As you may have heard, the Rapture was supposed to happen yesterday. That means that the righteous allegedly ascended bodily into heaven, leaving the rest of us to endure pestilence and assorted End-Of-Days type stuff. Since I write these posts in advance I don’t know if large rocks are falling from the sky as you read this and you’re busy planning your post-rapture looting, or if the Rapture didn’t happen after all and you regret spending your life’s savings on the Party To End All Parties Friday night. Either way, here’s some appropriate music for the Day After.
Terry Hall Dub Pistols “Rapture” (Blondie)
The differences between this song and the original are subtle but taken together are quite striking. The disco guitar is gone and in its place is a very heavy beat. And the rap has been updated to something more contemporary but lacking the original’s goofy sense of humor.
The Klone Orchestra “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” (R.E.M.)
This must be a really fun song to play, assuming you can manage to spit all the words out while you’re playing a mile a minute. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for why there are so many covers of it out there that sound just like the original. The Klone Orchestra does something different with it, slowing things way down so you can understand all the lyrics. It’s still quite fun.
This song isn’t really about the end of the world and the Rapture isn’t the end of the world anyway. If the Rapture actually happened that means we’re going to be fighting Satan’s armies until October, at which point the world will end. I hope that doesn’t mean the World Series will be cancelled.
Jaland Crossland “Great Atomic Power” (The Louvin Brothers)
This song is probably closest in spirit to the folks who have been warning about the coming Rapture. Of course the Louvin Brothers were telling us to get right with Jesus because of the impending nuclear holocaust.
Ely Bruna “The Final Countdown” (Europe)
I was never really into the hair metal scene when it was happening but I’ve grown fond of this song’s glorious excess as I’ve collected covers of it. I particularly like the fact that they never bother to say why we’re leaving for Venus. I’ve always assumed it’s because of an apocalypse of some sort, what with it being the “final” countdown and all.
Ely Bruna gives it a very breathy, close-miked reading that you can’t help but enjoy.
Melvin Couch “Spirit In The Sky” (Norman Greenbaum)
There’s no warning here, not really any bragging either. Just a simple statement of fact that the singer will be going to heaven when it starts raining frogs and the sky catches fire.
Mr. Greenbaum’s version was perfectly aimed at all the folks in the 70s who did too much acid and became Jesus Freaks. Mr. Couch turns it into a swinging gospel workout with a broader appeal.
Dolphin Blue “Back In The Good Old World” (Tom Waits)
Normally I post five songs a week but since this is a special occasion I figured I’d post an extra song. This one is from the perspective of a dead man who tells us that there is no place he’d rather be than back on Earth. I would hope that one or two of the righteous would share this perspective after they get sucked up into the sky by God’s Electrolux.
The song originally comes from the soundtrack that Mr. Waits did for the movie Night On Earth. There are four or five versions of it on the soundtrack album, all with different arrangements. There’s a waltz version, a gypsy version, and so on. I like this cover from a musical standpoint but I wish the singer wasn’t trying so hard to sound like Tom Waits.