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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