11 Great Songs About Aliens And UFOs That Are Out Of This World
With the news that former blink-182 man Tom DeLonge is the executive producer of a forthcoming six-part docuseries on the History Channel about – what else? – UFOs, it seemed like as good a time as any to delve deep into the connection between rock music and extra-terrestrial. Because while the series, which is called Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation, will search far and wide for signs of extra-terrestrial life, there are already plenty of songs within the rock world that are about – or at least make reference to – the little green (or grey) men and their flying saucers. So pop your tinfoil hat on, pull out that old X-Files poster stashed in your closet and mutter quietly to yourself: “I want to believe.”
Blink-182 – Aliens Exist
Where else could we start except with this classic from Enema Of The State? At the time, we all thought it was a dumb, funny, piss-take about conspiracy theorists and people who claim they’ve been abducted by aliens. Now, 20 years later, it seems that Tom was being deadly serious all along. Which doesn’t make the song any less of a pop-punk classic, but definitely makes us question how much of its abduction narrative is based on actual experience.
Megadeth – Hangar 18
This rollicking metal anthem – taken from Megadeth’s 1990 fourth album, Rust In Peace – takes its name from a 1980 science fiction flick. The film is about a government cover-up after an alien ship collides with a just-launched satellite, causing the death of an astronaut. Apparently, that story inspired drummer Nick Menza to write the song’s lyrics, but who knows if he was also inspired by any close encounters of the third kind of his own. Probably not. But you never know.
Rob Zombie – Well, Everybody's Fucking In A UFO
Given that this track is taken from Rob Zombie’s sixth album, The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, it’s not such a surprise that this isn’t even the most outrageous or outlandish song title on the shock-rocker/movie director’s 2016 record. Its video, however, makes up for that adequately. If you’ve ever wanted to see what an alien’s penis looks like – probably – then this is a good place to start. But it’s pretty NSFW, so best to watch it at home.
Ramones – Zero Zero UFO
We’re not going to lie – this song, which is from 1989’s Brain Drain LP, doesn’t really compete with the early Ramones classics like Blitzkrieg Bop, Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue or Sheena Is A Punk Rocker. That said, it’s still a wonderfully campy and catchy account of an alien encounter, executed with the seminal New York punk band’s typical panache. Sure, there are some pretty dodgy lyrics – ‘It did not look like it came from Japan / And out of the dark walked a strange man’ – but it’s still fun.
Saxon – Watching The Sky
While aliens might seem like a strange subject matter for British metal behemoths Saxon, the way Biff Byford waxes lyrical about the possibility of life on other planets here is thoroughly convincing. Not only does it mention government conspiracies, but it also points out how ridiculous the likelihood of Earth being the only planet with intelligent life is. Its facts might be exaggerated – ‘Fifty billion planets / There’s gotta be some life’ – but if the universe is indeed infinite, maybe it’s not that far off after all.
Muse – Starlight
Of course epic pomp rockers Muse have written about extraterrestrial life. After all, this is the band whose music sounds like it was made in outer space, who flew a giant UFO called – what else? – Bernie over most of the arenas they played on their 2010 Resistance Tour and whose singer, Matt Bellamy, has suggested he may have been abducted by aliens as a teenager. Lyrically, this is typically obtuse, but it’s definitely about abduction and not just a metaphor for a relationship or something.
Misfits – I Turned Into A Martian
This song was written in 1982, way before technology had allowed us to explore Mars properly. So while we now know there are no beings on the red planet (unless they’re all hiding underground, of course),the Misfits weren’t so sure. Taken from their first full-length, it’s a perfect Misfits song – silly yet confrontational, absurd yet intense – that dives deep(ish) into the idea of mind possession and murderous intent. Plus, the cover features three flying saucers, to prove they’re totally serious about it all.
Ace Frehley – Space Invader
The KISS man’s 2009 solo album is obsessed with what may lie out there in the great, infinite beyond, and its title track tells the story of a, well, space invader who seems intent on stopping human beings from destroying the planet. Which, actually, is a nice little twist on the evil alien trope that accompanies most space invader stories. Given that humans have now caused irreversible damage to the planet, however, it may be too late for even Ace’s space invader – Ace Invader? – to save us.
Tool – Rosetta Stoned
This song, from Tool’s 2006 album, 10,000 Days is an epic, almost-15 minute account of an alien encounter that packs more drama into its moody, glowering stroy than an episode of The X-Files. Combining spoken word narrative and caustic, driving guitars, it’s pretty much the sound of an actual abduction – and the terrifying after-effects – and will make you feel like you have actually been taken away and tested on by aliens. But what else would you expect from Tool? Exactly…
Coheed And Cambria – Delirium Trigger
Seeing that most Coheed And Cambria songs are set in the Amory Wars world – the science fictional universe created by Claudio Sanchez – any number of them could feature on this list. But it’s this track in particular, which takes place on a spaceship, that has the most traditionally alien-esque plot of them all. That’s not surprising, because it was inspired by, and follows and similar storyline to, Aliens. Suffice to say, these aren’t friendly space creatures he’s singing about.
Marilyn Manson – Disassociative
While it doubles up as a fantastic break-up album and an existential, angst-ridden look at humanity collapsing, on the surface, Mechanical Animals is a concept album about an alien messiah called Omega who falls to earth and is captured by evil humans. This song inverts the traditional alien-on-earth narrative by revealing Omega’s darkest angst and anxieties about being trapped on Earth forever with no means of escape. We know how that feels. Oh. It’s also about the time Marilyn Manson was given ketamine by Rose McGowan. Maybe that’s what Tom DeLonge’s been doing all this time…