Space Oddity
David Bowie
BowieDavid1973SpaceOddity45

Ground Control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown, engines on
Check ignition and may God's love be with you

- Rick Wakeman on keyboards -

1973
15
Year
Peak Chart Position
  • peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1973
  • originally charted in 1969 peaking at No. 124
  • single originally released July 11, 1969
  • peaked at No. 5 on the UK Singles chart in 1969
  • the song remains Bowie's biggest-selling single in the UK and is considered his signature song
  • from David Bowie's second studio album, Space Oddity (1969)
  • the song was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • written by David Bowie; inspiration for the song came from Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, which Bowie viewed numerous times in London as a 22-year-old - "It was the sense of isolation I related to.  I found the whole thing amazing. I was out of my gourd, very stoned when I went to see it, and it was really a revelation to me.  It got the song flowing"
  • the record was rush-released in 1969 on July 11, nine days ahead of NASA's Apollo 11 moon landing - British television used the song as background music for the landing itself
  • on the record:
       David Bowie- lead vocals, acoustic guitar, stylophone
       Mick Wayne- electric guitar
       Rick Wakeman- mellotron, piano
       Herbie Flowers- bass guitar
       Terry Cox- drums 
       Paul Buckmaster- strings
  • produced by Gus Dudgeon; Dudgeon mixed the track in stereo which was almost unheard of for radio singles at the time
  • recorded June 20, 1969 at Trident Studios, London, England
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