Monday, May 13, 2013

Space Oddity

Back in the early 1980s I fell back in love with some popular music after ignoring it for more than a decade while I worked on becoming a capable classical guitarist. After the release of Abbey Road I never heard anything of much interest until the 80s. Then, by chance, I heard a song by the Australian Group Men at Work and got intrigued with their sound. Soon after I got acquainted with the music of Talking Heads and The Police. I also got to know David Bowie with the album Let's Dance, though one of the things that attracted me was the guitar-playing of Stevie Ray Vaughn. I also owned a collection of Bowie's greatest hits which included his early 1969 song "Space Oddity". Here is the original version:

There's a new version out, with a new video, recorded by Chris Hadfield. Who's that? Well, he is really better known as a fighter pilot and astronaut. He was born and raised in Ontario and had a twenty-five year career in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Since 1992 he has been an astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency and NASA. Right at this moment he is in space, commander of the International Space Station. He is also a singer and guitarist and good enough to do his own version of "Space Oddity" recorded, on location, in the International Space Station. Here it is:

Fellow Canadian musician Emm Gryner helped create the backing track. From the final credits we know that the piano, bass, drums and what is probably a synthesizer track were recorded on Earth. The vocal and guitar were recorded in the space station. He is playing a Canadian guitar made by LarrivĂ©e and using Shure microphones. Apparently he has, in his spare time, recorded an entire album!

I just thought this was pretty cool...

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