Given the nature of the figure being written about, this list is bound to have a few heavier songs.
Needless to say, the devil has always been in the spotlight throughout history- wherever there was a great tragedy, Satan got the blame.
Sadly, most often it’s just man and his vices that are the catalyst for history’s great evils.
That aside, this is a list of all the creative takes on who the devil is and what he does and it’s bound to be tasty. So enjoy.
1. Sympathy For The Devil – The Rolling Stones
A song written from the perspective of the devil himself, Sympathy for the Devil is all about the deeds of the devil and is based on a book called “The Master and Margarita”.
It was written as a commentary on the history of evil and the fact that there’s little evil in all of us.
When the Stones wrote this song, Keith Richards stated they were unsure about whether to make it a folk song or a samba, but one thing is for sure: it’s a pretty catchy and controversial tune.
When it came out, there were plenty of rumors going around about it, but many proved to be false.
2. The Number of The Beast – Iron Maiden
Another song drenched in controversy, Iron Maiden stated that this song was based on a dream that composer Steve Harris had had.
The intro is a quote from the book of Revelations in the Bible and is voiced by Barry Clayton.
Finally, the loud scream you hear at the end of the intro was originally done in frustration during recording, because Bruce Dickinson got tired of doing so many retakes.
3. The Devil Went Down to Georgia – Charlie Daniels
A folky song that was the Charlie Daniels band’s biggest pop hit when released, is spoken more than sung and tells a tale of a young boy who is challenged by the devil to a musical duel.
The structure of the song is divided between telling the story and the instrumental segments of both characters and if you haven’t heard it, you need to give it a listen, because it’s possibly the most fun song on this list.
4. Runnin’ With the Devil – Van Halen
This is the opening track from Van Halen’s eponymous debut album. It was also their second single. It opens with a car-horn sample comprised of each band member’s own vehicle connected to a footswitch.
Ted Templeman slowed the audio down, and faded it in at the beginning, making for a pretty haunting sound effect.
The song is often construed as satanic, but the band has never given statements on its full meaning, with the general public often interpreting it as a song about freedom from social ties.
5. Devil – Shinedown
Off the ATTENTION ATTENTION Album, Devil is a song about a person who’s living life surrounded by fear and giving up and accepting what they worry will come to them.
The song is part of a return to Shinedown’s heavier style of playing and while it’s not a song about the character “the Devil” it’s about the personal devils we fear.
6. Beelzeboss – Tenacious D
Something fun, Beelzeboss is a song from Tenacious D’s movie, the “Pick of Destiny”, with Dave Grohl playing the part of the devil.
His vocals are pretty intense and make for a great contrast to Jack Black’s relatively softer vocals throughout.
Overall this is a song for show and not something to think deeply about.
7. The Devil’s Song – Rusty Cage
You’ll be surprised if you’ve never heard of Rusty Cage before because this isn’t a metal song, but a bluesy song in the style of a story.
Telling the tale of the singer finding himself in a satanic cult and what they do. It’s a very interesting song, with some weird imagery, but overall it’s a cool listen.
8. The Devil In I – Slipknot
Slipknot is known for being heavy, and this song touches on a heavy topic.
It’s a song about dealing with all the ugly things inside of you and for Taylor, it was part of the band’s grieving process.
The song is pretty heavy along with their other work, chugging along with the guitar and drums pushing the song forward.
It’s easily one of my favorites on this list if you’re a metal lover. Taylor softens his voice for this song, bringing a sentimental touch to the darkness before exploding into the bridge.
9. Devil In Me – Halsey
Another song about the demons inside of us.
Halsey gives her dark take on our internal turmoils, with the song also hinting at some of her previous work.
Devil in me is also about waking up to who you are in the face of a toxic relationship, where someone refers to the true parts of you as bad, and accepting them regardless of their negativity.
10. Shout at The Devil – Motley Crue
Some freaky history behind this song.
Originally titled Shout With The Devil due to guitarist Nikki Sixx taking an interest in Satanism and the symbology of it (mainly to anger people).
However, that quickly changed when one day at the dinner table Zutaut and Sixx saw a set of cutlery fly off the table into the ceiling.
They decided then and there to shout AT the Devil rather than WITH him.
11. I Fell In Love With The Devil – Avril Lavigne
Everyone has a time in their life when they go through a really bad relationship experience and this is all this song is about.
Funny enough, Lavigne wrote this song about someone she had dated briefly and wasn’t really even in love with, but the experience was so troublesome that she wound up writing about it.
Starting with just the chorus, she built it out from there, knowing she had struck something.
12. Christmas With The Devil – Spinal Tap
Christmas with the devil is more of a parody song, written by Spinal Tap during the time when a lot of metal bands were parodying holiday songs as a going trend.
For Spinal Tap fans, this was a fun way to hear their favorite band’s take on Christmas music.
13. Devil in Me – Jamie n Commons
One of my favorite songs. Devil in Me is another song about inner demons, but with Commons’ particular husky flare to it and his characteristic blues sound.
There’s an odd juxtaposition between the lyrics and the composition of the music with the lyrics being downtrodden, but very uplifting music.
14. Dancing With The Devil – Demi Lovato
That being the main topic of the song, a lot of it covers her difficulty with addiction and recounts her near-fatal overdose back in 2018.
The song tends to escalate from alcohol addiction to heavier forms of substance abuse with the chorus discussing the overdose.
Frankly, it’s not a song I enjoy listening to more than once at a time.
15. Devil’s Dance – Metallica
This is a song about the most metal devil out there.
Metallica sings about the beguiling manner of the devil, tempting men and women to evil at the promise of giving them their wildest dreams.
It’s not their most popular song, but it’s a lot more about the biblical devil (if you will) than a lot of other songs on this list.
16. The Black Widow /Devil’s Food – Alice Cooper
17. You’re The Devil In Disguise – Elvis Presley
18. Old Lady & The Devil – Belle Reed & Bill Reed
19. Me and the Devil Blues – Robert Johnson
20. Satan Fall Down – IjenNeh
21. The Devil In Her Heart – The Beatles
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