British astronaut Tim Peake is going back into space, it’s been announced. On his last mission, as well as doing loads of really impressive science, he played Muse’s 2006 track ‘Starlight’. “Sounded great on Earth, but even better in orbit!” he tweeted to the band from actual space. So Tim, here’s hoping your wifi connection doesn’t conk out, because we’ve got some more cosmic sounds for you, from Babylon Zoo to Feist.
Babylon Zoo ruled 1996 with ‘Spaceman’, a kind of interplanetary Marilyn Manson stomper that was the essentially the sound that clothes from Cyberdog make when you put them on a boiling hot wash. Despite that, it sold almost half a million copies in its first week and became the UK’s fastest-selling single since The Beatles’ ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’.
Lifted from Danny’s second album ‘XXX’, lyrically ‘Outer Space’ isn’t exactly a hip-hop spin on Buzz Aldrin’s autobiography. Aside from some interstellar sonics, this tune has little to do with astronomy and more to do with Danny’s sexual exploits.
One of the finest songs of the new wave era, this glorious 1978 track compares the feeling of meeting the mate of your dreams to an other-worldy experience. Sadly, Blink-182 once covered it. We still haven’t forgiven them.
Unsurprisingly, this isn’t Bowie’s only appearance in this list. ‘Space Oddity’ is his very own sci-fi epic, telling the story of an astronaut by the name of Major Tom, who also pops up in his later track ‘Ashes to Ashes’. In 2013 it was covered by real life astronaut Chris Hadfield and became the first song to be recorded in space.
Hinged around a sample from Max Romeo’s reggae classic ‘Chase The Devil’ – which was produced by possible interplanetary life-form Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry - ‘Out Of Space’ is where rave meets rudeboy somewhere on the outskirts of the second ring of Saturn. Still the band’s best track by lightyears.
Featuring the vocals of Lemmy in his pre-Motörhead days, Hawkwind’s signature track is a psychedelic voyage into the acid-doused days of the early 1970s. A biker-freak-funk take on space travel, if this isn’t what they play in dive bars on Mars we’ll be severely disappointed.
Not only a contender for the title of ‘indie-est indie song ever’, ‘Girl From Mars’ is Tim Wheeler’s ode to a mystery megababe who he spent a summer smoking fags and cigars with. But that was the 1990s – a contemporary version would probably have them puffing on e-cigs.
Brandon Flowers’ lyrics are out of this world at the best of times, but ‘Spaceman’ takes things into a totally different universe, seeing our protagonist plucked from his bed before being experimented on by aliens.
Mercury Prize nominated performer and poetry goddess Kate Tempest manages to slip the bonus track from her debut album ‘Everybody Down’ into the space songs list. ‘Hot Night Cold Spaceship’ is set in the classrooms and streets of south London rather than the dark side of the moon, however.
All all-mighty jazz jam, ‘Space Is The Place’ is a 20 minute epic, which opened Sun Ra’s 1973 album of the same name. An experimental, free-rolling offering, it’s utterly hypnotic, and quite possibly, what aliens would play to your during their ‘experiments’. In which case, sign us up.