Ground Control To Major Tom: Happy Birthday "Space Oddity"

On this day in 1969, David Bowie released what would arguably become his (first) calling-card track, "Space Oddity." The version you see and hear above is one that the world would briefly know (we found it in promo reel Love You Till Tuesday) before he became the Bowie that we all know and love.

Dig the mod clothes and hair. Just a couple of years later, he would be an androgynous wonder, helping dictate the glam-rock agenda in Europe and the States.

This version was rush-recorded and released to capitalize on the impending moon landing. Funny that 42 years later, we are mourning what many see as the end of American space travel, with the shuttle program ending when Atlantis returns to Earth in a few weeks.

The standard video for "Space Oddity" that we are all used to from VH1 Classic and various Bowie video compilations - the one with Bowie, redheaded and mulleted, in the studio - wouldn't be recorded until 1972, when Bowie was in full Ziggy Stardust mode and recording Aladdin Sane.

"Space Oddity" is found on Bowie's 1969 sophomore album, simply titled David Bowie. It would be retitled Space Oddity upon its re-release in 1972 once The Man Who Sold the World, Hunky Dory, and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars smashed into the music world like glittery comets.

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