You Got Your Sci-Fi In My Rock N’ Roll!
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Science fiction has impacted everything from movies to science to fashion. Sci-Fi has even reached out to flavor rock music. If you look, you can find an abundance of rock songs covering subjects like time travel, alien incursions and robot uprisings. Some of these tunes reference previously existing properties, like Anthrax’s Judge Dredd devotional “I am the Law” or the Blue Oyster Cult classic “Godzilla”.
Other artists have chosen to build their own sci-fi worlds. I find those songs to be the most compelling collisions of sci-fi and rock. Songs like these are where an artist can really unleash their creativity and come up with something special.
So, in case you’re curious, here’s a short list of my favorite science-fiction influenced rock songs. I hope they fire your imagination, get your head bobbing and inspire a cosmic sing-along!
In no particular order…
Queen – “39”
Why It’s Cool: Queen guitarist Brian May penned this little ditty about the affects of time dilation (Google it) on a group of astronauts traveling in a high-speed spacecraft. May has a PhD in Astrophysics, so he knows what he’s talking about.
The Flaming Lips – “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1”
Why It’s Cool: First off, it’s super catchy and will have you singing along in about 10 seconds flat. Also, it puts a really cool movie about a young woman throwing a beating to an army of robots in your head.
Blue Oyster Cult – “Godzilla”
Why It’s Cool: B.O.C may not have created Godzilla, but the way this song lumbers around and smashes everything in its path, you could swear they brought the big lizard to life.
Buckethead – “I Come in Peace”
Why It’s Cool: For one thing, the imagery it conjures of a giant guitarist with a bucket on his head trashing the city is pretty funny. For another thing, there’s some pretty sweet guitar noodling going on here.
Elvis Costello – “My Science Fiction Twin”
Why It’s Cool: It starts with a guy who’s jealous of his “clone” and his trophy wife. Then it gets kind of weird and ends in a parallel dimension with 50-foot-tall women.
Billy Lee Riley – “Flying Saucer Rock & Roll”
Why It’s Cool: Usually, extraterrestrials are monstrous creatures bent on wiping out humanity. It this tune, however, they’re just a bunch of hipster who teach the song’s narrator how to rock.
Postal Service – “We Will Become Silhouettes”
Why It’s Cool: Actually, this tune’s a little gruesome. It takes place in a world where the air gives you cancer and causes your body to explode. But it’s a pretty song. Plus, Jenny Lewis looks pretty attractive in the video.
Megadeth – “Hangar 18”
Why It’s Cool: I saved my favorite for last. It’s a pretty simple formula: Killer metal riffs plus awesome shredding guitar solos plus lyrics about a government bunker full of captive alien hostages equals just about the perfect song. And the video is so low-budget, it looks like those cheesy old sci-fi creature features from the 50s and 60s.
So, there’s my list. I realize it’s missing some classics (“Iron Man”, “Mr. Roboto”, “Space Oddity”) but I never said this was a “Greatest Ever” list, just my personal favorites. So, tell me what’s on your list. Let’s start a conversation!