The original incarnation split in 1983 after which Danzig went on to pursue a successful solo career. After their disbanding, they became influential on many punk bands who followed as well as many metal bands, with Metallica being particularly notable fans. Only formed a new version of the band in 1995 with Michael Graves on vocals and a drummer named Dr.Chud. They now had a more metal-influenced sound and released two albums, American Psycho in 1997 and Famous Monsters in 1999 before disbanding in 2000.
However, the band have continued to play since after Only formed yet another line-up, this time taking on vocal duties himself whilst enlisting Marky Ramone on drums and Dez Candena formerly of Black Flag for a 25th anniversary tour. This line-up released a covers album of 50’s songs (something which the band are clearly fans of) titled Project 1950 and went on to tour for several years. In 2005 Marky was replaced by Robo who had played in the band before as well as Black Flag. This line-up released a single titled “Land of the Dead” in 2009. This was followed by an album in 2011 titled The Devil’s Rain with yet another different line-up. In recent years, Only’s son Jerry Caiafa has joined on guitar.
10. Teenagers from Mars
One of the Misfit’s early and more primitive sounding tacks from 1979’s Horror Business single, it has an almost 50’s-style vibe to it and lyrically is about carefree teenagers. It was originally recorded for the Static Age album which would have been their debut but it was shelved due to the band being unable to find a label interested in releasing it as well as two members quitting, which did actually make the band’s future uncertain at the time.
9. Horror Business
Their third single released in 1979, and a track that has several different lyrical interpretations, including one about it supposedly being about Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungeon due to it’s depiction of a woman being murdered in a bathroom. However, it is actually based on Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and is referring to the famous shower scene. The Misfits are something of a rarity in punk in the sense that there is very little in the way of politics or social commentary and they mainly seek to create escapism.
8. I Turned into a Martian
From Walk Among Us, this is a very bizarre one lyrically as Danzig recounts how he somehow transformed into someone from the planet Mars. Definitely a catchy one, it’s chorus certainly sticks in the listener’s head for a while. Walk Among Us was the first official debut full-length by the band, although originally released by Ruby and Slash Records, it was reissued by British metal label Earache Records in 2018 on a limited run of 6 limited variant colour pressings, with 300 of each colour.
7. Die, Die My Darling
From Earth AD, this is the band’s most well known song, likely due to the fact that it was covered by a certain band called Metallica. Musically and lyrically it is fairly textbook Misfits, being based on an old horror film and it has a raw sound to it. It was actually released as a single nine months after the band broke up, and was recorded during the sessions for Walk Among Us. It was remixed and added to Earth and has been included on all subsequent reissues.
6. Dig up her Bones
From American Psycho, this is the most famous song from the Graves era and see’s the band take on a more metallic and polished sound. Lyrically, the title speaks for itself which means that despite the slight change in musical direction, the lyrical concepts are the same.It was the first single released by this incarnation of the band and the only single from this particular album. The track also was accompanied by their first ever promo video.
5. Saturday Night
This Graves-era track from his second effort with the band, 1999’s Famous Monsters see’s the band experimenting somewhat with a 50′ do-wop style that actually results in a rather catchy number. The track depicts a serial killer who generally likes to spend his Saturday night’s picking up women and murdering them. The poppy style of the song combined with the disturbing lyrics may come across to some as a little sick, like it is making light of young women being murdered but it is quite clearly done with sense of tongue-in-cheek humour and not meant to be taken seriously.
4. Last Caress
From the very lately released Static Age album which was recorded in 1978 but not out until 1997, this is another of the band’s most popular songs containing extremely offensive lyrics which are not printable here but involve rape, murder and babies. With it being an early track, it has that raw production to it and beneath that it is rather melodic and catchy which makes the lyrics seem even more messed up.
In an interview in 2014, Only stated that they band do not play this song live today anymore. He explained that at the time, he was seventeen and was out to shock saying that “I wanted to make a mess, I wanted to be an idiot, I wanted to get drunk, get locked up, kind of mentality”. The reason that they stopped playing the song was because Only saw a news report about a couple who had tortured and killed their baby, which sickened him to the point of no longer wanting to play it.
3. Where Eagles Dare
From their self-titled box set released in 1996, this song is not to be confused with the Iron Maiden song of the same name and unlike that song, lyrically it has nothing to with the classic World War 2 movie also of the same name. In fact, lyrically it is a little all over the place, taking on the usual horror theme and containing lines such as “An omelette of disease awaits your noontime meal” from which some have apparently come to the conclusion that it is about prostitutes. Despite this, it is a very tight and energetic song and an example of the band at their best.
This track dates back from the bands earliest recordings and is another track that would have been on their debut album. They eventually released it as a part of the four track Bullet single which they issued independently in 1978. It was covered years later by Guns N’ Roses on their The Spaghetti Incident album. The song, as it’s title would suggest is a delightfully angry ditty that is short and sweet at just under a minute and a half.
1. London Dungeon
The Misfits are a band who are generally more associated with sing-a-long chorus’s than riffs, so it refreshing to hear a track where some genuine thought is put into the guitar work. The song is rather reminiscent of bands such as The Cramps and has a goth-tinge to it. Another different thing about this track from 1980’s cancelled album 12 Hits from Hell is the lyrical content: rather than being based on a horror film it is about a real life incident the band had when playing in the UK for the first time with The Damned where they found themselves locked up in a cell after fighting with a group of skinheads.