form. After a handful of albums trying out new things, Rob kicked off 2013’s Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor with a track that seemed to embody everything that made us love him in the first place. There’s a pounding sensual rhythm, a floor-collapsing beat, evocative lyrics, and of course references to getting it on with monsters. No one expected Zombie to kick this much ass so late in his career, but here we are. It’s good to be home.
7. “The Return of the Phantom Stranger” (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)
The top half of Hellbilly Deluxe is such a rager that it can be hard to remember the end. But “Return of the Phantom Stranger” is the album’s second-to-last track, and yet manages to embody much of the record’s soul and crushing power. Slow, throbbing, and heavy, while somehow also deeply personal, the song gives us a different side to Zombie, and proves that for all his danceable arena chugs, his dark, metallic streak remains alive and well. The funereal end to a monster-rock massacre.
6. “Feel So Numb” (The Sinister Urge, 2001)
There’s something impressive about the universality of “Feel So Numb.” The track doesn’t get mired down in horror-hound references or demonic esoterica; instead, it’s a song that anyone at any party can understand. The chorus is so big and hard-hitting that it seems to immediately instill the very sensation it’s referencing. Whether it’s with booze and drugs, or just with moving to this track’s rhythm, this one’ll take all your pain away, whether you like it or not.
5. “Dragula” (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)
The single to end all singles. Zombie stuck gold with “Dragula,” and over two decades later that metal still shines. The song is a perfectly-contained explosion of ghoulish glee, a bauble of October madness that’s as easy to sing along to now as it was then. That the hook has become a cultural staple — you can find it everywhere, in every meme and parody Etsy account — speaks to how powerfully it affected music when it first landed, not to mention metal. Massive, bloody, fun, and fucking delicious — honestly, who could ask for anything more on Halloween?
4. “Scum of the Earth” (The Sinister Urge, 2001)
WOW. It’s obvious that on many of the tracks from 2001’s The Sinister Urge, Zombie felt he had something to prove with Hellbilly Deluxe’s follow-up, and “Scum of the Earth” illustrates that harder than anything else. The song’s energy is unstoppable, its chorus is unforgettable, and its lyrical themes tap into the mindset of your average Rob Zombie superfan. Somehow, on the second-to-last song of the album, Rob managed to leap higher and further than he had for his whole career up until then. The sonic equivalent of jumping a destroyed bridge in a hot rod.
3. “Superbeast” (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)
The first three songs of Hellbilly Deluxe were career-defining for Rob Zombie, and “Superbeast” was the one to launch the death ship. The decision was a smart one — the track certainly isn’t speed metal, but it has a powerful momentum that makes it feel more urgent than the shock rocker’s typically mid-paced material. The opening riff seems to suggest a forward charge, even if the drums stay disco-steady. With this song, Zombie officially shook off the yoke of his former band and declared himself a new generation’s horror master. Hell followed with him.
2. “Pussy Liquor” (House of 1,000 Corpses OST, 2003)
How did Rob make a cut off of his debut film’s soundtrack one of his most awesome and beloved songs of all time? Simple: he made it filthy as fuck. Aside from its title — which is a lot of fun to shout in unison at his shows, where the track has become a necessary staple — “Pussy Liquor” is driven by the dirtiest backwoods bass line you can find. That plus the song’s swollen strings and Rob’s sneering snarl make it a song which proves that Zombie doesn’t need to go hard and loud every time to dominate your pelvis. The backing music to a lapdance in a water-damaged room that you’re unaware you’ll never leave.
1. “Living Dead Girl” (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)
Could a metal song be any more perfect? “Living Dead Girl” has it all — a massive central riff, a stripperific beat, growled lyrics about horror bangin’, and the overall atmosphere of being present for something wonderfully wrong. The track not only embodies Rob’s love of all things filthy, spooky, and unfathomably heavy, it also provides an anthem for the millions of monster-worshipping ladies out there who love to get down on the blackest of night. While not the first big single on Hellbilly Deluxe, the track became Rob’s calling card, the ultimate expression of his midnight-movie lust for everything that happens once the sun goes down. So beautiful, it’ll make you kill.
Words by Chris Krovatin