The film "The Hunger Games" has inspired some new additions to a surprisingly large catalog of songs that look to a future we hope to never see. In addition to the songs that today's guest, Joe Levy, has suggested, here are some other odes to dystopias:
Wendy Carlos: A Clockwork Orange. Great soundtrack, taking Beethoven and Purcell and Carlos originals as the jumping off point for some seriously twisted film music - perfect for Anthony Burgess's dystopian vision of an England of the near future.
Pink Floyd: Animals. George Orwell's Animal Farm becomes one of Pink Floyd's most underrated albums. People are presented as Pigs, Dogs, and Sheep in 3 epic songs.
David Bowie: Diamond Dogs. Includes the songs "1984," "Big Brother," "We Are The Dead," and the spoken-word opening track with its rotting corpses and red-eyed mutants. From the master of dystopian pop - from his first hit "Space Oddity" to the eerie doo-wop of "Drive In Saturday" to the Blade Runner-ish detective story in his late 90s album Outside.
Genesis: "Get Em Out By Friday." A prophetic 1972 song about gentrification interrupted by an announcement from Genetic Control announcing a four foot height limit on humans because of space restrictions. Another source of multiple dystopias, beginning with "Watcher Of The Skies," where a planet (presumably our own) is discovered to be empty of life.
Anonymous 4: 1000 - A Mass For The End Of Time. You didn't actually think this was a new idea, did you? As the year 1000 approached, many Europeans were convinced that the Book Of Revelations was about to come true, spawning a treasure trove of paintings, scultpures, and songs about the End of Days. Earthquakes and destruction, monsters and demons, fire and sin and families being rent asunder - for eternity. Now THAT's dystopia.