The Y! Music Playlist Blog - Archives

Heroin Songs

Heroin has been a key ingredient in the success of many songwriters. It has also ended the careers and lives of many.

The drug we know as heroin is derived from opium and was first created in 1847 by a British chemist at St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London. Between 1898 and 1910 it was sold as a "non-addictive" alternative to morphine, and as a cold medicine for children. The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914 made it illegal to sell or possess heroin in the United States and it has been illegal ever since.

The drug has quite a history in popular music. It first caught fire after World War II throughout the jazz scene and the jazz musician, especially bebop musicians, became poster boys for heroin addiction. Newsworthy drug busts of this era included Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Billie Holiday. More recently, the heroin problem of Ray Charles was highlighted in the 2004 film Ray.

While the effects of heroin can be different for each individual, the drug tends to create a euphoria that helps musicians "feel" the music, and enables some songwriters to be more open to the songwriting process. Other musicians that have been labeled as heroin addicts include Keith Richards, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Dr. John, Tim Buckley, Boy George, Elliot Smith, Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love and Pete Doherty among others. This playlist includes 4 hours of music inspired by this destructive drug. Some of them undoubtedly written under it's influence.

Please and any heroin songs I may have missed to the comments.

Songs About Heroin Playlist: 

1. King Heroin - James Brown  
2. Heroin - The Velvet Underground 
3. The Needle And The Damage Done - Neil Young 
4. Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd 
5. There She Goes - The La's  
6. The Junkie's Prayer - The Statler Brothers   
7. Junkie Doll - Mark Knopfler  
8. Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth - The Dandy Warhols 
9. Under The Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers    
10. My Sweet Prince - Placebo  
11. Just Like Honey - The Jesus & Mary Chain 
12. Dead Flowers - The Rolling Stones    
13. Needle In The Hay - Elliott Smith    
14. Perfect Day - Lou Reed    
15. Clint Eastwood - Gorillaz   
16. Sunday's Slave - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 
17. Junkie - Poe 
18. Ride A White Horse - Goldfrapp     
19. Heroin Girl - Everclear 
20. Mr. Brownstone - Guns N' Roses 
21. Hurt - Nine Inch Nails 
22. Black Balloon - Goo Goo Dolls    
23. Golden Brown - The Stranglers 
24. Monkey Gone To Heaven - The Pixies 
25. Herion, She Said - Wolfsheim     
26. Happiness Is A Warm Gun - Charlie Wood 
27. Junkie's Promise - Sonic Youth 
28. A Horse With No Name - America    
29. Sweetest Perfection - Depeche Mode 
30. Love In Vein - Skinny Puppy 
31. Follow Me - Uncle Kracker 
32. Beetlebum - Blur 
33. Junkhead - Alice In Chains    
34. I'm Waiting For The Man - The Velvet Underground 
35. Junkie - Lynyrd Skynyrd 
36. Opium Trail - Thin Lizzy 
37. Amy Hit The Atmosphere - Counting Crows 
38. 999 - Keith Richards 
39. She Talks To Angels - The Black Crowes    
40. Just One Fix - Ministry
41. She's Like Heroin - System Of A Down   
42. Chinese Rock - The Ramones 
43. I Believe In You - Talk Talk 
44. Low - Cracker 
45. Heroin Face - The Cure 
46. Kiss Off - The Violent Femmes 
47. Captain Jack - Billy Joel 
48. Needle And Spoon - Savoy Brown 
49. In The Fade - Queens Of The Stone Age 
50. Cindy's On Methadone - Screeching Weasel 
51. True Faith - New Order     
52. Heroin Fix - John Zorn    
53. The Needle Lies - Queensrÿche    
54. Jane Says - Jane's Addiction 
55. Voodoo - Godsmack 


View Comments