When you think of science fiction, music is probably not one of the things that top your lists for the most iconic. However, science fiction is a far larger creative force than we ever really give it credit for, and thus the reasoning behind this ScienceFiction.com’s list of great science fiction inspired music videos:
1. ‘Space Oddity’ – David Bowie
We’ve talked about David Bowie before on ScienceFiction.com, and with good reason. His sci-fi epic dedicated to Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars remains one of the most memorable images for science fiction.
So, when it came finding science fiction inspired music videos it was a matter of “what one David Bowie song should I choose?” instead of “should I do a David Bowie song?”
I present to you, then, “Space Oddity”. Supposedly, this song is about trying to come back down from heroin, but it still works as a song about the wayward Major Tom getting lost in the doldrums of space. The sequel, “Ashes to Ashes” deals with his rehab…. I mean, return to Earth.
2. ‘Extraterrestrial’ – Katy Perry featuring Kanye West
I’m sure I’m going to have a lot people questioning my taste in music when I put this up as a science fiction music video, but it turns out if you have a budget and a very vague metaphor about love being sort of out of this world (and poison, I guess?), you can make a beautiful music video about a half-gazelle chick falling down to a planet and putting on sunglasses.
3. ‘Broken Bells’ – The Ghost Inside
If you like science fiction, and haven’t see this video, don’t wait any longer. Just click play, and watch an epic tale about the tragedy of capitalism set in outer space transfix you.
It also stars Christina Hendricks (‘Mad Men’, ‘Firefly’) so that is definitely in its favor.
4. ‘Tonight, Tonight’ – The Smashing Pumpkins
I’ll not lie. I had a hard decision when it came to The Smashing Pumpkins. I very much wanted to choose ‘Rocket‘, which centers around kids tuning into a really awesome band from outer space and building a rocket to go see them live only to find that that the band had gotten old because of space-time dilation.
But really, if you’re thinking about science fiction music videos, ‘Tonight, Tonight’ is going to be the first that comes to mind. An obvious homage to silence French film made in 1902, “A Trip to the Moon”, the music video follows lovers who journey to the moon and defeat aliens with their umbrellas.
5. ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’ – The Darkness
If you thought this list was going to get made without this song, you were wrong!
I mean, it’s really only science fiction in that they are wearing spandex and rocking out in a spaceship, going on missions to fight with an alien crab, and then destroying an octopus with their bitchin’ guitar solos… but… still. Gotta love this video and it’s take on classic science fiction.
6. ‘Q.U.E.E.N. – Janelle Monáe
We’ve also spoken about Janelle Monáe and her androids-time-travel-against-fascism opera, so it only seems right we include her most explicitly science fiction video, “Q.U.E.E.N”. Here, in this point of the story, she is being broken free from time prison and bringing her dancing to the world.
7. ‘One More Time’ – Daft Punk
No list would be complete without Daft Punk’s “One More Time”. Ever. The animation style is based on that of the ‘Galaxy Express 999’ and would later be apart of a French-Japanese anime movie called ‘Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem’, which has a surprisingly long and involved plot for something that has no dialogue and is completely comprised of songs from Daft Punk’s album, ‘Discovery’. The TLDR is an alien band gets kidnapped by another alien race and someone has to save them.
8. ‘Scream’ – Michael Jackson featuring Janet Jackson
It actually took a surprising amount of research to figure out that his music video is about Michael Jackson wanting to get on a spaceship to escape the press.
For a long time, I just thought it was about the Jackson being really angry that they were in space.
9. ‘All is Full of Love’ – Bjork
Commonly known as the Robot Lesbian video, or when Bjork officially jumped the shark (little did they know she had far more large sharks to jump in the future, and still probably has more), ‘All is Full of Love’ follows the assemblage of an ‘I, Robot’ android who starts making out with another femalesque android for the remainder of the video.
I’m still not sure what the commentary is supposed to be on it, but I’m fairly certain it’s beautiful.
10. ‘Spaceman’ – The Killers
So, this is the most obvious song about alien abduction that has or ever will be written, and it strangely has the most subtle imagery on the matter for a music video. Well, subtle if you’re not hugely into glam music like I am. If you’re like me, then, you probably look at this menagerie of a video and Brandon Flower’s meanderings in red football gear and feathers and say, “yes, perfect sense. ”
Why? Because in Glam Rock, a very common theme is outer space. This is evidenced by David Bowie‘s iconic character, Ziggy Stardust, and ‘Velvet Goldmine’s consistent usage of UFO imagery while telling the story of the death of glam. So, having The Killers in a very obvious glam party singing about outer space really seems perfectly natural.
What are your favorite science fiction inspired videos? Which ones did we miss? Let us know!