Music News & Reviews

Eclipse playlist Vol. 2: What did we leave out?

Bruce Springsteen, pictured in 2016. His 1978 song “Darkness on the Edge of Town” is on our eclipse playlist.
Bruce Springsteen, pictured in 2016. His 1978 song “Darkness on the Edge of Town” is on our eclipse playlist. AFP/Getty Images

If you’re throwing an eclipse-viewing party, you need a soundtrack – and we’re here to help.

So on the heels of our first eclipse playlist, we present here Vol. 2 with 15 more songs. It’s twice the fun for your eclipse gathering.

No, Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” isn’t on this one, either.

But if you’ve just got to hear that song, Tyler herself is scheduled to sing it live during the moment of totality during Royal Caribbean’s Total Eclipse Cruise. Hard to imagine there won’t be a live-stream out there somewhere.

1. Sun Ra, “Space is the Place” (1974) – “Space is the place, in your face, space is the place.” The late great cosmic jazzman Sun Ra (who died in 1993) would have loved presiding over this blessed celestial melding of sun and moon.

2. Ella Fitzgerald, “How High the Moon” (1947) – “Somewhere there’s music, it’s where you are/ Somewhere there’s heaven, how near how far?” Not sure about how far off heaven might be, but the moon is the perfect distance away from earth to completely block the sun when they line up during this eclipse.

3. They Might Be Giants, “Why Does the Sun Shine?” (1994) – “The sun is a mass of incandescent gas.” All the same, it will be going dark for a few minutes on Monday.

4. X, “Under the Big Black Sun” (1982) – That’s what it will look like, all right.

David Bowie
David Bowie, pictured in 2003, has a 2016 song “Blackstar” that made our eclipse playlist. Kathy Willens AP

5. David Bowie, “Blackstar” (2016) – And it will be a literal black star during the eclipse.

6. Metallica, “Fade to Black” (1984) – “Growing darkness taking dawn/ I was me but now he’s gone.” Darkness will actually take the afternoon rather than the dawn here in the Southeast. But lighten up, Francis, it’s just temporary.

7. Richard and Linda Thompson, “Dimming of the Day” (1975) – “I need you at the dimming of the day.” So pull your favorite person close.

8. Len, “Steal My Sunshine” (1999) – “I know it’s up for me/ If you steal my sunshine.” Worry not, your sunshine will be back soon.

9. Leonard Cohen, “The Darkness” (2012) – “I caught the darkness/ Drinking from your cup/ I said, is this contagious/ You said just drink it up.” Clearly, the answer is not to invite darkness to your party.

10. Meat Puppets, “Up on the Sun” (1984) – “Up on the sun, where it never rains or snows/ There’s an ocean with a wind that never blows.” For some reason, I always mentally picture the eclipse happening in a totally silent dead calm. That probably won’t be the case.

11. Bill Withers, “Ain’t No Sunshine” (1972) – For about about two-and-a-half minutes on Monday, no, there won’t be.

12. Allman Brothers, “Soulshine” (1994) – “Let your soul shine/ It’s better than sunshine/ It’s better than moonshine/ Damn sure better than rain.” But is it better than corona light?

13. Thomas Dolby, “She Blinded Me With Science” (1982) – And speaking of the corona, a reminder not to look directly at it without protective eyewear.

14. Bruce Springsteen, “Darkness on the Edge of Town” (1978) – For those lucky enough to be in the Path of Totality, the darkness won’t be limited to the edge of town.

15. The Youngbloods, “Darkness Darkness” (1969) – “Darkness darkness, be my blanket/ Cover me with the endless night.” Not endless, just a few minutes.

David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer