White Zombie were one of the most successful bands of the nineties groove metal era who formed in New York in 1985. They were originally a noise rock band whose early material was independently released before becoming more of a gothic/industrial metal band, which they found success with.
They released their first full-length album Psycho-Head Blowout in 1987 which featured clips and soundbites from horror movies, something which was always an influence on the band. After the release of their second album Make Them Die Slowly in 1989, they were signed by major label Geffen records, where they enjoyed success with two more albums before deciding to disband in 1998.
Since their split, there has never been any talk of getting back together with vocalist Rob Zombie enjoying a successful solo career and now being a successful movie director. All other members of the band have been involved with a wide variety of projects and it would seem that White Zombie are a band who seem set to remain defunct forever. So, let us see what the best ten tracks from their short but very entertaining career are.
# 10 – Tales From the Scarecrow Man
Kicking off our White Zombie songs list we have an extremely early track from the band as we go all the way back to their first ever recording Gods on Voodoo Moon which was released independently by the group in 1985. This is a very raw sounding recording and although it does have some of Zombie’s recognisable elements it is much more noisy and experimental than their more famous material. The ep which contains six tracks was recorded in just one session with each track having just one take.
# 9 – Pig Heaven
Here we have one of the title tracks from the band’s second ep Pig Heaven/Slaughter the Grey from 1986 which was once again released independently. Even though these are the only two tracks featured on the ep, during the session which only took two hours, four other tracks were recorded, one of which was “Scarecrow 2”, a remake of the previous entry on this list. These other songs would later be released on the compilation It Came from NYC.
# 8 – True Crime
This track is the closing number of the band’s third ep Psycho Head Blowout released in 1987. This recording was the one that started to get the band more recognition in the underground scene and thus begin their path to success. Once again, the sound here is more akin to the eighties noise rock scene, recalling acts such as Damaged Era Black Flag and the Butthole Surfers. Kurt Cobain notably gave it praise as well.
# 7 – God of Thunder
This Kiss cover is the title track of the band’s fourth and final ep released in 1989. Released after their first two full length records, the sound here sees them move into the groove metal territory that they would explore with the final two albums. Rob Zombie denied that this track and the cover which features someone wearing a mask of Gene Simmons, was done to provoke the Kiss bassist in any way.
# 6 – I’m Your Boogie Man
This is a cover of the 1976 song by KC and the Sunshine Band that was recorded for the soundtrack to “The Crow: City of Angels” in 1996. However, it was also included of Rob Zombie’s best of compilation Past Present and Future and a remixed version was also featured on the remix album Supersexy Swingin Sounds. The song sees the band mixing their usual metal sound with that of disco. This version features samples from the classic 1978 horror film “Halloween” which Rob Zombie would remake in 2007.
# 5 – Super Charger Heaven
This track which is often referred to as “Devil Man” because of its chorus was the third and final single to be taken from 1995’s Astro Creep 2000. In addition to this, it is also featured on the same greatest hits compilation and remix album as the previous entry on this list. The song contains several snippets from old horror films such as the original version of The Haunting. It has also been used in several movies and tv shows such as “Judge Dredd” starring Sylvester Stallone.
# 4 – Electric Head Pt 2 (The Ecstasy)
Here is the second single to be released from Astro Creep 2000. It is yet another track which had a remixed version on Super Sexy Swinging Sounds. It was released as a single eight times with different other tracks and charted at number ninety-five in Australia, number thirty-one in the Uk and number twenty-seven on the US mainstream rock charts. It is a sequel to the song “Electric Head Pt 1 (The Agony)” featured on the same album.
# 3 – More Human than Human
This next track was the first single to be taken from Astro Creep 2000. The lyrics are based around the novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Phillip K Dick which was adapted into the film “Blade Runner”. It is the band’s highest charting single and earned them their second Grammy Nomination in 1995 for Best Metal Performance. It charted high on several charts across the US and reached number one on the Canadian album charts.
# 2 – Black Sunshine
This song was featured as a promo single in 1992 from the band’s La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One. It features a spoken word intro by Iggy Pop. It was released after the group’s debut single “Thunder Kiss 65” failed to get much airplay on American radio. It managed to be a moderate success reaching number thirty-nine on the US Mainstream Rock Charts. It has become a fan favourite with Rob Zombie still including it today in his solo performances.
# 1 – Thunder Kiss 65
At the top spot is the aforementioned debut single that was also taken from La Sexcorcisto. The single was released three times before “Beavis and Butthead” creator Mike Judge came across it and featured it on the segment of the show where the two main characters would watch and comment on music videos. As a result of this, it got the band their first Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance in 1993.