The first song on our list was actually a sequel to another tune which will appear later in the countdown. 80s Synth-pop musician Peter Schilling scored a hit in 1983 with his sequel to David Bowie's Space oddity. This song ended on a happier note with Major Tom coming home instead of being lost in space. Number ten on our countdown is Peter Schilling’s “Major Tom (Coming Home).”
- "Major Tom" by Peter Schilling
In 1972, the band Deep Purple took us all on a musical tour of the solar system with “Space Truckin’.” Described by some as the greatest hard rock album of all time, Machine Head was recorded under some difficult circumstances (as told in the song "Smoke On the Water"), and is a testament to the talents of the band members and their production crew. Number nine of the Top Ten Space Songs is “Space Truckin’” by Deep Purple.
Next on our countdown is the song we mentioned earlier, the predecessor, if you will to our number 10 song. The song “Space Oddity” is one of the best known David Bowie songs, alongside “Changes,” “Let's Dance” and “Fame.” Whether it was inspired by the plight of the Apollo 8 astronauts or by Bowies own drug use and desire to simply "let go" of the world, the song is still very popular and comes in at number 8.
- “Space Oddity” by David Bowie
In 1976, there was a rumor circulating in the United States that the Beatles had regrouped to record and released a new album under the pseudonym of "Klaatu" causing sales of that record to shoot way up. Of course, just like the Paul is Dead rumors, it wasn’t true. Klaatu was a band made up of 3 men from Toronto, Ontario. They took their name from a character played by Michael Rennie in the 1951 sci-fi movie classic "The Day The Earth Stood Still".
In 1976, they recorded the original version of our next song. It is the recognized anthem of World Contact Day, an event organized by UFO investigators to attempt contact with alien presences. In 1977, “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft” was also covered by the Carpenters on their album Passages. They won a Grammy for it. So, here’s number 7 of our Space Top 10, The Carpenters and “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft.”
- “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft” by The Carpenters
Some say the real birth of Space Rock came by a series of singles from the California band The Byrds in the mid-sixties. After hitting the top of the US charts twice with their electrified folk sound, lead singer and techno- enthusiast Roger McGuinn turned to space in 1966 with the songs "Eight Miles High", "5D (Fifth Dimension)" (a 2 ½ min version of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity !), and "Mr Spaceman." They were not very commercially successful at the time, but they did help start a musical revolution, and the next song on our list became one of their best known. So, coming in at number 6 are The Byrds with “8 Miles High.”
- "8 Miles High" by The Byrds
We have made it half way through our countdown. Join us now for the top 5 space songs.