Astronomy (song)

Last updated
"Astronomy"
Song by Blue Öyster Cult
from the album Secret Treaties
ReleasedApril, 1974
September, 1978
July, 1988
June, 1994
September, 2002
Genre
Length6:28 (1974 studio version)
8:18 (1978 live version)
6:47 (1988 studio version)
8:45 (1994 studio version)
10:19 (2002 live version)
Label Columbia Records
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)

"Astronomy" is a song by rock band Blue Öyster Cult that has appeared on several of the band's albums. It was first released on their 1974 album Secret Treaties . Their second live album, Some Enchanted Evening , included a version with an extended guitar solo and a third version was included on the Imaginos album. It was also re-recorded for the band's Cult Classic collection in connection with the TV miniseries of Stephen King's The Stand . Most recently, the song was included on the A Long Day's Night album.

Song composition for voice(s)

A song is a single work of music that is typically intended to be sung by the human voice with distinct and fixed pitches and patterns using sound and silence and a variety of forms that often include the repetition of sections. Through semantic widening, a broader sense of the word "song" may refer to instrumentals.

Blue Öyster Cult American hard rock band

Blue Öyster Cult is an American rock band formed on Long Island, New York in 1967, perhaps best known for the singles "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", "Burnin' for You", and "Godzilla.” Blue Öyster Cult has sold more than 24 million records worldwide, including 7 million in the United States alone. The band's music videos, especially "Burnin' for You," received heavy rotation on MTV when the music television network premiered in 1981, cementing the band's contribution to the development and success of the music video in modern popular culture.

Album collection of recorded music, words, sounds

An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album; this format evolved after 1948 into single vinyl LP records played at ​33 13 rpm. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have mostly focused on CD and MP3 formats. The audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s.

Contents

Lyrics

The preface to the preceding song (Flaming Telepaths) is a short piece of classical music arranged for a music box. Members of the band recall that the sound engineer found the piece on a special effects disk and inserted it because he liked it. The band liked it too, and so it stayed, but the piece and its composer were uncredited on the album. In 2017 it was finally identified by Nona Monahin, Instructor in Renaissance and Baroque Dance at Mount Holyoke College, as an excerpt from a waltz by I. Ivanovici, called, “Danube Waves” (Donauwellen). The original source remains a mystery.[ citation needed ]

"Waves of the Danube" is a waltz composed by Ion Ivanovici in 1880, and is one of the most famous Romanian tunes in the world. The song has many variations throughout the piece, reminiscent of the music of Johann Strauss. Through the Viennese style variations, there is still a distinct Slavic style. In the United States, it is frequently referred to as "The Anniversary Song", a title given by Al Jolson when he and Saul Chaplin released an adaptation of the song in 1946.

The song's lyrics are selected verses from a poem by Sandy Pearlman, the band's producer and mastermind behind their image, called "The Soft Doctrines of Imaginos". In the poem, which was later partially released under the BÖC moniker in the album Imaginos , aliens known as Les Invisibles guide an altered human named Imaginos, also called Desdinova, through history, playing key roles that eventually lead to the outbreak of World War I.

Samuel Clarke "Sandy" Pearlman was an American music producer, artist manager, music journalist and critic, professor, poet, songwriter, and record company executive. He was best known for founding, writing for, producing, or co-producing many LPs by Blue Öyster Cult, as well as producing important albums by The Clash, The Dictators, Pavlov's Dog, Space Team Electra, and Dream Syndicate; he was also the founding Vice President of eMusic.com. He was the Schulich Distinguished Professor Chair at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal, and from August 2014 held a Marshall McLuhan Centenary Fellowship at the Coach House Institute (CHI) of the University of Toronto Faculty of Information as part of the CHI's McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology.

<i>Imaginos</i> 1988 studio album by Blue Öyster Cult

Imaginos is the eleventh studio album by the American hard rock band Blue Öyster Cult. It was released in 1988, and was their last recording with their original record label, CBS/Columbia Records. The album took nearly eight years to complete and was originally intended to be the first in a trilogy of solo albums by Blue Öyster Cult drummer and songwriter Albert Bouchard. Bouchard was fired in August 1981, and CBS rejected the album in 1984, but a re-worked version was eventually published as a product of the band. Many musicians contributed to the project over this eight-year span, including Joe Satriani, Aldo Nova, and Doors guitarist Robby Krieger, but some band members were barely involved in the recording process. Thus, Imaginos is often considered more as a project of producer and lyricist Sandy Pearlman than as a true album of the band.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

In "Astronomy", the character of Imaginos comes to realize his heritage and his role as the altered human. References are made to celestial objects throughout the song: "The light that never warms" being the moon, "The Queenly flux" the constellation Cassiopeia, "My dog, fixed and consequent" being Sirius, the dog star. The "Four Winds Bar" may be a reference to the Tropic of Cancer. All in all, it has Imaginos explaining his position as part of Les Invisibles.

Moon Earths natural satellite

The Moon is an astronomical body that orbits planet Earth and is Earth's only permanent natural satellite. It is the fifth-largest natural satellite in the Solar System, and the largest among planetary satellites relative to the size of the planet that it orbits. The Moon is after Jupiter's satellite Io the second-densest satellite in the Solar System among those whose densities are known.

Cassiopeia (constellation) constellation in the northern celestial hemisphere

Cassiopeia is a constellation in the northern sky, named after the vain queen Cassiopeia in Greek mythology, who boasted about her unrivaled beauty. Cassiopeia was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century Greek astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations today. It is easily recognizable due to its distinctive 'W' shape, formed by five bright stars. It is opposite Ursa Major. In northern locations above latitude 34ºN it is visible year-round and in the (sub)tropics it can be seen at its clearest from September to early November. Even in low southern latitudes below 25ºS it can be seen low in the North.

Sirius Brightest star in the night sky

Sirius is a binary star and the brightest star in the night sky. With a visual apparent magnitude of −1.46, it is almost twice as bright as Canopus, the next brightest star. The system has the Bayer designation α (Alpha) Canis Majoris. The binary system consists of a main-sequence star of spectral type A0 or A1, termed Sirius A, and a faint white dwarf companion of spectral type DA2, designated Sirius B. The distance between the two varies between 8.2 and 31.5 astronomical units as they orbit every 50 years.

Music video

A music video of the 1988 version was released by Sandy Pearlman in the United Kingdom. The video had no footage of the band playing, and instead focused on the story told by the song. Longtime BÖC fan and author Stephen King recorded a spoken narration for the video, which is as follows:

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Stephen King American author

Stephen Edwin King is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, many of which have been adapted into feature films, miniseries, television series, and comic books. King has published 58 novels and six non-fiction books. He has written approximately 200 short stories, most of which have been published in book collections.

Imaginos (performed by Blue Oyster Cult) - A bedtime story for the children of the damned. From a dream world, paralleling our earth in time and space, the invisible ones have sent an agent who will dream the dream of history. With limitless power he becomes the greatest actor of the 19th century. Taking on many ingenious disguises, he places himself at pivotal junctures in history, continually altering its course and testing our ability to respond to the challenge of evil. His name is 'Imaginos'.

Covers

Metallica American heavy metal band

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.

<i>Garage Inc.</i> 1998 compilation album of cover songs by Metallica

Garage Inc. is a compilation album of cover songs by American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released on November 24, 1998, through Elektra Records. Over 2.5 million copies have been sold in the U.S. as certified by the RIAA. It includes cover songs, B-side covers, and The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited, which had gone out of print since its original release in 1987. The title is a combination of Garage Days Revisited and their song "Damage, Inc.", from Master of Puppets, and the album's graphical cover draws heavily from the 1987 EP. The album features songs by artists that have influenced Metallica, including many bands from the new wave of British heavy metal movement, hardcore punk bands and popular songs. As of August 2013, the album has sold more than 6 million copies worldwide. It marks the last album to feature bassist Jason Newsted who would quit the band three years later in 2001.

<i>Burning Bridges</i> (Arch Enemy album) 1999 studio album by Arch Enemy

Burning Bridges is the third studio album by the Swedish band Arch Enemy. This is the first Arch Enemy album to feature Sharlee D'Angelo on bass and the last studio recording to feature vocalist Johan Liiva. The music here showcases the band's wide interpretation of the death metal genre to include portions of melodic death metal, progressive metal and grindcore. A music video was released for the song "The Immortal."

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