Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry) being a baddie in 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'
(20th Century Studios)

Every Song in the ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show,’ Ranked

Let’s do the time warp…alright I know it’s been said to death. Though, if you’re annoyed by that, you might wanna exit now. We’re going deep into all of The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s (1975) fabulousness and we’re not going to apologize. The movie musical has a massive cult following and is one of the best horror musicals OF ALL TIME.

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The impact The Rocky Horror Picture Show has had on horror, pop culture, and especially the LGBTQ community is astounding. Most of us who are part of the community have been impacted by the film. I’ve personally never had the experience of seeing any stage performances of this film. Maybe one day. But that’s not the point right now. Here’s every song in The Rock Horror Picture Show, ranked.

Note: “Superheroes” isn’t included in this list as it doesn’t appear on every version of the film.

“There’s a Light (Over at the Frankenstein Place)”

Every song (even the ones that aren’t our favorites) serves a purpose in the film. That’s understandable from a “moving the plot (which is the weakest aspect of this masterpiece mind you) along” standpoint. Otherwise? This song isn’t remotely iconic like say “The Time Warp” for instance. Though Riff Raff’s little solo is endearing (his intentions throughout the film however…not so much).

“The Sword of Damocles”

Sorry to this (newly made) man. This song does make sense as it gives us a glimpse into Rocky (Peter Hinwood)’s POV. However, when just considering it among the other songs featured in the film—it’s not as iconic. How many people quote this song when they think of TRHPS? (Unless you’re just quoting “My life is a misery” which is too relatable for some of us.)

“Dammit Jane”

Everyone is going to be saying Janet (Susan Sarandon)’s name quite a bit throughout the film. This song isn’t really all that iconic. But it shows exactly how Janet and Brad (Barry Bostwick)’s relationship is a boring heteronormative nightmare. They are literally about to embark on a journey of sexual freedom in one night. Thankfully…sort of.

Planet Hot Dog

There’s a silliness to this film and this is one of those songs that embodies said silliness. But it’s not remotely on the level of other songs.

“I Can Make You a Man”

This is merely higher on this list because of Tim Curry’s vocal and physical performance. He fucking kills it the whole musical. The whole mad scientist behavior with a queer edge. Frank N’ Furter (Tim Curry) is being so extra and that’s what makes the scene perfect. Not the song.

“I Can Make You a Man (Reprise)”

Not so surprisingly the reprise is better than the original song. Frank is so excited about Rocky, and there are a lot of comedic beats when Janet expresses her glee. Her high-pitched interruption is *chef’s kiss.* Plus it comes off the heels of Eddie (Meatloaf)’s death, which was really chaotic.

“Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me”

Ah, the sex scene between Janet and Rocky. Absolutely hypocritical of Janet because she was cheating too. It’s all really melodramatic and entertaining when Columbia (Little Nell) and Magenta (Patricia Quinn) are watching them via the monitor. It’s just really quirky and sexually explosive (literally) for Janet’s character.

“Eddie”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yytlmLtk_lY

Dr. Scott (Jonathan Adams) spills the tea about Eddie’s life in this song. It’s absolutely wild when you watch the movie because we (and everyone, but Dr. Scott) know Eddie is dead. There’s a tragic nature to the timing of it all. Also quoting the switchblade knife lyric is a hoot. It’s a fun (in a fucked up way) kind of song. Absolutely fits the energy of the musical.

“Planet Schmanet Janet (Wise Up Janet Weiss)”

Every part of this scene is perfect and again, Tim Curry is fucking phenomenal. There are so many quotable lyrics from this song and it’s hard not to love it. I don’t want to keep repeating myself, so I’ll finish by saying: listen to it if you haven’t in a while.

“Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul”

The whole damn room changes in energy when Eddie (Meatloaf) crashes in. He’s literally the ex that comes in and steals the show from Frank. Only temporarily though. Eddie’s sexual magnetism is interesting whenever I watch this scene. He’s literally got everyone captivated from Rocky, Columbia, and even Janet is drawn in. Obviously, Meatloaf had a great voice (let’s not get into him otherwise because…yeah) so it’s an overall stellar song.

“Rose Tint My World”

Everyone reveals their truths in “Rose Tint My World” and it’s fantastic. None of them wants to hold back anymore. They no longer want to hide who they truly are or repress desire. The lyrics aren’t as unhinged as “Wild and Untamed Thing”, but it’s still a good time.

“Fanfare/Don’t Dream It, Be It”

Earlier I mentioned the impact this movie has had on queer folks. What’s so beautiful about this song is the simplicity of “don’t dream it, be it”. The way it hits those of us in the community and how it’s about being who you are, not just picturing who you want to be. The most memorable part of the song is when everyone keeps repeating the lyrics. And then the orgy in the pool happens which ties into the song so effortlessly.

“Science Fiction/Double Feature” / Reprise

Sometimes a movie’s intro is hard to forget, and this is one of those. From Patricia Quinn’s lips to Richard O’Brien’s voice/lyricism to all those references to the horror, sci-fi, etc. films that helped inspire this wonderfully weird movie. I included the reprise in this same spot because…why not?

“I’m Going Home”

A song about returning from where you came from shouldn’t be so intense. Yet Tim Curry is able to convey the complexity of not having a choice. And the backup vocals add such a touch of melancholy to the whole thing. After everything he did in the entire movie, everyone but Magenta and Riff Raff (Richard O’ Brien) are entranced. This is absolutely deserving of a high spot on this very long list.

“Sweet Transvestite”

Yes, the term is more controversial now and outdated. But holy shit Frank’s entrance into the film is 10/10 iconic. He takes the reigns from Brad and Janet and shows them everything they’ve been missing. There’s so much sexual confidence radiating in the scene. Everyone is so expressive about what they’re feeling regarding Frank’s presence. It’s just one of the most memorable songs from the musical as a whole.

“Wild and Untamed Thing”

Don’t come for me! I just can’t help but think of how explosive the song is. Imagine if the movie had ended on this note and everyone was happy. There’s even more queer themes in the lyrics because it’s about not being held down. Not by constraints of any sort. Which is something every person in the scene is embracing. Even Dr. Scott is wearing heels and his own fit. Almost like fireworks are going off inside the characters during the scene. The song has a lot of quotable lyrics that would make great tattoos (and probably have).

“The Time Warp”

If you’ve never quoted this song at all after having watched the movie—you’re a fraud. Just kidding (not really)! The energy of the musical is finally introduced, and damn is it phenomenal. Everyone dancing and singing like it’s the night of their lives is cool as hell. And considering the plot is pretty weak (sorry, it is) it makes sense how random the party is. They are a bunch of nameless folks just dancing around. Though when you’re discussing the movie, this song is guaranteed to come up! That’s just the way it is.

(featured image: 20th Century Studios)


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Author
Vanessa Maki
Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a queer Blerd and contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She first started writing for digital magazines in 2018 and her articles have appeared in Pink Advocate (defunct), The Gay Gaze (defunct), Dread Central and more. She primarily writes about movies, TV, and anime. Efforts to make her stop loving complex/villainous characters or horror as a genre will be futile.