Type O Negative, a goth metal band, formed in Brooklyn, New York, in 1990. Though the band is known for some of their cover songs, which include “Day Tripper,” “Cinnamon Girl,” and “Summer Breeze,” I think that their ten best songs can all be found among their original pieces.
10. “Life is Killing Me”
“Life is Killing Me,” the title track from Type O Negative’s most recent album (2003), barely squeezes onto this list. Nonetheless, it is a fairly amusing song, in a wry sort of way. Type O Negative has a great many songs about death and dying, but the title of this song probably is the most appropriate interpretation of the subject. Peter Steele’s lyrics criticize the medical profession heavily, while acknowledging, in the end, that life is what is killing him. Though the song begins slowly, when the guitars kick in, it is clear that this is, musically, a typical Type O Negative song. It does, however, clock in at a surprisingly short six and a half minutes.
9. “Stay Out of My Dreams”
The only new track on the greatest hits CD, “Least Worst Of” (2000), “Stay Out of My Dreams” begins with Peter Steele’s traditional deep vocals, and continues on with the bands signature loud guitar sound. This song features plenty of instrumental sections, extending the song out to more than eight minutes, but that, too, is typical of Type O Negative’s music. But even in all of its typicality, this song still sticks out in my memory in a positive way, and thus makes the top ten list.
8. “Christian Woman”
With a refrain of “Jesus Christ looks like me,” how can you go wrong? Okay, so perhaps it’s a little bit vulgar, but that is part of the fun of Type O Negative. The slow, acoustic portion in the middle of the song is actually fairly pretty, and a nice change from the usual grinding guitars… especially seeing as the song is nearly nine minutes long. “Christian Woman” is one of the earlier Type O songs, from their third album, Bloody Kisses (1993).
7. “Bloody Kisses (A Death in the Family)”
The title track from their third album, “Bloody Kisses (A Death in the Family)” is a rather somber song talking about a girl’s suicide. The piano parts towards the middle of the song are my favorite part of this one. Though this song never really picks up speed throughout the entirety of its nearly eleven minutes, this tempo works well for the mood of the song.
6. “Creepy Green Light”
I frequently convince myself that I don’t really like Type O Negative’s fifth CD, World Coming Down (1999), preferring Bloody Kisses or October Rust. Then, I sit down to make a list like this one, and realize that I really do like it. “Creepy Green Light” is one of the reasons that I like this album. The quiet organ notes towards the middle of this seven minute long song add to the general eerie ambiance of the song. “Creepy Green Light” was also featured in the video game “Vampire: The Masquerade: Redemption” in 2000.
5. “Everyone I Love is Dead”
Though the theme of this song is particularly depressing, “Everyone I Love is Dead” still ranks among my favorite Type O Negative songs, and among my favorite songs in general. Another gem from World Coming Down, it starts out slow and quiet, before Peter Steele exclaims “Goddammit!” and the guitars kick in. Then it shifts from a somber song about death to more of an angry reflection on the death of loved ones.
4. “Love You to Death”
So many of Type O Negative’s songs revolve around themes of love and death, frequently combined into one song, like “Love You to Death.” This one, from October Rust (1996), is thematically similar to the next song on my list, but in this case, it is simply a wish to be able to suffer for the one he loves.
3. “Pyretta Blaze”
It’s hard for me to put this song at number three, because all of my friends know that I like this song quite a bit. I named a Marvel Superheroes character that I played Pyretta Blaze, and my car’s nickname is Pyretta. But with so many other Type O Negative songs that I love, this one, from World Coming Down, only makes it to number three. Not every song can be number one. The appeal of this song, to me, is definitely in the lyrics, as the music is typical Type O Negative. But the lyrics are an eloquent tribute to the fire-like consumption that love can inspire.
2. “My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend”
The opening organ notes of this song occasionally make me wonder if it really is a Type O Negative song, but within a few seconds, I am reassured that it is. One of two songs from October Rust to make this list, this song is really hard for me to only put at number two. Probably the most pop-oriented of Type O Negative’s songs, it definitely sticks out in my memory, both for the music and the lyrics. The video is also memorable and great. And all this, in a song that isn’t even a full four minutes long!
1. “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)”
As a self-proclaimed goth, it does make some sense that my favorite Type O Negative song is “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All),” from Bloody Kisses. Even though the song somewhat pokes fun at goths (“You wanna go out cuz it’s raining and blowing / You can’t go out cuz your roots are showing”), I find it more amusing than insulting. This is probably one of Type O Negative’s best known songs, but that doesn’t stop me from liking it enough to put it at number one.