I’ve always been fascinated by apocalyptic literature, movies and, more recently, TV shows. But they mostly concern what comes after—the struggle for survival when all our support systems have evaporated and the polite structures of a civil society are replaced with open-ended moral choices. Apocalyptic music, on the other hand, tends to be about the actual end of the world, when everything comes crashing down—Capital A Apocalypse stuff with little thought to anything that might come after that final collapse.
Since tomorrow marks, well, at least the day when you need to trade your old Mayan calendar in for a new stone tablet, we’re celebrating songs that celebrate La Fin du Monde (which, by the way, we’ll be drinking tomorrow along with some Wild Heaven Eschaton). To clarify, these are songs about the end of the world, not just the last songs you’d like to hear. For that, our choice would just be all Nickelback, ‘cause, you know, it’d make it easier to say goodbye to this cruel world.
With great world-ending songs from legends like Dylan, Hendrix, The Stones, Radiohead and the Clash plus too-perfect-not-to-include offerings from folks like Josh Ritter, St. Vincent and Tame Impala, we capped it at 20 in case you want to do something else with your last hours (like watch Mad Max or Dr. Strangelove).
So here’s our End of the World Soundtrack. Listen while there’s still time.