From Blur To Bowie, 18 Ingenious Music Moments Inspired By Stanley Kubrick Movies

Blur’s ‘The Universal’ video

Blur's 'The Universal' video

Blur’s ‘The Universal’ video: An obvious one to kick us off, paying deft homage to the iconic opening scene of ‘A Clockwork Orange’, in the film’s Korova Milk Bar. Shout out to Damon for nailing the movie’s violent leading man Alex’s eye makeup and crooked smiles to the camera, while his ‘droog’ bandmates linger ominously in the background.

Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ video:

Guns N' Roses' 'Welcome To The Jungle' video:

Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ video: In which a straight-jacket-clad Axl Rose is strapped to a device that stretches his eyelids open, forcing him to absorb the TV images of horror in front of him? Sound familiar? It should do to anyone who’s sat through the gristly second half of ‘A Clockwork Orange’.

Kanye West’s ‘Runaway’

Kanye West's 'Runaway'

Kanye West’s ‘Runaway’: Yeezy’s sprawling ‘…Dark Twisted Fantasy’ highlight was directly inspired by the angsty eroticism of Kubrick’s last film. Kanye posted screencaps from the movie on Twitter during its recording while the austere piano motif threaded through the track is borrowed from the score: check out 1.53 in this video if you don’t believe us.


Heaven 17

Heaven 17

Heaven 17: Another easy one. Early ’80s Sheffield new wavers Heaven 17 took their name from one of the fictional bands in Kubrick’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and Anthony Burgess’ source novel – they’re mentioned at being number 4 in the charts with as Alex roams a record shop with a song called ‘Inside’.

Pink Floyd, ‘Echoes’ and ‘2001’ synchronisation rumours

Pink Floyd, ‘Echoes’ and ‘2001’ synchronisation rumours: Much like ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ is said to sync up with ‘The Wizard of Oz’, a long-standing rumour among prog fans is ‘Echoes’ was written to fit the chilling ‘Infinite’ scene in ‘2001’. The band denied it, but later confessed they deeply admired Kubrick and would have loved to soundtrack one of his cinematic masterworks.

Slipknot’s ‘Spit it Out’ video

Slipknot's 'Spit it Out' video

Slipknot’s ‘Spit it Out’ video: How better to announce your band as new kings of primal horror-rock than with a video channeling the terror of what’s pretty universally agreed upon as the most chilling horror film ever made? One of the Iowa group’s earliest video was a neat remake of ‘The Shining’ – creepy twins and all.

The Ramones’ ‘Too Tough To Die’ sleeve

The Ramones' 'Too Tough To Die' sleeve

The Ramones’ ‘Too Tough To Die’ sleeve: “Johnny [Ramone] wanted a picture that would evoke memories of the gang in ‘A Clockwork Orange’,” photographer George DuBose said in 2005 of his shot for the New Yorkers’ eighth album. Thus a dark, starkly illuminated shot that recalls both the movie’s otherworldly blue-hued night sequences and the tunnel in which Alex’s gang beat a homeless man.




Strangelove: Where do you reckon these Bristol ’90s rockers got their name from? Duh! Kubrick’s ‘Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb’ of course.


Moloko: Heaven 17 weren’t the only Sheffield band with ‘A Clockwork Orange’ to thank for their band name. Moloko is Alex and his gang’s slang word for milk in the movie and Burgess’ source novel. It’s also the Russian word for milk but neither Róisín Murphy nor Mark Brydon, the group’s central duo, look like they holiday in St Petersberg so we’ll assume ‘A Clockwork Orange’ is responsible.

Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’

Bowie's 'Space Oddity'

Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’: We’ll let Dave field this one: “In England, it was always presumed that [‘Space Oddity’] was written about the space landing, because it kind of came to prominence around the same time,” he said 2003. “But it actually wasn’t. It was written because of going to see the film ‘2001’, which I found amazing. I went to see it very stoned and it was a revelation to me.”

Frank Ocean’s ‘Novocane’ nod

Frank Ocean’s ‘Novocane’ nod: A bit of a throwaway one, but too funny not too include. During a druggy summer of debauchery, Ocean describes waking up in a bed full of women, having a cocaine breakfast and filming his subsequent orgy as: “I feel like Stanley Kubrick… this is some visionary shit!” Quite.


U2’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’ score

U2's 'A Clockwork Orange' score

U2’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’ score: Back before they were mercilessly hoisting their music onto your iPod against your will, Bono and The Edge soundtracked a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Anthony Burgess’ novel greatly indebted to the eerie air of malevolence Kubrick fashioned in his movie adaptation.

New Order’s ‘Ultraviolence’

New Order’s ‘Ultraviolence’: The central theme in ‘A Clockwork Orange’, recited throughout Kubrick’s movie, and later the title of a synthy, sinister track on Hooky and co’s ‘Power, Lies and Corruption’ album.

Lana Del Rey’s ‘Ultraviolence’

Lana Del Rey’s ‘Ultraviolence’: Whatever New Order can do, Lana can do better. The ‘Video Games’ provoacteur named an entire spell-binding album after the phrase in ‘A Clockwork Orange’. Alright, the sounds within might have been more ’50s femme fatale thriller, but the title’s a pure nod to Kubrick’s movie, we say.

Lana Del Rey’s ‘Lolita’

Lana Del Rey's 'Lolita'

Lana Del Rey’s ‘Lolita’: Lana’s Kubrick connections don’t end there. 2012’s ‘Born To Die’ packed a single that shared the title and narrative of the director’s 1962 drama, adapted from Vladimir Nabokov’s classic novel.

Lady Gaga’s 2010 tour ‘Clockwork Orange’ homage

Lady Gaga’s 2010 tour ‘Clockwork Orange’ homage: For a while, Gaga’s live shows opened with scenes from ‘A Clockwork Orange’, following a string of videos that paid tribute to the dark futurism of Kubrick’s movies. Here’s a pretty interesting essay on them, if you’re that way inclined.

Kate Bush’s ‘The Shining’-inspired song

Kate Bush’s ‘The Shining’-inspired song: Did you know Bush’s track ‘Get Out Of My House’ is a musical remake of ‘The Shining’? Well, you do now. The darkest corner of 1982’s ‘The Dreaming’, the track places its protagonist in an unnerving domestic asylum inspired by Stephen King’s novel and Kubrick’s intense filmic adaptation.

30 Seconds To Mars’ ‘The Kill’ video

30 Seconds To Mars' 'The Kill' video

30 Seconds To Mars’ ‘The Kill’ video: “It’s about confronting your fear and confronting the truth about who you are,” said Jared Leto of his 2006 single ‘The Kill’ – similar enough to Jack Nicholson’s horrifying character arc in ‘The Shining’ to base the track’s video on, in a clever blood-splattered tribute.