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Subject: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 03/01/09 at 4:03 pm

Inspired by the '80s nuke thread. 

Include only: Songs explicitly about nuclear war/accidents or songs the artist has confirmed to be on the subject.  If you include allusions and rumors, the list is endless!

I would also include songs about nuclear accidents as well:

Ultravox: Dancing with Tears in my Eyes
Midnight Oil: Harrisburg
Heaven 17: Five Minutes to Midnight
Iron Maiden: 2 Minutes to Midnight
Nena: 99 Luftballoons
OMD: Enola Gay



Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Bree on 03/01/09 at 4:38 pm

"In The Future Everybody Wear Shades" or something from Timbuk 3

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Frank on 03/01/09 at 5:07 pm

Stop the world - Clash
Russians - Sting
Forever Young - Alphaville (one of my faves from the 80's)  :)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: whistledog on 03/01/09 at 6:45 pm

Perhaps not so much nuclear war, but war in general ...

'State of the Nation' by Industry

Also, a Canadian singer named Gary O' had a modest hit here in 1984 with the song 'Shades of 45' which was written about the Enola Gay

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: spongedude on 03/01/09 at 7:24 pm

"Two Tribes" - by Frankie Goes To Hollywood.  One of the best videos I've ever seen for a song.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Davester on 03/01/09 at 7:41 pm


"In The Future Everybody Wear Shades" or something from Timbuk 3


  Close..."The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades"...

  "1999"...
  "Distant Early Warning"...

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: apollonia1986 on 03/01/09 at 10:31 pm

Sign O' The Times--Prince.

Ronnie, Talk to Russia--Prince and the Revolution

Party Up--Prince (fun title, serious message)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Davester on 03/01/09 at 11:17 pm


Sign O' The Times--Prince.

Party Up--Prince (fun title, serious message)


  Sign O' The Times mentions the bomb and star wars but I don't think it's a song about new-clear war.  He rails against some social ills...

  Partyup seems to be a Vietnam protest song, after the fact...

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 03/02/09 at 12:51 am

How could I forget Sting's "Russians"!

How is Alphaville "Forever Young" about nuclear war?

Is Industry "State of the Nation" about nukes or just war in general? 
???

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: JamieMcBain on 03/02/09 at 1:15 am

London Calling, The Clash
Life On Your Own, The Human League
Der Kommisar, After The Fire/Falco
Planet Earth, Duran Duran
Living Through Another Cuba, XTC
Love Missile F1-11, Sigue Sigue Sputnik
Dancing With Tears in my Eyes, Ultravox
Enola Gay, OMD

And my favorite......

It's The End Of The World As We Know It, REM

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Foo Bar on 03/03/09 at 10:34 pm

Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Massive Retaliation (Self-explanatory :)

Front 242, Quite Unusual

Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Frankie Goes to War, from a 1984 DMC (Disco Mix Club) DJ remix service release, for which I'm still trying to pin down all the samples.

But no list is complete without the over-the-top goofy awesomeness that was:

Sigue Sigue Sputnik, M.A.D. (Mutual Assured Destruction).

If you like the 30 seconds that's in the Amazon sample, well, the rest of the song is much the same.  Best $0.99 you'll ever spend.  (We're still watching you, Argentina, although we're not sure why other than the fact that Sigue Sigue Sputnik, tongue planted firmly in cheek, still managed to correctly call Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran as potential targets and/or proliferation risks some 20 years ahead of their time.)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Satish on 03/04/09 at 12:55 pm


How is Alphaville "Forever Young" about nuclear war?


Just look at the lyrics to the song:

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/a/alphaville/forever+young_20006842.html

"Forever Young" by Alphaville is a lament for how brief and fleeting life is. And if you look closer at the words, you see that that lament was probably inspired by the danger of that life being ended instantaneously and on a mass scale by nuclear weapons.

Here's some lines from the first verse:

Heaven can wait were only watching the skies
Hoping for the best but expecting the worst
Are you going to drop the bomb or not?


Alphaville being from Germany, like Nena, probably felt the threat of nuclear war much more acutely, since they lived right next to the iron curtain.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: karen on 03/04/09 at 1:04 pm

Bit of an odd one from Kate Bush.  Breathing

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Claybricks on 03/04/09 at 4:15 pm

C.C.C.P. - American - Soviets {1987}

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cJs1lJzFW0


G: Godd evening
this is Mr. Gorbachev-
R: Hello
Gorby
this is the White House
Ronald Reagan speaking-
G: Hello
my old friend
how are you today ?
R: Fine ! It's time for our daily chess-match
are you ready ?
G: Yes
my last move yesterday was the Queen from A6 to B6-

They both send their weapons into space-
their people's problems they seem to displace-
the arms-race is what they can't negotiate-
why ain't it chess about what they debate ?

What went wrong on the Gulf of Iran ?
Why did the Russians invade Afghanistan ?
Why not save the money for the armaments

and be chess-partners in the turnament ?

Reagan and Gorbachev play chess on T.V.-
the senat is giving a party on the sea-
the nuclear war will forever be banned-
it's only their kings which they have to defend.


Dan

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: loki 13 on 03/04/09 at 8:26 pm

Nuclear attack....Gary Moore/ Greg Lake

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Tiramisu on 03/04/09 at 8:38 pm

is "leave in silence" by depeche mode about nuclear war?

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Tiramisu on 03/04/09 at 8:56 pm

figure:

I've told myself so many times before
But this time I think I mean it for sure
We have reached a full stop
Nothing's gonna save us from the big drop

Reached our natural conclusion
Outlived the illusion
I hate being in these situations
That call for diplomatic relations

If I only knew the answer
Or I thought we had a chance
Or I could stop this
I would stop this thing from spreading like a cancer

What can I say? (I don't want to play) anymore
What can I say? I'm heading for the door
I can't stand this emotional violence
Leave in silence

We've been running around in circles all year
Doing this and that and getting nowhere
This'll be the last time
(I think I said that last time)

If I only had a potion,
Some magical lotion
That could stop this, I would stop this
I would set the wheels in motion

What can I say? (I don't want to play) anymore
What can I say? I'm heading for the door
I can't stand this emotional violence
Leave in silence

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: spongedude on 03/04/09 at 10:50 pm

Manhattan Project by Rush

Imagine a time
When it all began in the dying days of a war
A weapon -- that would settle the score
Whoever found it first
Would be sure to do their worst --
They always had before...

Imagine a man
Where it all began a scientist pacing the floor
In each nation -- always eager to explore
To build the best big stick
To turn the winning trick --
But this was something more...

The big bang -- took and shook the world
Shot down the rising sun
The end was begun -- it would hit everyone
When the chain reaction was done
The big shots -- try to hold it back
Fools try to wish it away
The hopeful depend on a world without end
Whatever the hopeless may say

Imagine a place
Where it all began
They gathered from across the land
To work in the secrecy of the desert sand
All of the brightest boys
To play with the biggest toys --
More than they bargained for...

Imagine a man
When it all began
The pilot of enola gay
Flying out of the shockwave
On that august day
All the powers that be
And the course of history
Would be changed for evermore...

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Davester on 03/05/09 at 3:10 am


is "leave in silence" by depeche mode about nuclear war?




  ...either that or it's about my ex...

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Tam on 03/05/09 at 11:14 pm

Is there something I should know - Duran Duran

Land of Confusion - Genesis

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Doc Brown on 03/07/09 at 2:09 am

"Der Kommisar", After The Fire
"New Frontier", Donald Fagen
"Mad World", Tears For Fears
"It's A Mistake", Men At Work
"Silent Running", Mike & The Mechanics
"Red Rain", Peter Gabriel
"Melt With You", Modern English
"Don't Dream It's Over", Crowded House
"Leningrad", Billy Joel
"The End Of The Innocence", Don Henley

I once did a whole quiz on songs like this. I called it 'La Guerra Fria', meaning THE COLD WAR!

Your Pal,
Doc

8)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Satish on 03/19/09 at 8:33 pm


  Close..."The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades"...

  "1999"...
  "Distant Early Warning"...


Oh yeah, "1999" by Prince was inspired by the idea of nuclear war. It never occurred to me before,  but when I look at the lyrics, I see that's what the subject matter of the song is:

http://www.princelyrics.co.uk/song.asp?song=170

On the surface, the song seems to just be about partying with wild abandon, but when you look closer, you see that it's really about the end of the world.

Here's some of the lines:

Coulda sworn it was judgment day

there were people runnin' everywhere
Tryin' 2 run from the destruction

War is all around us, my mind says prepare 2 fight
So if I gotta die I'm gonna listen 2 my body tonight

Yeah, everybody's got a bomb,
we could all die any day

I don't wanna die,
I'd rather dance my life away (1999)

Mommy, why does everybody have a bomb?







Is there something I should know - Duran Duran

Land of Confusion - Genesis


"Is There Something I Should Know?" by Duran Duran is about nuclear war? I was just looking at the lyrics, and I'm not too sure about that:

http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/duran_duran/is_there_something_i_should_know.html

It's got the one line "Don't say you're easy on me you're about as easy as a nuclear war," but I don't really think you can say that the song as a whole is about it.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Satish on 03/21/09 at 2:38 pm


"Der Kommisar", After The Fire
"New Frontier", Donald Fagen
"Mad World", Tears For Fears
"It's A Mistake", Men At Work
"Silent Running", Mike & The Mechanics
"Red Rain", Peter Gabriel
"Melt With You", Modern English
"Don't Dream It's Over", Crowded House
"Leningrad", Billy Joel
"The End Of The Innocence", Don Henley

I once did a whole quiz on songs like this. I called it 'La Guerra Fria', meaning THE COLD WAR!

Your Pal,
Doc

8)



Oh wow, I would never have thought most of these of songs were about nuclear war, but when I think about it, I guess I can see how some of the lyrics could be interpreted that way.




"Don't Dream it's Over" by Crowded House:
http://www.lyricsfreak.com/c/crowded+house/dont+dream+its+over_20034394.html

The song seems to be about a couple trying to stay together through adversity or having to be separated, but if you look closer, maybe it's about the couple trying to survive the aftermath of a nuclear bomb blast:

Theres a battle ahead, many battles are lost

When the world comes in

In the paper today tales of war and of waste
But you turn right over to the t.v. page





"Mad World" by Tears for Fears:
http://www.lyricsfreak.com/t/tears+for+fears/mad+world_20135594.html

It's a rant by a guy who's unsatisfied and frustrated with the world. And maybe the reason he's frustrated is that the world's about to come to an end:

Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow






"I Melt With You" by Modern English:
http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/m/modern_english/i_melt_with_you.html

Maybe "melting with you" refers to being burned in a nuclear explosion:

I made a pilgrimage to save this humans race

Never comprehending the race has long gone bye






I heard that "Shout" by Tears for Fears was written to protest the presence of US nuclear missiles on British soil, so I guess that could count, also.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 03/21/09 at 3:16 pm

Mother's Talk: Tears For Fears

My features form with a change in the weather
weekend, we can work it out.
My features form with a change in the weather
weekend, we can work it out.

When the wind blows
when the mothers talk
when the wind blows

When the wind blows
when the mothers talk
when the wind blows
We can work it out

It's not that you're not good enough
somehow we can make you better
given that you pay the price
We can keep you young and tender

Following in the footsteps of a funeral pryre
you were paid not to listen now your
house is on fire

Wake me up when things get started
when everything starts to happen

My features form with a change in the weather
weekend we can work it out
My features form with a change in the weather
weekend we can work it out

When the wind blows
when the mothers talk
when the wind blows

When the wind blows
when the mothers talk
when the wind blows

Weekend only we can work it out

Some of us are horrified
others never talk about it
When the weather starts to burn
then you'll know that you're in trouble

Follow in the footsteps of a solider girl
it's time to put your clothes on and
to face the world

Don't you feel your luck is changing?
When everything starts to happen?

Put your head right next to my heart
the beat of the drum is the fear of the dark.

My features form with a change in the weather
weekend we can work it out
My features form with a change in the weather
weekend we can work it out

When the wind blows
when the mothers talk
when the wind blows.

When the wind blows
when the mothers talk
when the wind blows

We can, only we can work it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt4NRO5tvtM

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Zeb on 03/22/09 at 3:42 pm

I can't believe that no one has brought up this 1988-89 Escape Club hit “Shake for the Sheik".  It takes a shot a American Foreign policy in the Middle East, and 20 years later it's still relevant. 



http://video.yahoo.com/watch/19207/1210455

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 03/23/09 at 6:43 pm

Wow!  That's a lot songs about nuclear war!  Some of them are only tangentially about nukes.

I forgot to mention one of my favorites:

A Flock of Seagulls: Man Made --

Man made machines make music for the man.
Now machines make music while the man makes plans.
A second generation, a generation lost,
While the man prepares for the holocaust.
Man made machines to control the days,
Now machines control while the man obeys.
A second generation, a generation lost
While machines prepare for the holocaust.


I mention again Midnight Oil: Harrisburg

This week is the 30th anniversary of the Three Mile Island accident.

...It's stuff you cannot taste or see
It's stuff you cannot smell
It's stuff that's twenty times as hot
As the hottest stuff in hell

Harrisburg oh Harrisburg
The plant is melting down
The people out in Harrisburg
Are getting out of town
And when this stuff gets in
You cannot get it out

The company said it would not blow
The government said it might
Harrisburg oh Harrisburg
I wonder who is right...

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Doc Brown on 03/24/09 at 6:00 pm


Oh wow, I would never have thought most of these of songs were about nuclear war, but when I think about it, I guess I can see how some of the lyrics could be interpreted that way.

"Don't Dream it's Over" by Crowded House:
http://www.lyricsfreak.com/c/crowded+house/dont+dream+its+over_20034394.html

The song seems to be about a couple trying to stay together through adversity or having to be separated, but if you look closer, maybe it's about the couple trying to survive the aftermath of a nuclear bomb blast:

Theres a battle ahead, many battles are lost

When the world comes in

In the paper today tales of war and of waste
But you turn right over to the t.v. page





"Mad World" by Tears for Fears:
http://www.lyricsfreak.com/t/tears+for+fears/mad+world_20135594.html

It's a rant by a guy who's unsatisfied and frustrated with the world. And maybe the reason he's frustrated is that the world's about to come to an end:

Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow






"I Melt With You" by Modern English:
http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/m/modern_english/i_melt_with_you.html

Maybe "melting with you" refers to being burned in a nuclear explosion:

I made a pilgrimage to save this humans race

Never comprehending the race has long gone bye


I heard that "Shout" by Tears for Fears was written to protest the presence of US nuclear missiles on British soil, so I guess that could count, also.

You may be right about "Shout", Tish, but I lean more toward the theory that the song was based on how the group's 2 founders met in a Primal Scream therapy group. ::)

"Red Rain" has often been interpreted as a euphemism for fallout, while "End Of The Innocence" has that second verse:
O beautiful for spacious skies,
but now those skies are threatening.
They're beating plowshares into swords
for this tired old man that we elected king.

But then, the old man's challenge of an arms race eventually bankrupted the Soviet Union, so we won the Cold War without firing a shot!

I've always interpreted "Don't Dream It's Over" as about life in the Eastern Bloc, dominated by poverty and propaganda, with occasional attempts at reform or escape to the West.

"New Frontier" is about an overnight party being held in a fallout shelter, the bridge being about the narrarator's dreams for the future, if no nuclear exchange destroys everything.

I'm sure there are more that I've never heard of!

Your Pal.
Doc

8)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 03/25/09 at 12:09 am



You may be right about "Shout", Tish, but I lean more toward that that song was based on how the group's 2 founders met in a Primal Scream therapy group. ::)

"Red Rain" has often been interpreted as a euphemism for fallout, while "End Of The Innocence" has that second verse:
O beautiful for spacious skies,
but now those skies are threatening.
They're beating plowshares into swords
for this tired old man that we elected king.

But then, the old man's challenge of an arms race eventually bankrupted the Soviet Union, so we won the Cold War without firing a shot!

I've always interpreted "Don't Dream It's Over" as about life in the Eastern Bloc, dominated by poverty and propaganda, with occasional attempts at reform or escape to the West.

"New Frontier" is about an overnight party being held in a fallout shelter, the bridge being about the narrarator's dreams for the future, if no nuclear exchange destroys everything.

I'm sure there are more that I've never heard of!

Your Pal.
Doc

8)



No! No! No!  I was watching a Retro Rewind video on Curt Smith's website, http://www.curtsmithofficial.com, and he said that Shout is a cause meaning that all Shout is is a protest song.  I believe they were protesting Madam Thatcher's plans to place neuclear devices in army bases in the U.K.

What about Murray Head's One Night In Bangkok?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHA5cYtgjUQ&feature=channel

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 03/25/09 at 7:40 pm


No! No! No!  I was watching a Retro Rewind video on Curt Smith's website, http://www.curtsmithofficial.com, and he said that Shout is a cause meaning that all Shout is is a protest song.  I believe they were protesting Madam Thatcher's plans to place neuclear devices in army bases in the U.K.

What about Murray Head's One Night In Bangkok?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHA5cYtgjUQ&feature=channel


I don't think the musical Chess is an allegory for nuclear annihilation...

OK, if you guys are gonna be ridiculous, so am I.

Billy Ocean: Get Out of My Dreams (And Into My Car)
:P

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 04/15/09 at 1:48 pm


I don't think the musical Chess is an allegory for nuclear annihilation...

OK, if you guys are gonna be ridiculous, so am I.

Billy Ocean: Get Out of My Dreams (And Into My Car)
:P


I was just asking you jerk.  There's no need to be rude.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Doc Brown on 04/15/09 at 7:15 pm

ck, I guess Smart guy never saw the play! According to Wiki, it's more about espionage and Superpower relations(a Championship chess match being a metaphor for a U.S.-U.S.S.R. summit.) So in a way, you could be right.

Your Pal,
Doc

8)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 04/16/09 at 10:34 pm

TY DB.  :D

Sorry about the outburst there but I felt kind of insulted when he said that I was being ridiculous. 

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Doc Brown on 02/08/10 at 11:20 am


No! No! No! nuclear devices in army bases in the U.K.

I guess These Are The Things I Could Do Without!

Let's not forget Talking Heads's "Burning Down The House" or "Life During Wartime".
David never says why we should've "Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit? Heard about Pittsburgh, PA?".
Could someone have dropped the bomb on them?

Your Pal,
Doc

8)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Foo Bar on 02/08/10 at 9:08 pm

"What will it matter then,
When the sky is not blue, but blazing red?
The fact that I simply love you?

When all our dreams lay deformed and dead,
We'll be two radioactive dancers,
Spinning in different directions,
And my love for you will be reduced to powder.

The screams will perform louder and louder,
Your marble flesh will soon be raw and burning,
And kissing will reduce my lips to a pulp.

Hideous creatures will return from the underground,
And the fact the I love you
Will die.

You don't have to sleep to see nightmares.
Just hold me close,
Then closer still,
And you'll feel the probabilities pulling us apart.
And you'll feel the probabilities pulling us apart.
Pulling us apart.
Pulling us apart..."

- Anne Clark, Poem for a Nuclear Romance, 1983, from Changing Places.

(Man, it's been a while since this thread opened up... And while I still stand by Sigue Sigue Sputnik as the masters of making the apocalypse sound like a rollicking good time, Anne Clark's take was deadly serious, and she still managed to make it sound like a decent way to go.)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 02/08/10 at 9:25 pm



I guess These Are The Things I Could Do Without!

Let's not forget Talking Heads's "Burning Down The House" or "Life During Wartime".
David never says why we should've "Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit? Heard about Pittsburgh, PA?".
Could someone have dropped the bomb on them?

Your Pal,
Doc

8)



"Life During Wartime" is a hypothetical scenario about social breakdown and guerrilla warfare in the United States.  A lot of scary stuff went on with violent leftist groups in the 1970s.  You had the Weather Underground and the Symbionese Liberation Army in the U.S. and the Baader-Meinhof gang and Red Brigades in  Europe.  According to Byrne, the paranoid and vigilant themes of the song also come from the band's life in NYC back in the mid '70s.  They were neither rich nor famous back then and places like Alphabet City were nervous places with their mix of hipsters, drug addicts, squatters, and run-of-the-mill working class New Yorkers. 

The lyrics for "Burning Down the House" were built out of phrases the band used on a trial-and-error basis around the funky groove they'd already developed, so I guess you could say it's about nothing or about anything you'd like it to be about!
:)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: JamieMcBain on 02/08/10 at 9:49 pm

You all forgot about....

Two Tribes by Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Land Of Confusion by Genesis

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Doc Brown on 02/08/10 at 11:58 pm


"Life During Wartime" is a hypothetical scenario about social breakdown and guerrilla warfare in the United States.  A lot of scary stuff went on with violent leftist groups in the 1970s.  You had the Weather Underground and the Symbionese Liberation Army in the U.S. and the Baader-Meinhof gang and Red Brigades in  Europe.

The lyrics for "Burning Down the House" were built out of phrases the band used on a trial-and-error basis around the funky groove they'd already developed, so I guess you could say it's about nothing or about anything you'd like it to be about!
:)

I do know about those groups, Max. Still, if one of them got their hands on nuclear weapons, it is possible that that's what happened to those cities. And when David sings "I got some groceries, some peanut butter, to last a couple of days", are there food shortages due to contamination? Is "Heard of some gravesites, out by the highway" a reference to people wiped out by a first strike? When we "Transmit the message, through the receiver, hope for an answer someday.", has the government been overthrown or bombed out of existence? Of course it's all hypothetical, but given the timeframe, scarily plausible. :o

As for "Burning Down The House", it's almost disturbing how these phrases fit the theory:
"Cool babies, strange but not a stranger" - mutated & still-born babies.
"We're in for nasty weather" - nuclear winter.
"The transportation is here" - technology.
"Fightin' fire with fire" - proliferation of warheads.
"All wet hey you might need a raincoat - black rain of fallout.
"Shakedown dreams walking in broad daylight" - vaporized bodies.
"People on their way to work baby what did you except, gonna burst into flame" - bomb-triggered fires.
"Some things sure can sweep me off my feet" - shockwaves.
"Everything's stuck together" - atomic particles.
"Cemented to the TV set" - watching the destruction on monitors in a bunker(NORAD, perhaps?)

Your Pal,
Doc

8)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Bobby on 02/09/10 at 4:46 pm

Einstein a go go - Landscape
I won't let the sun go down on me - Nik Kershaw
Eighth day - Hazel O' Connor
Living it up (before the sun goes down) - Level 42

I don't know if 'When the wind blows' by David Bowie counts but I know it's taken from a soundtrack of an animated film dealing with the iminent threat/and realisation of nuclear war.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 02/09/10 at 9:46 pm



I do know about those groups, Max. Still, if one of them got their hands on nuclear weapons, it is possible that that's what happened to those cities. And when David sings "I got some groceries, some peanut butter, to last a couple of days", are there food shortages due to contamination? Is Heard of some gravesites, out by the highway" a reference to people wiped out by a first strike? When we "Transmit the message, through the receiver, hope for an answer someday.", has the government been overthrown or bombed out of existence? Of course it's all hypothetical, but given the timeframe, scarily plausible. :o

As for "Burning Down The House", it's almost disturbing how these phrases fit the theory:
"Cool babies, strange but not a stranger" - mutated & still-born babies.
"We're in for nasty weather" - nuclear winter.
"The transportation is here" - technology.
"Fightin' fire with fire" - proliferation of warheads.
"All wet hey you might need a raincoat - black rain of fallout.
"Shakedown dreams walking in broad daylight" - vaporized bodies.
"People on their way to work baby what did you except, gonna burst into flame" - see above.
"Some things sure can sweep me off my feet" - shockwaves.
"Everything's stuck together" - atomic particles.
"Cemented to the TV set" - watching the destruction on monitors in a bunker(NORAD, perhaps?)

Your Pal,
Doc

8)



I hear what you're saying, Doc.  There is indeed a post-apocalyptic tinge to both songs whether or not nuclear war per se was at the forefront of Byrne's mind.  Of course, nuclear war was on everybody's mind from the 1950s through the 1980s.
:o

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: bookmistress4ever on 02/09/10 at 10:37 pm

How about the cheery "Christmas at Ground Zero" by Weird Al Yankovic?  ;D

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: bookmistress4ever on 02/09/10 at 10:41 pm

Red Skies by The Fixx

and for that matter "Stand or Fall" by The Fixx is vaguely Nuclear...

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: bookmistress4ever on 02/09/10 at 10:49 pm

Oddly enough "Neutron Dance" by the Pointer Sisters is NOT about Nuclear War although the Russians supposedly translated it wrong and thought that that's what the song was about (according to Allee Willis, who wrote Earth, Wind & Fire's hits "September" and "Boogie Wonderland," wrote the lyrics for this song.) 

This song was released at the high of the Cold War when there was a great deal of tension between the United States and Russia, as both had nuclear missiles aimed at each other. Says Willis: "The Russian government named me as one of the most dangerous people living in the United States, because they mis-translated it as 'Neutron Bomb.' The first verse they translated as 'A powerful nuclear explosion is approaching, it will annihilate everyone; who cares if you have no car, no job, no money, just dance, dance, dance.' And this was a huge article in Pravda, and I was supposed to be going to Russia with BMI, and I wasn't let in the country. I mean, it was nuts." (Read more in the Allee Willis interview, and at her website: alleewillis.com.)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: bookmistress4ever on 02/09/10 at 10:50 pm

As I recall Nena's 99 luft balloons (Red Balloons) was about war, if not nuclear

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: bookmistress4ever on 02/09/10 at 10:53 pm

And even though I hate the few songs I've heard from the group, "Set The World Afire" by Megadeth was about it too.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Foo Bar on 02/10/10 at 9:06 pm


As I recall Nena's 99 luft balloons (Red Balloons) was about war, if not nuclear


Yup, and nuclear.  99 red balloons get lobbed skyward from one side of the East German / West German border, get picked up as a threat, and things escalate from there.  There's only outcome out of that scenario which ends with "It's all over and I'm standing pretty / In this dust that was a city."

Reminds me, how could I have forgotten this one?

"The sun went down and the ground started sort of grinding.
A blinding lightning tore the sky.
A cyclone swept the landscape out, and left it completely flattened out.
And several twirls of smoke unfolded like gigantic flowers.
The way the morning broke was quite unusual."
  - Front 242, Quite Unusual, 1987

(edit: "Crap, I didn't forget it, it's just been a while!  We need a new cold war so we can have more cool songs about the apocalypse!" :)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 02/10/10 at 9:35 pm


Yup, and nuclear.  99 red balloons get lobbed skyward from one side of the East German / West German border, get picked up as a threat, and things escalate from there.  There's only outcome out of that scenario which ends with "It's all over and I'm standing pretty / In this dust that was a city."

Reminds me, how could I have forgotten this one?

"The sun went down and the ground started sort of grinding.
A blinding lightning tore the sky.
A cyclone swept the landscape out, and left it completely flattened out.
And several twirls of smoke unfolded like gigantic flowers.
The way the morning broke was quite unusual."
   - Front 242, Quite Unusual, 1987

(edit: "Crap, I didn't forget it, it's just been a while!  We need a new cold war so we can have more cool songs about the apocalypse!" :)


Karma.  One of F242's best!
:)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Doc Brown on 02/10/10 at 11:55 pm


We need a new cold war so we can have more cool songs about the apocalypse! :)

YOU DID NOT ACTUALLY SAY THAT, DID YOU!?
Foo Bar, in all seriousness, lie down and don't get up until the fever breaks!

This one is obscure, but I know a Hall & Oates song from '82 called "Standing At Tension", where Daryl sings of wanting to join the cause for freedom, but is afraid that if a war starts, the bombs will fall soon after. Reference is made to Dr. Strangelove, and he marvels at the fatal potential of blindly taking orders. The title describes the constant state of alert our military had been on since the mid-50's, hands just an inch from the launch button but never getting the order to fire. Not often that Daryl & John got political, but this was a dang good song!

Your Pal,
Doc

8)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Foo Bar on 02/15/10 at 8:00 pm


YOU DID NOT ACTUALLY SAY THAT, DID YOU!?
Foo Bar, in all seriousness, lie down and don't get up until the fever breaks!


OK, I'll tone it down a bit.  I mean, asking for whole songs about the apocalypse is putting an awful lot of work on the part of songwriters as well as artists. 

"We need a new Cold War because we need a new source for cool samples!"

Take, for example, DJ Paul Dakeyne's remix of Sigue Sigue Sputnik's F1-11 Love Missile.  (Yes, the MP3 is there, and yes, it's by permission, on account of it's the artist's own blog). 

It's been 20 years, and this track has been on heavy rotation on my (record, tape, CD, and now MP3) player ever since I first taped it off a live-to-air broadcast from a club.

But although love the Blade Runner, Star Trek, Clockwork Orange, Rambo, and Scarface references, but just imagine what it could sound like with samples from 9/11, embedded reporters on the night of the invasion, Bush "misunderestimating" things, snippets from The Hurt Locker and Three Kings... and have Arnold from Terminator 3 and Agent Smith of The Matrix telling us "it is in your nature to destroy yourselves", or that humanity was a disease...  Musically, instead of Donna Summer and Tina Turner, throw in some Lady Gaga ("Doin' it for the fame") / Rachel Stevens ("You made a promise to make me a star") / Rihanna ("Baby, you got the keys") / George W. Bush ("I'm the Decider!") / Rihanna ("Shut up and drive!").

My favorite nukopalypse track was Sigue Sigue Sputnik's MAD, and I don't think anyone will ever come up with all of the samples.  The first 35 seconds include samples at least one documentary, John F. Kennedy, Dr. Strangelove, and (Yay Google, you solved that one for me!) John Cusack from the movie "Better Off Dead" saying "I'll take you on any day, sucker!"

In the tapestry of 80s pop culture, music was the canvas, samples were the paint.  (If the world's gotta end so I can hear something novel and amusing, so be it!)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 02/17/10 at 7:43 pm


OK, I'll tone it down a bit.  I mean, asking for whole songs about the apocalypse is putting an awful lot of work on the part of songwriters as well as artists. 

"We need a new Cold War because we need a new source for cool samples!"

Take, for example, DJ Paul Dakeyne's remix of Sigue Sigue Sputnik's F1-11 Love Missile


That's a great song, but it's primarily remembered for being in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  Maybe FBDO was cold war allegory?
:D

Another great cold war song is Iggy Pop's "Blah Blah Blah."  I always felt that song encapsulated the Reagan era.  Of course, Iggy fans hated that record because it sounded more like David Bowie than The Stooges.  As one Iggy fan said of Blah Blah Blah, "he fagged out!"
:-\\

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Foo Bar on 09/08/10 at 11:36 pm

Tangentially-related: What do you get if you cross post-cold-war euphoria, hippies, hacking, astrology, Tantric sex, and, of course, (everybody's favorite thing in this thread, or is it just me?  Fine, it's just me!) nuclear weapons?  

I'm not sure, it'd probably be vaguely reminiscent of the guitar-heavy Zodiac Mindwarp, and by God it'd reflect the optimism of the magical few years between the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the War Without End.  Swords into ploughshares and all that, but it's not like the ancient texts didn't leave a little room for interpretation into what sort of furrows were to be plowed, right?  

And it would be accompanied by the female lead singer from Jefferson Starship.  (No, really, I'm not making that last one up.)

"Kiss my fax, hug my tree,
Go both ways1, then you'll see,
In past lives, I was you,
And you were me, and we were an atom bomb.

The fractals are humming,
The smart drugs2 are coming on.  

Crack my code and download3,
Your hardware in my software,
Let's pretend it's the trend,
Sex with friends ----

CHORUS:
You're my furnace of nuclear love,
Make me melt down, 'cause I am in the mood!
Heavy metal, New Age love and peace,
Go together just like you and me...

Wash my brain, nuke the whales,
Feed my God, save the males!
Let's pretend it's the trend,
Car phone sex, sex with friends!

The fractals are humming,
The smart drugs are coming on.  

(Instrumental break)
(CHORUS 2x)

Kiss my fire, kiss my fire, kiss my fire, kiss my fire..."
  - World Entertainment War, Furnace of Nuclear Love, from Give Too Much, 1991.

Lyrics and MP3 are available from the artist's website.  Long live WEW, even though there are a couple of minor errors on the official lyrics page (which I've corrected here while listening to the song!) and that this post is ten years late to the party.

1 NTTAWWT

2 OK, so the nootropic fad was quickly squelched out in the early '90s, so I'm settling for beer tonight, but work with me here, people!  Just download the damn MP3 and groove out.  The track is dripping with so much over-the-top glowing atomic sexiness that there's gonna be something in there you'll enjoy, even if it's nothing more than the dated reference to what "car phones" were used for in the dark ages before everyone had a wireless phone embedded in their bodies. :)

3 The lyric is definitely "download", but it should be "upload", because it scans the same way and makes a lot more sense, especially if the singer is female.  But I'm a pedantic nerd, so the point is moot for me.  Doesn't detract from the overall awesomeness here :)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Lynne on 09/09/10 at 9:42 pm

@ Celeste Keenan (yes, I know you are)...just shut up. As for the Tears for Fears songs: here's the facts.

1. Mad World is NOT about nuclear war.
2. Shout is about taking a stand against things that bother you which COULD be nuclear war but not necessarily.
3. Mother's Talk IS about the threat of nuclear war...it is the only song of theirs that that was explicity stated.

and finally, to whom it may concern...it is Primal Therapy NOT Primal Scream group therapy. There is a group component later on but the first three weeks are individual therapy only. Primal Scream was simply the name of a book.

***I have researched TFF AND PT extensively and have actually read The Primal Scream twice, so I know what I am talking about.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 09/09/10 at 9:56 pm


@ Celeste Keenan (yes, I know you are)...just shut up. As for the Tears for Fears songs: here's the facts.

1. Mad World is NOT about nuclear war.
2. Shout is about taking a stand against things that bother you which COULD be nuclear war but not necessarily.
3. Mother's Talk IS about the threat of nuclear war...it is the only song of theirs that that was explicity stated.

and finally, to whom it may concern...it is Primal Therapy NOT Primal Scream group therapy. There is a group component later on but the first three weeks are individual therapy only. Primal Scream was simply the name of a book.

***I have researched TFF AND PT extensively and have actually read The Primal Scream twice, so I know what I am talking about.


Thank you and duly noted.
http://www.inthe00s.com/smile/15/sunny.gif

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: OldScreamyGenius on 09/14/10 at 11:42 am

Two Suns in the Sunset by Pink Floyd

in my rear view mirror the sun is going down
sinking behind bridges in the road
and i think of all the good things
that we have left undone
and i suffer premonitions
confirm suspicions
of the holocaust to come
the rusty wire that holds the cork
that keeps the anger in
gives way
and suddenly it's day again
the sun is in the east
even though the day is done
two suns in the sunset
hmmmmmmmmm
could be the human race is run
like the moment when your brakes lock
and you slide toward the big truck
and stretch the frozen moments with your fear
and you'll never hear their voices
and you'll never see their faces
you have no recourse to the law anymore
and as the windshield melts
my tears evaporate
leaving only charcoal to defend
finally i understand
the feelings of the few
ashes and diamonds
foe and friend
we were all equal in the end

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: gmann on 09/16/10 at 12:47 pm

Unless I missed it, "Russians", by Sting has yet to turn up in this thread. Oppenheimer reference aside, it's definitely a Cold War song, if not specifically about nuclear destruction.


"In Europe and America, there's a growing feeling of hysteria
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets
Mr. Krushchev said we will bury you
I don't subscribe to this point of view
It would be such an ignorant thing to do
If the Russian love their children too

How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer's deadly toy
There is no monopoly of common sense
On either side of the political fence
We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

There is no historical precedent
To put words in the mouth of the president
There's no such thing as a winnable war
It's a lie we don't believe anymore
Mr. Reagan says we will protect you
I don't subscribe to this point of view
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us me and you
Is that the Russians love their children too "

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Doc Brown on 09/16/10 at 3:58 pm


Unless I missed it, "Russians", by Sting has yet to turn up in this thread. Oppenheimer reference aside, it's definitely a Cold War song, if not specifically about nuclear destruction.

Oh, it was mentioned on the first page, but it certainly deserves mentioning again!

One might even listen to some Police songs and see references to Cold War/Nuclear War:
"Invisible Sun" (life in the Eastern Bloc?)
"Bombs Away" (OK, more about Carter's Executive impotence, but possibly.)
"Message In A Bottle" (How did Sting end up on that island, anyway? And the 100 billion bottles? Have we cut off all contact with other countries?)
"One World" (Sting was right about feigning ignorance about the rest of the world. We have been a global village for over a hundred years, and something huge will affect you no matter what block, or 'bloc' you're in!)

Musical food for thought.

Your Pal,
Doc

8)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Paul on 09/16/10 at 4:25 pm


One might even listen to some Police songs and see references to Cold War/Nuclear War:
"Invisible Sun" (life in the Eastern Bloc?)


'Invisible Sun' was indeed written about life in a conflict area, but it was Northern Ireland, not the Eastern Bloc...

The video contains images of this and was promptly banned by the BBC.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Foo Bar on 10/16/10 at 10:51 pm

The original video for F1-11 Love Missile isn't about nuclear war.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-zOARrKMZA

...but it is now.

Pop quiz: We've had audio sample source quizzes before, but how many video sample sources can you identify?  In the original, I've got everything from X-15 test flights to the Challenger disaster.  In the Sigue Sigue Sputnik (WW3 Remix), I can only say they're from various History Channel documentaries, The Day After, and Glub knows what else.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: JamieMcBain on 10/16/10 at 11:05 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTOQUnvI3CA

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Foo Bar on 10/16/10 at 11:12 pm


Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Two Tribes(1983)


Frankie say Karma!

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: JamieMcBain on 10/16/10 at 11:18 pm


Frankie say Karma!


You're welcome.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 10/18/10 at 10:20 pm


Unless I missed it, "Russians", by Sting has yet to turn up in this thread. Oppenheimer reference aside, it's definitely a Cold War song, if not specifically about nuclear destruction.



Listen to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1scluzlPz0

Sound familiar?  It should!

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Doc Brown on 10/19/10 at 12:09 am

Well done finding this, Max! I don't know if anyone else ever looks at CD liner notes, but Sting gave Prokofiev a writing credit on Dream Of The Blue Turtles. Billy Joel also mentions Prokofiev in "We Didn't Start The Fire", in the 1953 stanza, the year of his passing, same as Josef Stalin. No doubt Sergei will be revered in history long after the last freed Russian spits on Stalin's grave!

Your Pal,
Doc

;)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 10/21/10 at 9:53 pm


Well done finding this, Max! I don't know if anyone else ever looks at CD liner notes, but Sting gave Prokofiev a writing credit on Dream Of The Blue Turtles. Billy Joel also mentions Prokofiev in "We Didn't Start The Fire", in the 1953 stanza, the year of his passing, same as Josef Stalin. No doubt Sergei will be revered in history long after the last freed Russian spits on Stalin's grave!

Your Pal,
Doc

;)



I'd like to think so! 

I got into Prokofiev after "Russians" was a big hit.  I was never into Sting on his own, though I taped "Russians" off the radio and listened to it quite a lot.  Consequently, I didn't see the liner notes for Blue Turtles.  It was several years later I heard the "Lieutenant Kijé Suite" and the Romance melody sounded familiar, but I couldn't place it.  It drove me nuts for a year before I pulled out that old mix tape from 1985!

Prokofiev dearly wanted to outlive Stalin.  Cruel fate gave Uncle Joe five hours longer 3/05/53 than Sergei!
:\'(
;D

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Doc Brown on 10/22/10 at 2:29 pm


Frankie say Karma!

Not to be a downer, but people don't often remember that the lead singer of FGH is terminally ill. Odds are when he finally passes, some trade paper will bear the headline FRANKIE GOES TO HEAVEN or FRANKIE SAY GOODBYE.
At least he got to see the end of the Cold War.

Your Pal,
Doc

:(

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Foo Bar on 10/22/10 at 10:20 pm


Not to be a downer, but people don't often remember that the lead singer of FGH is terminally ill.


Well then, let's get back to the war while we still can.

If you haven't searched for Frankie Goes to War (DMC Remix) from the bootleg 12" EP Aftershow (Remix), you haven't found the awesomest serious WW3 megamix of... well, of 1987.  It's FG2H covering Edwin Starr's "War", with samples from everyone from Hitler to Churchill and John Snagge of the BBC chiming in.  The sample sources have yet to be fully identified, but I gave it a shot about 3 years ago.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 10/23/10 at 1:03 pm



Not to be a downer, but people don't often remember that the lead singer of FGH is terminally ill. Odds are when he finally passes, some trade paper will bear the headline FRANKIE GOES TO HEAVEN or FRANKIE SAY GOODBYE.
At least he got to see the end of the Cold War.

Your Pal,
Doc

:(



I first heard Holly Johnson was terminally ill in 1993!

Life is a terminal illness.  Nobody survives.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: bookmistress4ever on 08/12/11 at 4:03 pm

As I was looking up videos for another thread (women hanging by their wrists  8-P  ;D ), I stumbled across the video for Bon Jovi's "Runaway".  The song has nothing to do with Nuclear War/accidents, but the video oddly mentions a nuclear accident.  ???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s86K-p089R8

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 10/20/11 at 1:31 am


"What will it matter then,
When the sky is not blue, but blazing red?
The fact that I simply love you?

When all our dreams lay deformed and dead,
We'll be two radioactive dancers,
Spinning in different directions,
And my love for you will be reduced to powder.

The screams will perform louder and louder,
Your marble flesh will soon be raw and burning,
And kissing will reduce my lips to a pulp.

Hideous creatures will return from the underground,
And the fact the I love you
Will die.

You don't have to sleep to see nightmares.
Just hold me close,
Then closer still,
And you'll feel the probabilities pulling us apart.
And you'll feel the probabilities pulling us apart.
Pulling us apart.
Pulling us apart..."

- Anne Clark, Poem for a Nuclear Romance, 1983, from Changing Places.

(Man, it's been a while since this thread opened up... And while I still stand by Sigue Sigue Sputnik as the masters of making the apocalypse sound like a rollicking good time, Anne Clark's take was deadly serious, and she still managed to make it sound like a decent way to go.)


What about Ultravox Dancing with Tears In My Eyes?

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Howard on 10/20/11 at 6:53 am

Billy Joel "We Didn't Start The Fire"? ???

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Howard on 02/27/12 at 6:39 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBd5W9IA7n0

Culture Club- War Song (1984)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 02/28/12 at 7:27 pm


@ Celeste Keenan (yes, I know you are)...just shut up. As for the Tears for Fears songs: here's the facts.

1. Mad World is NOT about nuclear war.
2. Shout is about taking a stand against things that bother you which COULD be nuclear war but not necessarily.
3. Mother's Talk IS about the threat of nuclear war...it is the only song of theirs that that was explicity stated.

and finally, to whom it may concern...it is Primal Therapy NOT Primal Scream group therapy. There is a group component later on but the first three weeks are individual therapy only. Primal Scream was simply the name of a book.

***I have researched TFF AND PT extensively and have actually read The Primal Scream twice, so I know what I am talking about.


Curt said in an interview several years ago that Shout started as a cause and they never thought that it was going to be as big as it was.  It's about protest and shouting out against things that are disturbing to you

dKRDFPiq0HM

As for Mother's Talk it was about a nuclear holocaust that was about to happen in Margaret Thatcher's England when they were about to arm Army bases in England with nuclear weapons and it had the potential to start a third world war.

YThXrE_4nJA

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Foo Bar on 02/29/12 at 12:32 am

Good lord, you people are going to make me research this tonight?  Fine!

Imagine a time - when it all began,
In the dying days of a war,
A weapon that would settle the score.
Whoever found it first,
Would be sure to do their worst,
They always had before...

Imagine a man - where it all began.
A scientist pacing the floor,
In each nation.  Always eager to explore,
Build the best big stick,
To turn the winning trick,
But this was something more...

Chorus:
The big bang took and shook the world
Shut down the rising sun.
The end was begun -- it would hit everyone
When the chain reaction was done
The big shots try to hold it back,
Fools try to wish it away,
The hopeful depend on a world without end,
Whatever the hopeless may say...

Imagine a place -- where it all began,
They gathered from across the land,
To work in the secrecy of the desert sand,
All of the brightest boys,
To play with the biggest toys --
More than they bargained for...

(Chorus)

Imagine a man -- when it all began,
The pilot of Enola Gay,
Flying out of the shockwave,
On that August day.
All the powers that be,
And the course of history,
Would be changed forever more...

(Chorus / fade)

  - Rush, Manhattan Project, from 1985's Power Windows.

Yes, the Rush song was mentioned earlier in this thread, but there are a few links in that version of the lyrics that might put things in perspective.  (Pedantic historical note: The design tested at Trinity was dropped a few days later by Maj. Charles Sweeney in Bockscar, but nobody named a New Wave band after his plane.  Then again, the device dropped by Tibbets was designed by the same people in the same place.  The designers were so sure it would work that they didn't need a test.  Rush's song is still historically accurate.)

These are real places.  You can still visit them.

Just when I thought everything that could possibly have been done, had been done, someone bumps the thread and prompts me to find this:

TRdnmB-MVB4

  - Rush, Manehattan Project.

Sometimes I worry about this fanbase.  Dude nailed it.

Karma to Howard and c_keenan2001 for the inspiration, and thanks to QuetzalDash for the walk down memory lane.  274 down, 8,999,999,726 to go.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 02/29/12 at 4:17 pm


I first heard Holly Johnson was terminally ill in 1993!

Life is a terminal illness.  Nobody survives.


Holly Johnson is alive and well and living in London.  He has HIV but he's not dead.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 03/01/12 at 9:31 pm

Oh and Lynne don't ever call me out on things that I didn't say.  I never said that Mad World was about nuclear war.  I said that Mothers Talk and Shout were about nuclear war.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 03/04/12 at 2:17 am

VFUEgFdP5zE

Could Mediate by INXS be about Nuclear war?

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Doc Brown on 03/04/12 at 11:10 am


VFUEgFdP5zE

Could Mediate by INXS be about Nuclear war?
To some degree, I would say it is, but the lyrics touch on a few other issues as well. A better example of an INXS anti-nuclear war song would probably be "Guns In The Sky", a clear reference to the Star Wars program, although a bit of the imagery seems to echo the classic film "The Day The Earth Stood Still".

Your Pal,
Doc

8)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: wsmith4 on 03/05/12 at 10:07 am

Can't believe no one has mentioned these:

99 Red Balloons

Like a Virgin by Madonna

Take on Me - ABBA

Something's Coming Over Me by Madonna

War is Over Happy Christmas - The Beatles

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 03/05/12 at 11:51 pm


Can't believe no one has mentioned these:

99 Red Balloons

Like a Virgin by Madonna

Take on Me - ABBA

Something's Coming Over Me by Madonna

War is Over Happy Christmas - The Beatles


Huh! Like A Virgin isn't about Nuclear war!

I don't remember ABBA singing Take On Me! But they did sing Take A Chance On Me!  :)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Howard on 03/06/12 at 6:19 am


Huh! Like A Virgin isn't about Nuclear war!

I don't remember ABBA singing Take On Me! But they did sing Take A Chance On Me!  :)


Billzy doesn't know what's talking about.  ::)

Like a Virgin is about sex, let's get that straight.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Dagwood on 03/06/12 at 7:03 am


Billzy doesn't know what's talking about.  ::)

Like a Virgin is about sex, let's get that straight.


Wow, Howard.  Rude much?

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Howard on 03/06/12 at 7:22 am


Wow, Howard.  Rude much?


Sorry Dag.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: wsmith4 on 03/06/12 at 7:27 am


Sorry Dag.


Maybe you're apologizing to the wrong person?  ::)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Doc Brown on 03/06/12 at 2:00 pm


Maybe you're apologizing to the wrong person?  ::)

JFTR, "Take On Me" by A-HA(not ABBA) has nothing to do with nuclear war, either. And the other two were not 80's songs, only "99 Red Balloons" qualifies for this list.

Your Pal,
Doc

8)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Howard on 03/06/12 at 7:11 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBpyichRWo0

It's A Mistake-Men At Work (1983)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Dagwood on 03/06/12 at 7:29 pm


Sorry Dag.


You should be apologizing to Bilzy not me. 

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 03/07/12 at 2:23 pm

AHEM! GETTING BACK ON TOPIC!!!!

What about this one?

j3BLHd3fT_c

Johnny Hates Jazz: I Don't Want To Be A Hero

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Foo Bar on 03/08/12 at 12:33 am


Take on Me - ABBA


Yeah, if four people from Sweden ever covered A-Ha, we wanna hear it.

But (sorta) back on topic - there are many songs fit for the Dr. Demento thread, but after 32 years, this one belongs here:

ePp1or3beaA

"Nuke them til the oceans boil,
That'll fix their asses royal!
Watch the blubber hit the fan,
When whale encounters modern man!"

  - Fleshapoids, Nuke the Whales, first aired March 2, 1980.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 03/08/12 at 9:09 pm


Yeah, if four people from Sweden ever covered A-Ha, we wanna hear it.

But (sorta) back on topic - there are many songs fit for the Dr. Demento thread, but after 32 years, this one belongs here:

"Nuke them til the oceans boil,
That'll fix their asses royal!
Watch the blubber hit the fan,
When whale encounters modern man!"

  - Fleshapoids, Nuke the Whales, first aired March 2, 1980.


I remember that song.  There were also "Nuke the Whales" bumper stickers around that time when every car said "Save the Whales" and "No Nukes."
8)

Here's an awesome one I overlooked:

Fad Gadget: Fireside Favourite

Come here, baby, in front of the fire
I'd like to look into your eyes
Loosen your clothes, get out of that seat
Come and feel my body heat
Because when I get back home
And see you sitting by the fire grate
I hold you in my arms
Switch on to that real-log fire effect
Saliva's sweetness, we perspire
All things are one in front of the fire
Melting flesh on the front room floor
That's what my fireside favourite's for
And now that I'm back home
Toasting crumpets by the fire grate
Oh you feel so warm
Turn on to that thrill of fire effect
Hey now, honey, open your eyes
There's a mushroom cloud up in the sky
Your hair is falling out and your teeth have gone
Your legs are still together but it won't be long
Your head was on my shoulder
Now I'm kissing the skull
My heart is melting slowly as my senses dull
Now we're just a scab on a piece of wire
All things are done in front of the fire
You're my fireside favourite
You're my fireside favourite
You're my fireside favourite
You're my fireside favourite


I regret I cannot find the original.  There's a terribly tinny live version, and the "Toasted Crumpets Mix" from 2001
The remix retains the tempo and melody, but otherwise kills the 1980 song.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRouDFHWorI

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: wsmith4 on 03/09/12 at 6:59 am

I beg to differ.

The ABBA song Take On Me is about taking chances and talks about how the world is ending.

Like a Virgin speaks volumes about nuclear war and the importance of having fun

Merry Christmas War is Over?  Could this title be any more symbolic of nuclear war?

99 Luftballoons most certainly IS about war - it's symbolic - I mean, how amazing would it be to see 100 red balloons?

There is also Come To MY Window by Melissa Etheridge, where she talks about watching the war from her window and inviting the wounded civilians to come into her window for shelter.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 03/09/12 at 9:48 pm


I beg to differ.

The ABBA song Take On Me is about taking chances and talks about how the world is ending.

You mean A-HA.

Like a Virgin speaks volumes about nuclear war and the importance of having fun


I dunno, that's a stretch, but I guess I can buy it.
;)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 03/09/12 at 11:29 pm


I beg to differ.

The ABBA song Take On Me is about taking chances and talks about how the world is ending.

Like a Virgin speaks volumes about nuclear war and the importance of having fun


Merry Christmas War is Over?  Could this title be any more symbolic of nuclear war?

99 Luftballoons most certainly IS about war - it's symbolic - I mean, how amazing would it be to see 100 red balloons?

There is also Come To MY Window by Melissa Etheridge, where she talks about watching the war from her window and inviting the wounded civilians to come into her window for shelter.



Oh please.  Like A Virgin is about sex and nothing more and Come To My Window is from 1993.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Howard on 03/10/12 at 6:17 am



Oh please.  Like A Virgin is about sex and nothing more and Come To My Window is from 1993.


I agree, Like A Virgin, Madonna sings about sex.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 03/10/12 at 9:47 pm



How about Peter Schilling- (Major Tom)Coming Home (1983) ? ???


No nuclear war there.  "Major Tom (Coming Home)" is about an astronaut stranded in outer space after an accident.  David Bowie introduced an astronaut named Major Tom and a space flight accident in his song Space Oddity (1969).  David Bowie's Major Tom is left stranded.  Peter Schilling's song title suggests Major Tom comes home, but I've never been able to discern from the lyrics if this is so.  Anyway, the video is one of my favorites --

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1Zip8FjR6s

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Howard on 03/11/12 at 6:45 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSGvqjVHik8

Paul Hardcastle- 19 (1985)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Dagwood on 03/11/12 at 8:38 am


No nuclear war there.  "Major Tom (Coming Home)" is about an astronaut stranded in outer space after an accident.  David Bowie introduced an astronaut named Major Tom and a space flight accident in his song Space Oddity (1969).  David Bowie's Major Tom is left stranded.  Peter Schilling's song title suggests Major Tom comes home, but I've never been able to discern from the lyrics if this is so.  Anyway, the video is one of my favorites --

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1Zip8FjR6s


I always took Schilling's Major Tom coming home as he was from space and coming home meant back to where ever he came from.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: wsmith4 on 03/12/12 at 6:44 am


Peeps, I was kidding...

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 03/18/12 at 10:14 pm

Enola Gay was about nuclear war wasn't it?

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: mitch1987 on 03/19/12 at 9:21 pm

Lots of great songs already mentioned. I've always loved songs about nuclear war.oddly enough. Probably went along with loving movie like The Road Warrior and The Day After. Seems hard to believe that we at one time thought that was our destiny. Maybe that was one of the reasons the 80s were so carefree...we all thought we had no future so we might as well live it up.
I'll add a few metal songs out of the many that were about nuclear war and its aftermath

Ozzy Osbourne's Thanks God for the Bomb and Killer of Giants
Fifth Angels.... In the Fallout
Warlock...... East meets West and I Rule the Ruins.
Def Leppard....When the Walls came Tumbling Down

Metal bands always loved to sing about the apocalypse!
                                     

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 03/19/12 at 11:06 pm


Enola Gay was about nuclear war wasn't it?


It's about the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.  The Enola Gay was the Boeing B-29 Superfortress that dropped the bomb -- itself called "Little Boy."  The plane was  named after Col. Paul Tibbetts' mother. 

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 03/19/12 at 11:53 pm


It's about the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.  The Enola Gay was the Boeing B-29 Superfortress that dropped the bomb -- itself called "Little Boy."  The plane was  named after Col. Paul Tibbetts' mother.


So the answer is "yes it is about nuclear war?"?

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 03/20/12 at 12:30 am


So the answer is "yes it is about nuclear war?"?


Yes and no...the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a "nuclear" end to a "conventional" war.

The term "nuclear war" always implied an exchange of nuclear weapons which would bring about nuclear holocaust.  The atomic destruction of the Japanese cities at the end of WWII ushered in the great fear and horror of an immanent nuclear holocaust in the Cold War.  Thus, "Enola Gay" is an anti-nuclear war song, so in a sense it is about nuclear war.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 03/20/12 at 1:20 am

Minimal Compact: New Clear Twist
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REeByNPogBM

Depeche Mode: Two Minute Warning
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQERdMMlgfo

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Howard on 03/20/12 at 6:28 am

What about songs about war in general? ???

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Foo Bar on 03/21/12 at 12:08 am


What about songs about war in general? ???


Perfectly acceptable, but needs a new thread.  You're old enough to remember enough of the Cold War to know that nukes are special.  This here thread's for the cool toys :)

Obligatory Nuking: Here's a little video from X-Ray Dog, musical library/ensemble used in movie trailers and other bits of ephemera over the past 10 years. 

This video features March To Glory from "Dogs Of War" and Last Chance from "Night Hounds".  Any similarity between the B-52-delivered nuke at 20 seconds in this June 29, 2011 YouTube-hosted fan-produced video and Season 2, Episode 2 is entirely coincidental. 

Even fanservice has its limits -- deal with it!  (Shall we play a game, or shall we just restore the world from backup? :)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 03/21/12 at 12:22 am

Alright.  YOU asked for it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBd5W9IA7n0

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Foo Bar on 03/21/12 at 12:37 am


Alright.  YOU asked for it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBd5W9IA7n0


You got it, boss!  (I'd take cover if I were anybody else randomly stumbling onto this thread.  We'll get back on topic in a few moments.)

hABOm19S2Ks

  - 30 years later, we've got 2011, The Living Tombstone, Rainbow Nukestep.

Because nuclear war is just a flashier version of urban renewal, depending on whether you're in the A-country or B-country when the fit hits the shan. 

(See?  I told you we'd get back on topic.  You're gonna want that dubstep on loop while you're reading, though.  Nice work if you can get it...)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Howard on 03/21/12 at 6:37 am


Alright.  YOU asked for it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBd5W9IA7n0


one of their best hits.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 04/02/14 at 12:38 am

Platinum Blonde: Standing In The Dark

8dadXNPBOpk

Systems red we switch to overload
Defcon 5 we're ready to explode
you think we're humble we take no prisoners
you drop that bomb they'll be no prisoners

Maybe we'll run and hide
tomorrow change our minds
until then it's suicide

Standing in the dark
this could be our last mistake
Standing in the dark
this could be your last mistake
But it's not the first one.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Foo Bar on 04/10/14 at 11:06 pm


Platinum Blonde: Standing In The Dark



I went through the thread and I'm surprised we missed both your track and this little gem from 1987, especially since someone here posted the lyrics in 2003.

http://i.imgur.com/lFEuKnz.jpg

One eye on the winter,
Did I conjure up that cold?
I've got friends in the far north,
And should've had that mystery solved.

Are we wide awake?
Is the world aware?
Radiation over Red Square,
Creeping on to cross Roman roads,
A fear of freezing in the Soviet snow,
One eye on the winter,
Oh, there's just a hint of Soviet snow...

We need something to keep the chill,
From freezing our own free will,
They're teasing at war like children,
Love is the one solution,
Seeing ourselves inside,
Our enemies' need for shelter,
Same winter wind that's blowing,
Deep down inside we know
That we're wide awake,
And the world's aware
Radiation over Red Square,
Creeping on to cross Roman roads,
A fear of freezing in the Soviet snow,
One eye on the winter,
Oh, there's just a hint of Soviet snow...

Yeah, we're wide awake, and the world's aware...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHEhL34zeHg
- Shona Laing, Soviet Snow, 1987 (this link goes to 6-minute mix with better audio, but the embedded video's a must see for those with a desire for some cold war nostalgia...)

Laing has re-released the track on "Pass the Whisper" ca. 2007.  Happy 20th anniversary re-release, and happy 27th anniversary, Shona!

re: the bolded line, "Our enemies' need for shelter", could be read as "our enemy's need" or "our enemies' need", because there were only two superpowers in 1987.  In a multipolar world of 2014, the distinction is important, and I'm going with the plural form because from the context of the song, I think it's what she meant and, and therefore I think it's what she wrote/sang.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Howard on 04/11/14 at 3:31 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8JlTIo--CQ

Paul Hardcastle-19

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Philip Eno on 04/11/14 at 3:41 pm


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8JlTIo--CQ

Paul Hardcastle-19
This song focuses on America's involvement in the Vietnam War and the effect it had on the soldiers who served, and far as I know not nuclear.

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 04/12/14 at 10:48 am

8tx7WbMKUe4

One gun added on to the one gun
one gun added on
One gun added on to the one gun
one gun added on.  :)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Howard on 04/12/14 at 3:11 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY4va_mw3gk

Tears For Fears - Listen

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: c_keenan2001@hotmail.com on 04/24/14 at 2:05 pm



I went through the thread and I'm surprised we missed both your track and this little gem from 1987, especially since someone here posted the lyrics in 2003.

http://i.imgur.com/lFEuKnz.jpg


In my blissful ignorance I had forgotten that there was a line in that song about atom bombs being dropped on the planet.  The imagry of the video seems to say that there was a nuclear war brewing and everyone was afraid of it.  :)

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Howard on 04/24/14 at 5:49 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvB6DZtVEp4&feature=kp

Strike Zone" - by Loverboy

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Foo Bar on 04/25/14 at 12:49 am


In my blissful ignorance I had forgotten that there was a line in that song about atom bombs being dropped on the planet.  The imagry of the video seems to say that there was a nuclear war brewing and everyone was afraid of it.  :)


There was, we were, we all got lucky and lived to talk about its music!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-w5wLyFWmFzg/UT1QMGRhuXI/AAAAAAAABLo/-xgtR1n1c-I/s320/blondie-atomic-1980-21.jpg

The song is just a cute love song about making it right and about how beautiful her paramour's hair was, but how did I forget this album cover?

Subject: Re: '80s songs about nuclear war

Written By: Mitch Kramer on 05/16/14 at 7:06 am

About 20 years before the Colbert Report debuted, I saw a concert presented by my college's branch of the Democratic Socialists of America.  The performer was a guy named Dave Lippman.  His shtick was to act like a right-wing neocon warmonger.  He gave this hilariously incompetent presentation supporting Reagan's foreign policy.  He also took out his guitar and sang a bunch of "anti-folk" songs.  I seem to recall one of his numbers was a patriotic song remembering all the soldiers who fought in World War III.  He explained that he figured he'd better write the song before the war because there'd probably be no one around to hear it afterwards.

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