A song with music that you can never forget. Do you think of a crow? Maybe a town devastated by a flu that has spread all over the United States? Halloween? Or do the lyrics paint their own picture in your mind?
(Don’t Fear) the Reaper was released in 1976 from the album, Agents of Fortune. The band’s lead guitarist, Donald Roeser, wrote and performed the song. The edited single version reached #12 on Billboard in November of 1976. As of 2010, it has sold 922,000 digital copies and remains a favorite on classic rock stations.
The “reaper” is obviously a reference to the grim reaper and the mentioning of “Romeo & Juliet” led many listeners to believe the song was about a suicide pact. However, Roeser stated, “…I was actually kind of appalled when I first realized that some people were seeing it as an advertisement for suicide or something, that was not my intention at all….It’s basically a love song where the love transcends the actual physical existence of the partners.”
You can hear the song in the 1978 horror film Halloween when Laurie Strode and Amy Brackett are in the car together. It was also used in the beginning scenes of the Stephen King miniseries, The Stand from 1994. See the clip from The Stand HERE. (WARNING: Not for children, scenes may frighten them).