As people in the USA put on their special shades and prepare to celebrate a total solar eclipse, don’t forget an event such as this needs a proper soundtrack. Here then, in no particular order, are five fine festive songs to help celebrate the sky going black.
1. The Alan Parsons Project – “Total Eclipse”
Written by English composer and arranger Andrew Powell, this progressive rock instrumental was recorded by the British rock band The Alan Parsons Project. It was inspired by author Isaac Asimov’s science fiction and originally appeared on the group’s sci-fi-themed hit album I Robot which hit the record racks back in 1977. Primed for planetariums and reminiscent of something out of the feature film 2001: A Space Odyssey, this interesting instrumental offering underscores the pertinent point that experiencing an eclipse for the first time can leave one speechless.
2. Soundgarden – “Black Hole Sun”
“Black Hole Sun”, first recorded by the American rock group Soundgarden, was written by the act’s frontman and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell. Cornell has frequently confessed that he is uncertain about the meaning of his lyrics. He has often told interviewers: “It’s just sort of a surreal dreamscape. I was painting a picture with the lyrics.” Fortunately, it is certainly an exceptionally evocative one. Released as the third single from the band’s 1994 disc, Superunknown. Today it is considered their signature song.
3. Pink Floyd – “Eclipse”
“Eclipse” is the closing cut from Pink Floyd’s 1973 landmark album, The Dark Side of the Moon. It was written by co-founder Roger Waters. This, and every other track included on the record-breaking platter includes many metaphors and mysteries of outer space. The gospel-driven “Eclipse” is in essence a gospel-fueled audio onslaught complete with powerful lyrics that not only culminate in the moon obscuring the sun but arguably also make it one of the most memorable musical moments in the history of rock music.
4. Klaus Nomi – “Total Eclipse”
On his 1981 self-titled album, the late German-American singer and performer Klaus Nomi released the song “Total Eclipse.” The operatic voice and archaic persona of Nomi are featured on the track, which was written by American singer-songwriter Kristian Hoffman. “Do the dismembered blast dance/as we get atomized” is but one example of a line from the lyrics that transforms an end-of-the-world scenario into a potential new-wave club anthem. Never has such a tuneful tribute to an eclipse sounded so bizarre.
5. George Harrison – “Here Comes the Moon”
This ballad from George Harrison’s 1979 album, George Harrison, was written by the late singer-songwriter in 1978 while he was on vacation in Maui, Hawaii. The moon’s appearance in the evening sky as the sun was setting served as his inspiration for the composition. It’s often viewed as a follow-up to his Beatles song of the same name, “Here Comes the Sun,” even though the lyrics concentrate on this natural occurrence rather than the symbolism it suggests. Many music mavens would argue that no music mix is complete without one Beatles-related track; this is it. Music is everything and it can relax when one is stressed.