There was a moment in The Sex Pistols film The Great Rock & Roll Swindle where the commercialisation and sell out nature of hitting the big time was represented by a disco version of Pretty Vacant being disco-choreograph-danced to in a roller-rama. It’s kinda funny but you just know that some folks (there’s that phrase again) dig that funky version of the OG original more than the real deal.
I mention this as I’ve already posted music from the seldom recalled cult 1977 science fiction curio Star Wars once before. 90’s Britpop Indie darlings Ash doing the Cantina Band swing is (believe it or not) not the most famous piece of music attached to this long forgotten fantasy feature. I know right? If you get the chance, see it.
John Williams has been here before too. Just you wait until Shark Week*. He will surely be here again. But Disco do-overs? Stinky! I Heard It Through The Grapevine by P’zzazz. Ewww! The Wonder Band doing Stairway To Heaven. Shudder. Scissor Sisters doing Pink Floyd. Well. Erm. It’s ruddy great actually. Even still. You can’t do that to one of the best film scores of all time! We have standards Dammit!
And garbage compacting yet! Here it is. The public gets what the public wants. With added pew pews, droid beeps and a pounding backbeat, the Theme from Star Wars turned into sunny day dance craze pop. It was a hit, because you all wanted it. You smiling happy have a good time all the time kids. You!
Star Wars, the movie franchises influence on rock music is not to be understated however. While Ash named their debut album 1977 after the year it was released. They also have many a suitably sci-fi title to their songs. How about Lightside/Darkside, Girl From Mars, Clones, It’s A Trap, Sky Burial and Space Shot (to name but a few)? Van-Dammit, the band members even appeared in one of the prequels playing the parts of Stormtroopers. Talk about living out your fantasies.
I’ve already featured Supernova’s ode to the Millennium Falcon’s Co-Pilot when I posted Chewbacca (What A Wookie). Not to mention the rogue squadron leader Matthew Good Band’s Generation X-Wing. So let me get on to mentioning a track on Jimmy Eat World’s pregame singles comp was called Carbon Scoring and on their debut album Static Prevails there were tracks called Episode IV and Robot Factory.
Ben Kweller’s teenage punk band Radish had an album in ’97 called Restraining Bolt. The Hold Steady’s 2004 debut album teaser single The Swish with it’s “Did a couple favours for some guys who look like Tusken Raiders” lyrics and The Beastie Boys “Well I walk like Jabba the Hutt, styles so New York feel like what?” on Triple Trouble are all starting to add up. Queen counted themselves out with “Jaws was never my scene and I don’t like Star Wars” on Bicycle Race (I’ll count you out for Shark Week as well then Lads) but Debbie Harry & Blondie had a special guest Darth Vader impersonator in the video for The Tide Is High. Nice Headphones Sith For Brains!
Indie straight men Wilco put out an album available for free download with a kitsch kitten cover art work cryptically titled Star Wars that had nothing to do with the Adventures of Luke Skywalker as far as anyone could tell. Red Hot Chilli Peppers sang about Alderaan on Californication (not far from one another apparently) and Outkast, Nas, Missy and Kanye have all referenced the saga in their lyrics.
Blink-182 recorded a track called A New Hope. There’s an instrumental on QOTSA’s first album called These Aren’t The Droids You’re Looking For. Wu Tang Clan could not leave it alone. I count five Wu-Tang joints with Star Wars references. But I bet there’s more.
There are bands called Vader, Nerf Herder and Hoth who all play right into the whole thing. Reach out with your feelings. The Dollyrots went the whole hog and recorded a tribute to Her Hignessness.
Most excitingly of all, my beloved Mongolian Throat Signing Metal Overlords The Hu have recorded for the saga in its digital incarnation. Jedi Fallen Order means nothing to me. I haven’t played a Star Wars Video Game since losing three pounds fifty on the Return Of The Jedi video game on Clacton seafront in 1986. But I did get to hear Lando’s Wahoo! as I made my way out of the half built Death Star Mark 2 while 16 bit fire singed my arse that summer, where were you in 1986? My mother knew what her children were at least. Mutie!
As you can see, The Force is all around us. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together. So I’m going to finish todays rant with this number from The Death Star’s Open Mic night (I think it’s usually a Wednesday) The Galactic Empire with their rocking’ take on The Imperial March. Sing along if you know the words… Liiiife Daaaay.
I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
*might never happen
3 thoughts on “Star Wars Theme – Meco”
Love the Dollyknots song and I think The Hu should come over to Britain and play Bloodstock.
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That would be great
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Heh, like it. And, to mention Ash, the opening Tie Fighter on 1977 works a treat.
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