Top 10 Doomsday Songs
Need a list of the top doomsday songs to prepare yourself for the impending end of times? With the end of the world arriving Dec. 21, 2012, you should be musically prepared for these precious few hours we have left. There's no better way to go out than by blasting Ultimate Classic Rock's following list of the Top 10 Doomsday Songs:
It's fitting that we start this list with the last song ever recorded by the Beatles. In a way, the 'Abbey Road' track predicted the Fab Four's own doomsday. Thankfully, their music has lived on — at least until the world ends. If 'The End' doesn't do the trick, try Paul McCartney and Wings' 'Live and Let Die' on for size. The track's hard guitars will prepare you for the apocalypse and the lyrics might even help you accept your unfortunate fate.
With religion playing a major role in this latest prediction of the apocalypse, U2's 'Until the End of the World' takes its rightful place on our list of doomsday songs. The track, off 'Achtung Baby,' finds Bono singing about the Last Supper, Judas' interaction with Jesus Christ before the latter's crucifixion, and Judas' own suicide. The haunting intro by the rhythm section and the Edge's ethereal guitar work help give the song an ominous vibe.
In this track off the Police's 'Zenyatta Mondatta,' Sting sings about making the best of the mundane things in life when the world is falling apart around you. In 1980, when the song was released, those everyday things that Sting mentioned included a VCR and an MCI multitrack tape recorder. In this day and age, it would probably be a Blu-ray player and an iPhone. Either way, none of those things are gonna help you once judgment day arrives.
No list of doomsday songs would be whole without a tune from Black Sabbath. And the Sabbath track that best prepares you for the apocalypse is the 'Master of Reality' cut 'After Forever.' The religious-themed song is addressed to people who question the existence of God, and asks the question of whether you will be saved or condemned at the End of Days. Having the words come from “Prince of Darkness” Ozzy Osbourne's mouth makes it even more sinister.
For those of you who think you can outrun the End of Days, you're gonna have to move pretty fast. And, since there's only one Arnold Schwarzenegger (and I think we all know where he's heading now), that means you're gonna have to 'Run Like Hell.' The track off Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' adds to the horror of it all with the sounds of angry mobs, loud screaming and heavy footsteps. Speaking of Schwarzenegger, didn't he also star in 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day'?
How appropriate is it that this song starts out with the tolling of a bell? Judgment day must be here, indeed. This track off AC/DC's mammoth album 'Back in Black' doesn't paint a pretty picture of your future, whatever's left of it, with lyrics like: “I won't take no prisoners, won't spare no lives / Nobody's putting up a fight / I got my bell, I'm gonna take you to hell / I'm gonna get you, Satan get you.” Yikes, them's fighting words!
Possibly the most forthright doomsday song that's ever been written, this track off R.E.M.'s 'Document' starts out with four apocalyptic allusions (earthquake, birds, snakes and an airplane) and mentions such pleasantries as the Rapture, the Furies and bloodletting. But maybe it's Leonard Bernstein's ghost we have to fear the most. Perhaps, the late composer is gonna beat us to death with his conductor's baton? Can you clue us in, Michael Stipe?
At first you're all, “Oh, I have no reason to fear the Grim Reaper,” but then you see the parentheses in the title, and you're all, “Dude, wait a second — does that mean I should be afraid?” BÖC guitarist Donald 'Buck Dharma' Roeser, who wrote and sung the tune, has said the 'Agents of Fortune' track is actually a 'love song' and not a tune about murder-suicide that many thought it to be. Doesn't matter now, does it?
John Fogerty was inspired by the film 'The Devil and Daniel Webster' in writing this apocalyptic tune for Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Green River' album. With lyrics like, “I hear hurricanes a-blowin' / I know the end is comin' soon” and “Hope you get your things together / Hope you are quite prepared to die,” Fogerty doesn't give us much hope. Maybe we're better off with the misheard lyric “There's a bathroom on the right” than “There's a bad moon on the rise.”
We began with the Beatles' 'The End' and we end with the Doors' 'The End.' Listening to Jim Morrison's haunting voice backed by the psychedelic sounds of his bandmates lets you know your time has come. And since it's the last song you'll ever hear, make sure you go with the full 12-minute version off the Doors' self-titled debut, or one of the 17-minute live renditions. That way you can squeeze a few extra minutes out of your time on Earth.