This is Ground Control to Major Tom, You've really made the grade...
Thirty years ago today, David Bowie's re-issued Space Oddity single had just finished its first week at #1 at the top of the official British singles chart, and was about to enjoy a consecutive week there.
The release had given David his very first UK #1, hot on the heels of his first US #1 the previous month with Fame.
Of course, Space Oddity had already provided the 22-year-old Bowie with a top five hit in the UK when it was originally issued on Philips in 1969. A 1972 re-issue of the song in the US also gave David his first taste of American top twenty chart success when it reached #15 there.
As you can see from the original magazine advert above, the 1975 release was a bargain for old and new fans alike. Released in a stunning picture sleeve, (only the third UK commercial Bowie picture sleeve issued up to that point, the others being Starman and Life On Mars?) the two classics alone, Space Oddity and Changes, were incredible value at just 59p.
But, for fans who wanted something extra, the previously unreleased Velvet Goldmine (albeit a mix DB wasn't happy with, or consulted about) was a very welcome new addition to the Bowie catalogue, and one which quickly became a favourite among fans and people who enjoy deciphering lyrics alike...has anybody ever actually worked them out accurately yet? I think not.
The success of Space Oddity also meant that Top Of The Pops had to do something more than get a bunch of soppy dancers to wriggle about. Instead, if memory serves, they screened the version filmed for Love You Till Tuesday... A TV exclusive in the UK that provided another fascinating glimpse of the young man floating around with some soppy dancers. };-)
Though shot just three years earlier, the Mick Rock promo of Space Oddity would have seemed just as inappropriate, seeing as DB was now well on the way to his next incarnation, the altogether more sinister Thin White Duke...but that's another chapter.
Major Tom would resurface to help DB with his next #1 UK single five years later. (08.01.05 NEWS: ASHES TO ASHES RELEASED 25 YEARS AGO TODAY)