off topic open thread

Actually good music: Jim Sullivan’s UFO

I‘m going to interrupt my terrible music streak here on the blog with a fantastic song by a little-known musician — a guy named Jim Sullivan, who made a brilliant country-rock album in 1969 that went nowhere at the time, but finally started getting some of the attention it deserved after being reissued earlier this decade. I discovered it a couple of months ago.

Today, I’ve had it in heavy rotation as I’ve tried to clear my head. at least temporarily, of Trump. The whole album is great, but the best song on it is the enigmatic “UFO,” with its lush stings and its off-kilter lyrics wondering out loud if Jesus might be returning to earth via flying saucer.

Sullivan’s life was as mysterious as his lyrics. In 1975, heading from LA to Nashville in hopes of resurrecting his music career, he apparently wandered off into the desert and vanished forever.

For more on Sullivan, check out the videos below or this blog post by the guy who reissued the album.

18 replies on “Actually good music: Jim Sullivan’s UFO”

Not to be confused with British session guitarist and sideman Big Jim Sullivan, who played on numerous British pop recordings in the ’60s. Here’s Big Jim, dressed as a Moonbase Alpha crew member, playing the electric sitar music he composed for the Space: 1999 episode “The Troubled Spirit.”

Oh my gosh Space:1999 was the creepiest creepshow what ever creeped. I wasn’t alive when it aired, but i’ve seen a lot of it and it is not late night viewing for me.

@Scildfreja – Yes. The tentacled alien from “Dragon’s Domain” was one of my top five childhood horrors. I still hate going through car washes because of that episode.

That IS a good song! Cool video, too. Has the footage of the alien at around 0:46 been debunked? Because holy shit. They even have eye lashes!

I’m afraid of grays. Warning for anyone else who is also afraid of them, there is realistic footage. I’m glad I saw it before though. The alien at the window at the end and the one in the grass is still spooky though.

I made a more light-hearted election playlist.

The Galaxy Song – Monty Python
Fuck You – Lilly Allen
Electioneering – Radiohead
It’s the End of the World as We Know It – R.E.M
Elected – Alice Cooper

Oh, man that Space 1999 clip is creepy. It’s as if some weird 70s cult decided to pack up and move to the moon. What the hell is going on there with the plants?

Looks like the whole episode is up on youtube. I’m tempted to watch it.

I was a fan of Space 1999 as a kid but I don’t remember it being this creepy. Their spaceships were cooler than the spaceships from the original star trek, though.

It’s 4.30 in the morning for me, and I’m getting ready for work. I’m not sure that I can handle this yet.
I’ll stick with the bad music.
Deserts are terrifying! They’re so eerie and deadly.

Their spaceships were cooler than the spaceships from the original star trek, though.

*side eye*

@David, I didn’t see much Space:1999 as a kid, but some episodes are much creepier than others. Once I hit those, I couldn’t even watch the non-creepfest episodes without catching little hints of horror. They did a good job with getting horror right, but too much for me!


Has the footage of the alien at around 0:46 been debunked?

Um…surely you mean “Has the footage of the (alleged) alien at around 0:46 been authenticated?”

I’m afraid of grays.

I sincerely apologise if this sounds unduly harsh, but are you also afraid of the bogeyman? I am not belittling your anxieties, as I certainly have my share, but when they are of things for which there exists no evidence, perhaps they are misplaced. Is there someone with whom you can talk about your fears who is not inclined to simply reinforce your belief in “grays”?

Warning for anyone else who is also afraid of them, there is realistic footage.

Yes, realistic, not real.

@ CanuckAmuck

You do realise that people can be afraid of things that they know do not exist? For example, I’m perfectly aware that I have no reason to believe that werewolves exist, but they still scare me a lot, since I remember how horrifying they were to me as a kid.

Of course I can’t speak for anyone else, just wanted to put that out there.

@ Canuck

I just find them really disturbing to look at. Anything with big, dark eyes creeps me out. In addition to that, they have this “humanoid abomination” look to them.

They could exist. *shrug*


Oh, indeed. I accept a person’s anxieties and triggers as valid, even though said triggers themselves may not be, even to the person suffering them, existentially valid. But if one accepts that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, one must also accept that sometimes it isn’t.

“The Troubled Spirit” was based around the idea that plants might be sentient, an idea popularised by the 1973 book The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. This is definitely one of the creepier episodes of the first season of the series, with some quite graphic for the ’70s makeup work on the spirit of the title. The second season, which saw a lot of changes from the first, is a lot more conventionally action-adventure oriented.

I’m listening to his album right now, it’s really nice. Too bad he probably isn’t still alive.

@ Tim

Wow, I was trying to find that bit of music a while ago when we had the trippy music thread, so thank you. It still is one of the eeriest things I’ve ever heard.

Space 1999 was amazing. Especially the first series. Proper existential angst at times and truly horrific (the scene where they vapourise some poor person in a cabinet is one of the most horrible things ever shown, and this was kids TV!). And the whole atmosphere of desolation and bleakness.

Went downhill a bit in the second series. Not blaming the new American writers, they were under certain orders from the network. But it was funny when they decided “Luton” as a suitably sci-fi name for a planet not realising that to UK viewers that’s just a town north of London (although ironically pretty desolate and bleak itself. Maybe they did know?)

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