Friday, January 26, 2018

Weekend Listomania: Special Do Not Attempt to Adjust the Picture Edition

[I originally posted this listomania back in 2008, when this blog and the world were young. Just so I don't come across as a total slacker, I've rewritten some of it, added a different song in one slot, and swapped out a couple of the videos. Hopefully you'll enjoy. -- S.S.]


Sorry about the arbitrary post-Beatles thing, but otherwise we'd have to include Billy Lee Riley's "Flyin' Saucers Rock and Roll," "Purple People Eater," "Telstar," et al, and this blog already skews way too old. And speaking of arbitrary, I was going to explicitly ban the nomination of either David Bowie's "Space Oddity" or Elton John's "Rocket Man," but I figure one of you SOBs will nominate them no matter what I say, so go ahead. I will, however, taunt you mercilessly for your bad taste when you do.

Okay, here's my totally top of my head Top Eight:

8. Flight of the Conchords -- Robots

As you can see, the world is very different since the robotic uprising of the '90s.

7. Bjork -- Pluto

Let's be honest -- this broad has been in space since day one.

6. Marilyn Manson -- Mechanical Animals

Apparently, this song is about mechanical animals. Kind of Philip K. Dick-ish, I guess.

5. The Byrds -- Mr. Spaceman

A way too obvious choice, I know, but I wanted an excuse to post this video, which I had never seen before today. And yes, that's Gram Parsons pretending to be David Crosby.

4. Roky Erikson -- Creature With the Atom Brain

Why is he acting so strange? A question that may never be answered, Roky.

3. They Might Be Giants -- Particle Man

Well, it's sorta sci-fi. He's a particle -- get it?

2. King Crimson -- 21st Century Schizoid Man

This is one of those prog songs that just strike me as hilariously funny, albeit unintentionally. Fripp really was a pretentious bastard even back in the day, wasn't he?

And the number one sci-fi song, gimme a break it's not even a fricking contest so don't bug me, is

1. The Rolling Stones -- 2000 Man

A song so good even Kiss covered it.

Awrighty then -- what would your choices be?


Haik Mendelovich said...

Robyn Hitchcock's Adventure Rocketship. A great song, that I believe is science fiction.

Of course, with Robyn, one never knows.

Also, I wish Neko Case would cover it, as she actually outdid Robyn with his Madonna of The Wasps. Which, come to think of it, may also be a science fiction song...

Gummo said...

Distant Fingers - Patti Smith Group

Billy B said...

In the late 70s, a good friend's mother owned a high-end furniture store. Billy Lee Riley, of Flyin' Saucers Rock and Roll fame, was by then a house painter who used to work with my friend's mother. Met Billy Lee several times as I used to deliver furniture for her.

cthulhu said...

Well, the entirety of Who's Next, with the exception of Entwistle's "My Wife", is from Townshend's SF epic Lifehouse. But the two songs I'll specifically call out are not on Who's Next: "Pure and Easy" (I'm partial to the version of Townshend's original demo from the Lifehouse Elements CD) and the unutterably lovely "Greyhound Girl", which I heard for the first time during a Townshend solo acoustic show I was fortunate enough to attend some 16 years ago.

And speaking of Entwistle and the Who, "905" off of Who Are You is pretty dreadful; not one of his better efforts.

Tonio K.'s "The Ballad of the Night the Clocks All Quit (and the Government Failed)" seems close enough to the theme. And the great "The Night Fast Rodney Went Crazy" laid the blame on the Martians...

Chris Whitley's underrated third album, Terra Incognita, was subtly SF themed; "Clear Blue Sky" and "Weightless" are two of my favorites.

I am by no means a Rush fan, but I have been known to not automatically change the station when "Red Barchetta" comes on.

I am also one of the apparently rare group (according to sales stats anyway) who liked Warren Zevon's Transverse City CD; David Lindley plays a ripping lap steel lead on "Down in the Mall".

buzzbabyjesus said...

I think that Byrds video must have been shot within a week of Gram quitting, and not continuing on to South Africa.

"2000 Man" is one of my favorite Kinks songs Ray didn't write and they didn't record.

edward said...

Hell, I'll go - Dan Hicks and the Acoustic Warriors (
Humans From Earth - T-Bone Burnett (
Flying Saucer Attack - The Rezillos (
Mars Needs Women - Tru Fax & The Insaniacs (

pete said...

Todd Rundgren has a few.

Anonymous said...

Nothing from Neil Young's Trans?

steve simels said...


Oy gevalt.😀

cthulhu said...

As part of the Trans tour, Neil did a show that was videotaped and shown as an HBO special; a promised soundtrack album never materialized, but the special was made available on DVD a while back and is very much worth checking out. Of the Trans songs, the one that really stands out is "Sample and Hold", which definitely fits the theme here. The show also has a great version of "Old Man", the best rendition of "Like a Hurricane" I've ever heard, and a cool just-for-that-show set closer called "Berlin", that I've never heard anywhere else. Worth checking out.

Anonymous said...

Re: Trans

You did say Best or Worst.

steve simels said...

Good point.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan Richman’s “UFO Man.”

danny1959 said...

I consider your lack of taste for David Bowie and Elton John to be a rare lapse. I'm going to go for "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" by The Flaming Lips.

John F said...

Planet Claire - the B-52’s

And, I second Danny1959’s Yoshimi...