12 songs inspired by tech
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Paranoid Android by Radiohead, 1997
It’s fitting that “Paranoid Android” comes off of Radiohead’s 1997 album called Ok Computer. The song’s lyrics are classically cryptic, as the band seems to do so well.
Digital Witness by St. Vincent, 2013
St. Vincent issues some commentary on living life in the digital age asking, “If I can’t show it and you can’t see me, what’s the point of doing anything?”
Mr. Roboto by Styx, 1983
You’ve probably heard it more times that you’d care for, but this Styx song is probably the most prominent entry in the robot music canon. (That’s a thing, trust us.)
Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles, 1979
The first video to air on MTV basically said it all about what happens when new technologies take over.
Online by Brad Paisley, 2007
Paisley can be unexpectedly funny, as evidenced by his song about a guy who lives at home with his parents u2013u2013 but as soon as he gets online, he “drives a Maserati” and grows about a foot taller thanks to the power of fibbing on the internet. The point? “I’m so much cooler online.” Bonus points: Williams Shatner is in the music video.
Computer Age by Neil Young 1982
If you’ve ever thought to yourself that Neil Young would be so much better with synthesizers, here’s your chance to see if you were right.
C.P.U. by The Apples in Stereo, 2010
From 2010’s Travellers in Time and Space, comes C.P.U., a blippy, glitchy song about being away from our central processing unit for too long. Apparently that’s a problem for The Apples in Stereo.
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by Flaming Lips, 2002
This title track comes from one of the band’s best known and best loved albums, and tells the story of, well, Yoshimi battling pink robots.
Robots by Flight of the Conchords, 2008
If you ever caught the cheeky New Zealander duo’s show Flight of the Conchords, then you might have heard this tune about the robot uprising of the late 1990s. (FYI, it didn’t end well for us.) Best part of the song: the binary solo.
Technologic by Daft Punk, 2005
The robots don’t stray too far from what’s digital. “Technologic” is an entrancing round up of just about everything you can do with technology — “Charge it, point it, zoom it, press it” — you get the idea.
Rocket Man by Elton John, 1972
Space never sounded lonelier than when Elton John sang about raising kids on Mars.
Space Oddity, David Bowie, 1969
Scratch that. Space is lonelier when your ship goes haywire and floats away. Just ask Sandra Bullock.