Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Songs about Nuclear Annihilation from 1940's-80's

          Below you'll find download links for a group of mixes I made featuring songs specifically about nuclear war using music made from the 1940's through the 1980's.  I'm probably giving myself too much credit but I think of these mixes as a work of "audio archeology" similar in tone to the film Atomic Cafe.  I've skewed it to include songs from the dawn of the Atomic bomb to the fall of the USSR.  

       I was hoping to include tracks up to the present day but songs about nuclear war haven't been as prominent since the Soviet Union collapsed in the late 80's.   America has been lulled into a false sense of security since the end of the Cold War.  

      If I heard the presidential candidates correctly in the 2008 election, then we can expect a nuclear attack on American in the coming years.  No one seems to bring that shit up anymore.  You'd think there would be more paranoia through the "heartland" with all this high profile nuke talk.  I guess it's not as interesting as World of Warcraft or the endless amount of free porn we now have access to?  Regardless of these facts it still scares the fuck out of me.  I'm at least as concerned as I was in the 80's.  But isn't it in the background of all our thoughts?  

      The United States created this monster so is it  inevitable that the chickens will come back to roost. Someone eventually punches the playground bully in the mouth.  Right?  Don't read me wrong I'm not hoping for it.  But I'm being told by the "leaders" to expect it.  I guess putting the cart before the horse leaves the politicians less susceptible to criticism in the nuclear wake.  More brilliant strategy from the fearless leaders.

    As odd as it sounds I get the feeling you will really enjoy this mix.  Or it will depress the shit out of you.  Only one way to find out.  The styles of music  include: country, jazz, calypso, showtunes, heavy metal, powerpop, hip-hop, blues, pop, funk, doo-wop, post-punk, thrash, synth-pop, gospel, reggae, R&B and other things which can not be classified.  For those of you who follow this blog because of the slant towards Las Vegas Hardcore Punk then you will be delighted to hear that I've included two Nevada bands!  I'll say no more and keep you guessing. 

       If you were a teenager in the 1980's chances are good you've heard several of these songs anyway.  Surprisingly many of them were in the top 40.            

   I've included a tiny fraction of sound collage in this mix.  I didn't get too indulgent but a few minutes of collage/mixing are included in each of the the three files found below.     

    No songs in this mix were recorded after 1989 but I've included some audio clips throughout the mix to keep it up to date and fresh for today's insanity/reality.
   It's raw history edited for 2010 ears.  Relevant today and relevant until the end of the human race I'm sure.  It'll continue to be the elephant in the room that we must live our lives around.  So let's celebrate it in song!  While we can.  

North Korean nuclear missles.

   Growing up in the 80's instilled a sarcastic indifference about the apocalypse which I will never outgrow.  I have come to accept that it will happen in my lifetime and while it is a terrifying vision to contemplate it doesn't really mean much.  

   I can only think about it for so long before it overwhelms me. It's strangely intoxicating to be paralyzed with fear over things for which you have no control.  In a sick way it's comforting to know I won't die alone.  It's a teenage masturbation fantasy on an unimaginable scale.  From the 40's to the 80's each generation has created worlds out of the ashes in the collective mind.  I have to laugh at this because I can't cry my life away waiting for the end.  Screaming is pointless.  Worrying is futile.  It has to become the butt of jokes.  There is no other way to view it.  Getting all upset just wrinkles your face babe.  Don't let it get to you.        

   It's the myth we all long for because it's inevitable. That's the ultimate attitude growing up in the 1980's instilled in me.  A whole decade of Nuke Porn made it sound like something to look forward to.   Mad Max.  Terminator.  Godzilla. It's the biggest macho juvenile delinquent wet dream ever.  It's our primal urges molded by technological efficiency.  Genocide at the push of a button.  It's almost getting me hot just thinking about it.      

         The slate will be wiped clean soon enough and then there would be true anarchy motherfuckers.  When the time comes we'd see who is who.  Every man for himself.  Kill or be killed.  True freedom.  Wreck cars!  Blow shit up!  The world is mine!  Dozens of female survivors waiting for me to impregnate them so we can keep the human race going.  I'll still have my pipe so I can scrap resin and continue to get high for a few weeks after the blast.  It's  gonna be fuckin rad!  

       And then, like Burgess Meredith on the Twilight Zone, we collectively break our fucking glasses.  Where's the Mad Max world I'm supposed to inherit?  I was told to prepare for the worst and expect the best and all I have to show for it is this Discharge t- shirt?  How many of us will die bitter and disappointed we didn't see the big bang?    

       Many of the songs included here are actually celebrating the end of the world.  You'll be surprised to hear most of those celebratory songs pre-date the 80's.  Since it was first developed there's only been one logical response to the idea of nuclear war.  Laugh your fuckin head off.

        A little over a third of the songs in this mix come from the Atomic Platters series.  Mostly the songs from the 1940's and 50's.  The rest of these songs come from my collection.    

       I learned a lot about pacing and rhythm through this experience but you'll mostly remember this mix for it's wildly divergent points of view and kick ass rock and roll pointlessness.  So rock the fuck out.  

       Please listen to this now.  This may be your last opportunity to laugh.  It won't be as funny The Day After.   

   It's broken up into three parts for easy consumption.  Part one is 1 hour, part 2 and 3 are both 45-50 minutes in length.  I suggest starting with part one because it's rad.  


  1. Dancing with Tears in My Eyes by Ultravox, It's the end of the world as we know it(I feel fine) by REM, Eve of Destruction by Barry Mcguire, there's another big one I'm forgetting.

  2. Dachau Blues by Captain Beefheart

  3. I was tempted to put Nuclear Winter by Sodom but they just suck.

  4. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent website.

    I stumbledupon it ;) I may return once again since I
    saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way
    to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

    my web page

    1. Hi, just found your site and this post. Any chance of a track list? Whether or not, I admire all the hard work and thinkin' that comps like this require. Outstanding!