Life On Mars

Thought it might be nice to make a little playlist of Songs About Mars to accompany the exciting first photo the Mars Rover beamed back. Not a terribly original idea, there were already a few playlists out there on the interwebs. A lot of the usual suspects – Bowie, T Rex, Coldplay, etc, and plenty of shoehorns. Tucked in among the shoehorns was this new-to-me (am i the only one who had never heard it before?) beauty that only mentions Mars in passing, but any excuse will do to post it. Axe-fucking-tastic.

Jimi Hendrix – The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam’s Dice

35 thoughts on “Life On Mars

  1. This is pretty good. It is from The Grateful Dead Movie and features The Mars Hotel (which is the title of one of the band’s albums).

    • Love that animation, Carole (especially the toe-tapping foothills)!
      I can’t find the clip from later in the movie where the Mars Hotel is demolished, so here’s a fine E72 performance of Bobby’s song that references a slingshot on Mars, Black Throated Wind. Maybe that’ll be the way to get people back to Earth in years to come.

      [Trivia note: The album From The Mars Hotel bears the legend Ugly Rumors in mirror writing on its back, whence Tony Blair’s college band got its name.]

  2. I hadn’t heard it before either, amylee, it is rather cool.

    I can’t think of any not very obvious songs about Mars, but I’ll suggest Uncle Sam’s on Mars by Hawkwind as it seems appropriate.

  3. Oh good, everyone is putting up songs, i forgot to say that part. No, it’s not an official challenge, but you can treat it as one.

      • A difficult song to understand. It’s possibly saying that if you are reincarnated as a Martian church it will put your life into perspective. Or possibly it’s saying something entirely different. I don’t know. I like the “agghh”s in the chorus though.
        Interesting band. The singer has suffered serious mental health problems over the years which has heavily influenced their lyrics. They are still recording but stopped playing live something like 20 years ago.

    • “I think the sax player has been watching Benny Hill.”
      That would most likely be Jonathan himself.
      I saw one concert where he didn’t play guitar at all just pooted away on the sax.

  4. I know “Laughin’ Sam” from days of yore as it was the “b” side to the only Hendrix single by brother owned.
    It’s one of the few Hendrix numbers I can still listen to.

  5. I know it’s always difficult to associate instrumental music with specific subjects or objects as the names of tracks (or indeed whole albums) can be called anything and the connection is left to the listener.

    The atmosphere created by Mars Polaris, the album by Tangerine Dream, tries it’s electronic best to convince that it relates to the planet. The 8 page colour booklet that came with the double album helped.

    Perhaps this video of the track Mars Mission Counter with it’s views of the planet will give the music more depth.

      • Thought you’d like that. One of those bands I like in small youtube bursts. A similar, though much trashier, scuzzier, band are The Zombeatles. But I find The Fab Gore indigestible after five minutes or so.

  6. Surprised bishbosh hasn’t yet been in to mention the Kitchens of Distinction – Prince of Mars. I don’t know if the lyrics consciously draw on Craig Raine’s poem “A Martian Sends A Postcard Home”, but both poem and song use the Martian’s perspective to deliver some striking, fresh images (“their lips even redder than the bad one in Snow White”). Think it’s also inspired by Antoine St. Expury’s Little Prince.

    Anyway, great song, can only find a live soundcheck version on YouTube, but that’s rather lovely: here it is

    This is the Craig Raine poem:

    A Martian Sends A Postcard Home

    Caxtons are mechanical birds with many wings
    and some are treasured for their markings —

    they cause the eyes to melt
    or the body to shriek without pain.

    I have never seen one fly, but
    sometimes they perch on the hand.

    Mist is when the sky is tired of flight
    and rests its soft machine on ground:

    then the world is dim and bookish
    like engravings under tissue paper.

    Rain is when the earth is television.
    It has the property of making colours darker.

    Model T is a room with the lock inside —
    a key is turned to free the world

    for movement, so quick there is a film
    to watch for anything missed.

    But time is tied to the wrist
    or kept in a box, ticking with impatience.

    In homes, a haunted apparatus sleeps,
    that snores when you pick it up.

    If the ghost cries, they carry it
    to their lips and soothe it to sleep

    with sounds. And yet they wake it up
    deliberately, by tickling with a finger.

    Only the young are allowed to suffer
    openly. Adults go to a punishment room

    with water but nothing to eat.
    They lock the door and suffer the noises

    alone. No one is exempt
    and everyone’s pain has a different smell.

    At night when all the colours die,
    they hide in pairs

    and read about themselves —
    in colour, with their eyelids shut.

  7. Equally surprised bishbosh hasn’t popped up with John Grant. He opines that “I wanna go to Marz, where green rivers flow”. No doubt Curiosity will sort out whether he’s right. Though the song really seems to be a paean to sweets/candy and ice cream, so perhaps he’s singing about Mars, as in Mars Bars! Here’s the slightly creepy official vid

    Nice one, Amy!

    • The creepy thing is, we think we know the dude holding the peace sign who looks like their leader. He’s been awol from our yank blogs for awhile. Thinks the solution to the global energy problem is in outer space. Bitches about Islington pessimists who pooh pooh the idea on CiF threads. (Yes, he’s otherwise very sane and smart).

      • CIF. I gave up ages ago, especially on the America, Religious and Ecology blogs because most people are so inflexible in their thinking and so lacking in inquisitiveness and some just go there to rant and insult people.

      • I essentially gave up too, but because the quality of the articles has tanked so much it’s not at all worth it anymore. We have other off site blogs that we have migrated to.

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