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The 4 songs from 1984 that Ghost’s Tobias Forge listed as favorites

Tobias Forge
Photo from Ghost's Instagram


The 4 songs from 1984 that Ghost’s Tobias Forge listed as favorites

Born in Linköping, Sweden back in 1981, Tobias Forge started his musical career in 1996 and played in many different bands before finally creating Ghost in 2006, which would only release their debut album “Opus Eponymous” four years later.


In the following decade the band became one of the most promising Rock/Metal groups in the world and Tobias, who has always been the mastermind behind the project, showed that he could really make the band even bigger. With five praised and successful studio albums, Ghost is now a worldwide phenomenon that keeps getting bigger.

The musician recently gave an interview to BBC Radio 6 in 2023, listing his “All Day Rage Mix”, which are some of his favorite songs from 1984. As he explains, he chose that date because it was the first year that he really started to listen to music.

Four songs from 1984 that the Ghost leader and vocalist Tobias Forge listed as his favorites

Kiss “Heaven’s On Fire”

One of the songs chosen by Papa Emeritus (Tobias Forge) was the Kiss hit “Heaven’s On Fire”. As the musician explained in an interview, the title of the song was curiously the first thing that he ever wrote on a piece of paper at the age of 3. Born in 1981, Forge said that he remembers vividly that 1984 was the year that he started to really listen to music and he loved that Kiss song.

“(Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) Half an hour of my favorite raging heavy tunes. (…) Kiss with ‘Heaven’s On Fire’, so why do I play these songs (on the show)? There’s a little bit of a theme here and that theme is 1984. Very much because 1984 was the year that I can vividly recall starting listening actively to music.”

“I was three years old, before kindergarten I was going like to a caretaker. I remember asking for the first time that I wanted to write something on a paper. One of the older kids was like ‘What do you want to write?’ I told him that I wanted to learn how to write ‘Heaven’s On Fire’. That was the first thing that I wrote in a piece of paper,” Tobias Forge said.

Written by Paul Stanley and Desmond Child, “Heaven’s On Fire” was featured on Kiss’ twelfth studio album released in 1984. Besides Stanley, the group at the time was also formed by Gene Simmons, Mark St. John and Eric Carr. The track appeared on the charts at the time, peaking at number 49 on the United States Billboard Hot 100. In Sweden where Forge was born, the single peaked at number 19.

Twisted Sister “I Wanna Rock”

The Twisted Sister hit “I Wanna Rock” is another song picked by Tobias Forge and although the kind of music done by Ghost and the American band is not really that similar, there are many indirect similarities between them. Both created characters to present their songs live, using costumes and also being inventive in their videoclips. And of course, they never really took themselves very seriously, not being afraid to do funny things when performing live.

As he told Metal Hammer in an interview in 2023, he was a huge Twisted Sister fan when he was a teenager. “The lifestyle and expression that meant most to me was shock rock. Twisted Sister were a wrecking ball into my life with I Wanna Rock. That song made me want to bounce!” Tobias Forge said.

Written by the vocalist Dee Snider, “I Wanna Rock” was a huge hit. It was featured on their 1984 album “Stay Hungry” and as a single peaked at number 68 on the United States Billboard Hot 100. The videoclip became a cult-classic and was played millions of times on MTV.

Metallica “Ride The Lightning”

Forge always said he is a huge Metallica fan and the members of the band are also fans of Ghost. They helped the band a lot, taking them as their special guests many times around the world. The Swedish group even was part of their official tribute album “The Black List” made in 2021 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of “Black Album”.

So picking a Metallica song was something obvious and the one chosen was “Ride The Lightning”. It is one of the band’s biggest classics, which was featured on their album of the same name released in 1984.

Talking with Metal Injection in 2022, he said that he wanted to be like Metallica was in the late 80s. “I was so determined that, yeah, I want to be what Metallica was in the’ 80s, on the …And Justice For All tour. That sort of band or like Powerslave with Iron Maiden. That sort of fucking theater and playing arenas,” Tobias Forge said.

Judas Priest “The Sentinel”

Another interesting song chosen by Tobias Forge was “The Sentinel” by Judas Priest which is certainly one of their most underrated tracks. Written by Glenn Tipton, Rob Halford and K.K. Downing, the track was featured on their 1984 album “Defenders of The Faith”.

It’s not only Forge who is a huge Judas fan. Rob Halford also loves Ghost and he told Chaoszine that he was really happy for the success of the band. “I’m so happy for Tobias, to see his ambition and his dreams become so real. He’s worked really hard to make Ghost into this worldwide experience, you know? And the guy’s a great talent, fantastic performer on stage. (His) songwriting… The records are wonderful. I’ve been following his career since way back,” Rob Halford said.

Both musicians had the chance to see each other in festivals many times and became good friends over the years.

Rush “Distant Early Warning”

Probably the most unexpected choice of the list was certainly “Distant Early Warning” by the Canadian Progressive Rock group Rush. Like most Rush songs, the lyrics were written by the late legendary drummer Neil Peart and the music composed by Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee. It was featured on the 1984 album “Grace Under Pressure” which performed well, peaking at number 10 on the US Billboard 200.

In 2023 Ghost released the cover EP “Phantomime” which had versions Iron Maiden, Tina Turner, Genesis and more. But as the musician told NME, they recorded many other covers which were not featured on the album. He didn’t listed the songs but mentioned Rush as one of the bands covered by them.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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