Science Fiction in Classic Rock

Musical Explorations of Space, Technology and the Imagination, 1967–1982


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About the Book

As technology advances, society retains its mythical roots—a tendency evident in rock music and its enduring relationship with myth and science fiction. This study explores the mythical and fantastic themes of artists from the late 1960s to the mid–1980s, including David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, Blue Öyster Cult, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Drawing on insights from Joseph Campbell, J.G. Frazer, Carl Jung and Mircea Eliade, the author examines how performers have incorporated mythic archetypes and science fiction imagery into songs that illustrate societal concerns and futuristic fantasies.

About the Author(s)

Robert McParland is a professor of English at Felician University in Rutherford, New Jersey. His popular music writings include publications on The Beatles, The Who, U2, Bruce Springsteen, John Fogerty, Paul Simon, and American lyricists.

Bibliographic Details

Robert McParland

Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6470-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3030-4
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3
One. Rock Music and the Mythic Imagination 19
Two. The Forgotten Language: Rock, Myth and Science Fiction 49
Three. The Jefferson Starship Takes Off: The San Francisco Scene 80
Four. The Electric Light Orchestra: Science Fiction with Strings Attached 99
Five. David Bowie: From Major Tom to Ziggy Stardust 108
Six. Pink Floyd: On the Dark Side of the Moon 121
Seven. Blue Öyster Cult: Collaboration with Science Fiction Writers 132
Eight. Rush to Other Realms: A Band’s Genuine Love of Science Fiction 140
Nine. The Alan Parsons Project: Robots and Telepathy 154
Coda 165
Chapter Notes 169
Bibliography 184
Index 193