On April 8, for precisely four minutes and 27 seconds, the moon will pass in front of the sun blocking out all light — a total solar eclipse.

The last time this kind of galactic display occurred was in 2017, and although eclipses like this do happen once every 18 months or so, they're usually not visible to people on land. This is because the distance between the moon and the sun varies, meaning the width of the eclipse's path also varies, and given that most of the earth's surface is covered by ocean, that's a lot of eclipses that go unseen.

But you're not going to want to miss this upcoming eclipse, since there won't be another one visible from the U.S. until 2044.

You can learn more about how and when to see the eclipse on NASA's website. Also, don't forget the proper safety gear!

Of course, what would a global scientific wonder be without an appropriate accompanying playlist? Below, we've laid out 30 Eclipse Songs to jam out to while the moon does its thing.

1. "Total Eclipse of the Heart," Bonnie Tyler
From: Faster Than the Speed of Night (1983)

Written and produced by Jim Steinman, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" became Bonnie Tyler's biggest hit. "[Steinman] told me he had started writing the song for a prospective musical version of Nosferatu years before, but never finished it," Tyler told The Guardian in 2023. "I poured my heart out singing it."


2. "Total Eclipse," Iron Maiden
From: 1982 B-side Single

Iron Maiden has some regrets as far as "Total Eclipse" goes; not about the song itself, but in how they released it. As they scrambled to complete their 1982 album The Number of the Beast on time, they chose "Total Eclipse" as the B-side to the single "Run to the Hills," and ended up wishing they'd included it on the actual album.


3. "The Dark of the Sun," Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
From: Into the Great Wide Open (1991)

Describing the sun as dark is something of an oxymoron, but it definitely applies when it comes to an eclipse. Tom Petty has just the song for that, from his 1991 release Into the Great Wide Open.


4. "Promises in the Dark," Pat Benatar
From: Precious Time (1981)

Pat Benatar's "Promises in the Dark" comes from her third album, Precious Time, her one and only release to land the No. 1 spot in the U.S.


5. "Beware of Darkness," George Harrison
From: All Things Must Pass (1970)

The darkness that George Harrison is referring to in this 1970 track has more to do with spiritual matters than a literal lack of light, but we're going to bend the meaning a bit for the purposes of this list. Harrison employed a number of famous friends for the recording of the song: Eric Clapton, Dave Mason, Ringo Starr and Bobby Whitlock.


6. "The Fly," U2
From: Achtung Baby (1991)

"It's no secret that our world is in darkness tonight," Bono sings in "The Fly," the first single U2 released from 1991's Achtung Baby. "They say the sun is sometimes eclipsed by the moon." Of course, Bono would subsequently develop the Fly as a character on the Zoo TV world tour, performing in black leather and oversized, bug-like sunglasses.


7. "Black Hole Sun," Soundgarden
From: Superunknown (1994)

"Black Hole Sun" is probably the most accurate description of what a solar eclipse looks like. Chris Cornell actually got the idea for the title after mishearing a weather reporter on the radio, deciding to roll with it anyway. "I wrote the song thinking the band wouldn't like it," he told Rolling Stone in 2009, "then it became the biggest hit of the summer." (An honorable mention goes to Peter Frampton's talk box cover of this track.)


8. "The Sound of Silence," Simon and Garfunkel
From: Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. (1964)

It's now one of the best known opening lines in music history: "Hello darkness, my old friend." But interestingly, when Simon & Garfunkel first included the song on their debut album in 1964, it made little impact. It wasn't until a remixed version was released a year later that it gained traction, hitting No. 1.


9. "Blinded by the Light," Manfred Mann's Earth Band
From: The Roaring Silence (1976)

Sure, Bruce Springsteen wrote "Blinded by the Light" and he recorded it first in 1973, but it's Manfred Mann's 1976 version that gained the most attention. Manfred Mann changed some of the lyrics, and it was their recording that went to No. 1, making it Springsteen's one and only song to reach that spot. (This song's title should serve as another reminder: be sure to use the proper eye protection when viewing the eclipse.)


10. "Dancing in the Dark," Bruce Springsteen
From: Born in the U.S.A. (1984)

You'll have around four and a half minutes of dark time during this year's eclipse, which, conveniently, is enough time to play the entirety of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark." It was this song that earned the Boss his very first Grammy.


11. "Ain't No Sunshine," Bill Withers
From: Just As I Am (1971)

Bill Withers was still working at an airplane part factory when he wrote his breakthrough hit, "Ain't No Sunshine." And despite being an unknown figure at the time, a handful of notable musicians helped him record the track: Stephen Stills, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Al Jackson Jr. and Booker T. Jones.


12. "Darkness, Darkness," The Youngbloods
From: Elephant Mountain (1969)

"Darkness, Darkness" was penned by Jesse Colin Young in 1969, but a whole roster of rock musicians have covered it since, including but not limited to: Mott the Hoople, Eric Burdon, Screaming Trees, Robert Plant and Ann Wilson.


13. "You're So Vain," Carly Simon
From: No Secrets (1972)

In Carly Simon's "You're So Vain," her subject takes a lear jet all the way to Nova Scotia, Canada "to see the total eclipse of the sun." Fortunately for 2024 viewers in the U.S. from Texas to Maine, you'll be able to see the eclipse without having to step foot on an airplane.


14. "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," Elton John
From: Caribou (1974)

Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" was released as the first single from 1974's Caribou, becoming a No. 2 hit. Featured on backing vocals was Carl Wilson and Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys, plus Toni Tennille of Captain & Tennille.


15. "Eclipse," Pink Floyd
From: The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

Frankly, listening to the entirety of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon would be fitting for the eclipse, but if you must pick one song, it's best to go with the aptly titled "Eclipse," the album's closing track. "And everything under the sun is in tune," Roger Waters sings at the very end. "But the sun is eclipsed by the moon."


16. "Total Eclipse," The Alan Parsons Project
From: I Robot (1977)

"Total Eclipse" by the Alan Parsons Project is a curious number, with lead vocals credited to the English Chorale. "The record felt conceptual," Parsons told Classic Rock in 2021. "That was all the rage back in '77 – to have a piece of music where you turn the lights off, listen from start to finish and be carried away."


17. "Total Eclipse," Klaus Naomi
From: Klaus Naomi (1981)

In 1972, avant-garde artist Klaus Naomi moved from Germany to New York City, where he soon became a well-known figure in the local performance art scene. His debut album would not arrive until 1981, a unique blend of rock, opera and new wave influences, which included "Total Eclipse." "Can't come to grips with the total eclipse," Naomi sings.


18. "Little Man, What Now?," Morrissey
From: Viva Hate (1988)

"What became of you?" Morrissey asks in 1988's "Little Man, What Now?" "Did that swift eclipse torture you?" This song appeared on Morrissey's very first solo album, Viva Hate, released six months after the final Smiths LP, Strangeways, Here We Come, was released.


19. "My Apocalypse," Metallica
From: Death Magnetic (2008)

You might want to bring along a flashlight for Metallica's "My Apocalypse," which won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance. "So we cross that line / Into the crypt," James Hetfield sings. "Total eclipse / Suffer unto my apocalypse."


20. "Triptych," Roxy Music
From: Country Life (1974)

According to NASA, there is evidence that people were paying attention to eclipses as early as 5,000 years ago. Of course, it was not known then what caused the event — one ancient Chinese record described an eclipse as following: "The sun has been eaten." We know better now. Roxy Music put it this way on 1974's Country Life: "Though the sun's eclipse seems final / Surely he will rise again."


21. "Paint It Black," The Rolling Stones
From: Aftermath (1966)

The Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black" was a marked departure from the arrangements of most of their previous songs, but it worked out in their favor. The single spent two weeks at the No. 1 spot in the U.S. and has since become one of their most recognizable numbers.


22. "Blackstar," David Bowie
From: Blackstar (2016)

It wouldn't really be an eclipse playlist without a song from the Starman himself. The title track to 2016's Blackstar, the album David Bowie released two days before his death from cancer, seems most fitting for this purpose.


23. "Ring of Fire," Johnny Cash
From: 1963 Single

During an eclipse, the moon's blockage of the sun creates the appearance of a "ring of fire" in the sky, which makes it the perfect time to bust out the 1963 single by Johnny Cash.


24. "Eclipse," John Denver
From: Back Home Again (1974)

"Sometimes I think I'll never see the sun again," John Denver sings in "Eclipse," which appears on his 1974 album Back Home Again, a No. 1 LP for him.


25. "Dark Star," The Grateful Dead
From: 1968 Single

You have a couple options if you want to put on the Grateful Dead's "Dark Star" during the eclipse. First is the original 1968 studio version, which runs a brief two minutes and 44 seconds, but if you feel like getting trippy, consider one of their lengthy live versions, like the one below.


26. "Moonshadow," Yusef / Cat Stevens
From: Teaser and the Firecat (1971)

Growing up in a big city, the young Cat Stevens didn't see much of what was up there in the sky, or at least it looked different to him. He would later write "Moonshadow" after an experience out of the city. "I was on a holiday in Spain. I was a kid from the West End [of London] – bright lights, et cetera. I never got to see the moon on its own in the dark, there were always street lamps," he explained on The Chris Isaak Hour in 2009. "So there I was on the edge of the water on a beautiful night with the moon glowing, and suddenly I looked down and saw my shadow. I thought that was so cool, I'd never seen it before."


27. "Watcher of the Skies," Genesis
From: Foxtrot (1972)

There are approximately 32 million people who live in the eclipse's path of totality — that's a lot of watchers of the sky. Genesis actually borrowed the title of this song from an 1817 John Keats poem called On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer: "Then felt I like some watcher of the skies / When a new planet swims into his ken."


28. "Darkness on the Face of the Earth," Willie Nelson
From: ...And Then I Wrote (1962)

Willie Nelson's "Darkness on the Face of the Earth" comes from his very first album, released all the way back in 1962. "First few days found me a little uneasy," Nelson would recall of the LP's sessions in 2015's It's a Long Story: My Life. "I had my guitar, a pencil, and a blank notebook." But before too long he had 12 solid songs.


29. "The Whole of the Moon," The Waterboys
From: This Is the Sea (1985)

The eclipse's path of totality will cover Mexico, 15 American states and Canada, so depending on where you live, you might see the crescent, or you might see the whole of the moon, kind of like in the lyrics to the Waterboys' "The Whole of the Moon."


30. "You Want It Darker," Leonard Cohen
From: You Want It Darker (2016)

The world will not be shrouded in complete darkness during the eclipse — it will look more like dusk than anything else. But if you want to make the mood even darker, consider the title track to Leonard Cohen's 2016 release You Want It Darker, which earned him a Grammy for Best Rock Performance.

Rock Music's 25 Craziest Conspiracy Theories

Which stories are true, and which aren't? Let's count them down ...

Gallery Credit: Nick DeRiso

More From Ultimate Classic Rock