Join author Patrick Coleman as he shares a curated playlist of crime-related songs that he compiled with the help of singer-songwriter Nicholas Altobelli. It just might be the perfect musical cocktail to inspire a future crime novel. I listen to a lot of music while I write. A good song can suggest not just a mood or a feeling though they do this exceptionally well but a whole world and the people in it.
Friday 10th February As well as creating news headlines, criminal cases have inspired a rich tradition of songwriting, beginning with the murder ballads of previous centuries versions of Knoxville Girl, sung by Elvis Costello and Nick Cave , among others, date back to the s and evolving into the controversial hits of today, such as when German industrial metal band Rammstein caused outrage when Mein Teil, their song about the Rotenburg cannibal murder of , reached No. At times, musicians have written about crime to shock.
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Crime may not pay, but it does provide rich material for songwriting. Look no further than the murder ballad, that enduring song form that can be seen in genres ranging from Appalachian folk songs to indie pop to rap. Gary Ridgway, aka the Green River Killer, was convicted of murdering 48 women in Washington State and California in the s and s, around the time Neko Case was growing up in Tacoma.
Many a contemporary crime fiction novel rocks along to a certain soundtrack — authors often use them to engage the reader a little more and bring in some touch points from modern culture to embellish their twisted plotlines. These are all songs about crime or the effects of crime, and they could make an interesting playlist on Spotify if we had the inclination to mess around with that. Perhaps the limiting factor to our list is the collective memories of the crime fiction loving team and our admittedly appalling musical taste. So do feel free to add your own in the comments below the post.