- 11 Jul 23
On July 11, 1969, David Bowie released 'Space Oddity' as a 7-inch single, via Philips Records – arriving in the run-up to the Apollo 11 moon landing. To mark the occasion, we're revisiting six unique covers of the iconic single...
Back in 2017, some of Dundalk's finest – including Just Mustard and Æ MAK – joined forces to create a special tribute album, dedicated to Bowie, with all proceeds going to the North Louth Hospice. Among the highlights was the opening track, a cover of 'Space Oddity' by Hunting Hall, the solo project of Tim Shearwood.
Just over a month after Bowie's death, English singer-songwriter Gabrielle Aplin filmed a powerful performance video live at The Olympia in Dublin – paying tribute to the music icon with a cover of 'Space Oddity'.
"I was a massive David Bowie fan and so heartbroken to hear of his passing earlier this year," she wrote in an accompanying statement. "I was just about to head out on tour when I heard the news so I decided to cover one of my favourite David Bowie songs 'Space Oddity'."
You can also see her perform the track at the Ruby Sessions in Dublin here.
In June 1977, American musician David Matthews recorded his album Dune at Electric Lady Studios – based on the novel of the same name by Frank Herbert. As well as featuring a version of the main theme from Star Wars, the album included a cover of 'Space Oddity', which would later be sampled on MF DOOM's 'Rapp Snitch Knishes' featuring Mr. Fantastik.
Bauhaus vocalist Peter Murphy embarked on a Secret Covers Tour in 2009, following the release of a string of covers of classic songs – including 'Space Oddity', alongside the likes of John Lennon's 'Instant Karma!' and Joy Division's 'Transmission'. Bauhaus previously covered 'Ziggy Stardust' in 1982, with their version peaking at No.15 on the UK Singles Chart.
The Langley Schools Music Project
David Bowie himself was a noted fan of this version – recorded in 1977, and performed by a 60-voice chorus of rural Canadian school children, aged between 9 and 12. It's included on the 19-track album Innocence & Despite, which was reissued in 2001 by Bar/None Records, and also features renditions of tracks by Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac, The Beach Boys and more.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded a video of his version of 'Space Oddity' on board the International Space Station in May 2013 – which soon went viral, as the first music video to be recorded in space.
"It started out as a project with my son," Hadfield said of the cover, during an interview with Hot Press in 2014. "It then turned out to be far more beautiful and musically interesting than either of us thought it was going to be. From there it grew into some kind of viral, worldwide – how would I put it – phenomenon. It has been exactly a year since I laid down the first vocal track. Even now, watching and listening to it, I am really delighted with how it turned out. It is inherently beautiful and interesting."
Revisit the David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' below: