Danzig is a metal band formed by its namesake Glenn Danzig who is known as the former lead singer of The Misfits and then Samhain. The group are known for their unique style, with Danzig’s vocals often compared to Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison which has gained him the nickname the “evil Elvis.”
They first formed in 1986 after the disbanding of Samhain. The original line-up was Glen Danzig, bassist Eerie Vonn, guitarist John Christ and ex Black Flag drummer Chuck Biscuits. They released their self-titled debut in 1988. They toured with several band’s to support the album including support slots to both Slayer and Metallica. They also embarked on their own tours with support bands including Murphy’s Law, Mudhoney, Accept, Armoured Saint, White Zombie and Sick Of It All. In 1990 they released their second album Danzig 2: Lucifuge. This was followed in 1992 by Danzig 3 : How The Gods Kill. In 1993 they re-released “Mother” which helped gain them more popularity and saw them tour with bands such as Kyuss, Type O Negative and Godflesh as well as then up and coming bands such as Korn and Marilyn Manson, as well as opening for Black Sabbath.
After what is considered to be the classic era, Danzig went in a more industrial direction with their fourth record Danzig 4 in 1994. The album sold well but no singles from it made any presence on the charts. Also around this time, the band’s line-up was starting to dissolve, with several members leaving and joining. People who were reportedly asked to join included Dave Grohl, Corrosion of Conformity guitarist Pepper Keenan and former Black Flag guitarist Dez Candena. Queen of the Stone Age drummer Joey Castillo became the drummer during this period. Likely as a result of this, the fifth album Danzig 5 : Blackacidevil was largely a Glen Danzig solo effort although Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains played guitar on a couple of tracks. This followed by Danzig 6.66 in 1999.
The turn of the millennium saw Danzig return to their older sound with the seventh album Danzig 7 : I Luciferi released in 2002. In 2004 they released their eighth album Circle of Snakes, their first album not to feature the band’s name in the title with former Prong member Tommy Victor on guitar. After Glen Danzig announced that he would be downsizing the band’s touring activities in 2006, he worked on several other projects before the release of the band’s ninth album Death Red Sabaoth in 2010. Their most recent album was Black Laden Crown in 2017. In 2020, they released an album of Elvis Presley covers entitled Danzig Sings Elvis. Here is a list of their top ten songs.
# 10 – Let It Be Captured
Kicking off our top ten Danzig songs list is this this track taken from their fourth album Danzig 4 released in 1994. This song is a ballad that is one of Glen Danzig’s greatest vocal performances. This album was the last in the Danzig catalogue to feature the original line-up. This album marked a turn in musical direction for the band, being much more experimental in nature.
# 9 – Wicked Pussycat
Next up we have a song from Danzig’s seventh album Danzig 777: Luciferi. It was the first single to be taken from the album. This album marked a point where the band finished with the more experimental style and went back to their more straight rock sound from their earlier years. With that said, the sound and production have a more modern feel.
# 8 – Pain Is Like An Animal
This is a song taken from the compilation The Lost Tracks Of Danzig that was originally recorded towards the end of Glen Danzig’s time in Samhain. Danzig stated that it was actually originally a Samhain song that Danzig ended up recording. Had it been selected to be on an album, it would have been on the first record.
# 7 – Dirty Black Summer
This next track is taken from the group’s third album Danzig 3: How The Gods Kill and was one of the track from the album to have a music video produced. It is a popular song in the band’s catalogue and a favourite of their live sets. It is a great song that has a really good sense of rock n roll swagger.
# 6 – Devils Plaything
Next we have a track from the second album Danzig 2 : Luicifuge released in 1990. This song is a classic Danzig number in every sense of the word. It is a mid-paced thumper where Glen puts in a very soulful performance. Like a lot of the band’s music, the lyrics are obviously based around occult themes.
# 5 – Killer Wolf
Here is another song taken from the second album. The song has a bluesy swagger and is about a man who stalks young women. On the surface, it comes across as a little bit creepy as a choice for lyrical subject matter. But on the other hand, you just have to take into account that Danzig songs are generally about dark and disturbing subjects.
# 4 – Tired Of Being Alive
And here we have yet another song from the second album! As the title of the song would suggest, the subject matter here is very heavy, obviously implying suicidal thoughts. However, despite this, it is not a sad sounding song and is actually somewhat upbeat while still having a morose vibe to it. It is another mid paced where guitarist John Christ really gets to shine.
# 3 – Am I Demon
At number three we have a track from the first album. This Sabbath-esque track is one that takes lyrical inspiration from horror themes which Danzig has always utilised since his days with the Misfits. As well as Black Sabbath, the riff style here is clearly influenced by a lot of classic metal with it also being rather reminiscent of the likes of Iron Maiden and several other New Wave of British Heavy Metal acts.
# 2 – She Rides
Just of the top spot is a song that is taken from the first album that is one of several songs from the record to have its own music video. It refers to the mythology of Lilith with some of the lyrics referencing traditional methods for binding demons.
# 1 – Mother
At the top spot is Danzig’s signature song taken from their self-titled debut released in 1988. Another version of it was released in 1993 titled “Mother 93.” It is their highest charting single, peaking at number seventeen on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Charts and number sixty-two in the UK.
Top 10 Danzig Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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