50 Hit Songs About the End of the World (2024 With Videos)

Have you noticed that there are many signs of the apocalypse nowadays? Plagues, war, famine, and many other things seem to be becoming more common. The end of the world has been talked about for at least as long as humans have been aware of their own mortality, and it’s not showing any sign of letting up. Many songs about the end of the world have also been written over the years.

Songs About the End of the World

We’ll be sharing some of our favorites below from across all music genres.

Table of Contents

1. It’s The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) by R.E.M

Genre Alternative Rock
Year Released 1987
Album Document

R.E.M is an alternative rock band that was formed in 1981. In 1987, they signed with Warner Brothers and shifted their lyrics to political and environmental issues. That was the year they released their album “Document” and the hit single “It’s The End of the World As We Know It.” Lead vocalist Michael Stipe has said that the track is a result of being aware of everything around him. It was also inspired by flipping through TV channels late one night. He called it “a collection of streams of consciousness.”

2. Day the Earth Caught Fire by The Misfits

Genre Horror Punk
Year Released 2002
Album Misfits/Balzac Split Single

The Misfits are a New Jersey-based horror punk band that has been making music since 1977, despite countless lineup of changes. In 2002, the band released a split single with the band Balzac. On that release, they covered Balzac’s “Day the Earth Caught Fire.” Jerry Only, the only consistent member of the Misfits since their inception, takes vocal duties on this track. The lyrics “The great spring of life runs dry. Come face to face with a world of darkness” indicate that this song is about the end of the world.

3. Ænema by Tool

Genre Progressive Metal
Year Released 1996
Album Ænema

Six-time nominee and three-time winner of the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance, Tool is a band from Los Angeles, California, and is known for having unique time signatures and thought-provoking lyrics. Their 1996 classic album “Ænema” saw them shift their sound to a much more progressive style. However, the title track of that record had a more straightforward rock and metal sound than most of the other songs on the album. The song reflects Maynard James Keenan’s desire to see an earthquake make California collapse into the Pacific.

4. Floods by Pantera

Genre Groove Metal
Year Released 1996
Album The Great Southern Trendkill

Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Pantera is known as the originator of the heavy metal subgenre, groove metal, although they released three independent albums as a glam metal band. In 1987, lead vocalist Phil Anselmo joined the band, but they didn’t sign with a major label until 1990. Pantera’s sound slightly evolved with every major-label release. However, many people believe that they hit their peak with their fourth studio album, “The Great Southern Trendkill.” including the seven-minute opus “Floods,” which is about the world’s entire population being annihilated by a great flood.

5. Last Night on Earth by Green Day

Genre Punk Rock
Year Released 2009
Album 21st Century Breakdown

California punk rock icons Green Day have been at the apex of rock stardom for 25 years and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Ambitious doesn’t even begin to describe these punk legends, who have now released two concept albums. Released as a sequel to “American Idiot,” their eighth studio album, “21st Century Breakdown,” represents the sentiments being expressed by America’s youth during the presidency of George W. Bush. The track “Last Night on Earth” is about loving someone unconditionally, even if the world around you is being destroyed.

6. Blackened by Metallica

Genre Thrash Metal
Year Released 1988
Album …And Justice for All

What’s there to say about the Bay Area thrash legends that haven’t already been said? They were one of the most respected and successful metal bands of the 1980s, with little to no radio airplay. However, their popularity shot into the stratosphere in the 1990s with the release of their self-titled album “Metallica.” I have always believed that one of the most criminally underrated albums of their career was the 1988 masterpiece “…And Justice for All.” The lead track, “Blackened,” is a cautionary tale of how war can eradicate the planet.

7. The Writing’s On the Wall by Iron Maiden

Genre Heavy Metal
Year Released 2021
Album Senjutsu

Iron Maiden is credited as being the forerunners of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal that conquered the United States in the late 1970s. However, the band didn’t see commercial success until lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson joined the band in 1981 when they released “Killers.” Forty years later, Iron Maiden is going strong with the release of their record “Senjutsu.” The lead single and third track from that album is “The Writing’s On the Wall,” which is about a post-apocalyptic society after the world has been destroyed by war.

8. Party at Ground Zero by Fishbone

Genre Ska, Punk, Reggae, Metal
Year Released 1993
Album Singles

Although Fishbone is generally categorized as a rock band, they have been playing their unique fusion of reggae, punk, ska, soul, and metal since forming in 1979. In 1993, the Los Angeles-based act released a compilation album called “Singles,” consisting of live performances, b-sides, demo versions, remixes, and unreleased songs. One of those songs was” Party at Ground Zero,” which refers to a possible apocalypse being triggered by the tension between the United States and Russia. “Ground Zero” refers to the Twin Towers that were taken down on 9/11.

9. Into the Void by Black Sabbath

Genre Heavy Metal
Year Released 1971
Album Master of Reality

By now, we all know that Black Sabbath is known as the Godfather of Heavy Metal, developing that style of playing that combines hard rock and blues to create a heavier sound in 1969 with their self-titled debut album “Black Sabbath.” Although it was not Black Sabbath’s top-selling album, nor was it their biggest performer on the Billboard charts, “Master of Reality” is recognized by fans and critics as their best album. Included on that album, the track “Into the Void” warns us about how pollution is destroying the planet.

10. Preaching the End of the World by Chris Cornell

Genre Alternative Rock
Year Released 1997
Album Euphoria Morning

When Soundgarden went on an indefinite hiatus in 1997, Chris Cornell took the opportunity to record his first solo album “Euphoria Morning.” “Preaching the End of the World” was the third track on the album. Although this track is not about the actual end of the world, Cornell is using the metaphor of the world ending for the way he feels because he’s lonely. Many people also believe that this song is from the perspective of a man nearing the end of his life, so I guess his world is technically ending.

11. Revelation (Mother Earth) by Ozzy Osbourne

Genre Heavy Metal
Year Released 1980
Album Blizzard of Ozz

Ozzy Osbourne has been carrying the torch for environmentalism since the 1970s when he was the front man for metal pioneers Black Sabbath.

The way his fellow humans treat the planet has remained a concern throughout his massively successful solo career as well. That can be seen very early on in the song “Revelation (Mother Earth),” which is found on his debut solo album “Blizzard of Ozz.” In this song, he refers to the Earth as Mother and begs her for forgiveness because of the atrocities committed against her by mankind.

12. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes by Ultravox

Genre New Wave, Pop, Rock
Year Released 1984
Album Lament

Originally formed as a Tiger Lily in London back in 1974, Ultravox is a new wave-inspired pop rock band that released the synth-heavy “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes” from “Lament.” The track had a peak position of number three on the charts and stayed there for 13 weeks. It’s the story of a man who feels like his entire world is ending because he’s realized that his relationship is coming to an end; although he tries his best to prevent the inevitable from happening, but accepts that it’s over.

13. Apocalypse Please b by Muse

Genre Alternative Metal, Progressive Metal
Year Released 2003
Album Absolution

Muse is an alternative rock band from the United Kingdom and has been making music together since high school in 1994. They also have a reputation for inserting their thoughts regarding politics and religion into their unique brand of music. “Apocalypse Please,” which is the lead track from Muse’s album “Absolution,” is no different. One of my favorite interpretations I have heard of this song is that it is about world leaders who are arguing over religion. The arguments eventually lead to a major World War, which will eventually end up destroying the planet.

14. Embrace the Ending by Mushroomhead

Genre Alternative Metal, Experimental Metal
Year Released 2006
Album Savior Sorrow

Cleveland’s Mushroomhead is one of the most interesting bands in metal, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Per Mushroomhead’s official website, Mushroomhead “has forged new ground in the rock world and influenced many other bands to push the envelope and bring art into rock.” With their theatrics and innovation, they have held my attention for many years. “Embrace the Ending” is the final track on their fifth album,” Savior Sorrow.” This song is about accepting that the end has come and facing it with grace and dignity.

15. A Song About the End of the World by Stephen Ellis

Genre Singer-Songwriter
Year Released 2020
Album Songs About the End of the World

Singer-songwriter Stephen Ellis recorded an EP titled “Songs About the End of the World,” so it would only make sense for him to include a track on it called “A Song About the End of the World.” The song is simple and simple enough, with Carpenter singing and playing piano with light backing instruments. To be honest, it doesn’t sound like anything special until you start paying attention to the lyrics. Then, you will understand he is writing a love letter to the planet at the end of the world.

16. London Calling by The Clash

Genre Punk Rock
Year Released 1979
Album London Calling

The Clash is England’s most important punk band of all time and is often seen as the forerunner of the wave of British punk that started during the late 1970s. They played together for a decade before disbanding in 1986. In 1979, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members released “London Calling,” which was one of the most important albums in music history. The title track to that album was about a nuclear war erupting in the UK. Twenty years later, The Clash was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

17. 1999 by Prince

Genre Funk, Soul, R&B
Year Released 1985
Album 1999

It’s hard to imagine that one of Prince’s most popular and upbeat songs is about the end of the world. However, that’s exactly the message behind his wildly popular track “1999,” which comes from the album of the same name. Over the years, the album has become even more well respected, earning the 31st spot in the RS200, which is Rolling Stone’s Top 200 Albums. The message behind the song is fairly simple. Doomsday is on its way, so you’d better start celebrating now because there won’t be any celebrations later.

18. 4th of July by Soundgarden

Genre Grunge
Year Released 1994
Album Superunknown

When Chris Cornell formed Soundgarden in 1984, he was originally slated to play drums. However, Cornell was a gifted vocalist. If he wanted to be a frontman, he would have to give up the drums. Cornell sang and learned to play rhythm guitar, with Matt Cameron joining in 1986. The rest is history. The band exploded onto the national scene with their album “Superunknown.” One of the lesser-known, albeit amazing, tracks on the album was “4th of July,” which is about watching a War take place as it slowly destroys the planet.

19. The Day the World Went Away by Nine Inch Nails Nails

Genre Industrial Metal
Year Released 1999
Album The Fragile

Trent Reznor, the mastermind behind the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, always pours his heart and soul into everything he does, including his music. That’s exactly what the multi-talented musician did on “The Day the World Went Away,” which was the lead single from his third album, “The Fragile.” As the story goes, Reznor always took issue with the way priests remain so calm when burying someone, especially when everyone else is distraught with grief. This song was also inspired by and dedicated to the memory of his maternal grandmother.

20. Andromeda by Mastodon

Genre Progressive Metal
Year Released 2018
Album Emperor of Sand

Mastodon has changed their sound with every album while also being nominated for six Grammy Awards, and winning one for Best Metal Performance in 2018, when they released their seventh studio album, “Emperor of Sand.” One of the most interesting things about Mastodon is that each album revolves around a central theme. The theme of “Emperor of Sand” was survival. “Andromeda,” which is the ninth crack on the album, is about how mankind has been given a second chance to do right by the Earth. However, time is running out.

21. 99 Luftballons by Nena

Genre Synth Pop
Year Released 1983
Album Nena

In 1983, the German synth-pop and new wave sensations Nena released their debut album to a surprisingly warm welcome in the United States. Although they were only an active band for five years during the mid-1980s, Nena had one of the decade’s biggest hits, “99 Luftballons,” which translates to “99 Red Balloons” in English. There have been plenty of debates about the meaning of this song, as the German and English versions are translated differently. However, in both versions, the balloons are mistakenly seen as a threat that leads to war.

22. Talkin’ World War III Blues by Bob Dylan

Genre Indie, Folk Rock
Year Released 1963
Album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

With a highly-accomplished career that has lasted over six decades, Bob Dylan has often been called the greatest songwriter of all time. He has won a Grammy Award for his music, as well as a Nobel Prize for literature. One song that has earned him praise for his prose is the tenth song from his second studio album, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.” While there has been some debate about its meaning, Bob Dylan has said that “Talkin’ World War III Blues” pertains to “the issue of the paranoia and hysteria surrounding communism.”

23. Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Genre Indie, Bayou Country, Folk Rock
Year Released 1969
Album Green River

One of the biggest misconceptions about Creedence Clearwater Revival’s signature track, “Bad Moon Rising,” is that John Fogerty wrote the song in protest of the Vietnam War. While they were known for protesting the war and writing songs about it, this was one instance in which they were referring to something completely different. Appearing on their third album, “Green River,” was written about death and destruction. However, it is about the kind of catastrophic damage that is caused by natural disasters and was inspired by the film “The Devil and Daniel Webster.”

24. Electric Funeral by Black Sabbath

Genre Heavy Metal
Year Released 1970
Album Paranoid

I am a Black Sabbath fanatic. They are my favorite band. While I love them for being the originators of heavy metal, I love their lyrics more. Directly contrasting their dark, sinister imagery, most of the band’s music is about the atrocities of War or the damage being done to the environment. The track “Electric Funeral,” which is the fifth track on Sabbath’s second album, “Paranoid,” is about the destruction of the planet from nuclear war. To this day, “Paranoid” remains Black Sabbath’s top-selling album, with over five million copies sold.

25. The End by The Doors

Genre Classic Rock
Year Released 1967
Album The Doors

Although the end first appeared on The Doors’ self-titled debut album in 1967, it is perhaps most well known for being included in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 cinematic masterpiece “Apocalypse Now,” in which it is used to represent the finality of war and the death and destruction it leaves in its wake. The use of this song in the film is perfect because lead vocalist Jim Morrison has said that the song is meant to depict the thoughts of a man who is facing death, although the lyrics are a bit convoluted.

26. Forevermore by Shadows Fall

Genre Hardcore Metal
Year Released 2007
Album Threads of Life

Despair and hopelessness or two themes that are usually common in the Boston-based heavy metal band most of Shadows Fall’s music. However, that did not stop them from performing well on the Billboard charts, with four of their albums cracking the top 40. These themes were prevalent in their fifth album, “Threads of Life,” as well as in its final track, “Forevermore.” This song isn’t about the end of the entire world. It’s about the end of one man’s world. He is debating committing suicide. Sadly, he goes through with it.

27. Reclamation by Lamb Of God

Genre Groove Metal
Year Released 2009
Album Wrath

It seems as though there are a plethora of metal musicians who express a genuine concern for the environment and the way that humans pollute the Earth. However, I firmly believe that Virginia’s lamb of God leads the pack in this category. They have had contests where you could win trips to concerts and signed memorabilia by donating to environmental causes. Their track “Reclamation,” from their fifth record, “Wrath,” is a seven-minute sermon on how “humanity is a failed experiment” and how the planet will eventually be destroyed.

28. Everyday is Like Sunday by Morrissey

Genre Alternative Pop
Year Released 1988
Album Viva Hate

Steven Patrick Morrissey is best known by his stage name Morrissey and was the lead vocalist for NME Award recipients, the alternative rock band The Smiths from 1982 to 1987. However, the poet and singer have had quite a successful solo career as well. “Everyday is Like Sunday,” which is the third track from Morrissey’s debut solo album “Viva Hate,” there’s a song in which he equates Sundays, which are usually bright and cheerful, to being dull and gray. Because he is so depressed, he’s patiently waiting for Armageddon to arrive.

29. Redemption Song by Bob Marley and the Wailers

Genre Reggae
Year Released 1980
Album Uprising

Bob Marley was a Jamaican reggae singer who believed in the philosophies of peace, love, and unity. In 1976, he and The Wailers were named Rolling Stone’s Band of the Year. Five short years later, Marley would record his final album, “Uprising,” which featured the last song he ever recorded before succumbing to cancer in Miami, Florida. While “Redemption Song” isn’t your run-of-the-mill Doomsday song, it’s about Marley’s dream of a different kind of world coming to an end, where people were set free from their mental shackles by thinking for themselves.

30. World Painted Blood by Slayer

Genre Thrash Metal
Year Released 2009
Album World Painted Blood

Slayer, the world’s most prominent thrash band, was formed in Huntington Park, California, in 1981 by original members Tom Araya, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman, and Dave Lombardo. Although they have never been fans of organized religion, their songs have been filled with religious imagery throughout their entire career. The title track to the band’s eleventh studio album, “World Painted Blood,” continues with that tradition. This song is about the events that are supposed to transpire at the end of the world, or Judgment Day, as written in the Book of Revelations.

31. Five Years by David Bowie

Genre Classic Rock
Year Released 1972
Album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

David Bowie was one of the most intriguing figures in the history of music. The Thin White Duke had a well-earned reputation for changing his style and sound with practically every new album he would release. My favorite Bowie era was when he recorded his fifth album, “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” This record gave us many memorable tracks, including the acoustic and piano-driven “Five Years.” The song is about a news broadcast that informed everybody that the world will be destroyed in five years.

32. The Final Countdown by Europe

Genre Hair Metal, Glam Rock
Year Released 1986
Album The Final Countdown

This has, by far, got to be absolutely the cheesiest song on this list, but I’ll give Europe credit for going all-out on the track. Then again, should you be surprised that this tune has been brought to you by the same band that brought you the ultra-sappy ballad “Carrie?” The title track to their 1986 album “The Final Countdown” has everybody escaping from Earth to Venus, although it’s never explained why. I assume that they were trying to be serious and make a political statement about war destroying the planet.

33. As the World Caves In by Matt Maltese

Genre Indie, Singer-Songwriter
Year Released 2017
Album As the World Caves

Matt Maltese is an English indie alternative singer-songwriter who’s well-known for writing romantic songs, like the title track from his album “As the World Caves,” which was supposed to be about a couple who are so in love that they want to spend their last moments on Earth together. In reality, the track is actually about “a fictional apocalyptic romance between former US President Donald Trump and former UK Prime Minister Teresa May.” I think that’s pretty funny, especially if you consider how many couples decide on this track as “their song.”

34. 2012 (It Ain’t the End) by Jay Sean (Featuring Nicki Minaj)

Genre R&B, Dance
Year Released 2010
Album Single

Do you remember when the world went crazy back in 2012 because the Mayan calendar stopped with that year? Well, you should because I mentioned it earlier in the intro to this list. Nevertheless, this dance and hip hop song’s premise it’s blatantly “borrowed” from the Prince classic “1999.”As you may have guessed, the point of the track is to party like the world is ending. The only thing he’s changed was the date, although it was updated a bit and included a feature from the great female rapper Nicki Minaj.

35. Age of Machine by Greta Van Fleet

Genre Neo-Classic Rock
Year Released 2021
Album The Battle at Garden’s Gate

Michigan’s Greta Van Fleet wasn’t officially a band until 2012. However, they have already been nominated for three Grammy Awards, winning one for Best New Artist in 2019, having one of their singles also spend five weeks at number one on Billboard, with two albums reaching the top spot on the Rock Albums chart. One of those records was “The Battle at Garden’s Gate,” which includes the track “Age of Machine.” The track refers to their belief that mankind’s dependency on technology will bring about the end of the world.

36. Everybody Dies by Billie Eilish

Genre Indie, Alternative Pop, Singer-Songwriter
Year Released 2021
Album Happier Than Ever

Billie Eilish is quite odd, but I think that her quirkiness is part of her appeal. Billie co-wrote her second studio album, “Happier Than Ever,” with her brother Finneas O’Connell, who also produced the album as well. The eleventh track on that album was a somber Little tune called “Everybody Dies.” The song deals with the difficult topic of death. When somebody that you love dies, it can feel like your entire world has been turned upside down. As a matter of fact, it can feel like your whole world is ending.

37. The End Of The World by Skeeter Davis

Genre Pop, Country
Year Released 1962
Album The End Of The World

Born as Mary Frances Penick, Kentucky’s Skeeter Davis got her start in country music as one-half of the Davis Sisters. However, she crossed over to pop music when she went solo in 1958 after she lost her partner in an automobile accident. She was immediately successful in multiple genres but was never more popular than when she released her smashing-pumpkins hit title track to her record “The End Of The World.” Like many other songs on this list, it’s about feeling like it’s the end of the world after a breakup.

38. The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash

Genre Country
Year Released 2002
Album American IV: The Man Comes Around

Johnny Cash was much more than just the Man in Black. He was also a very religious man, having appeared on several gospel albums, both solo and with his wife, June Carter. That’s why when Johnny Cash tries to tell you that Armageddon is coming, you sit down and listen. In his song The Man Comes Around, which appears on his album “American IV: The Man Comes Around,” he does exactly that. This song is chock-full of vivid, descriptive biblical imagery that was taken directly from the Book of Revelations.

39. Mother Earth (Natural Anthem) by Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Genre Indie, Folk, Rock, Country
Year Released 1990
Album Ragged Glory

Indie and alternative country legend Neill Young got his start as the singer for Buffalo Springfield before joining Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. In 1968, the multiple-time nominee and Grammy and Juno Award winner helped form his band Crazy Horse. Known for his passionate stance against war and protecting the environment, this political singer-songwriter released his take on the National Anthem, “Mother Earth (Natural Anthem),” where he changed the lyrics to represent his beliefs that if we do not protect the environment, there will be no planet left for our children.

40. Here Comes The Flood by Peter Gabriel

Genre Pop, Alternative
Year Released 1977
Album Peter Gabriel

Peter Brian Gabriel is known for both his career, and for the time he spent in the progressive rock band Genesis and embarking on his 45-year solo career. An avid activist and environmentalist, the Academy of Achievement award-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, released his self-titled debut solo album in 1977. He also gave us a sample of his passion for Mother Earth in the song “Here Comes The Flood,” which is about protecting the planet’s precious water supply before there is none left, forbidding future generations to survive.

41. Until The End Of The World by U2

Genre Alternative Rock
Year Released 1991
Album Achtung Baby

Alternative rock legends U2 have been making music since their inception in 1976 when drummer Larry Mullen attempted to form a band at school in Dublin. The rest, as they say, is history. Four-and-a-half decades later, they are still together. They made noise with the release of 1991’s “Achtung Baby.” The album’s fourth track, “Until The End Of The World,” can be interpreted in many ways. However, my favorite theory is the one that compares the lyrics to when Judas betrayed Jesus, and he will pay for his actions on Judgment Day.

42. Rust In Peace…Polaris by Megadeth

Genre Thrash Metal
Year Released 1990
Album Rust in Peace

After being fired from Metallica in 1981, Dave Mustaine formed Megadeth, and they became one of the preeminent bands in thrash metal. In 1990, they released what many people consider their best album, “Rust in Peace,” which features the final track “Rust In Peace…Polaris.” Mustaine has said that the inspiration for the album came from a bumper sticker that he once saw which read “May all your nuclear weapons rest in peace.” This song is a first-hand account of nuclear war told from the perspective of a missile named Polaris.

43. Goodbye Blue Sky by Pink Floyd

Genre Classic Rock, Progressive Rock
Year Released 1979
Album The Wall

With a career that spanned five decades, along with over 250 million albums sold around the world, I believe it’s safe to say that Pink Floyd is amongst the most revered bands in rock history. In 1979, the band released their highly-ambitious double album, a rock opera entitled “The Wall,” which was their eleventh album. World War II was one of the many themes that were explored on that record, especially in the track “Goodbye Blue Sky,” which was about saying goodbye to a world that existed before nuclear bombs were invented.

44. Don’t Open Til Doomsday by The Misfits

Genre Horror Punk
Year Released 1997
Album American Psycho

While they have gone through several lineup changes in their 40-plus years of making music, there are three distinct errors of the Misfits that coincide with each lead singer the band has had. Perhaps the most underrated, overlooked (and controversial) era was in 1997 when Michale Graves took over lead vocal duties after the departure of Glenn Danzig. That was the year they released their fourth album “American Psycho,” which includes the track “Don’t Open Til Doomsday,” which is about a man who creates Doomsday by opening a portal to hell.

45. Armageddon Days (Are Here Again) by The The

Genre Post Punk
Year Released 1988
Album Mind Bomb

Have you ever dreaded something so much that it felt like the entire world was going to end? Plenty of people felt that way during the presidency of George H Bush in the late 1980s. Things had gotten so bad that people who weren’t American citizens were not looking forward to what was to come. That included the English post-punk band The The, whose track “Armageddon Days (Are Here Again)” was included on their third studio album “Mind Bomb” and was recorded during the first Bush presidency in October of 1988. This is one of my personal favorite songs about the end of the world.

46. The Earth Dies Screaming by UB40

Genre Reggae, Pop
Year Released 1980
Album Signing Off

Formed in Birmingham, England, in 1976, the reggae band UB40 is best known for their single “Red, Red, Wine.” However, they have tasted considerable success in their native England with over 50 UK singles charting and four Billboard top-10 hits. However, before they became an international success, they released their debut album called “Signing Off” in 1980, which featured the track “The Earth Dies Screaming.” This song made a statement about what pollution and waste were doing to the environment long before it was fashionable to hop on the environmental bandwagon.

47. The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning by Smashing Pumpkins

Genre Alternative Rock, Post Grunge
Year Released 1997
Album Batman and Robin Original Soundtrack

When Billy Corgan formed Smashing Pumpkins in Chicago in 1988, there was no way he could have known that the band would become as successful as it did, selling 30 million albums worldwide. They have also been nominated for 11 Grammy Awards, winning two of them, including the track “The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning” from the “Batman and Robin” soundtrack. While Corgan has said that the lyrics were inspired by the Batman of the 1940s, I have always thought that they were the thoughts of someone about to die.

48. Everybody Wants To Rule the World by Tears For Fears

Genre Pop
Year Released 1985
Album Songs From the Big Chair

When I was growing up in the 1980s, Tears for Fears was one of my favorite bands, and “Everybody Wants To Rule the World” was one of my favorite songs. I wore my “Songs From the Big Chair” cassette out from playing it so much. However, the strange thing is that even though I have heard this song hundreds of times, I have never realized that it was about the lengths to which the world’s leaders will go to be the most dominant nation, including nuclear warfare.

49. Red Skies by The Fixx

Genre Alternative, Indie, Pop
Year Released 1982
Album Live in Concert 1982

Although they are most well-known for their breakthrough single “One Thing Leads to Another,” the English post-punk alternative band The Fixx has been together since 1979, and they are still making music today. Coincidentally, that track was from the live album “Live in Concert 1982,” which also included “Red Skies.” which made a statement about the imminent threat of nuclear war that lurked over everybody’s heads at the time, although the saying is derived from an old sailor’s adage that pertains to the number of dust particles trapped in the atmosphere.

50. A Strange Day by The Cure

Genre Alternative, Goth, Pop
Year Released 1982
Album Pornography

Robert Smith and the Cure are often credited with being one of the first goth bands in alternative music. Formed in 1978 in West Sussex, they have survived many changes in the musical landscape and are still relevant today. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019 by Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor. While not as well known as many of their other albums, 1982’s release “Pornography” featured the song “A Strange Day,” which is about awaiting the end of the world during the Apocalypse.

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