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|Cultural origins||Late 1960s and early 1970s, United Kingdom|
Space rock is a genre characterized by loose and lengthy song structures centered on instrumental textures that typically produce a hypnotic, otherworldly sound.It may feature distorted and reverberation-laden guitars, minimal drumming, languid vocals, synthesizers and lyrical themes of outer space and science fiction.
The genre emerged in late 1960s psychedelia and progressive rock bands such as Pink Floyd, Hawkwind,and Gong who explored a "cosmic" sound. Later, the style was taken up in the mid-1980s by Spacemen 3, whose "drone-heavy" sound was avowedly inspired by and intended to accommodate drug use. By the 1990s, space rock developed into shoegazing and post-rock with bands such as Failure, Hum, Flying Saucer Attack, and Orange Goblin.
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Humanity's entry into outer space provided ample subject matter for rock and roll and R&B songs from the mid-1950s through the early 1960s. It also inspired new sounds and sound effects to be used in the music itself. A prominent early example of space rock is the 1959 concept album I Hear a New World by British producer and songwriter Joe Meek. The album was inspired by the space race and concerned human's first close encounter with alien life forms.Meek then went on to have a UK and US No 1 success in 1961 with "Telstar", named after the newly launched communications satellite and thus intended to commemorate the new space age. Its main instrument was a clavioline, an electronic forerunner of synthesizers.
Pink Floyd's early albums contain pioneering examples of space rock: "Lucifer Sam","Astronomy Domine", "Pow R. Toc H." and "Interstellar Overdrive" from their 1967 debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn are examples. Their second album A Saucerful of Secrets contained further examples: "Let There Be More Light" and "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" with explicit science fiction themes, and their third, More (1969) had "Cirrus Minor". In early 1971, Pink Floyd began writing the song that would become known as "Echoes", from the 1971 album Meddle . The song was performed from April until September 1971, with an alternative set of lyrics, written about two planets meeting in space. Before the Meddle album released, the lyrics were changed to an aquatic theme, because of the band's concern that they were being labelled as a space rock band.
The Beatles' song "Flying" (1967), originally titled "Aerial Tour Instrumental", was a psychedelic instrumental about the sensation of flying, whether in a craft or in your own head space. [ citation needed ]Jimi Hendrix is also an early innovator of the genre, with such tracks as "Third Stone from the Sun", "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)" and "The Stars That Play with Laughing Sam's Dice". David Bowie's "Space Oddity" (1969) is, apart from "Telstar", probably the best example of a space rock song achieving mainstream recognition.
A major album in the history of space rock was Hawkwind's Space Ritual (1973),a two-disc live album advertised as "88 minutes of brain-damage" documenting Hawkwind's 1972 tour that included a liquid light show and lasers, nude dancers (notably the earth-mother figure Stacia), wild costumes and psychedelic imagery. This hard-edged concert experience attracted a motley but dedicated collection of psychedelic drug users, science-fiction fans and motorcycle riders. The science fiction author Michael Moorcock collaborated with Hawkwind on many occasions and wrote the lyrics for many of the spoken-word sections on Space Ritual. In Europe, Hungarian band Omega was the biggest space rock band with albums Time Robber (1976), Skyrover (1978), and Gammapolis (1979). Other European bands include the progressive rock groups Eloy and Nektar. Nektar, who were known for having a rhythmic liquid/slide light show at their concerts, released their album Journey to the Centre of the Eye in 1971.
Apart from Hawkwind, Marc Bolan and his band T. Rex probably had the most success with space rock, mainly appearing on album tracks such as "Ballrooms of Mars", "Venus Loon" and "Spaceball Ricochet", although he characterised his music as "cosmic rock" (at the end of his first No 1 hit in the UK - Hot Love). Like Hawkwind's Dave Brock, Bolan used pentatonic guitar progressions to design riffs.
In the 1980s, UK band Mournblade cited in the music press as 'Hawkwind influenced' (sic) blended space rock with a harder, more NWOBHM edge and linked into the emerging 'grebo revival' scene of the late 1980s.
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Shoegazing, stoner rock/metal and noise pop genres emerged into the mainstream with the explosion of bands such as Kyuss, Monster Magnet, the Desert Sessions, Slowdive, the Verve, My Bloody Valentine, Flying Saucer Attack, Loop, Ride, Shiner, the Flaming Lips, Failure, Year of the Rabbit, Cave In, Sun Dial, Hum, Orange Goblin, Porcupine Tree, Spacemen 3, Spiritualized, and Mercury Rev. The sonic experimentation and emphasis placed on texture by these bands led them to be dubbed "space rock".
In the mid-1990s, a number of bands built on the space rock styles of Hawkwind and Gong appeared in America. Some of these bands were signed to Cleopatra records, which then proceeded to release numerous space rock compilations. Starting in 1997, Daevid Allen of Gong, along with members of Hawkwind and other space rock bands, started to perform with Spirits Burning, a studio project created to celebrate space rock.
The Strange Daze festivals from 1997 to 2001 showcased the American space rock scene in three-day outdoor festivals. A Michigan-based space rock scene included Burnt Hair Records, Darla Records, and bands such as Windy & Carl, Mahogany, Sweet Trip, Füxa and Auburn Lull. This was a modern movement of the traditional "space rock" sound and was pinned Detroit Space Rock.
French band Air released albums Moon Safari and Le voyage dans la lune .
In 2005, Tom DeLonge formed the rock supergroup Angels & Airwaves, who are known for having space rock influences in both its music and lyrics, in addition to having space-themed imagery and artwork.
In 2009 an off-duty NASA worker from the shuttle program synchronised footage of a Discovery launch with the Flowers Of Hell's "Sympathy For Vengeance" in an online video which became popular amongst staff at the Kennedy Space Center.
The band Starset includes space related themes released in their debut album Transmissions in 2014 which featured samples such as radio communications between ground control and astronauts, the Doppler Effect, and even the exploration of space by Dr Edwin P. Hubble.
A Saucerful of Secrets is the second studio album by the English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 29 June 1968 by EMI Columbia in the United Kingdom and on 27 July 1968 in the United States by Tower Records. During recording, the mental health of singer and guitarist Syd Barrett declined, so David Gilmour was recruited to complement him; Barrett left before the album's completion.
More is the third studio album and first soundtrack album by English rock band Pink Floyd. It was released on 13 June 1969 in the United Kingdom by EMI Columbia and on 9 August 1969 in the United States by Tower Records. The soundtrack is for the film of the same name, which was primarily filmed on location on Ibiza and was the directorial debut of Barbet Schroeder. It was the band's first album without former leader Syd Barrett.
A Nice Pair is a compilation album by Pink Floyd, re-issuing their first two albums—The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets—in a new gatefold sleeve. The album was released in December 1973 by Harvest and Capitol in the United States and the following month in the United Kingdom by Harvest and EMI. It reached number 36 in the US Billboard album charts, and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in March 1994.
"Cymbaline" is a Pink Floyd song from the album Soundtrack from the Film More.
"See Emily Play" is a song by English rock band Pink Floyd, released as their second single in June 1967. Written by original frontman Syd Barrett and recorded on 23 May 1967, it has "The Scarecrow" as its B-side. It was released as a non-album single, but appeared as the opening track of the U.S. edition of the band's debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967).
"Interstellar Overdrive" is an instrumental composition written and performed by Pink Floyd. The song was written in 1966 and is on their 1967 debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, clocking in at almost ten minutes in length.
"Corporal Clegg" is a song by the English psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd, and is featured on their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets (1968). It was written by Roger Waters and features David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright sharing the lead vocals, which is the only Floyd song to do so. The song also features a kazoo.
"Bike" is a song by British rock band Pink Floyd, which is the final track featured on their 1967 debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
"Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" is a song by the English rock band Pink Floyd. It appeared on their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets (1968). It was written by Roger Waters and features a drum part by Nick Mason played with timpani mallets. The track was planned for release as a single, with "Scream Thy Last Scream", on 8 September, before it was vetoed by the band's record company, EMI. The song was regularly performed between 1967 and 1973 and can be heard on the live disc of the 1969 album Ummagumma and seen in the 1972 movie Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii. The song is one of two songs from A Saucerful of Secrets that appears on the 2001 compilation album Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd and is the only song recorded by Pink Floyd to feature material from all five band members, as there are several different guitar parts recorded by both David Gilmour and Syd Barrett.
"Jugband Blues" is a song by the English psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd, and is featured on their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets, released in 1968. Written by Syd Barrett, it was his sole compositional contribution to the album, as well as his last published for the band. Barrett and Pink Floyd's management wanted the song to be released as a single, but were vetoed by the rest of the band and producer Norman Smith. "Jugband Blues" is directed towards anyone within Barrett's proximity.
"Let There Be More Light" is the opening track on Pink Floyd's second album A Saucerful of Secrets. It was also released in edited form as the fourth American single by the group.
"Remember a Day" is a song by the British psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd, written and sung by their keyboardist Richard Wright, appearing on their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets (1968). It was performed by Pink Floyd only once, as an encore in May 1968; it was subsequently performed by David Gilmour in September 2008 in memory of Wright, who had recently died of cancer, on Later... with Jools Holland, and by Nick Mason during his Saucerful of Secrets tour. The dreamy, poetic lyrics are about nostalgia for the lost paradise of early childhood.
"Lucifer Sam" is a song by British band Pink Floyd, featured on their 1967 debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
"Astronomy Domine" is a song by the English rock band Pink Floyd. The song, written and composed by the original vocalist/guitarist Syd Barrett, was the first track on their first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967). The lead vocal was sung by Barrett and the keyboard player Richard Wright. Its working title was "Astronomy Domine ". "Domine" is a word frequently used in Gregorian chants.
Neo-psychedelia is a diverse genre of psychedelic music that originated in the 1970s as an outgrowth of the British post-punk scene, also called acid punk. Its practitioners drew from the unusual sounds of 1960s psychedelia, either updating or copying the approaches from that era. After post-punk, neo-psychedelia flourished into a more widespread and international movement of artists who applied the spirit of psychedelic rock to new sounds and techniques. Neo-psychedelia may also include forays into psychedelic pop, jangly guitar rock, heavily distorted free-form jams, recording experiments, the British alternative rock genre of Madchester and stoner rock. A wave of British alternative rock in the early 1990s spawned the subgenres dream pop and shoegazing.
"Hurry On Sundown" is a 1970 song by the UK rock group Hawkwind. It was originally released as a single in the UK on 26 June 1970, being an edit of the version that appeared on the album Hawkwind.
Yuri Gagarin is a Swedish rock band from Gothenburg, Sweden. The band consists of lead guitarist Christian "Crille" Lindberg, rhythm guitarist Jon Eriksson, bass guitarist Leif Göransson, synthesizer Robin Klockerman, and drummer Stefan "Steffo" Johansson.
Purple Pyramid Records is a record label that focuses on progressive rock and psychedelic music. The label began in 2000 with a series of releases by guitarist Allan Holdsworth, Jon Anderson, and Hawkwind co-founder Nik Turner. The label expanded its roster with releases by Yes, Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe, Santana, Amon Düül II, Nektar, Brainticket, Tangerine Dream, Alan Davey, L. Shankar, and Quicksilver Messenger Service as well as projects by producer Billy Sherwood dubbed The Prog Collective,, and The Fusion Syndicate.
Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets are an English psychedelic rock band formed in 2018 by drummer Nick Mason and guitarist Lee Harris to perform the early music of Mason's band Pink Floyd. The band also includes Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet on guitars and vocals and longtime Pink Floyd collaborator Guy Pratt on bass and vocals. Mason said the group were not a tribute band, but wanted to "capture the spirit" of the era; he stressed that Kemp was not a replacement for original Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett, who left the band in 1968.