Psycho Killer and Other Mood Music: A Definitive Theme of Childhood

For several summers of my elementary and early middle school years, a single mix-tape was THE music I chose for myself. It was catchy, it was up-beat, it was Rock And Roll, and it had a definite theme: looking into the hearts and minds of  certified whackos. This mix-tape was known as: Psycho Killer and Other Mood Music.

This was my start of becoming fascinated with madness, with looking at the nature of walking (or more often crossing) the line between living within society’s boundaries and creating a new world that exists only inside the mind. What people escape to when the stress of reality gets to be too much for them says something about common pitfalls that exist for all of us.

The mix-tape was my introduction to some of my favorite musical artists, including The Kinks and Warren Zevon. For the longest time I had no idea who was responsible for the individual songs on the tape; the liner notes only consist of the song titles. But with this new-fangled interweb contraption, I’ve been able to find the songs, so the world at large can explore a little fragment of my childhood. Enjoy.

Psycho Killer – Talking Heads

Brain Damage / Eclipse – Pink Floyd

You May Be Right – Billy Joel

Social Disease – Elton John

Destroyer – The Kinks

Psychotic Reaction – Count Five

Excitable Boy – Warren Zevon

All The Madmen – David Bowie

Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin

21st Century Schizoid Man – King Crimson

Brain Salad Surgery – Emerson Lake & Palmer

Ok, so the last one isn’t Emerson Lake and Palmer, but for the life of me I can’t find a version of the song on Youtube, which is a shame, but the video that takes its place gives a similar feeling. That is, if you’re on some kind of strong psychedelic drug and are basically just imagining the Emerson Lake & Palmer song. Which seems a fitting way to end this post.

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