“5, 4, 3, 2, 1, LIFT OFF...”
The story is in the headline. You all know Space Oddity, but unless you saw this Top Of The Pops performance at the time, you won't be familiar with the moment that David Bowie first got proper mass exposure on UK TV, as it's another piece of footage that went to the BBC wipers to be lost forever.
Taped the previous week on 2nd October when the song was finally threatening the Top 20 (it was released three months earlier on 11th July), Bowie’s solo performance saw him accompanied by 12-string guitar and his trusty Stylophone to a backing prepared by Gus Dudgeon, synchronised to the BBC orchestra.
The performance was repeated the following week on 16th October and these showings helped the song to its peak position of #5 in November.
The 1975 reissue of Space Oddity was the first single in the UK to reach the #1 spot after having previously been a Top 5 hit.
Anyway, Space Oddity was the hit that stepped things up considerably for Bowie, even if it was almost another three years before a very different looking spaceman began his world domination via Starman on Top Of The Pops.