Music Break: The Martian’s DISCO Classics


One of the things I thoroughly enjoyed about The Martian was the lighthearted tone of the film, despite the obviously dire subject matter of someone being stuck in Mars. And one of the funniest bits in the film involve something totally unexpected… DISCO music!

Matt Damon‘s character Mark Watney initially hated it, but he’s not only stuck in Mars but he’s also stuck with his colleague Melissa Lewis’ (Jessica Chastain) disco collection. “My God, Commander Lewis… couldn’t you have packed anything from this century?”

Disco + Mars?? Who’d have thought?? When I left the theater I immediately turned to my hubby and said that it certainly has the Guardians of the Galaxy vibe with its 70s retro music compilation. Per Billboard mag, ‘…The ‘70s music theme is taken directly from Andy Weir’s best-seller upon which the movie is based. Screenwriter Drew Goddard wrote song choices into the script and Scalia says the majority were kept, although a few were switched for other tunes…’

I also enjoyed the score itself by composer Harry Gregson-Williams. He’s quoted on Billboard saying that “Scoring The Martian involved ducking and diving around some pretty neat classic disco songs that were woven in to the fabric of the film.” That’s just brilliant!

As The Atlantic article aptly puts it… “It’s hard to become too depressed by Watney’s situation when “Hot Stuff” is playing in the background.” Indeed. Depending how you feel about disco music though, beware that after watching this, you’d be humming (and even dancing) to them before you even realize it!

So here are five awesome disco classics featured in the movie:

Hot Stuff by Donna Summer

Turn the Beat Around by Vickie Sue Robinson

Love Train by O’jays

Waterloo by ABBA

This one plays in the end credits and of course it’s just perfect!

I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor


Did you enjoy the music in The Martian?

23 thoughts on “Music Break: The Martian’s DISCO Classics

  1. I can’t say I’m a fan of disco music but it worked in the movie because the music really enhanced the lighter mood of the movie. I loved Harry Gregson-Williams’ score though. Hollywood really hit a trifecta with space adventures three years in a row, GRAVITY, INTERSTELLAR and now this film, I loved them all equally. Which means we’ll see more space adventures films that aren’t Star Wars or Star Trek related.

    1. I’m not either but I love some of these songs and it was such a fun surprise in the film. I love that part when Damon’s character couldn’t help but start moving his body to the music in that rover vehicle thing. Yeah, I think now that this one is a hit, we’ll see more space adventure films, hopefully one as good as this! I think I like this one equally as Gravity, but Interstellar bored me a bit.

    1. Oh no! But hey don’t feel bad Jordan, I don’t always agree w/ what’s popular either, and honestly I’m surprised how much I enjoyed this one. I was rather blase about it initially.

      1. I’m glad you enjoyed it Ruth. I just put up my thoughts if you’re interested. The overall tone of this movie just doesn’t line up with my tastes it seems, its too light-hearted for me

        1. The novel was lighthearted too I believe, and so I think the film was faithful to the original intention of the author. Well, it worked for me.

    1. Hi Cindy! I can’t say I’m a disco fan either, but some songs are just so catchy I can’t help but singing along w/ them. Yes, I LOVE anachronism in films, Baz Luhrmann does that a lot in his films, like using rap/pop music for Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, etc. So yeah disco + Mars somehow works here!

    1. Hi Steven! I think disco music is more palatable for me now that it’s actually become sort of a novelty. I don’t listen to contemporary music but yeah, there are a ton of terrible songs out there.

  2. I found the original score to be quite lacking but the choise of songs was just wonderful and really fit the light tone of the movie. And Damon’s comments and annoyance were awesome! 🙂

  3. Tom

    Yeah it’s pretty hard not to crack a smile when you see him packing up the Rover before heading across the landscape, and grooving to Hot Stuff haha. What a terrific idea (in the book) to incorporate that decade’s style of music with this bizarre scenario. And it really came across in the film, too. Another reason to love this film for sure. Glad you singled the music/soundtrack out Ruth!

    1. Hi Tom! I laughed so hard when that scene happened! Watney’s been complaining so much about it, but then he couldn’t help grooving to it, ahah. I think it’s great that it worked so well in the film. Glad we both love this movie & the soundtrack!

Join the conversation by leaving a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s