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Deep Cuts: Creepy Love Songs

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Run For Your Life

Artist: The Beatles

Album: Rubber Soul

Year:  December 3, 1965

When a song begins with “I’d rather see you dead little girl/ Than to see you with another man,” it’s off to a rocky start. Backed by surprisingly upbeat accompaniment, John Lennon spouts harrowing paranoia in the most polite way possible. The last track on the classic Rubber Soul track fits into the rest of the album like a bull in a china shop. So much for peace and love. 

Intruder

Artist: Peter Gabriel

Album: Peter Gabriel

Year: May 23, 1980

While perhaps not a straightforward love song, “Intruder” is included for just being really, really unsettling. Droning through a funeral dirge, Gabriel makes no attempt to hide how creepy his protagonist’s psychotic fantasies are. Choice lyrics include “I know something about opening windows and doors” and “I like the touch and the smell of all the pretty dresses you wear” (shudder). Really makes you examine the jukebox scene from Say Anything (1989) in a different light. 

Every Breath You Take

Artist: The Police

Album: Synchronicity

Released: May 20, 1983

This infamous ballad is told through the eyes of an obsessive stalker. Despite this hiccup, it remains popular as a first dance for newlyweds who maybe should have taken the lyric “You belong to me” as a bad sign. The song remains just as unsettling three decades later, although this might be more due to grotesque overplay than subject matter. 

All I Need

Artist: Radiohead

Album: In Rainbows

Year: October 10, 2007

The creepy loner in Radiohead’s “All I Need” is almost pitiful. Describing his protagonist as “an animal trapped in your hot car,” “a moth who wants to share your light,” and “an insect trying to get out of the night,” Thom Yorke conveys the underrated pathos that echoes through Radiohead’s best work. Nevertheless, the protagonist is still “lying in the reeds,” encouraging you to never take anything Yorke says at face value. 

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