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Best Songs About Space: 10 Sonic Booms For Interstellar Voyagers
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Best Songs About Space: 10 Sonic Booms For Interstellar Voyagers

Capturing a sense of awe and wonder, the best songs about space will take you on a cosmic journey you’ll never forget.

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Throughout history, humanity has been fascinated by the mysteries of the cosmos. From the earliest civilisations that gazed up at the stars, to the cutting-edge space-exploration missions of today, the universe has captured our imaginations and inspired us to dream big – and this fascination has often been expressed through music. From psych-rock freak-outs to stargazer ballads, the best songs about space take listeners on an interstellar journey through a sonic Big Bang.

Best Songs About Space: 10 Sonic Booms For Interstellar Voyagers

10: Eagles: Journey Of The Sorcerer (1975)

Despite not being directly related to space, it would be foolish not to consider Eagles’ Journey Of The Sorcerer as one of the best songs about space. After all, this instrumental, from the group’s 1975 album, One Of These Nights, was used as the theme song for the BBC sci-fi radio and television show The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Specifically chosen by the writer Douglas Adams, who felt it sounded suitably “spacey”, the tune features a bluegrass-like banjo and a whimsical melody that perfectly captures the essence of the show. As a result, it’s impossible to hear Journey Of The Sorcerer without thinking of the story’s protagonist, Arthur Dent, and his intergalactic adventures. Though not originally intended as a space song, Journey Of The Sorcerer has found its home among the stars.

9: Beastie Boys: Intergalactic (1998)

A hip-hop anthem for sci-fi enthusiasts, Beastie Boys’ 1998 single Intergalactic is a G-force-inducing fusion of hip-hop, rock and electronic music. Featuring catchy beats, funky basslines and the New York City group’s iconic rapping style, the song is an ode to space exploration and adventure, with lyrical references to dimension-jumping, Uranus and Star Trek. The music video alone is a creative masterpiece, featuring the Beasties in hazmat-style space suits and battling a giant Power Rangers-esque robot in a futuristic cityscape. A timeless space song that captures the band’s love of science fiction, Intergalactic will jump-start your imagination into warp speed.

8: Pink Floyd: Interstellar Overdrive (1967)

A psychedelic journey through space and time, Pink Floyd’s 1967 instrumental Interstellar Overdrive evokes space exploration via hypnotic guitar riffs and distorted sound effects. With a driving beat creating a sense of propulsion and momentum, Interstellar Overdrive’s spacey soundscapes and experimental structure has inspired generations of space enthusiasts, and its legacy continues to this day. A testament to the power of music to ignite the imagination and transport listeners to other worlds, it’s a standout among the best songs about space.

7: Monty Python: Galaxy Song (1983)

Capturing the spirit of curiosity that drives the minds of the world’s greatest scientists, Galaxy Song sought to answer life’s biggest questions when it appeared in Monty Python’s 1983 movie, The Meaning Of Life. Pairing an upbeat tempo with the comedy troupe’s surreal sense of humour, the song provided a humorous exploration of the vastness and complexity of the universe, Eric Idle’s lyrics referencing everything from quasars to black holes with cheerful irreverence. A testament to the power of humour and imagination, Galaxy Song inspires listeners to ponder the unknown and embrace the mysteries of the universe.

6: Peter Schilling: Major Tom (Coming Home) (1983)

A spiritual sequel to David Bowie’s 1969 hit, Space Oddity, Major Tom (Coming Home) was written by German songwriter Peter Schilling in April 1983, in an attempt to guess what might have happened next. Picking up where Space Oddity left off, Schilling follows Major Tom as he breaks contact with Ground Control and journeys into the great beyond. Finding its protagonist lost in space and unable to return to Earth, the song is a poignant exploration of Major Tom’s isolation and longing, all set to a driving synth-pop beat and a catchy chorus resplendent with futuristic sound effects. Peaking at No.14 on the US Hot 100 upon its original release, Major Tom (Coming Home) would come back into orbit almost 30 years later, when it featured in an episode of Breaking Bad in which the character of Gale sings it during a hilariously cringe-worthy karaoke performance. Schilling’s original, however, remains a synth-pop classic, forever worthy of inclusion among the best songs about space.

5: The Tornados: Telstar (1962)

With Joe Meek’s otherworldly production evoking the excitement and wonder of the space age, the surf instrumental Telstar, by The Tornados, is driven by an electronic keyboard and the work of guitarist George Bellamy (father of Matt Bellamy of Muse) to conjure images of rockets blasting off into space. Named after the Telstar communications satellite, which was launched in 1962 and was the first satellite to relay television and telephone signals across the Atlantic Ocean, Telstar became an instant hit in 1962, topping the charts in both the UK and the US. A testament to the optimism and enthusiasm that characterised the space race, Telstar is a must-listen for anyone interested in the history of space exploration and the role that music has played in shaping our understanding of the universe.

4: The Church: Under The Milky Way (1988)

A hauntingly beautiful song that captures the sense of awe and wonder that comes with gazing up at the stars, Under The Milky Way evokes the sense of floating through the vastness of space via dreamy guitar chords, atmospheric synthesiser sounds and ethereal vocals. Ostensibly a love ballad, the song became a hit for The Church upon its release in February 1988 and has remained a beloved classic among the best songs about space. With lyrics poetically referencing the galaxy we all call home, Under The Milky Way went on to peak at No.24 on the US Hot 100 and continues to encourage listeners to marvel at the beauty of the universe, no matter how confounding or unfathomable it may seem.

3: Muse: Starlight (2006)

With its driving beat, shimmering synthesisers and lead singer Matt Bellamy’s signature falsetto, Muse’s soaring space-themed rock ballad Starlight takes listeners on a journey through the cosmos. As if hopping on a space shuttle to escape the troubles of this world (“This ship is taking me far away/Far away from the memories/Of the people who care if I live or die”), Bellamy muses on cosmic anomalies in a bliss-inducing fit of escapist fantasy (“And our hopes and expectations/Black holes and revelations”). Proving how great music can lift us off terra firma and lead us to metaphorically explore the unknown, this standout tracks from Muse’s Black Holes And Revelations album is an essential addition to any space-themed playlist.

2: Frank Sinatra: Fly Me To The Moon (1954)

Now synonymous with the golden age of space exploration, Frank Sinatra’s timeless classic Fly Me To The Moon describes a romantic journey to the Moon and beyond. Since its release, however, the song has taken on added significance, serving as a tribute to the brave men and women who have taken part in NASA space missions. With its swinging rhythm, jazzy horns and Sinatra’s smooth vocals capturing the excitement and optimism that characterised the early years of the space race, Fly Me To The Moon has become an enduring symbol of the human spirit of exploration and discovery, and it remains a much-loved space-themed classic to this day.

1: David Bowie: Space Oddity (1969)

The song that gave David Bowie his breakthrough hit, Space Oddity is a psych-folk classic released in July 1969, the same month as the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing took place. Telling the story of astronaut Major Tom, who embarks on a journey into space and finds himself lost and alone in the infinite expanse of the universe, Space Oddity was the only single released from Bowie’s self-titled 1969 album, and it truly captured the public’s imagination at a time of great curiosity about the future of space exploration. Peaking at No.5 in the UK, it provided fuel for future contenders among the best David Bowie songs, as Bowie would go on to revisit the Major Tom story, first in 1980, with the Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) highlight Ashes To Ashes, and then again in 2016, when he alluded to Major Tom’s fate in the video for the title track to his final album, Blackstar. With its haunting melody, ethereal vocals and evocative lyrics, Space Oddity captured the hidden perils of exploring the unknown, and that’s why it tops our list of the best songs about space.

Looking for more? Find out where Space Oddity ranks among the best David Bowie songs.

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