Space Oddity

The theme I chose for this year is 

Greatest Hits as suggested by AI

It’s important to note that AI was only used for the song suggestion, not in the actual putting together of the post. 

Today our suggested Greatest Hit is:  Space Oddity

Wikipedia tells us this about the song:

After a string of unsuccessful singles, David Bowie released his music hall-influenced self-titled debut studio album through Deram Records in 1967. The album was a commercial failure and did little to gain Bowie notice, becoming his last release for two years. Around this time, Bowie acquired a new manager, Kenneth Pitt. In 1968, Bowie began a romantic relationship with dancer Hermione Farthingale, which lasted until February 1969. With Farthingale and guitarist John Hutchinson, Bowie formed a group called Feathers. With Bowie on acoustic guitar, the trio performed a small number of concerts between September 1968 and early 1969, combining folk, Merseybeat, poetry and mime. After the commercial failure of David Bowie, Pitt authorised the production of a promotional film in an attempt to introduce Bowie to a larger audience. The film, Love You till Tuesday, which marked the end of Pitt's mentorship of Bowie, went unreleased until 1984.

By the end of 1968, Bowie had begun to feel alienation from his career. Knowing Love You till Tuesday did not have a guaranteed audience and would not feature any new material, Pitt asked Bowie to write something new; "a very special piece of material that would dramatically demonstrate David's remarkable inventiveness and would probably be the high spot of the production". With this in mind, Bowie wrote "Space Oddity", a tale about a fictional astronaut named Major Tom, the first of Bowie's famous characters. Its title and subject matter were influenced by Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, which premiered in May 1968. Bowie said, "I went stoned out of my mind to see the movie and it really freaked me out, especially the trip passage". Biographer Marc Spitz stated the song was likely inspired by the scene in which an astronaut communicates with his daughter on her birthday, saying "Tell mama that I telephoned" before ingesting a "stress pill", rather than the film's opening or ending. Malcolm Thompson, who directed Love You till Tuesday, later said he and his girlfriend Susie Mercer contributed to the songwriting process. Bowie's break-up with Farthingale deeply affected Bowie. He later said, "It was Hermione who got me writing for and on a specific person". Spitz stated Bowie's feelings of loneliness and heartache following the break-up inspired "Space Oddity".

One of the first people to hear "Space Oddity" was Calvin Mark Lee, the head of A&R at Mercury Records in London, who considered the song "otherworldly" and knew it was Bowie's ticket to be signed by the label. According to Mercury associate Simon Hayes, "Lee was really on the case with 'Space Oddity', a total convert. He wanted to sign David – and I said 'Fantastic idea'." At the time, Bowie's future wife Angela Barnett, whom he met in late 1968, was dating Lou Reizner, the head of Mercury, who was unimpressed with Bowie's output. Eager to sign Bowie, Lee, without Reizner's knowledge, financed a demo session for "Space Oddity". Lee later told Spitz: "We had to do it all behind Lou's back. But it was such a good record."



  1. This is a classic! A great musical piece not just a song

  2. Great oldie! Thanks for joining the 4M party, Mary. Have a boogietastic week! xo

  3. Two Mondays ago I was at an eclipse festival in Rochester, New York and they played this song several times. People were singing right along (including me). I absolutely loved this song, and now I know the back story. (Too bad clouds totally hid the eclipse but that's life). Alana


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