Space Oddity

space 1

Today’s featured song is a little “out there” in many different senses of the word.  The lyrics and the music give you the feeling that you really are out in space with this Major Tom.  Space Oddity by David Bowie was never a huge hit, but it is a unique enough of a song, that I don’t think it will ever be forgotten.  At least I know that I will never forget it.

space 2I can still remember the first time I heard the song.  I was in college and had a few drinks in me at the time.  I was at a party and some person, who must appreciate obscure songs, played it.  I immediately took notice of the song and was on a quest to find out what the song was and who did the song.  Once I found out, I bought the album just so I could listen to this song over and over again.  As many times as I played the song, it never got old. 

Obviously, the world in 1969 was a very different place.  We were on a race to get to the moon.  We looked into space with awe and wonder of the unknown.  While today, going into space is more of a common event than it used to be, the wonder and “out there” feeling of this song stays fresh and new.  As new generations of listeners, like myself, hear it for the first time, we keep the song alive.

There is no deep meaning to the lyrics.  They are pretty straightspace 3 forward.  The music is absolutely haunting however.  In fact, it is so unique, I submit that this song will remain in play forever just based on that.  Anyway, it is still a great song and would be considered in my top 100 songs of all time.  If you have never heard this song before, you are in for a treat.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did the first time I heard it, even if you haven’t had a couple of drinks!

Original music video of the song from 1969.

Remade music video from 1972.  This song bring the song into full bloom.  I appreciate the simplicity of the first video, but this is the version I fell in love with.  It is totally over the top.

Live performance from first TV appearance in 1970.

Live performance of the song from the 70’s.

Live performance from 2006.

Cover version of the song.  This is amazing!

space 4Space Oddity” is a song written and performed by David Bowie and released as a music single in 1969.  It is about the launch of Major Tom, a fictional astronaut; its title alludes to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.  The lyrics have also been seen to lampoon the failed British space programme.  The song appears on the album David Bowie (also known as Space Oddity).  The BBC featured the song in its television coverage of the Apollo 11 launch and lunar landing, which took place in the days following the release of the song.

The song was awarded the 1969 Ivor Novello Award, together with Peter Sarstedt‘s “Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?“.  “Space Oddity” became so well known that Bowie’s second album, originally released as David Bowie in the UK (like his first album), was renamed after the track for its 1972 reissue by RCA Records, and has since become known by this name.

Bowie would later revisit his Major Tom character in the songs “Ashes to Ashes” and “Hallo Spaceboy“.  German singer Peter Schilling‘s 1983 hit “Major Tom (Coming Home)” is written as a retelling of the song.

The song uses the full major system.

The song was used by U2 during their 360° Tour (2009-2011).  It was played over the public address system preceding the band’s arrival on stage.

Following Bowie’s split from record label Deram, his managerspace 5 Kenneth Pitt negotiated a one-album deal (with options for a further one or two albums) with Mercury Records, and their UK subsidiary Philips in 1969.  Next he tried to find a producer.  George Martin turned the project down, while Tony Visconti liked the album demo-tracks, but considered the planned lead-off single, “Space Oddity”, a gimmick track, and delegated its production to Gus Dudgeon.  The session players on the song included Rick Wakeman (mellotron), Mick Wayne (guitar), Herbie Flowers (bass) and Terry Cox (drums). An early version of the song had appeared in Bowie’s promotional film Love You Till Tuesday.

Following recording of a fresh version, the single was rush-released on 11 June 1969 to coincide with the Apollo 11 moon landing.  It was promoted via advertisements for the Stylophone, played by Bowie on the record.  Although they initially refused to give the song airplay, the BBC played it during their coverage of the Apollo 11 launch and lunar landing.  This exposure finally gave Bowie a hit, reaching #5 in the chart.  In the U.S, it stalled at 124.

Mogol wrote Italian lyrics, and Bowie recorded a new vocal, releasing the single “Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola” (“Lonely Boy, Lonely Girl”) in Italy, reportedly to take attention away from covers by the Italian bands Equipe 84 and The Computers.

Upon its re-release as a single in 1973, the song reached #15 on the Billboard Chart and became Bowie’s first hit single in America; in neighbouring Canada, it reached #16. This was then used to support RCA’s 1975 UK reissue, which gave Bowie his first #1 single in November.

A stripped-down version, originally performed on Kenny Everett‘s New Year’s Eve Show was issued in February 1980 as the B-side of “Alabama Song“.

The B-side, “Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud“, first appeared on CD on 1989’s Sound + Vision.

space 6On 20 July 2009, the single was reissued as a digital EP that features four previously-released versions of the song as well as stems allowing fans a chance to remix the song.  It coincides with the 40th anniversary of the song and the Apollo 11 moon landing.

“Space Oddity” was featured as one of the on-disc songs in the videogame Rock Band 3.

“Space Oddity” was also featured in the psychological thriller videogame, “Alan Wake” as the credits song.

In December 1972, Mick Rock shot a music video of Bowie performing the song during the sessions for Aladdin Sane, which was used to promote the January 1973 U.S. reissue on RCA.

Space Oddity

by David Bowie

Ground control to major Tom
Ground control to major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on
(Ten) Ground control (Nine) to major Tom (Eight)
(Seven, six) Commencing countdown (Five), engines on (Four)
(Three, two) Check ignition (One) and may gods (Blastoff) love be with you

This is ground control to major Tom, you’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare

This is major Tom to ground control, I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
Here am I sitting in a tin can far above the world
Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do

Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles, I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows
Ground control to major Tom, your circuits dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, major Tom?
Can you hear me, major Tom?
Can you hear me, major Tom?
Can you…
Here am I sitting in my tin can far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do

About wmarsau

Most of the people who visit this blog already know me so it is kind of pointless to try to describe my life in this short little blurb. What is the purpose of this blog is the question. Over the course of this last year I have been exposed to some amazing people and have made personal development an important focus of my life. Being successful, not by the world's standards, but by God's has become my main focus. Mainly, I want to work to develop myself as a person who is kinder, reaches out to help those in need, and truly makes a difference in this world. To this end I am constantly reading and am exposed to so many differnet things along the way. These have been amazing and it is helping me grow so much. Then I started to think, "Why am I being so selfish?" You need to share with others these amazing things you are learning and being exposed to. That is where this blog comes into play. As I am reading and experiencing things that are truly amazing and life changing, I will be posting them on this blog. Obviously, I will not be able to post everything in it's entirity, but I will be summarizing them and letting you know the source of the article or book they come from so you can check them out later if you wish. I want this blog to be a place where you can go to often and be inspired and leave here with a smile on your face. I will be covering all kinds of different topics dealing with success and personal development. Topics like taking action, relationships, living to your potential, reinventing yourself, finances, leadership, presenting, goal setting, time management, etc. I will also be occasionally including topics on cooking, music, and gardening because they are special interests of mine. As a little disclaimer, I have given my life to the Lord and he is #1 in my life. I am his servant and everything I do in life is for his glory. With that being said, religion influences all areas of my life. There will be references to God in this blog because I can't seperate God from this or any other area of my life. I want you to know that if you do not believe in God, that is fine. That is your choice. This blog is open to anyone who wants to better their life. I will not be trying to influence or pressure anyone into having a relationship with the Lord from this site. Please don't feel uncomfortable. You can just read the portions of the blog that you wish to. I am inviting you to go on a journey with me. We will learn together to be the kind of people we were designed to be. Anyone can make a difference in this world, but it starts%
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