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Sci-Pop: Music For The Lab

Sci-Pop: Music For The Lab

It started with some fairly obvious science-related song titles – Chemistry by Semisonic, Atomic by Blondie – and ended, after some digging around, with the more obscure musings of The Amateur Transplants and Isotope 217.
Here we present the sum total of our findings. And we call it: Sci-Pop.

To find out how you can contruibute to the list, scroll down.

The Obvious Stuff
Chemistry – Semisonic
Electrolite – REM (and of course, Man on the Moon)
Galvanise – Chemical Brothers
Paranoid Android – Radiohead
The Scientist and X & Y – Coldplay
Super Massive Black Hole – Muse
The complete works of We Are Scientists
Alchemy (the album) – Dire Straits
Champagne Supernova – Oasis
Gravity – Embrace (equally, Nature’s Law)
Plus anything by My Chemical Romance, Mercury Rev or Gene
Biology – Girls Aloud
Cosmic Girl – Jamiroquai
The Timewarp – Damien
Ray of Light – Madonna
Intergalactic – Beastie Boys
Babylon Zoo
Space Oddity
– David Bowie
Rocket Man
Elton John
Numbers – Kraftwerk
Animal Nitrate - Suede

"Chemistry" - hugely successful 1981 album by Mondo Rock
Anything by My Chemical Romance
"Synthesis" - Cryan' Shame
Anything by the band Tesla
Battery Acid - Six Brown Brothers

Battery Acid - Queens of the Stone Age
Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden
Laser Life - The Blood Brothers (on Young Machetes)
a whole sub-genre of dance called Hi-NRG
"Starlight" - Muse (on "Black Holes and Revelations", along with "Supermassive Black Hole")
Atomic - Blondie
Electricity - OMD
Helium - Feeder
Lithium - Nirvana
Life on Mars? - David Bowie
Girl from Mars - Ash

The Less Obvious Stuff
The Unstable Molecule – Isotope 217
Sun Dials – Alakaline Trio
Glycerine – Bush
Einstein on the Beach – Counting Crows
Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song) – Incubus
Mercury – Low Gold
Lithium Sunset – Sting
Mechanical Animals – Marilyn Manson
The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas (Or Why Does the Sun Shine?) - They Might Be Giants
Particle Man – They Might Be Giants
Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) – Marvin Gaye

Planet Earth/New Moon on Sunday – Duran Duran
Friction – Morcheeba
Warmer Climate – Snow Patrol
One More Robot/Unit 3021 – The Flaming Lips
Tom’s Diner – Suzanne Vega & DNA
Experiments in Alchemy (album) – Dog Fashion Disco
Monoculture – Soft Cell
Do the Evolution – Pearl Jam
She Blinded Me With Science
Thomas Dolby
Places Named After Numbers
Frank Black
McGarrigle Sisters
Formulae - JJ72
Split The Atom - Fionn Regan
Orbiting Jupiter - Cheryl Wheeler
Defying Gravity - Cheryl Wheeler

Moons of Jupiter - Eddie From Ohio
Let's Get Mesolithic - Eddie From Ohio
Galileo - Amy Grant
Galileo - Indigo Girls
Einstein's Brain - Lynn Harrison
Venus Kissed the Moon - Christine Lavin
Across the Universe - The Beatles
Supersonic - Bad Religion
Magnetic Fields - Some Girls
Supercollider - Fountains of Wayne
Sunspot Baby - Bob Seger
Hebridean Hale-Bop - Karen Matheson
Emotions & Photons - Freezepop
Radioactivity - Kraftwerk
Physics Disco - Ooberman ("Welcome to the physics disco, Where all the boys are dancing on their own, Come into the physics disco, When the lights come on we'll blink and wander home."
The Ballad of Marie Curie - Army of Lovers
Drops of Jupiter - Train
Heartbeats - Jose Gonzalez
Lips Like Morphine - Kill Hannah
Bloodclots and Blackholes - Thrice
Darwin - Third Eye Blind ("The chromosomes divide, Multiply and thrive, And the strong survive")
Planet X - Christine Lavin
Ameoba Hop - Christine Lavin
AstroCapella 2.0 - Chromatics
Hangin' Around the Observatory - John Hiatt

Tenuous Links
Under Pressure – Queen
The Tide is High – Atomic Kitten
Iron Lion Zion – Bob Marley
The Birds in Your Garden – Pulp (really?)
Battlestar Scralatchtica – Incubus
Pump Up the Volume – MARSS
Inertia Creeps – Massive Attack
Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine – White Stripes

Toxic – Britney Spears
Nightblindness – David Gray
Volcano – Damien Rice
The Bad Touch – Bloodhound Gang (“Let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel”)
Don't Ask Me - Public Image Ltd ("What you gonna do when the river runs dry? Put your drills in the mud. And death up in the sky")
Bones of an Idol - The New Pornographers
Mesopotamia - B52's
Time is on my side - Rolling Stone's tribute to Einstein?
"What Remains Inside A Black Hole", an album rereleased as "Beyond the Black Hole" by Man or Astroman? an Atlanta-Georgia surf-rock band.
The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades - Timbuk 3
Tool Using Mammals - Liquid Lobster
The Great Unknown - Dar Williams
If Moon Was Cookie - Sesame Street
Kryptonite - Three Doors Down
Paper Moon - Ella Fitzgerald
In the Name of the Father - Black Grape ("Neil Armstrong, astronaut. He's got balls bigger than King Kong.")

More Geek than Pop
Steve’s Song – NCSE (you'll have to hear it to believe it)
The Element Song – Tom Lehrer
That's Mathematics - Tom Lehrer
Anything written by Fisher’s Z-test (they’re named after a flipping statistical test for crying out loud) or the Amateur Transplants
The First and Second Law of Thermodynamics – Flanders and Swan
The Transplant Calypso – Jeremy Taylor
That Spells DNA - Jonathan Coulton
Everybody Must Get Cloned - Capitol Steps
The Future Now - Jonathan Coulton
Killer Robots From Venus - The Arrogant Worms
The Galaxy Song - Monty Python ("Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space, because there's bugger all down here on Earth.")
Eric the Half Bee - Monty Python ("half a bee philosophically must ipso facto half not be, but half the bee has got to be a vis-a-vis its entity...")
Star Trekkin' - The Firm

But that’s not all. We know you’re squirreling away hundreds of musical science gems in your own personal collections. Send us your favourite Sci-Pop songs using the comment box below or email [email protected]

Join the discussion on Facebook - just search for the Unlikely Science group.

And thanks to everyone below for their (mostly numerous) contributions:
Siobhan Pippen, Texas
King Kurosu, Bristol
Ben Matthews
Yahya Abdal-Aziz
Audrey O, Cincinnati
Yvonne Babilonia, Washington
Colby Skar, Minnesota
The Scientician, London
Keith Carter, Wisconsin
Vicky West
Robbie McLeod, Bristol
Scary Boots, London
Alex Craven Griffiths, Manchester
Eric Schulman
Clare Hutchison, Glasgow
Solange Mateo Montalcini, Oxford
Tim Livengood, Photomixers
Ian Sample, the Guardian
Michael Francis Chatfield, Trinidad & Tobago

Still not sci-popped out?  Try our Geek Pop festival or one of these:

- Madness - Turkey baster instrument
- How it works - The didgeridoo
- Reviews - Sci-pop single reviews
- It's the drugs - Rock stars die young

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08 May 2011
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