In 1944, Strauss conducted the Vienna Philharmonic in an experimental high fidelity recording of the piece, made on a German Magnetophon tape recorder. This was later released on LP by Vanguard Records and on CD by various labels. Strauss's friend and colleague, Fritz Reiner, made the first stereophonic recording of the music with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in March 1954 for RCA Victor. In 2012, this album was added to the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry list of "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important" American sound recordings. The recording of the opening fanfare used for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey was performed by Vienna Philharmonic and conducted by Herbert von Karajan.
Elvis Presley used the opening fanfare as the opening piece in his concerts between 1971 and his death in 1977, and as the introduction to several of his live albums, including (1972), Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite (1973), and Elvis in Concert (1977). Eumir Deodato's funk-influenced arrangement of the opening fanfare Sunrise theme reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 U.S. popular music sales charts in 1973, and #7 on the UK Singles Chart. His version was titled "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)", and won the 1974 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.