SFF Song of the Week: Philip Palmer

I was watching Kerrang the other day, as one does when there’s an urgent deadline looming. And I found myself watching and hugely enjoying a video of Muse performing Supermassive Black Hole.

It made me think about how many rock songs have explicitly SF and Fantasy content. There’s Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun, Bowie’s Space Oddity, Gorillaz’ Every Planet That We Reach is Dead (though I don’t quite get the lyrics), Genesis’s Lilywhite Lilith and Automatic’s Monster (both fantasy!), Blue Oyster Cult’s Astronomy, Bonnie Tyler’s Faster than the Speed of Light (does that count?) and a whole host of others.

This is clearly a subject that requires serious academic study, but rather than getting off my arse and doing that, I’m simply going to nominate my own personal favourite SFF song – from dinosaur rockers Deep Purple, whose song Space Truckin’ has enough SF content for a movie.

And over the next few weeks, I’m going to ask some friends to nominate their own suggestions for best SFF Song of the Week. So far I’ve got song choices from Tony Ballantyne, Alastair Reynolds, TV producer Archie Tait and several others. Watch this space…

Here’s Purple. Beware, this is 10 minutes of 1970s virtuosic and very loud insanity. Lyrics follow the clip.

We had a lot of luck on Venus
We always had a ball on Mars
Meeting all the groovey people
We’ve rocked the Milky Way so far
We’re dancing around the Borealis
We’re space truckin’ round the the stars
Come on let’s go Space Truckin’

Remember when we did the moonshot
And Pony Trekker led the way
We’d move to the Canaveral moonstop
And everynaut would dance and sway
We got music in our solar system
We’re space truckin’ round the stars
Come on let’s go Space Truckin’

The fireball that we rode was moving
But now we’ve got a new machine
Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah the freaks said
Man those cats can really swing
They got music in their solar system
They’ve rocked around the Milky Way
They dance around the Borealis
They’re Space Truckin’ everyday
Come on!

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