Fly me to the moon: 10 lunar tunes that’ll send you into orbit

moon

Like space? Love the moon? Wish you’d made the Apollo missions? Waiting for Richard Branson to slip you a ticket for one of these moon shuttles we hear he’s plotting? Well, in the meantime, put down the oxygen tank and slip on your dancing shoes: here are ten top lunar tunes, from decades of moon music, we guarantee will launch you into orbit.

Karen O, The Moon Song

Featured in Spike Jonze’s indie hit, Her (2013), this is a haunting and gentle and lovely track, and honestly, if you haven’t got a crush on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O, we can’t be your friend anymore.

Bob Dylan, Under The Red Sky

A boy, a girl, the man in the moon: nineties’ Dylan singing the blues, nursery-rhyme style. Go on, admit you love it.

Billy Murray, By the Light of the Silv’ry Moon

Super-old school, this dates back to 1910 – a kickass tune that’s over a century old! If you’re a Boardwalk Empire fan, you might recognize it. Everyone else, you’ll want to join a barbershop quartet before this video’s done.

Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bad Moon Rising

Okay, it’s obvious, but we heart this track and any excuse, right? Not only is the song excellent, but it’s also taken from the soundtrack of one of the best monster movies ever made: John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London (1981). Howl!

Nike Drake, Pink Moon

This is one of our favourite Drake tracks and one of our top lunar tracks: bonus! With nothing but his acoustic guitar, a touch of piano and his quiet, bare voice, this low-key but unforgettable track is made all the sadder by how few months passed between its release and Drake’s premature death.

The Flaming Lips, Everyone’s Gone To The Moon

The Lips’ cover of Jonathan King’s 1965 hit is a perfect match for Wayne Coyne’s spacey voice and the band’s poppy, ethereal sound; we haven’t seen them perform it live, but we’d pay solid money for the pleasure.

Neil Young, Harvest Moon

This is the title track of the album that saw Young return to his acoustic roots: the track’s a chilled serenade and the video’s a barn-dance – sweet, jaunty, country.

Björk, Moon

From trad to mad, here’s our top Icelandic crooner with one of the tracks from her multi-media extravaganza of an album, Biophilia (2011), a song that’s all about lunar cycles. Actually, the album also features numbers called Solstice and Dark Matter, so check out the whole album if you like your tunes super-extra-terrestrial.

Radiohead, Sail to the Moon

From 2003’s Hail to the Thief, this is Thom Yorke at his soulful best, with a light touch on guitar and piano that contrasts with the more electronic sounds in the two albums that preceded it. Here’s an unplugged version to demonstrate:

The B-52’s, There’s a Moon in the Sky

‘There’s a moon in the sky – it’s called the moon!’ Indeed! Here’s some classic new-wave brilliance to round us off. Kitschy lyrics and a punk aesthetic: you are dancing, right?

Well, we’re about to head completely out of orbit now – what about you? Top moon tunes? Hit us!

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4 replies
  1. aldamato
    aldamato says:

    Bad Moon Rising is an epic track! Didn’t realise it was used in American werwolf. Make me want to check the movie out again 🙂

    Reply
  2. RipStudwell
    RipStudwell says:

    What is it about the moon that makes people write such epic tunes. These are all awesome….with the obvious exception of the B52s 🙂 🙂

    Reply
  3. Kong Hong
    Kong Hong says:

    Then there’s Air”s short but sweet album Le voyage dans la lune, which is intended as a companion to an old silent sci-fi film

    Reply

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