Songs That Give You the Creeps & Opinions on Leonard Cohen

The spookiest time of the year is upon us. To celebrate Halloween, Jim and Greg turn the show over to listeners who share the songs that tingle their spines the most. Plus, they share their thoughts on Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize and review the latest from singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.

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On October 13, American icon Bob Dylan  was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." This has generated plenty of controversy over whether Dylan's output is worthy, or if a popular songwriter should even be eligible for a literature award. Jim and Greg are ambivalent. They both certainly think that Dylan is a treasure to the world (evidenced by our multipart  episode on his career). But they feel his lyrics can't be separated from his music – it's not just what he says, but how he sings it. Dylan, also, seems to not care much, as he still hasn’t even responded to any of the Swedish Academy's calls inviting him to the Nobel ceremony.

Songs That Give You the Creeps

Have you ever heard a song and been totally weirded out by it? The theme of this year's Halloween show is songs that give you the creeps! These are tracks that can be thought of as universally eerie or creepy to you as an individual. Jim and Greg share two songs each that they think fit the bill, and then we'll hear picks from listeners!


  • Talking Heads, "Memories Can’t Wait"
  • Roy Orbison, "In Dreams"


  • Jenny Hval, "In the Red"
  • "March of the Toys" from Babes in Toyland


  • Anne from Chicago: John Cale, "If You Were Still Around"
  • Matt from Connecticut: Pink Floyd, "Careful With The Axe, Eugene"
  • Josh from North Hollywood: The Beatles, "Eleanor Rigby"
  • Ron from British Columbia: Red House Painters, "Evil"
  • Ryan from Golden, Colorado: Harry Nilsson, "Ten Little Indians"
  • Katura from Leicester, U.K.: Skinny Puppy, "Love in Vein"
  • Heather from Baltimore: Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, "Young Girl"

You Want it Darker Leonard Cohen

You Want It Darker

At the age of 82 singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen is the most prolific he has ever been. Unfortunately, this uptick in recording and touring is a necessity after a manager bilked him out of most of his savings. The upside is he continues to produce quality work and that is evident on his 14th studio album, You Want it Darker. Greg says the album finds the aging Cohen wrestling with mortality, god and religion. All with his patented dry-wit. The album is aided with a flattering production that often sounds like the songs could be set in a church while still emphasizing Cohen's baritone voice. That said, Greg says it is not the best album to introduce people to Leonard Cohen, but if you're a fan (as Greg is) this is a buy it. Jim agrees it is a buy it but disagrees about the accessibility of the album saying he's "never been funnier, nor has he been more talented...this is prime Cohen." You Want it Darker is a double buy it.


Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize for Literature got Greg thinking about other great rock lyricists and the people who influenced them. Chuck Berry is often thought of for his pioneering work with the guitar but he's also a masterful lyricist. Greg points specifically to the 1964 song Nadine and the vivid imagery that Chuck conveys.

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!