"Space Oddity" is a song written and performed by David Bowie and released as a single in 1969. It is about the launch of Major Tom, a fictional astronaut. The song appears on the album Space Oddity. The BBC featured the song in its television coverage of the Apollo 11 launch and lunar landing.
Bowie would later revisit his Major Tom character in the songs "Ashes to Ashes" and "Hallo Spaceboy".
Following Bowie's split from record label Deram, his manager Kenneth Pitt managed to negotiate a one-album deal (with options for a further one or two albums) with Mercury Records, and their UK subsidiary Philips in 1969. Next he tried to find a producer. George Martin turned the project down, while Tony Visconti liked the album demo-tracks, but considered the planned lead-off single, "Space Oddity", a gimmick track, and delegated its production to Gus Dudgeon. An early version of the song had appeared in Bowie's promotional film Love You Till Tuesday.
Following recording of a fresh version, the single was rush-released on 11 July 1969 to coincide with the Apollo 11 moon landing. It was promoted via advertisements for the Stylophone, played by Bowie on the record. Although they initially...