TOP TEN: Songs about Giant Robots and Monsters (Pacific Rim Mix)
Humans have always been fascinated by the possibility of enormous monsters and killer robots. Countless movies, like the recent Pacific Rim; along with comics and yes, even songs have been written on the subject. So I have decided to once again force popular internet meatbags George Chimples and Rodrigo Lopez to count down the best of the best. And the Machines better come out ahead… OR ELSE!
“King Kong Song” – ABBA
Rodrigo: Ok, let’s start out with the bottom of the barrel! King Kong song is not the best ABBA song, not the best song about giant monsters, so why did this song make the countdown? Because we’re actually jerks and we want to get it stuck in your head for the rest of the month.
George: Sweet mercy. This song might be the most convincing argument against the totality of
“Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto” – Styx
Rodrigo: Although not explicitly a GIANT Robot song, it is a great robot song. We see the classic themes of gaining one’s humanity, being feared for being different, and being part of an unnecessarily complex concept album.
George: Remember that car commercial where Buster Bluth did the robot while listening to this song in a Volkswagen? Anyways, I’m not gonna lie about this: Mr. Roboto freaks me out.
“Science Fiction/Double Feature” – Rocky Horror Picture Show
Rodrigo: Before these fancy schmancy CG Kaiju there were close up shots of big spiders and people in robot suits. This song harkens back to the golden age of cinema… right before launching you into a largely unrelated rock n’ roll burlesque romp.
George: A sweet ballad about the B movies of yesteryear. Dig the atmospheric saxophone.
I’ll Form The Head – MC Frontalot
George: I have a hard time getting into MC Frontalot. His flow is purposefully awkward, and while I get what he’s doing (and his lyrics are usually great), it’s still hard for me to get past it. But he nails it here. I love the idea of a Voltron-style team fighting over who gets to form the head of their combining super robot, to the point that it allows a space worm to eat Michigan. You’ll get it next time, guys.
Rodrigo: A glorious ode to my childhood. I have tears in my eyes.
“Transformer” – Gnarls Barkley
Rodrigo: Nothing like a rockin’ beat, mad hip hop skills and giant transforming robots to get the blood pumpin’. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how amazing Gnarls Barkley is (were?) but when I first heard this song I thought “Ok, now they’re just showing off.”
George: This song is absolutely bonkers – almost too intense to take. Which, if you’re gonna be dealing with giant robots, is right about where you want to be. Also, Cee Lo > Bumblebee, every day. For bonus points, check out the live acoustic version for an entirely different, magnificent take on this track.
“Intergalactic” – Beastie Boys
George: Lyrically, this song is made up of your typical boast raps and doesn’t say anything about giant robots versus monsters. But a typically genius Beastie Boys video featuring a delightfully crappy kaiju battle means that whenever I hear this song, I’m thinking about citydestroying battles between a giant robot and some sort of vile gargantuan cephalopod.
Rodrigo: Agreed, the video almost makes you forget that rather than narrating an epic struggle between sea mutants and giant robots this song tends to concern itself with fake karate moves and coffee preferences.
“3030” – Deltron 3030
George: Coming from the mind-blowingly fantastic concept album Deltron 3030, this song is the hip-hop Holy Grail for science fiction references, courtesy of Del the Funkee Homosapien. Not so much big monsters in this, but it does canonically state that protagonist Deltron 3030 used to be a mech soldier who didn’t respect orders, so it counts. It is extremely easy for me to ramble at length about this, so I’ll save your eyeballs and just prescribe you 30 listens of this big, beautiful psychedelic track about everything science-fictional you’ve ever loved.
Rodrigo: Expect this to be in our Top 10 Post-Apocalyptic Songs, Top 10 Sci-Fi Songs, and Top 10 Songs by Drumming Ghosts.
“Godzilla” – Blue Oyster Cult
George: Huge monster riffs for a song about a huge monster. I love how gleefully, unapologetically geeky this song is, from the straightforward lyrics about Godzilla ripping up subways to the nonsensical variable pitched Godzilla chants to the Japanese language breakdown. Every Tuesday night, I set up my little green army men, put this song on repeat at volume 11, and I go to town. It’s cathartic, you try it.
Rodrigo: I like that this is, straight up, a song about Godzilla by a fairly popular band. They’re not using it as a metaphor or symbolism. This is really a song about a giant lizard destroying Tokyo.
“Don’t Feed The Plants” – Little Shop of Horrors
Rodrigo: The 1986 version of Little Shop of Horrors had a fairly upbeat ending, but the original ending to the musical is much darker. It also has possibly the greatest line in musical history. “EAT CLEEEEEEEVELAAAAAAAND!”
George: Oh man, don’t eat Cleveland. I still keep a lot of my old stuff there!
“Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1” – The Flaming Lips
George: So beautifully dreamy, especially for a song about a young woman undergoing an intense karate training and vitamin ingestion regimen to defeat evil, city-destroying salmon-hued robots.
Rodrigo: When I have children this is the lullaby I’ll sing them to sleep. Up until Children
Services take them away, probably.
Robot Overlord: There you have them fleshlings, ten songs to punch Kaiju to, What do you think? Was this an adequate mega-mix? Or was there something they missed?