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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Like Loving the Dead | “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare -All)” by Type O Negative

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Odd bands exploded in popularity in the ‘90s. Groups such as Primus and White Zombie are just a few of the many that would go on to become legendary, despite not being the easiest for most listeners to stomach. A band that stuck out in such a crowded alternative scene was Type O Negative. The alternative metal band had a distinct style that made them look like gothic vampires. Thematically, their music matched their unique style with songs about blood, death and darkness. Everything about Type O Negative is haunting from their dark looks to their album covers. Their most famous song, “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare -All)” captures the chilling feeling surrounding vampires.

What do you imagine when you watch a horror movie and the main characters walk into an abandoned house? Offsetting music may play in your head while you think about how the main character should turn around and leave. The track starts out tuning into that horror aspect, featuring nothing but a bassline and some very light drums that make listeners’ stomachs churn. Next, comes lead singer Peter Steele’s vocals. Spine-chilling whispers are heard behind the music, leaving the audience frightened as the opening is sung: 

“I went looking for trouble /

And boy, I found her.” 

An organ joins the staggered instrumentation as the first verse begins, only adding to this creepy goodness. Soon after, the bass and electric guitar chugging in sync create this driven, powerful feeling with Steele showing off his vocal range. The intensity increases vocally, and the guitar and bass lead to the premier part of the song. The chorus snatches the listener’s ear with vampiric pronunciation as Steele sings:

Black, black, black, black number one /

Black, black, black, black number one.”

The song is full of great lines that are so over the top it is hard not to love. The track’s meaning is mostly satirical, inspired by a goth girl Steele met at a club. Steele said the girl was in love with herself in the CD-liner for the “Bloody Kisses” reissue in 2009, and this song was made to poke fun at goth women in general, even though Peter Steele was obsessed with goth women during his lifetime. The title, “Black No. 1” is a reference to a black hair dye attributed to many goth people. Many lyrics in the song also reflect its satirical content, even if the song may sound powerful. 

She’s got a date at midnight with Nosferatu /

Oh baby, Lily Munster ain’t got nothing on you /

Well, when I called her evil she just laughed /

Well, cast that spell on me, boo bitch-craft.” 

Type O Negative’s “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare -All)” is a staple of Halloween music. It is everything someone could want — a spooky song with references to vampires, death and everything dark and twisted. Type O Negative as a collective even dressed as vampires. The epic 11-minute ballad serves as one of the most iconic alternative metal songs of the ‘90s, and its legend, along with the band’s, still lives on in goth culture.

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