Thank you to my readers and followers. I had some really lovely comments after my last post – Space. Also, last week I topped 150 000 hits which I’m very happy about.
I have always listened to a lot of music and since writing the Space post a few songs have been running through my head so I’ve decided to add Part 2. I wrote about our long-standing fascination with space and space travel and I mentioned several books comics relating to space travel, some of them published well before the first attempts at travelling to outer space. The same applies to music so here is a short list, in more or less chronological order, of pieces of music and songs which are about Space and Space travel. I apologise if I have missed any really obvious ones – or your favourite. Feel free to comment. I have crept into the 70s, 80s and 90s for this one!
Gustav Holst’s work The Planets Suite was written in the period 1914-18 and although not about Space travel, it reflects our ongoing curiosity about Space. He gives each planet a character related to the ancient Greek and Roman gods they are named after and he portrays the characteristics of that god as if they were also the planets’. For example, the planet Mars is named after the Roman god of war and the Mars part of the Planets is an angry sounding piece. Classicists, please forgive my layman’s explanation!
In 1954 Bart Howard wrote Fly Me To The Moon and there have been many versions recorded. The one we all think of when we remember this song is Frank Sinatra‘s version released in 1964.
Purple People Eater. I can remember this song from when I was a child. A novelty song, it was a minor hit for Sheb Wooley who released it in 1958. It was a favourite for several years on Children’s Favourites on Saturday mornings. People at that time still talked about ‘Martians’ and little green men and wondered whether there was life elsewhere in Space.
David Bowie‘s album Space Oddity album, released in 1969, is considered by many to be one of his finest works and even those who don’t know the album are probably familiar with the words ‘Can you hear me Major Tom?’ and are able to hum the tune if not sing the whole song.
Bowie‘s Life on Mars? came out in 1971.
Elton John‘s Rocket Man released in 1972 is familiar to all, I’m sure. The recent film about Elton John’s life is called Rocketman.
Also released in 1972 was The Carpenters‘song Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft. This one, like the previous three, was around at the time when Man was actually going up into space and even landing on the moon. Space was massive news.
In 1978 Sarah Brightman and Hot Gossip recorded I lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper.
The Police recorded Walking on the Moon in 1979.
1986 saw Europe release The Final Countdown.
This song is a favourite at sporting events, often being played to rally crowds. On 2 October 1990 just a few hours before the German reunification, the English segment of international radio broadcaster of former East Germany RBI, played the intro of the song.
REM‘s Man on the Moon came out in 1992
In 1998 Belle and Sebastian recorded A Space Boy Dream which was about a boy who dreamed that he had the opportunity to fly to Mars with his dad and his sister but in three separate spaceships.
While I was drafting this post yesterday I heard on the radio that William Shatner had become the oldest person to travel to Space and back. Which led me to think that I haven’t yet covered films and TV programmes about Space through the decades. Possible Part 3?
Credit to Google Images and Wikipedia. As always, I have endeavored to ensure that nothing used in this post infringes copyright. If anyone objects to my use of an image, contact me and I will remove it.