Special Sub-Topic: The Space Bar
|As our three crew members from the USS Swinetrek enter the bar, Darth Vader has just launched into his first song. It is definitely a song that would remind them of their own television segment "Pigs in Space". The song is called "Space Oddity". Who released the song in 1969? It is also the opening track of the album with the same name.|
David Bowie. David Bowie was born as David Robert Jones in Brixton, England, on January 8th 1947. The album "Space Oddity" was released in 1969. The title track became a huge hit in many countries. The song is about a fictional astronaut, called Major Tom. Many people will remember the opening of the song as ground control contacts Major Tom and gives him instructions. He was supposed to take his protein pills and put his helmet on. As time passes, the circuits are starting to go dead and ground control loses contact, as Major Tom is "sitting in his tin can far above the Moon".
Major Tom was featured again in two songs by David Bowie: "Ashes to Ashes" and "Hallo Spaceboy". German singer Peter Schilling also scored a hit called "Major Tom", which was about the same character.
|Darth is really getting into the music and launches into a song with features heavy guitars and a lot of robotic sounds. It is apparently called "Spaceman", as the track listing suggests. Which British band scored a hit with this song in 1995, helped along with the appearance of the song in a Levi's commercial?|
Babylon Zoo. Babylon Zoo is a British band that was active in the 90s, fronted by Jas Mann. They came from Wolverhampton. They shot to fame when their song "Spaceman" was chosen to be featured in an advert for jeans company Levi's. After the success of this song, it proved hard to follow up with another hit. After the first album "The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes" they released another album called "King Kong Groover". Their record company failed to do proper promotion, so the album failed to reach the charts.
The song "Spaceman" is a rather dark and eerie song. It is about someone who feels he can't stay in this world with its "homophobic jokes" and "fascist votes". The protagonist feels as if he can't get off the carousel. He wants to be beamed up, because he can hardly breathe in this world where the fire continues to burn.
|For his third effort Darth will not have much singing to do. He just seems to dance to the beat a lot and there is also a lot of talking going on. Miss Piggy notices that the spooky sounding song is called "Eve of the War". Who created the song as part of his War of the Worlds project?|
Jeff Wayne. Jeff Wayne was born in Forest Hills, USA, on July 1st 1943. In 1978 he made an album based on the book "War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells. This book was written in 1898 and is about the Earth being invaded by Martians. Through the music, Jeff Wayne retold this story with a mix of rock music and narration parts. He worked with people like Richard Burton, Phil Lynott and Justin Hayward on the project.
The song "The Eve of the War" is mostly narration by a journalist accompanied by a haunting beat going in the background. The only line to be sung is a very famous one "The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one," he said. The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one - but still they come!" In his narration the journalist describes the start of the invasion by Martians.
|Now that Darth has had a bit of a rest on the singing, it is time to launch right in again. He begins a smooth song called "Drops of Jupiter". As Miss Piggy dances with Link Hogthrob, can you identify which American band recorded this song in 2001?|
Train. Train is an American rock band that was started in 1994. Their frontman is Patrick Monahan. The single "Drops of Jupiter" comes from their second album by the same name, which was released in 2001. It was their breakthrough. They kept going after that, but achieved less recognition. In 2009 their fifth album "Save me San Francisco" saw them shoot back to the top of the charts, with the first single off that album "Hey Soul Sister" being a massive hit.
The song "Drops of Jupiter" is about a girl, who is trying to find herself. Apparently she goes all over the galaxy to achieve that. As the singer explains, she is now back to the atmosphere with drops of Jupiter still in her hair. Naturally the singer hopes she missed him, while she was "tracing her way through the constellation".
|The audience in the Space Bar is really beginning to enjoy Darth's performance. Even Dr. Strangepork can't sit still. The next tune our grim performer starts up is a song called "Rocket Man". Even Link Hogthrob knows the song is by Elton John. As Darth seems to perform a version with a reggae sound in it, he seems to be inspired by the cover version done in 1991 by a British singer. Who is this singer?|
Kate Bush. The song "Rocket Man" was originally written by Bernie Taupin, who has worked with Elton John for many years. The song is based on a story by Ray Bradbury. Apparently Taupin thought that astronauts were not seen as heroes anymore. It was therefore just an everyday job you go to at 9 AM in the morning, as expressed in part of the lyrics. In the song the astronaut is on his way to Mars and reluctantly leaves his family. The song was released in 1972.
In 1991 Kate Bush released a cover version of the song. It was part of a tribute album celebrating the music of Elton John. Over the years many people have recorded the song, including a memorable version by Alvin and the Chipmunks in 1998.
|As Captain Hogthrob is getting a bit anxious about the repairs to the USS Swinetrek, Darth starts up on the second part of his set. Miss Piggy really gets to shake her hips to this funky tune. It's called "Venus". Which Dutch band had a huge hit with the song in 1969?|
Shocking Blue. Shocking Blue is a Dutch rock band, started in 1967. Originally the vocals were done by Fred de Wilde, but later Mariska Veres took over. She is the one who sings on their biggest hit called "Venus". They never managed to do better than this song. In 1974 Marisa Veres left the band to go solo.
"Venus" is not actually about the planet of that name, but about the Roman goddess of love. Of course the planet is named after the goddess. The song was covered by British girl group Bananarama in 1986. They made the tune into a disco song. Needless to say that other cover versions did include a version by Alvin and the Chipmunks as well.
|Darth reaches number seven on his tracklist and still no sign of any repairs being completed on the USS Swinetrek. So our trio sticks around as the seventh song is played. It's called "To the Moon and Back". Which Australian band had a hit with this song in 1996?|
Savage Garden. Savage Garden is an Australian band from Brisbane, formed in 1994 by Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones. They had several international hits including "Truly, Madly, Deeply", "The Animal Song" and "To the Moon and Back". They broke up in 2001.
The song "To the Moon and Back" comes from the debut album of Savage Garden. The song is about a girl looking for her destiny. She shies away from affection, but is looking for the right kind of pilot to take her to the moon and back. Or as the lyrics say: "I would fly you to the moon and back, if you'll be, if you'll be my baby".
|Darth is going for the heavier stuff with selection number eight. Captain Hogthrob is headbanging to the tune. Miss Piggy finds out that the song is called "Black Hole Sun". Which American band scored a massive hit with this tune in 1994?|
Soundgarden. Soundgarden is a rock band from Seattle, USA. They were founded in 1984. Their lead singer is Chris Cornell. They are closely associated with the music style described as "grunge", a type of alternative rock. They had their breakthrough in 1994 when they released their album "Superunknown". Hit singles from this album include "Black Hole Sun" and "Spoonman". They broke up in 1997.
Chris Cornell has stated in interviews that he wrote "Black Hole Sun" in 15 minutes. He does not know exactly what idea he meant to express by the song, but it is meant to be a sad song. In the chorus the singer asks the black hole sun to come and wash away the rain.
|For song number nine Darth decides to slow it back down again and sing a more gentle song. Dr. Strangepork falls asleep during the song, which probably is not surprising as the title is "Sleeping Satellite". Which female British singer had a hit with the song in 1992?|
Tasmin Archer. Tasmin Archer was born in Bradford on August 3rd 1963. After jobs as a sewing machine operator and a clerk, she managed to get a record deal in 1990. Her single "Sleeping Satellite" was a hit in 1992. Her album "Great Expectations" soon followed. After that she was not able to achieve the same amount of success.
The song "Sleeping Satellite" is about a relationship that once was great. But after a wonderful experience things go down, making her wonder if they flew to the moon too soon. Or as it is expressed in the lyrics: "I blame you for the moonlit sky and the dream that died with the eagles' flight I blame you for the moonlit nights when I wonder why are the seas still dry? Don't blame this sleeping satellite".
|As Darth starts his final song, a repairman walks in and announces that the USS Swinetrek is once again good to go. Miss Piggy thinks they can stay for just a while longer to hear Darth's finale. The last song is called "Swinging on a Star". Who sang this song in 1944 for the movie "Going My Way"?|
Bing Crosby. Bing Crosby was born in Tacoma, USA, on May 3rd 1903. While playing at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Theater in 1926, he was discovered by band leader Paul Whiteman. It started a long career, with his biggest hit being his rendition of "White Christmas". He also starred in many movies, receiving a Best Actor Oscar in 1944 for "Going My Way", the movie that featured the song "Swinging on a Star". He won the Grammy Global Achievement Award in 1962. He died in 1977 in Madrid, Spain, after just having completed a round of golf.
The song "Swinging on a Star" was written by Jimmy van Heusen. He visited Bing at his home to discuss a song for the movie "Going My Way". One of Bing's children complained about not wanting to go to school the next day, to which Bing replied: "If you don't go to school, you might grow up to be a mule. Do you wanna do that?". This lead to the song being written, with Bing singing it in his role as a priest to children behaving just like his child that night.
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