Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” Provides a Soundtrack for the Final Scene of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

What happens when you cue up The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon (1973), and play them together? You get something magical. Or, to be more precise, you get “Dark Side of the Rainbow,” a mashup that first began circulating in 1995, back when the internet first went commercial. Watch “Dark Side of the Rainbow” (here) and you could believe that Floyd wrote Dark Side as a stealth Wizard of Oz soundtrack–though that’s something the band firmly denies. And, we believe them.

But bury one rumor, and another takes its place. The Vimeo caption accompanying the other mashup above reads as follows:

It has long been rumoured that Pink Floyd set ‘Echoes‘ to the final sequence of Stanley Kubrick’s, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. Two years before producing their album ‘Meddle‘, featuring the 23 minute piece ‘Echoes’, Pink Floyd worked on the ‘More’ French film soundtrack, where they worked with film synchronisation equipment. From there the rumours blossomed, with Roger Waters being misquoted as saying the band were originally offered to do the soundtrack (they in fact turned down an offer to feature the ‘Atom Heart Mother’ suite in ‘A Clockwork Orange’). Whether or not the rumours have any basis in fact, there is an undeniable beauty when watching the combination of Kubrick’s intricate stop-motion universe, coupled with the psychedelic wonders of Pink Floyd.

This last thought is seconded by philosophy professor Joe Steiff, who, writing in the edited collection, Pink Floyd and Philosophy, adds this:

A lesser-known mashup is the syncing of “Echoes” (from Meddle) with the final twenty minutes of Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey (beginning with “Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite”)… [T]he mashup is coherent and cohesive. The emotional tone of the music and the images work in near-harmony, resulting in a mashup that stands up to repeated viewings…. Both the movie and the music feed into and expand the sense of mystery and unknowability that each explores independently.

Watch “Echoes Odyssey” above and see for yourself.

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Related Content:

Dark Side of the Rainbow: Pink Floyd Meets The Wizard of Oz in One of the Earliest Mash-Ups

Hear Lost Recording of Pink Floyd Playing with Jazz Violinist Stéphane Grappelli on “Wish You Were Here”

Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour Sings Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18

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Comments (8)
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  • Marc says:

    One of my all-time favourite songs.

    Even more interesting when you consider the original “Return of the Son of Nothing” lyrics:

    Planets meeting face to face
    One to the other cried, how sweet!
    If endlessly we might embrace
    The perfect union deep in space

    Heaven might this once relent
    And give us leave to shine as one
    Our two lights here forever, one light blended

    And in that longing to be one
    The parting summons’ sound is drawn
    I see you’ve got to travel on
    And on and on, around the sun

  • Brad says:

    I found this very unsatisfying. There’s more to movie music than timing, ie. it seems well timed, section by section, but the wrong mood and instrumentation. Dark Side of the Moon is timeless in a way that 2001 is – it will not date – but Echoes doesn’t have the same quality. The original music is SO much more intense, dissonant, disturbing, trippy.

    Requiem, for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, 2 Mixed Choirs & Orchestra

  • Quentin Collins says:

    The true Floyd fans have known about this since the 90s bro.

  • Stephen Livingston says:

    As long as you’ve got 2001 going, I’ve found that Air’s Moon Safari syncs well with the beginning of the movie.

  • Alejandro Lalinde says:

    I’ve known about this for years but I hope people can explore it further since it is an amazing mix of sight and sound.

    I do have to say that I do not agree with where the song and image begins. I always did the sync with the first “ping” and the very moment the title card shows up. I felt it lined up a lot better than any other version I have heard of…

    2001 | Echoes

  • Miranda says:

    I love this number Echoes very much!
    It’s one off their best numbers, is it the sound off a whale 🐳 or a seagull?

  • Gabriele Gaganis says:

    Es gibt von Gong eine ähnlich schöne Sache. The Flying Teapot wurde auch animiert sehr schön anzusehen

  • John Emerson says:

    Pink Floyd – Still The first in Space .

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