Stephen Coates really got into this Last Werewolf project. Maybe a little too into it. Taking Glen Duncan’s novel of the same name as his inspiration, he’s created not only one of my favorite records this year but also a playlist of werewolf songs. Now, Soundcheck listeners may remember that we did a “Soundcheck Smackdown” on who has the better songs, vampires or zombies. Read the listener comments, still posted on the webpage, to see some of the great and not-so-great songs inspired by the various flavors of Undead. Note too, that even though they were not part of the debate, werewolves got a little love occasionally. Now, with the full moon having just passed, it seems safe to unveil Stephen Coates’s list of 30 great werewolf songs, plus 1 poem.
It’s an idiosyncratic list: “The Killing Moon” in the Nouvelle Vague cover, for example, not the Echo & The Bunnymen original. And I would never have pegged Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” as a werewolf song (nor, I suspect, would Joy Division). But it’s Stephen’s list, so let’s let him introduce it.
Werewolves always seem the more rock and roll of our supernatural friends. You can imagine vampires at the opera I guess and maybe Zombies at a krautrock show but werewolves we know for certain get that itchy toe tapping feeling and have to let go and play a gig once a month. All us guys would like to be that combination of beauty and beast - maybe the girls would too. And of course the thing that makes them howl - that killing moon - has always been an inspiration for songwriters of all shapes and sizes.
Here’s the full track list: 1. The Real Tuesday Weld – Wolfman 2. Southern Culture On The Skids – Werewolf 3. Flaming Groovies - Teenage Head 4. Ramones - Howling at the Moon 5. TV On the Radio – Wolf Like Me 6. Wolfmother – New Moon Rising 7. Guitar Wolf – Planet of the Wolves 8. Electric Six – Bite Me 9. Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London 10. Los Lobos – Will the Wolf Survive? 11. Sam the Sham - Little Red Riding Hood 12. Howlin' Wolf – Evil 13. Morphine – Do Not Go Quietly Unto Your Grave 14. Cramps - I Was a Teenage Werewolf 15. Wolf Parade – Call it a Ritual 16. Jordan Galland – Hungry Like the Wolf 17. Nouvelle Vague – The Killing Moon 18. The Real Tuesday Weld – Me and Mr. Wolf 19. Inxs - Devil Inside 20. Jordan Galland – Hungry Like the Wolf 21. Kopecky Family Band – Howlin’ at the Moon 22. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising 23. Mogwai – How To Be A Werewolf 24. Tobacco – Hairy Candy 25. Cat Power - Werewolf Song 26. Joy Division – Love will Tear Us Apart 27. Magnetic Fields – Falling in Love with the Wolfboy 28. Florence + The Machine – Howl 29. Josh Ritter - Wolves 30. Tracy Morgan – Werewolf Bar Mitzvah 31. Alan Ginsberg – Howl
John Schaefer has hosted Soundcheck since the show’s inception in 2002. He has also hosted and produced WNYC’s radio series New Sounds since 1982 (“The No. 1 radio show for the Global Village” – Billboard) and the New Sounds Live concert series since 1986.