With our top ten Type O Negative songs we are looking at the career of one of the longest running gothic metal bands who were active from 1989 until 2010 when their frontman Pete Steele died. Their style was a mix of metal and gothic rock. They were formed in New York after the demise of Steele’s previous band Carnivore. Over the course of their career, they recorded and released seven albums.
Steele formed the band along with guitarist Kenny Hickey, keyboardist Josh Silver, drummer Sal Abruscato who was later replaced by Johnny Kelly. Two years after their formation, they signed with Roadrunner Records and released their debut album Slow, Deep and Hard. After this they began making an album that was supposed to be live. It was titled The Origin of the Faeces and came with a sticker saying that it was “Not Live At Brighton Beach.” It contained fake live recordings of songs from the first album as well as original songs and covers of Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath.
Their first major success came in the form of their third album Bloody Kisses released in 1993. It was Roadrunner’s first album to be certified platinum. Their next album was released three years later and was titled October Rust. It was certified Gold and got to number forty-two on the Billboard 200. The next album came along two years later and was titled World Coming Down and got to thirty-nine on the Billboard. A year after this they issued a best of titled The Least Worst of Type O Negative. Their sixth album Life Is Killing Me was released in 2003. After this, they left Roadrunner and signed with SPV. They released what would end up being their final album Dead Again in 2007. It ended up being their highest charting album, reaching number twenty-seven on the Billboard. When Steele died of heart failure in 2010, the band decided to split up. Here is a list of their ten best songs.
# 10 – My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend
Kicking off our top ten Type O Negative songs list is this track taken from October Rust released in 1996. It was the first single to be taken from the album and is about a relationship where a female partner is shared between a man and another woman. It apparently written at Josh Silver’s house in a short time. It is quite a different track to the rest of the album, being a much lighter sounding song whereas the rest of the album generally dark in nature.
# 9 – Hey Pete
As stated in the intro to this article, Type O Negative’s second album The Origin of the Faeces released in 1992 was apparently going to be a live album. However, this turned out to be a gimmick as the album is in fact a false live album that was recorded in the studio and features “crowd interaction” that is all completely fake. The album is mainly full of songs that were on the band’s first album but this is a cover of the song “Hey Joe” that was made famous by Jimi Hendrix, but with altered lyrics and a very different sound.
# 8 – How Could She?
Here is a song taken from 2003’s Life Is Killing Me which is a song that show’s the bands more tongue-in-cheek side. It is a song where Pete Steele lists several fictional women from tv shows that he has ever had a crush on and asks why they have “left him.” Such women include Wilma Flintstone, Marilyn Munster and Morticia Adams.
# 7 – I Don’t Wanna Be Me
Here is a single taken from Life Is Killing Me. It does not have the usual gothic sound that the band are known for and is considered by many to be a punk rock song. The video memorably featured actor Dan Fogler dressing up as various celebrities such as Britney Spears and Michael Jackson before finally impersonating Pete Steele.
# 6 – Day Tripper
This cut taken from World Coming Down released in 1999 is actually a medley of several Beatles songs. Aside from “Day Tripper” itself, the song also combines “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”, “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “If I Needed Someone.” It is the closer of the album, which is considered to be the band’s darkest.
# 5 – We Hate Everyone
Kicking off the last half of this list we have a song taken from Bloody Kisses released in 1993. When the song starts, it is a fast hardcore punk song. The lyrics speak out against extremist ideologies such as fascism and communism. Then midway through the song changes gear and becomes much more mid paced with the lyrics continuing to give the message that we should all just live life how we want without being dictated to.
# 4 – Christian Woman
Here we have one of the singles from Bloody Kisses that is considered to be one of the songs that propelled the band into the mainstream. The Christian Woman in question is a woman who Peter Steele was romantically involved with. Two promo videos were made for it, one using the shorter radio edit version and the other using the full length eight minute version.
# 3 – White Slavery
At number three we have the opening track from World Coming Down. The song is not about political oppression like the title would suggest, but is in fact about cocaine addiction. The album deals a lot with addiction as well as many other dark themes such as several deaths in Pete Steele’s family.
# 2 – Love You To Death
Just off the top spot we have another song from October Rust. Sexuality has always been a big part of Type O Negative’s music and here Pete Steele combines the fact that he is a very macho kind of a man with the fact that he was brought up in a household full of women. In this song he talks about how he is almost intoxicated by a woman, something that the listener feels very much when they allow themselves to become immersed by the song.
# 1 – Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare All)
At the top spot we have the debut single from Bloody Kisses that is considered to be the band’s most famous song. Pete Steele stated that he wrote the song “in his head” whilst driving a garbage truck. The lyrics are partially based around a previous relationship that he had been in with a woman who was involved with the Goth subculture.
Top 10 Type O Negative Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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