Apocalypse Week: Playlist for the Apocalypse

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia

In the event that the Apocalypse (be it zombie, vampiric or alien-related) takes place, I have dutifully compiled a playlist for this special occasion. Here are the 10 tracks I think you should download onto your iPod and have handy. Unless we are overtaken by Skynet. In which case, unplug your Internet station. Let me know what songs are most appropriate for the Apocalypse in the comments section.

We Don’t Need Another Hero

Tina Turner looked awesome in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. She also sounded awesome. These were the days when Mel Gibson was cool, so sit back, stare at our favourite Australian post-apocalyptic man and listen to Ms. Turner tell us we don’t need to know the way home. That’s the 80s for you.

The Sun’s Gone Dim and The Sky’s Black

“The Sun’s Gone Dim and The Sky’s Black” from Johann’s album IBM 1401: A Users Manual’ (4AD) is one of the most depressing tracks, ever. If you are not cutting your wrists by the end of it, you are not human. Which means you are one of the evil alien overlords controlling us. It was used in the trailer of a very bad movie (Battle Los Angeles), but don’t let that deter you.

The Court of the Crimson King

The only thing that makes this song better is if you change the word ‘Crimson’ for ‘Yellow’. Anyway, it’s a fabulous song that was originally released in 1969, as part of the debut album by the British group King Crimson. It was used in the sci-fi flick, Children of Men, and has been referenced in popular literature a bunch of times (Stephen King, for example). It has been covered by Saxon and other bands.


All Along the Watchtower

I loved, loved the cover the Battlestar Galactica show did on Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”. The song initially appeared on his 1967 album, John Wesley Harding, and is one of his most popular. It has been covered extensively and, aside from the BSG version, has been sung by Jimi Hendrix Experience, U2 and Grateful Dead, among others. It also plays in the film version of Watchmen. Because it’s cool.

Supermassive Black Hole

Hey, remember that old 70s movie called The Black Hole? It was a Disney flick and, frankly, it was silly, but I had a good time with it when I was a kid. Anyway, maybe if they had put on Muse’s song, “Supermassive Black Hole”, from the album Black Holes and Revelations, the flick would have done better. As the sun swallows the Earth, remember to push play and dance to this.


The Thing

Now we’re moving into the realm of no-lyrics land. First up, the theme of The Thing. The famous thump-thump. It’s creepy as hell! I do not recommend putting it on while you fight vampires or anything else, but you’ve got to admit this is a darn good track. The soundtrack to the film was composed and conducted by Ennio Morricone. This is icy, desolate, scary music.


Blade Runner

My favourite sci-fi movie is Blade Runner. It’s just a poetically good experience that still stands up a few decades after the original release. I love the Director’s Cut, which took out the useless voiceover. One good thing that did not get taken out: the beautiful soundtrack by Vangelis, the progressive electronic musician who also did work for Chariots of Fire. It’s moody, it’s dark, it’s just what future-noir should be all about.


I really enjoyed the soundtrack for Contagion. Hell, the music probably made the movie. It’s by Cliff Martinez, who first worked on Sex, Lies, and Videotape. For Contagion, he developed a slick, smooth set of tracks filled with urgency. It’s quite hypnotic and a perfect match for the visuals on film. Thumbs up.


Yeah, they’re remaking it as a live action version and probably everyone in sight will be a Caucasian actor. Anyway, no matter if it has the coolest special effects ever, the remake can’t possibly compete with the soundtrack of the animated Akira. Bathe yourself in “Kaneda’s Theme” and enjoy the destruction, motorcycles and glory of future Tokyo.


It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

You knew this one was coming. How could I not add this song? I mean, it’s so damn happy! Well…at least the beat is! The song originally appeared on R.E.M.’s 1987 album, Document. This is the song to play as you blow the heads off all those zombies and party ‘til dawn. ‘Cause who cares if it’s the Apocalypse? It means we don’t have to punch in, tomorrow.

About Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Silvia Moreno-Garcia lives in beautiful, rainy British Columbia with her family and two cats. She writes fantasy, magic realism and science fiction. You can read her stories in Imaginarium 2012: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing, The Book of Cthulhu, Evolve 2 and Tesseracts 13. She is the co-editor of Candle in the Attic Window, Future Lovecraft and Historical Lovecraft.

Silvia Moreno-GarciaApocalypse Week: Playlist for the Apocalypse