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Check out this unreleased song that Kubrick rejected from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

50 years since the film’s release, an unheard track from the original 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack has surfaced.

It’s hard to imagine 2001: A Space Odyssey without the opening notes of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, a sequence that is burnt into the brain of every Kubrick fan. However, what you may not know is that the piece was almost replaced by a song written by Kubrick’s long-time publicist, Mike Kaplan. The “lost” song is titled 2001: A Garden of Personal Mirrors. 

The single’s intent was to capture the different responses 2001 was generating from audiences and the media, the many levels of interpretation and appreciation, from its hypnotic visuals to its metaphysical illuminations,” Kaplan said about the track.

2001: A Space Odyssey
Photo: Warners Bros.

Apparently, Kubrick did like the track but couldn’t see any hit-making potential for it. Though he and Kaplan continued to work together, including on A Clockwork Orange, the song was buried into film history and never saw the light of day – until now.

“We also wanted to instil curiosity among audiences who had not yet seen what was becoming a cultural phenomenon,” Kaplan said of the track, which incorporated vocals from folk performer Naomi Gardner.

Modern audiences have had a more mixed response to the track:


Kubrick’s work has been generating a lot of interest, with several remnants from his archive being unearthed – including an unfinished A Clockwork Orange sequel and three script ideas entitled Married Man, The Perfect Marriage, and Jealousy.

Listen to 2001: A Garden of Personal Mirrors here.