Recommend songs about UFOs
July 25, 2005 9:07 AM   Subscribe

The recent release of two albums with songs about UFO sightings inspires me to ask for recommendations of other UFO songs.

I already have: "Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois" from Sufjan Stevens new CD Illinois, and "El U.F.O. Cayo" from Ry Cooder's Chavez Ravine. I'd rather have more of the same kind of serious songs rather than jokey songs about meeting aliens (but all suggestions are welcome for completeness' sake).
posted by matildaben to Media & Arts (51 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The ones that immediately come to mind are "UFO Rosie" by Weeping Tile, and "Aliens (Christmas 1988)" and "The Tarleks", both by the Rheostatics. The last one's a little tongue-in-cheek, but it has some depth to it too and is just an all-around cool song. You can view the video for it here if you're so inclined.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:16 AM on July 25, 2005

This song is jokey but awesome nonetheless.
Dan Bern's Talkin' Alien Abduction Blues.
posted by sciurus at 9:17 AM on July 25, 2005

Klaatu - Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft.

The Carpenters also did a version, which spawned a Langley Schools Music Project version.

The song is based on 'World Contact Day,' an event which actually happened on March 15, 1953. There's some history here. The gist of it was that everyone should attempt to telepathically contact 'Saucermen' with a pre-memorized message on March 15th. The first line of the message? "Calling occupants of interplanetary craft."
posted by adamkempa at 9:25 AM on July 25, 2005

Creedence Clearwater Revival - "It came out of the sky"
Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (yes *all* of it)
posted by oh pollo! at 9:38 AM on July 25, 2005

The Pixies - The Happening
And not a song, but "Foo Fighters" is an old 50's Militery term for UFO's.
posted by oh pollo! at 9:42 AM on July 25, 2005

I Was Wrong from Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports.

Oh, I see this has become "hella rare" as the kids say. E-mail me if you want an MP3 of the song, mb.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:43 AM on July 25, 2005

Ok, stretching a wee bit now but there's Husker Du's "Books about UFO's"
posted by oh pollo! at 9:49 AM on July 25, 2005

In the joking vein: Buchanan & Goodman had a hit in 1956 with "The Flying Saucer," one of the first songs to use what we'd today call samples. Also, Sheb Wooley did "Purple People Eater" in 1958.

Not specifically about unidentified flying objects, but still about space travel: "Another Girl, Another Planet" by the Only Ones and "'39" by Queen.

I just realized I don't have the theme to Close Encounters of the Third Kind in my music collection!
posted by kimota at 9:49 AM on July 25, 2005

Definitely jokey but "Hey Mr. Spaceman" by the Byrds.
posted by octothorpe at 9:51 AM on July 25, 2005

Ed Hall's "Gnomes," from the Motherscratcher album on Trance Syndicate.
posted by jtron at 9:57 AM on July 25, 2005

Yes: "Arriving UFO"
Chris DeBurgh: ""A Spaceman Came Traveling" (UFO Christmas song)
posted by obloquy at 9:59 AM on July 25, 2005

From my collection:

Radiohead's "Subterranean Homesick Alien"
David Bowie's "Starman"
KMFDM's "Witness"
Pitchshifter's "Hangar 84"
posted by squidlarkin at 10:06 AM on July 25, 2005

posted by scratch at 10:09 AM on July 25, 2005

Of course there's the band Flying Saucer Attack.
posted by OmieWise at 10:14 AM on July 25, 2005

Soul Coughing, "Unmarked Helicopters," from (of course) THE X-FILES: SONGS IN THE KEY OF X TV-show soundtrack. (Startlingly good album, actually!)
posted by logovisual at 10:17 AM on July 25, 2005

Also "CTA-102" by the Byrds.

"Solsbury Hill" by Peter Gabriel?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:32 AM on July 25, 2005

"After the Gold Rush" by Neil Young, or the Flaming Lips' version on the tribute/benefit album The Bridge.
posted by jessenoonan at 10:38 AM on July 25, 2005

I've always thought of Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" in this context (probably influenced by Kris Neville's short story "Bettyann"), but maybe I'm reading too much into it.

"Illegal Alien" by Genesis I kid
posted by Aknaton at 10:40 AM on July 25, 2005

My 14-year-old self called and suggested BOC's "Take Me Away."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:40 AM on July 25, 2005

Arguably, Brave Combo's "Flying Saucer".
posted by nickmark at 10:41 AM on July 25, 2005

Thanks, ZenMasterThis! I'm not crazy... alone. (Now why didn't your post show up on preview.)
posted by Aknaton at 10:41 AM on July 25, 2005

A lot of songs from Roky Erickson mention UFOs and aliens. Particularly "Bermuda Triangle."
Also, Styx's "Sail Away" is my favorite UFO song that's always on the radio.
Daniel Johnson has songs about aliens, I'm not sure if they're UFO specific. All that's running through my head when I try to think og his songs is "Rocket Ship."
Dead Milkmen's "Stuart."
Billy Lee Riley's "Flying Saucers Rock n' Roll" from Sun Records.
and how could I forget- "Teenagers from Mars" by the Misfits.
I know I have plenty more at home. I'll try to post a few more later.
posted by rodz at 10:42 AM on July 25, 2005

Rocket From the Crypt's "UFO, UFO, UFO."
posted by Atom12 at 10:49 AM on July 25, 2005

Mojo Nixon's "Take Me To Your Leader" and "UFOs, Big Rigs, and BBQ", both from the Gadzooks album
posted by InfidelZombie at 11:06 AM on July 25, 2005

'Light in the Sky' from Steve Hillage's 1977 classic Motivation Radio. Punk, what's that?
posted by jonathanbell at 11:06 AM on July 25, 2005

Also, the Pixies' "Manta Ray".
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 11:08 AM on July 25, 2005

Response by poster: It took me a few minutes to mentally parse ROU_Xenophobe's answer.... I kept thinking BOC was Boards of Canada, which didn't make any sense at all.
posted by matildaben at 11:10 AM on July 25, 2005

"I am in the World" by Erectus Monotone.
posted by saladin at 11:14 AM on July 25, 2005

"Teenage Spaceship" by Smog
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 11:15 AM on July 25, 2005

And three by The B-52's: Planet Claire, Is that you, Mo-Dean?, and (slightly) Ain't It a Shame?
posted by scruss at 11:16 AM on July 25, 2005

"Hardcore UFOs" by Guided by Voices, from Bee Thousand.
"Books about UFOs" by Husker Du
"I Beleve in UFOs" by Screeching Weasel.

(The Guided by Voices song is the best, as a song.)
posted by yesno at 11:20 AM on July 25, 2005

Flying Saucer Attack by the Rezillos.
posted by sixpack at 11:37 AM on July 25, 2005

This album by Hypocrisy is all about alien abduction. It's called "The Arrival".
posted by baphomet at 11:40 AM on July 25, 2005

John Southworth had a great song from his first album...Mars Pennsylvania. The track is called American UFO and is a gem...Soaring backing vocals, goofy 70's high school references. A treat. Unfortunately, I can't find a streamed source, and according the Maple Music, the album is unavailable. I could be persuaded to send you an mp3 is you can't find it though.

And cheers to Johnny Assay for mentioning my favourite band in the opening comment!
posted by Richat at 11:48 AM on July 25, 2005 [1 favorite]

Sky Babies by The Wildhearts
posted by TheDonF at 11:50 AM on July 25, 2005

"Motorway to Roswell" by the Pixies.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:52 AM on July 25, 2005

UFO on Form & Function by Photek has a sample of two guys tracking strange lights through the woods and U.F.Orb by the Orb, which is not really about UFOs i guess, but who knows what an Orb album is about..
posted by jontyjago at 12:17 PM on July 25, 2005

"Planet Earth," Devo. Or at least I imagine it being sung by a grey.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:37 PM on July 25, 2005

Graham Parker, "Waiting for the UFOs", from the classic Squeezing Out Sparks.
posted by gimonca at 12:52 PM on July 25, 2005

Um, how about just about anything by Parliament?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:31 PM on July 25, 2005

MC 900 Foot Jesus with DJ Zero, "UFOs Are Real" and "Truth Is Out Of Style" (in which Shirley Maclaine is abducted by UFOs, or something like that).
posted by xil at 1:32 PM on July 25, 2005

Le Tigre has a song called "Phanta."
posted by pomegranate at 2:26 PM on July 25, 2005

In addition to the Pixies songs already mentioned, there's "Planet of Sound" (told from the point of view of the alien). There are definitely some thematically similar pieces among Frank Black's solo work as well.
posted by jjg at 2:28 PM on July 25, 2005

Geezer's Area Code 51.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:48 PM on July 25, 2005

The B52s Is That You Mo-Dean?.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:54 PM on July 25, 2005

Ooh, and a really excellent one is Voivod's We're Not Alone. Good heavens, I need to go listen to that album post haste.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:02 PM on July 25, 2005

Wow, great question!
almost any thing by the late Sun Ra and his Arkestra
(he claimed to be from Saturn) also the Roaches did a song (maybe a cover) Mr.Spaceman, the Roaches I mean were a sister's singing group from pre internet days.
posted by hortense at 3:09 PM on July 25, 2005

Response by poster: Actually that's the Roches. I was a big fan in my folkie (pre-internet) days.
posted by matildaben at 3:29 PM on July 25, 2005

Flying Saucer Attack by the Rezillos.
posted by sixpack at 11:37 AM PST on July 25 [!]

Holy shit YES. Can't believe I didn't think of that one.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 3:39 PM on July 25, 2005

Wanda "Star" Williams - Mr. UFO
Guitar Wolf - UFO Romantics
Guitar Wolf - Teenage UFO
Guitar Wolf - UFO Shakin'
Ramones - Zero Zero UFO
Billy Bragg/Wilco - My Flying Saucer (covering Woody Guthrie)

And of course, the Brain in a Box collection from Rhino records, for can't miss numbers like "Two Little Men in a Flying Saucer" by Ella Fitzgerald.
posted by hydrophonic at 6:18 PM on July 25, 2005

Rapture - Blondie
ETI - Blue Oyster Cult
posted by SPrintF at 8:17 PM on July 25, 2005

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