It’s the end of the world as we know it

Well, the doom and gloom of my previous post (see here) got me thinking about my favourite ‘end of the world’ songs. So, in no particular order, I’ll start off with Seconds by U2. This song is from U2′s third album, ‘War’, released in 1983. Seconds is a jolly song about weapons proliferation, and the possibility that nuclear armageddon could occur by accident…

U2 – SECONDS

Thinking about it, many of the songs I’m featuring here are about nuclear armageddon, and are from the former part of the 1980s (later generations perhaps don’t realise how real the threat of nuclear war was in the 1960s, 70s and 80s). This next one was released in 1984 and is called Two Tribes. It’s by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, from their ‘Welcome to the Pleasuredome’ album. The video that accompanies Two Tribes caused a bit of a stir when it was released. Amongst other things, the video contains a fight scene with actors playing US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko. A censored version of the video had to be provided for MTV in the States…

Two Tribes is one of two songs released in 1984 that were about nuclear war. The other one is called 99 red balloons, by Nena. 99 red balloons was a one hit wonder for Nena and her band, who are from Germany. Originally recorded in German, Nena never intended releasing an English language version; that is until a DJ in America started airing the German version and it became very popular. The German language version is much better (you can find it here) because the song doesn’t translate very well into English, which is the version I’m featuring here…

Next up is the opening track from Bowie’s 1972 album, ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’. It’s an extraordinary song, from the opening piano chords to Bowie screaming at the end, and really needs no introduction. This is Five Years

Are you feeling depressed yet? So, let’s go out with a bit of a bang (ha!). This is another classic from the British school of rock: Gimme Shelter, the opening track on the Rolling Stones’ 1969 album ‘Let It Bleed’. In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, Mick Jagger said of Gimme Shelter: “Well, it’s a very rough, very violent era. The Vietnam War. Violence on the screens, pillage and burning. And Vietnam was not war as we knew it in the conventional sense…” On the song itself, he concluded, “That’s a kind of end-of-the-world song, really”…

One in seven thinks end of world is coming: poll
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/01/us-mayancalendar-poll-idUSBRE8400XH20120501

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