When it comes to horror-adjacent rock, Blue Öyster Cult is best known for “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” the band’s 1976 hit single which later found its way onto both director John Carpenter’s original 1978 slasher classic Halloween and Mick Garris’ 1994 miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s epic apocalypse novel, The Stand. But, in 1977, Blue Öyster Cult also brought us “Godzilla,” a riff-driven and appealingly bizarre tribute to the titular beast. Sample lyric? “He picks up a bus and he throws it back down/As he wades through the buildings toward the center of town.”
Now, System of a Down singer Serj Tankian has covered that very ditty for the soundtrack of the upcoming film Godzilla: King of the Monsters (out May 31) in cahoots with the movie’s composer, Bear McCreary.
“From the instant I was hired, I knew that I wanted to find a way to incorporate my favorite Blue Öyster Cult song, ‘Godzilla,’ into the film,” McCreary writes in the soundtrack’s liner notes. “I collaborated with vocalist Serj Tankian, guitarist Brendon Small, and the rest of his Dethklok rhythm section, to create my own version of Buck Dharma’s beloved prog-rock classic. This track is perhaps the most audacious piece of music I have ever produced, jammed to the breaking point with orchestra, choir, taiko chanting, taiko drumming, heavy metal rhythm section, Gene Hoglan’s blistering double kick drums, and Serj’s distinct vocals. It is complete musical madness!”
The Godzilla: King of the Monsters soundtrack is released, May 24.
Hear that cover of “Godzilla,” below.