Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Music of Life on Mars (UK Tv Series)

Guess who is Annie

Life on Mars is a BBC tv series broadcast in UK between January 2006 and April 2007. It tells the story of Sam Tyler, a police officer who is hit by car in 2006 (while listening to David Bowie's song Life on Mars) and awakes in 1973. This is the music of the series.

I deeply loved this series. I deeply loved the soundtrack. She doesn't know, but I deeply fell in love with Annie Cartwright, too. I remember I watched Life on Mars while reading Jonathan Coe's The Rotters' Club and I never felt so connected to the 1970s. Still now, every time I listen to Bowie's song my mind sends me images of that old Manchester I saw in the series. It's not the usually renowned musical post-punk Manchester. In 1973, Sex Pistols hadn't played at the Free Trade Hall yet. Ian Curtis was in his illegal drinking age. Tony Wilson just got back in town. In Life on Mars you don't hear the music of a city, but the music of an era. I think Jonathan Coe called it the brown times. In 1973 I didn't exist, yet. I have no real memories of the seventies. Thanks to Life on Mars, this playlist is my soundtrack of that decade. Enjoy!

P.S. As a true deeply-in-love fan, I collected in the playlist all the songs of each episode, repetitions included: that means a triple Bowie title-track, plus a couple of Atomic Rooster's Head in the Sky, Mott the Hoople's One of the Boys and Barclay James Harvest's When the City Sleeps. Source is the official BBC website.

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(103 tracks out of 109, 94,49%, about 7 hours)


Episode 1
Life On Mars by David Bowie
Stairway To The Stars by Blue Oyster Cult
I'm So Free by Lou Reed
Baba O'Riley by The Who
Rat Rat Blue by Deep Purple
Fireball by Deep Purple
White Room by Cream

Easy Livin' by Uriah Heep
Look at Yourself by Uriah Heep

Episode 2
Live And Let Die by Wings
No One Came by Deep Purple
Drum Song by Willie Lindo & The Charmers Band
Saga Of The Aging Orphan by Thin Lizzy
Lazy by Deep Purple
One Of These Days by Pink Floyd
Dream Land by The Upsetters

Episode 3
Ballroom Blitz by The Sweet
Gypsy by Uriah Heep
Wishing Well by Free
Head In The Sky by Atomic Rooster

Episode 4
Brainstorm by Hawkwind
Jean Genie by David Bowie
Cross Eyed Mary by Jethro Tull
Silver Machine by Hawkwind
Gudbuy T'Jane by Slade
Wild Horse by The Rolling Stones
Blockbuster by The Sweet

Episode 5
Call The Police by Thin Lizzy
Good Thinking by Status Quo
The Rocker by Thin Lizzy
White Room by Cream
Jeepster by T Rex
Would You Believe by Roxy Music
Urban Guerilla by Hawkwind
Ejection by Hawkwind
I Can't Live Without You by Colosseum
Mother Of Pearl by Roxy Music
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free by Nina Simone

Episode 6
What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

Episode 7
I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top by The Hollies
Toxic by Britney Spears
Welcome Home by Peters and Lee
Disco 2000 by Pulp
Sinnerman by Nina Simone

Episode 8
Friday 13th by Atomic Rooster
The Rock by Atomic Rooster
Tokolshe Man by John Kongos
In The Snow by Atomic Rooster
Devil's Answer by Atomic Rooster
See My Baby Jive by Wizzard
Life On Mars by David Bowie
Meet Me On The Corner by Lindisfarne
Little Bit Of Love by Free


Episode 1
Head In The Sky by Atomic Rooster
Street Life by Roxy Music
Break Through by Atomic Rooster
Son Of My Father by Chicory Tip
Everybody gets to go to the Moon by Three Degrees (live version)
Spooky by Dusty Springfield
Year of Decision by Three Degrees
Star Man by David Bowie

Episode 2
Sweet Jane by Mott the Hoople
In The Summertime by Mungo Jerry
Ain't Got No performed by Derek Wadsworth from Hair
Love Machine by Uriah Heep
Bird Of Prey by Uriah Heep
Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress by The Hollies
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John

Episode 3
How Can I Be Sure by David Cassidy
The Big Spell by Audience
Hellraiser by The Sweet
Poor Old Ireland by Lindisfarne
When The City Sleeps by Barclay James Harvest

Episode 4
Lay Down by The Strawbs
I’m Ready by Frankie Miller
Court In The Act by Lindisfarne
Samba Pa Ti by Santana
Coz I Love You by Slade
Aladin Sane by David Bowie
Rock On by T Rex
When The City Sleeps by Barclay James Harvest
Alone Again Naturally by Gilbert O’Sullivan

Episode 5
You Shouldn't Do That by Hawkwind
Just Like You by Roxy Music
10538 Overture by ELO

Episode 6
Dance With The Devil by Cozy Powell
Breathless by Atomic Rooster
Snow Flower by Ananda Shankar
Rocket Man by Elton John
I Had A Dream by The Audience
Hot Sand by Shocking Blue
Traveller In Time by Uriah Heep
Whiskey In The Jar by Thin Lizzy

Episode 7
Many A Mile To Freedom by Traffic
Evening Blue by Traffic
Virginia Plain by Roxy Music
Cindy Incidentally by The Faces
Done Me Wrong Alright by The Sweet
Cross Roads by Cream (live version)
Rock ‘n’ Roll Disgrace by The Sweet
One Of The Boys by Mott The Hoople

Episode 8
My Coo Ca Choo by Alvin Stardust
Funeral For A Friend by Elton John
Decision/Indecision by Atomic Rooster
I Hope I Don't Fall In Love With You by Tom Waits
Over The Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (plus What a Wonderful World)
Life On Mars by David Bowie
One Of The Boys by Mott The Hoople
Changes by David Bowie

Listen to it on Spotify: HTTP, URI. (SR0329)

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  1. Just brilliant.

    Son of My Father by Chicory Tip is on Spotify - could you add that?

  2. Though they weren't listed on the BBC site, Uriah Heep's "Easy Livin'" and "Look At Yourself" were both featured in the 1st episode of season one.

  3. ok, i trust you and i added those two songs...
    thanx. :o)

  4. How come some of the songs are struck through?

  5. These are the songs not available on Spotify streaming service...

  6. Brill , did anyone see the US version . It somehow slipped me by but looks like its got good actors in it .

  7. here's a few more:
    series 1
    >The Sweet — "Little Willy" (Episode 1)
    >The Move — "Feel Too Good" (Episode 1)
    >Lee "Scratch" Perry and The Upsetters — "Jungle Lion" (Episode 2)
    Head In The Sky by Atomic Rooster was ep 4 i think
    >Frankie Miller — "I Can't Change It" (Episode 4)
    >Roger Whittaker — "I Don't Believe In If Anymore" (Episode 4)

    series 2
    >The Moody Blues — "The Story in Your Eyes" (Episode 4)
    >Roxy Music — "Just Like You" (Episode 4)

    Thanks so much for including all the hawkwind and atomic rooster song titles. a lot of people miss those two bands in their lists - most don't even know who they are.

  8. Spotify sucks then Goodbye t Jane is a classic
    Thanks man 🤙🏾