The Thin White Duke, upon release of Hadfield’s video, tweeted “Hallo Spaceboy” to Hadfield.
Canadian astronaut and sometime musician Chris Hadfield made history this week when he released a music video on his last day on board the International Space Station.
His choice — David Bowie’s 1969 “Space Oddity.”
When I first started watching the video, I’ll be honest — I didn’t QUITE get it — here is this guy singing a David Bowie classic, trying to be cool, trying to be Bowie. It’s true — lots of people want to be Bowie.
But that feeling of doubt was fleeting. As Hadfield strums and sings so plaintively, and stunning images of Earth from above slowly roll past, any question of his validity vaporizes.
Hadfield’s version is not bad either. He adapts some lyrics so that it’s more appropriate with his space mission, but I think he earned that license.
The video’s significance gives the iconic song yet another reincarnation, for perhaps a new set of fans, a new genre of listeners who might not ever dream of listening to David Bowie. The video is fascinating to watch, especially that acoustic guitar, which just floats, sort of like an oasis, adrift among wires and metal.
Hadfield’s decision to make the first music video entirely in space was brilliant. Hard to believe that more than 30 years after the first music video, another way has been found to keep the medium relevant. It only took a song from 1969 — and a space mission in 2013.
Here’s a link to the Wiki page about the original “Space Oddity.” It also shows just how much mileage Bowie’s gotten out of this song through the years.
Space Oddity album cover.
The NYT story, includes incredible photos of Earth that Hadfield took from space. And here’s The Independent‘s take on the video.
Chris Hadfield — you’ve made the grade.