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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Travel Tunes - Week 19

In light of our trip report to Kennedy Space Center, we're going way out there in our musical travels this week.  It was 1969, man was going to the moon, 2001: A Space Oddessey was in theaters, and I was just getting into buying records...45s.  Remember them?  This is one of the first records I bought.

I also remember staying up all night to watch the moon landing.  If you weren't around then, let me assure you...it was a huge deal at the time.  It was akin to watching Columbus land on Hispaniola, live on TV.
Picture courtesy of Wikimedia
Elmar J. Lordemann under CC-BY-SA license
So, David Bowie had catchy tune and was just signed to a new record label.  Fortunately, the record label execs knew a marketing opportunity when they saw one and released his Space Oddity to coincide with the moon landing.  This song, about a journey we probably never want to take (the hero is lost in space forever), catupulted Bowie to stardom and launched the story of the fictional astronaut, Major Tom, that would be visited again by Bowie in two more songs, the brilliant Ashes To Ashes and Hallo Spaceboy.  Peter Schilling also sang about Major Tom as did Def Leppard and others.

What follows is the story of Major Tom being blasted into space and, of course, we have a problem and end the song with the controller calling over and over "can you hear me, Major Tom?"  You've probably heard it but it's still good.  If you haven't, you're in for a treat.  Here's David Bowie and Space Oddity...

EMI doesn't allow embedding, but you might also want to check out one of the all-time great music videos of the sequel, Ashes to Ashes here...Ashes to Ashes video.
-Darryl

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