Monthly Archives: July 2018

JFF: Underappreciated Songs about Spaceflight

If you thought off the top of you head, it would be easy to come up with a fistful of songs about spaceflight in sixty seconds. This is the list after you’ve exhausted “Rocket Man,”, “Space Oddity”, “Flash Gordon”, and “Starman”.

Beep, Beep, by Louis Prima

In 1957, everyone was crazy about space, including the guy who brought you “Just a Gigolo”.

Space Truckin’, by Deep Purple

Heavy metal space excursion by the folks that brought you “Smoke on the Water.” It should be used for wake up calls on the ISS, but they don’t.

Space is the Place, by Sun Ra

The eccentric genius of the Jazz world, Sun Ra claimed to be a visitor from Saturn. Evidently the planet is very much like Ancient Egypt and filled with funk. This is a segment taken from the Sun Ra movie.

Watcher of the Skies, by Genesis

WTF, Peter Gabriel?

Mr. Spaceman, by The Byrds

Doubling down on the classic rock space shenanigans, this is a cover of a Dylan song. Big fun as TV producers first discover blue-screen sets.

Mothership Connection, Parliament

The inventors of Cosmic Funk and frequent starship landings at concerts and Muppet movies, Parliament made it fun to be alienated.

Calling Occupants of Interstellar Craft, by Klaatu

At first believed to be the Beatles incognito, Klaatu was a bunch of Canadians that named their band after a robot space cop. This song can stick in your head for weeks.

Across the Universe, by The Beatles

A psychedelic voyage through the Cosmos with the originals.

39, by Queen

A tale of space exploration and time dilation, the lead on this track is taken by Brian May who eventually became a scientist on the Pluto probe project. Double spacey.

Humans from Earth, by T-bone Burnett

If you had enough of cosmic optimism, “Humans from Earth” is perfect as the cynical sales pitch of Terran colonists bringing progress and Manifest Destiny whether the natives want it or not.

Major Tom, by Peter Schiller

The unofficial sequel to Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, Schilling’s cosmic synthpop single captures the tension of the countdown and the spacey dilemma of the marooned astronaut. The chorus is a dangerous earworm.

 

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