As it came time this week to come up with blog ideas, my fiance and I issued challenges to each other. I challenged him to pick out his favorite hero songs and he in turn challenged me to pick my favorite villain songs. This list is the result of that challenge, and while numbering is involved for the sake of making a proper list, I love all these songs pretty much equally. I’ve always enjoyed villains regardless if they sing, and villain songs are usually some of the most fun in any movie or musical. So, that being said, let’s take a look at 11 of my fave villains and their songs.
11. “Dentist” – Orin (Little Shop of Horrors)
I’ve seen both a local play of Little Shop of Horrors as well as the 80s film, and while I like Audrey II’s songs, I never could get “Dentist” out of my head. In the film version in particular, although Orin is an utter douchebag, Steve Martin just relishes every second of this song. It’s an entertaining little tune and appropriate for the character.
10. “In the Dark of the Night” – Rasputin (Anastasia)
Having watched most of Don Bluth’s movies, I’m dismayed to say that the majority of villain songs downright suck. That is, until Jim Cummings put some life (no pun intended) into the undead Rasputin’s song. While the imagery is a bit…weird, the song itself captures Christopher Lloyd pretty well and has a cool heavy rock sound to it. The movie may be an expy of a Disney film, but it at least retains a good villain song despite that.
9. “See My Vest” – Mr. Burns/”The Very Reason That I Live” – Sideshow Bob (The Simpsons)
I’ve said before that “The Simpsons” is one of my all-time favorite shows and Mr. Burns and Bob are my favorite villains from it. Naturally, they’ve had a few songs between them, but I like these for a few reasons. “See My Vest” is a pure parody of “Be Our Guest” from “Beauty and the Beast” and the animal theme (evil as it may be) always got my attention. “The Very Reason That I Live” parodies “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” from “My Fair Lady” and Kelsey Grammar’s rich voice fits perfectly with the macabre lyrics. It was hard to try to pick a favorite between the two, so this one gets a tie.
8. “Gaston” – LeFou, Gaston & Others (Beauty and the Beast)
I always preferred “Gaston” to “The Mob Song” due to its catchiness and utter glee at bragging up the clearly full-of-himself Gaston. Gaston was always one of those few Disney villains who seemed “normal” and his song really shows how a few personality changes could’ve easily made him the hero of the story to everyone, not just the villagers or LeFou. I knocked off a few Disney songs from this list as its easy to choose any one of them – they’re all that good (well…most are). “Gaston” is one of the more energetic ones and highly enjoyable.
7. “Poor Unfortunate Souls” – Ursula (The Little Mermaid)
Of all the late 80s/early 90s Disney films, “The Little Mermaid” ranks a bit low on my list. However, I always liked how cunning Ursula was from the moment she was introduced. Her song is more like a ballad at first, starting slow and eventually working up to a crazy, fast climax. While “Gaston” was more of a bragging song for Gaston, Ursula’s song is pure deception from the get-go, having her downplay her evil contracts in favor of highlighting how she “helps” people. She’s just an interesting, female play on the “devil-like” character and “Poor Unfortunate Souls” reflects that well.
6. “Joker’s Song” – Miracle of Sound (Fan made)
I wish I could say I discovered this myself, but it was through my fiance that I first heard “Joker’s Song.” In it, the Arkham City version of the Joker sings how he and Batman are very alike and could never be whole without each other (not in that way). The vocals are pretty close to Mark Hamill’s, though it kinda sounds like its own take on the Joker. I’ve always liked Batman and especially his villains, so this song stuck with me, and every time I see Batman and the Joker I can’t help but think of it.
5. “A Little Priest” – Sweeney Todd & Mrs. Lovett (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
I debated between this and “Epiphany” before ultimately deciding that this one was more fun. Mrs. Lovett shows her true colors by not only deciding to encourage Todd’s newfound murderous urges but also suggesting they make meat pies out of Todd’s victims for profit. The song becomes a disturbing yet entertaining duet as they look at people and comment on how they might taste. Even more disturbing is how upbeat the song is despite the context, though that always made it more catchy in my mind. Ultimately, this is one diabolical song and I love every second of it.
4. “Still Alive” – GLaDOS (Portal)
While I’ve never played “Portal,” I was interested enough to watch others play it instead. By the time the end credits rolled and this song came up, I was instantly hooked by it. After the struggle to defeat homicidal A.I. GLaDOS, you’re treated to this little song by her, seemingly proving that she isn’t truly dead after all. She’s a devious character and this song captures that and adds a nice touch of her sarcasm as well. And while she also had a song at the end of “Portal 2,” I felt this one was the more villainous of the two in lieu of her role in the game..
3. “Friends on the Other Side” – Dr. Facilier (The Princess and the Frog)
Confession time: This is one of my favorite Disney songs in recent memory. Not just as a villain’s song, but just a song in general. It has many aspects I like, all cemented by the smooth voice of Keith David. For starters, Facilier does brag himself up a little, but he’s also deceptive and scheming throughout the song. I like that the song starts off nice and jazzy, goes into a slow bit as he states Naveen’s future, and eventually gets crazy as his deception occurs. It’s still my favorite song in the movie and easily trumps future efforts like “Mother Knows Best” from “Tangled.”
2. “Brand New Day” – Dr. Horrible (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog)
As you all know, I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan and have been since “Buffy.” When I heard he had made a mini-musical, I had to check it out. Now, “Dr. Horrible” is one of my favorite works of his, and a large part of that was due to Neil Patrick Harris and this song. This song is a feat to sing on its own, but it’s also the turning point for the not-so-good doctor as he plots to kill his nemesis Captain Hammer. The visuals add to the song, but it’s just a joy to listen to even without them. However, there is still one song that, in my mind, trumps it out of sheer bias.
1. “What You Feel” – Sweet (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
What can I say, Whedon and his team know how to put together some great songs. This was one of the few instances where a show I liked ended up having songs. I initially detested the concept of “Buffy” having a musical episode, but upon giving it a second chance I realized what I missed out on. “Once More, With Feeling” stands as one of my favorite episodes not just in its season but the entire show. And its villain, Sweet, and his introductory song are icing on the cake. Done in a sort of lounge singer style, Sweet’s song gives you a pretty clear idea of what he’s about and what sort of evil he brings to Sunnydale. While he’s not the most menacing or physically threatening guy of this bunch, his crooning voice, sneaky tactics, and overall coolness make this song my top pick.
I know people will disagree with this list. There are many villain songs out there that I was forced to cut out of this list for brevity. I encourage anyone to comment below and tell me whether you agree/disagree and what songs you enjoy as well.