There’s a place, a weird psychological place, where what was once true love and deep longing trickle over into pernicious fascination and crazed privacy issues. Pop has addressed this from time to time; songs of obsession, like the Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” Blondie’s “One Way Or Another,” Eminem’s “Stan,” and now Lil Wayne’s “Dear Anne (Stan Part 2),” are always floating out there. But a romantic pledge has had the power to sound like a vague threat for decades. Check the way the Swedish electro-pop dudes Teddybears open the video for their terrific “Cho Cha” (from their triple terrific Devil’s Music): reaching back to the 1920s for “I’m Following You” by the Duncan Sisters. It’s not all set in the musty/dusty past however. In a nifty cameo, Fuse’s talk-show host CeeLo Green helps drive the psycho narrative, and using a bizarre sense of calm, he proves himself to be a decent little actor. Icing on the cake? The “star” of the clip is Jeff Turner, who once earned notoriety by actually sniffing around former teen star Tiffany a bit too closely. It was bent behavior for sure, and it ultimately plopped him in the stalker doc I Think We’re Alone Now.
Something creepy happens each time there’s a “meeowww” in the Teddybears tune. Something creepy happens in the tunes below as well (even if it’s unplanned). We tried to dodge the obvious titles while making our list of obsession tunes. Here are six that are sometimes overlooked.
Stately, profound, and by the crescendo of Death Cab’s eerie proclamation, masterful in explaining the way love can become poisonous.
Their wisecracks are a bit glib, but the Dan boys describe their ubiquitous fan with enough oddity to signal that something’s a bit off.
Early on EC said his songs were about sexual obsession; here’s the ultimate example, which turns out to be as predatory as possible.
You can tell Clay’s serious on this one: the ominous chord changes and splashy melodrama define the vibe.
Repetition always makes things seem a bit crazed, right? “I need you to need me,” indeed.
Rick Astley probably doesn’t mean to sound menacing, but there’s something icky behind that “never gonna give you up” promise.