“Space 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, released the previous year. Incidentally, the protagonist of the film is called David Bowman. 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.
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.
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.
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- Frank Lee Beard (born June 11, 1949) is the drummer in the rock band ZZ Top. Beard was formerly with the bands The Cellar Dwellars, who originally were a three-piece band, The Hustlers, The Warlocks, and American Blues before starting to play and record with Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill as ZZ Top.
- Glenn Carl Leonard (born June 11, 1947 in Washington, D.C.) is an AmericanR&B and soul singer best remembered for serving as the first tenor/secondary lead singer of the Motown quintet The Temptations from 1975 to 1983.