My Sound Track For The Apocalypse

23 Oct

Firstly, don’t get confused between the title of this posting and the album by the band Slayer that has a similar name, my point here is somewhat different. Mainly, I was thinking about this the other day while I was writing my next book, what are the songs that when you hear them make you think of apocalyptic, or even post-apocalyptic, situations. These are the ones that make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck when you hear them, and especially when you listen to the lyrics. For me, these are (in no particular order) my sound track for the apocalypse:

 1. Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (album) by the Flaming Lips: Described as a futuristic soundtrack to a movie that never existed, who can not be moved by the lyrics of, amongst other songs, Do You Realise?

 2. War Of The Worlds (album) by Jeff Wayne: Again a soundtrack to something that didn’t exist, this was Jeff Wayne’s interpretation of H.G. Wells War Of The Worlds. The voice of Richard Burton really adds to the atmosphere, but it is songs like Forever Autumn that really make it.  Try driving through the highlands of Scotland listening to it, the landscape adds considerably to the experience.

 3. It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) by R.E.M.: It’s happy-go-lucky pop tune, but still it’s the one we all think of when someone mentions the end of the world. Popular at the turn of the Millennium when people were worrying about the Y2K bug, you can’t say that it wouldn’t be the tune (if not the sentiment) going through your head as you watched the world burn around you.

 4. Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground) by Mike and The Mechanics: This is an odd one. It should be cheesy pop music but if you listen to the lyrics, they’re pretty apocalyptic.  For example: ‘Take the children and yourself, And hide out in the cellar, by now the fighting will be close at hand, ‘Don’t believe the church and state. And everything they tell you, Believe in me, I’m with the high command.’ or ‘There’s a gun and ammunition, just inside the doorway. Use it only in emergency.  Better you should pray to God, The Father and the Spirit will guide you and protect from up here.

 5. Ride of the Valkyries by Richard Wagner: This is a widely used piece of classical music, but I’m particularly thinking of the way it was used in the film Apocalypse Now.  It creates a certain atmosphere, with people facing up to their potential death.  While Vietnam (and the incursions into Laos and Cambodia) wasn’t really the apocalypse, for those involved it probably felt that way.


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From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in the UK. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more.

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