30 Songs About Space You Must Listen Too

From the birth of the universe to the mystery of black holes, space has always been a source of endless fascination and inspiration. Musicians across decades and genres have captured these wonders in their songs, filling our playlists with stellar compositions about interstellar journeys and celestial phenomena.

This article delves into the best songs about space, creating a cosmic symphony that transcends time and genre. With a melodic fusion of science, fantasy, and emotion, these tracks transport us into the vast expanse of the universe, inviting us to ponder our existence amidst the grandeur of the cosmos.

Songs About Space
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best 30 songs about space

1.”Space Oddity” by David Bowie

Released in 1969, right around the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing, “Space Oddity” is a haunting track about an astronaut named Major Tom who gets lost in space. Bowie perfectly encapsulates the sense of human isolation against the backdrop of the vast cosmos.

Expert Tip: With its rich narrative and the melancholy echoes of Bowie’s voice, this song is not just a musical masterpiece but a timeless ode to space exploration, tinged with the anxiety and fear of the unknown.

2. “Across the Universe” by The Beatles

This track, released in 1970, brilliantly utilizes the concept of space as a metaphor to explore the infinite expanse of human consciousness.

Lyrics like “Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes, they call me on and on across the universe” create a dreamy, transcendent soundscape that beautifully illustrates our interconnectedness with the cosmos. The theme of acceptance amid the universe’s unfathomable vastness has resonated with audiences for over half a century.

3. “Rocket Man” by Elton John

A poignant portrayal of the loneliness of space travel, “Rocket Man” was released in 1972. Elton John’s soulful voice conveys the astronaut’s internal conflict as he rockets into space, leaving his family behind. The lyrics speak to the alienation of space travel and the mundane reality of work, even in the unusual role of an astronaut.

It’s a deeply emotional song that shows the human side of the seemingly glamorous life of space exploration.

4. “Starman” by David Bowie

Bowie’s 1972 song, “Starman”, creates an imaginative narrative about a celestial being communicating a message of hope to the youth on Earth. The track is characterized by its catchy chorus and lush arrangements.

It’s a hopeful song that illustrates Bowie’s unique ability to blend pop and glam rock with futuristic themes, creating a cultural impact much like the starman’s radio transmissions.

5. “Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse

Released in 2006, this track combines elements of rock, funk, and electronic music to create a high-energy anthem with an edgy, futuristic feel. The song explores the irresistible pull of a supermassive black hole as a metaphor for a destructive relationship.

Its distinctive fusion of genres, infectious bassline, and Matt Bellamy’s falsetto vocals craft an intense, otherworldly soundscape.

6. “Interstellar Overdrive” by Pink Floyd

This 1967 instrumental is a sonic odyssey that truly embodies its title. The experimental track, characterized by its freeform structure, improvisational guitar work, and avant-garde sound effects, manages to capture the unpredictability and enormity of space.

Its kaleidoscopic sound palette pushes the boundaries of rock music, much like how space exploration pushes the limits of human understanding.

7. “Walking on the Moon” by The Police

This 1979 hit combines reggae-infused rock with Sting’s distinct vocals to exude a feeling of weightlessness, mirroring the sensation of walking on the moon. The metaphor extends to portray the elation of being in love, delivering a sublime musical experience that is both earthly and otherworldly.

8. “Drops of Jupiter” by Train

Released in 2001, this Grammy-winning track uses a cosmic journey as a metaphor for personal growth after a breakup. The lyrics ponder whether the returned loved one’s experiences “back in the atmosphere” have truly changed them or simply made them appreciate their previous life more.

The song’s beautiful piano melodies and catchy chorus have made it an enduring hit.

9. “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis

As an anthemic closing track on the seminal 1995 album “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?”, this song features expansive, layered guitars and dreamlike lyrics. Its metaphoric “supernova” conveys the explosive and fleeting nature of fame, love, and existence, delivering a deeply philosophical message wrapped in a sweeping Britpop package.

10. “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden

Released in 1994, this grunge classic stands out for its surreal lyrics and haunting melody. The enigmatic phrase “black hole sun” serves as a call for oblivion, a cleansing force to wash away the corruption and disillusionment of society. Its striking music video, filled with apocalyptic imagery, makes it one of the most memorable songs about space.

11. “2000 Light Years from Home” by The Rolling Stones

Released in 1967 on their album “Their Satanic Majesties Request”, this song uses the vast distance of space as a metaphor for alienation and isolation. Lyrically, it captures the sense of being out of touch with one’s home and reality, a theme mirrored in its psychedelic instrumental arrangement.

The Stones’ creative venture into the cosmic unknown with this track continues to be appreciated for its explorative spirit in rock and roll.

12. “Space Cowboy” by Steve Miller Band

A track from the band’s 1969 album “Brave New World”, “Space Cowboy” uses the image of a cosmic cowboy as a metaphor for rebellion and non-conformity. It’s an allegory of the band’s own free-spirited lifestyle in the rapidly changing socio-cultural landscape of the late 1960s.

Steve Miller’s easy-going vocals and the bluesy groove give this song a timeless appeal.

13. “Man on the Moon” by R.E.M.

This 1992 release is an affectionate tribute to eccentric comedian Andy Kaufman, with space exploration serving as a metaphor for Kaufman’s own surreal, ground-breaking comedy.

The chorus, “If you believe, they put a man on the moon,” points to the power of belief, mystery, and human potential, themes central to both Kaufman’s comedy and humanity’s quest for space exploration.

14. “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra

Though more romance-focused, Sinatra’s 1964 classic uses space as a backdrop for the singer’s declaration of love. Its swing-style melody and Sinatra’s velvety voice lend a timeless appeal to the song. Its numerous inclusions in films and television shows have further cemented its place in popular culture.

15. “Moondance” by Van Morrison

In this 1970 release, Van Morrison romanticizes a moonlit night, using it as a metaphor to express the exhilaration and magic of love. His expressive vocals, combined with a vibrant jazz-inspired arrangement, create an enchanting musical experience. The moon, in this context, acts as an ageless symbol of romance and mystique.

16. “Subterranean Homesick Alien” by Radiohead

Off their seminal 1997 album “OK Computer”, this track reflects on alien life forms looking at humans as the “weird” ones. Its ethereal soundscape, combined with Thom Yorke’s haunting vocals, creates a feeling of isolation and yearning for a different perspective a life beyond the mundanity of earthbound existence.

17. “Countdown” by Rush

Released in 1982, “Countdown” is an ode to the space shuttle launch that the band members witnessed at Cape Canaveral. The lyrics encapsulate the awe-inspiring spectacle of the launch and the mix of anticipation and trepidation that accompanies any journey into the unknown.

Expert Tip: Fueled by Rush’s signature complex rhythms and intricate musicianship, this track offers a genuine sense of adventure.

18. “Exogenesis: Symphony” by Muse

This three-part symphony from Muse’s 2009 album “The Resistance” is a grand musical exploration of humanity’s future both its potential for self-destruction and its capacity to start anew in the cosmos. The lush, orchestral arrangements evoke the majesty and mystery of space, whilst the lyrics speak to the human condition in the face of such vast potential.

19. “Astronomy Domine” by Pink Floyd

The opening track on their debut album “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn”, this 1967 song is a psychedelic journey to outer space. With its disorienting, spacey sounds and lyrics about celestial bodies, it creates a cosmic atmosphere that showcases the band’s early, experimental side.

20. “Galaxies” by Owl City

A track from the 2011 album “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, “Galaxies” is a synth-pop hymn that uses cosmic imagery to deal with a personal loss. The lyrics reference the vastness of space to underscore the depth of human sorrow and faith. Its upbeat electronic soundscape contrasts with the poignant lyrics, creating a complex emotional texture.

21. “Life on Mars?” by David Bowie

Released in 1971, this song is one of Bowie’s signature tracks. It questions the sense of reality, featuring a disillusioned girl escaping into a cinema screen, seeking refuge in the idea of life on Mars. The song’s powerful lyrics and dramatic melody create a sense of longing for a reality beyond the everyday mundane.

22. “Cosmic Love” by Florence and the Machine

In this 2009 track, cosmic imagery represents a blinding love lost. Florence Welch’s powerful vocals, backed by harp and pounding drums, evoke an emotional space where love and loss are as immense and overwhelming as the cosmos. The lyrics are poetic and rich, framing a heartbreak within the vastness of the universe.

23. “Saturn” by Sleeping At Last

A part of the “Space” EP released in 2014, “Saturn” is a stunning orchestral-indie rock track about time, aging, and life’s fleeting nature. The lyrics reflect on the insignificance and the incredible beauty of life against the backdrop of the cosmos. Its hauntingly beautiful music and poignant words make it a memorable space-themed track.

24. “The Final Countdown” by Europe

This 1986 classic rock song, known for its unforgettable synth riff, is a grandiose piece about leaving the Earth for Venus. It’s a grand metaphor for any significant change or departure. Its high-energy performance and apocalyptic lyrics have made it an enduring cultural phenomenon.

25. “Under The Milky Way” by The Church

This 1988 song is a moody, atmospheric rock track named after our galaxy, the Milky Way. The ethereal guitars and melancholic lyrics create a sense of longing and loneliness, encapsulating a late-night yearning beneath the expanse of the starry sky.

26. “Spaceman” by The Killers

Released in 2008, “Spaceman” deals with themes of alienation, with its narrative inspired by David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”. The catchy, anthemic sound of the track, juxtaposed with the lyric’s darker undertones, makes for an intriguing listen, demonstrating the band’s ability to fuse indie rock with deep, thought-provoking themes.

27. “Venus” by Frankie Avalon

This 1959 hit transforms Venus, the second planet in our solar system, into the Roman goddess of love. Avalon croons a plea to Venus to send him a girl to love, showcasing the timeless human tendency to look to the heavens for answers to earthly problems.

28. “Space” by Prince

From the 1994 album “Come”, “Space” is a slow-burning funk ballad where space is a metaphor for an empty, cold bed. Prince’s signature falsetto, combined with sensual lyrics, create a song that’s more about earthly desires than cosmic explorations but remains a unique take on the space theme.

29. “Stars” by Switchfoot

This 2005 alternative rock track contemplates humanity’s place in the universe, using stars as a metaphor for the constants that guide our lives. The powerful lyrics, paired with the band’s dynamic sound, create an inspiring message about finding your path in the grand scheme of the universe.

30. “AstroMan” by Jimi Hendrix

This 1971 track sees Hendrix take on the role of a cosmic superhero, leaving the troubles of Earth behind to find peace among the stars. The song’s spacey guitar effects, tight rhythm section, and Hendrix’s imaginative lyrics make for a thrilling ride into the cosmos.

What is the song about a man going to space?

One of the most iconic songs about a man going to space is David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” Released in 1969, this song tells the story of Major Tom, an astronaut who loses contact with Ground Control and becomes adrift in space. Bowie uses this narrative to explore feelings of isolation and the vast, possibly infinite unknown of the universe.

“Space Oddity” was a product of the era’s fascination with space travel and exploration, given it was released just days before the Apollo 11 moon landing. The song’s combination of otherworldly instrumentals, existential lyrics, and Bowie’s distinctive voice created an atmospheric piece that still resonates with audiences today.

It is a poignant reminder of the human experience within the grandeur of the cosmos, exploring both the excitement and existential dread that can accompany journeys into the unknown.

What music is associated with space?

Space themes have been a frequent muse for various genres of music, including classical, rock, pop, electronic, and more. Classical pieces like Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” suite or Richard Strauss’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra” (popularized by Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey”) have drawn inspiration from celestial bodies and cosmic mythology.

In rock and pop, artists like David Bowie, Elton John, and Pink Floyd have used space as a backdrop to explore themes of isolation, existentialism, and wonder.

Electronic and ambient music genres, including artists like Brian Eno and Jean-Michel Jarre, often use synth-heavy compositions to create aural soundscapes evocative of the ethereal, vast nature of space. More recently, sci-fi and space themes have become popular in progressive metal and synth-wave genres.

What song was used to wake up astronauts?

NASA has a tradition of waking up astronauts with a specially chosen track each day during space missions, a practice that started with the Gemini program. The selections, known as “wake-up calls,” varied widely from classical music to rock, pop, country, and even movie themes.

Quick Fact: One of the most memorable wake-up calls was a performance of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” by the Houston Symphony Orchestra, which used to wake the Apollo 11 astronauts on their way to the Moon.

Other popular choices have included The Beatles’ “Good Day Sunshine” during the Apollo 16 mission and Elton John’s “Rocket Man” used in a Space Shuttle mission.

What was the first song listened to in space?

The first song ever played in space was “Jingle Bells,” performed on a harmonica accompanied by small bells by the crew of Gemini 6 in December 1965.

As a prank, astronauts Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford reported seeing a “UFO” before playing the Christmas song, causing some momentary concern at NASA Mission Control before they realized it was a holiday-themed joke. The harmonica and bells used in the performance are considered the first musical instruments played in space.

The first recorded song broadcast in space was The Beatles’ “Across the Universe,” transmitted by NASA towards the North Star, Polaris, in 2008 as part of the agency’s 50th-anniversary celebrations.

Who was the first band to perform live in space?

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield made history as the first person to perform a live song in space. His cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” recorded on the International Space Station (ISS) and shared with Earth via YouTube, is now legendary.

However, the first band to perform live in space was Bandella, a folk band made up of astronauts and space engineers. Aboard the ISS, they broadcast their performance live back to Earth.

What is the “space age pop” genre?

“Space age pop” is a subgenre of popular music that emerged during the space race era of the 1950s and 60s. It incorporated diverse elements of big band jazz, classical music, and electronic sounds to create a futuristic atmosphere.

Often instrumental, space-age pop composers were influenced by the technological innovations of the time, and their music frequently contained space exploration or science fiction themes.

What’s a notable opera that’s related to space?

A notable opera related to space is Karl-Birger Blomdahl’s “Aniara”. Premiered in 1959, it’s based on Harry Martinson’s epic poem about a spaceship, named Aniara, carrying refugees from a ruined Earth to Mars. When knocked off course, the ship becomes lost in space, and the opera explores the subsequent existential crisis among the passengers.

The avant-garde score uses electronic music, combining orchestral and vocal elements, to underscore the cosmic and human drama.

Why do artists use space as a metaphor in their music?

Artists often use space as a metaphor in their music because of its vast, mysterious, and seemingly infinite nature. It symbolizes the unknown, the adventurous, and the unreachable. Themes of isolation, existentialism, exploration, and wonder are easily drawn from it.

Space, as a metaphor, can make these abstract themes more tangible, offering a cosmic perspective on human emotions and experiences.

Is there any genre of music born from the space exploration era?

The era of space exploration had a significant influence on the evolution of music, leading to the development of the “space rock” genre. This genre emerged in the late 1960s and 70s, largely inspired by the excitement of the space race.

It is characterized by extended instrumentals, experimental structures, and lyrics often related to space travel and science fiction. Bands like Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, and later, Spiritualized, have been key players in this genre.

What was the first music video shot in space?

The first music video shot in space was Chris Hadfield’s cover of “Space Oddity” by David Bowie. Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut and the commander of Expedition 35 on the International Space Station recorded his version of the song while on the ISS.

The resulting video, featuring Hadfield floating in zero gravity while singing and playing the guitar, was edited on Earth and has since become a viral sensation.

In conclusion, the fascination with the cosmos has been a recurring theme in music throughout history. Whether it’s through the metaphorical use of celestial bodies, the yearning for otherworldly adventures, or the awe of the universe’s expansive mystery, the cosmos continues to inspire musicians across genres.

As we venture further into space and uncover more of its secrets, it’s exciting to imagine how these revelations might influence the music of the future. The sky is not the limit when it comes to the intersection of music and space rather, it’s just the beginning.

About Rencel Leyran