July 09, 2019

"One Giant Step - David Bowie's Space Oddity" on BBC Radio 2

BBC Radio 2 dedicates a show to the 50th anniversary of Space Oddity, the song that got David Bowie his break after he had been struggling for years to make a mark. The shows airs on July 13th at 21:00:

July 2019 is the 50th anniversary not only of the Apollo moon landing but of the original release of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ single, which was his first ever hit. ‘One Giant Step’ examines the origins and legacy of ‘Space Oddity’ – arguably Bowie’s best known song, and its importance as a shadowy presence throughout his whole career cannot be underestimated. With new interviews from those who were there – including musicians, record company personnel and friends – as well as archive and unbroadcast interviews with David and producer Gus Dudgeon – we track ‘Major Tom’ from ‘Space Oddity’, through ‘Ashes to Ashes’ ‘Hello Spaceboy’ to ‘Blackstar’ with unheard studio outtakes and live performances. Contributors include: Pet Shop Boys, Dana Gillespie, Kevin Cann, and Olav Wyper.

We look at why on the back of 9 flop singles and many unreleased attempts at fame – Space Oddity was written, and examine the influences with new interviews with his duet partner of the time John Hutchinson and an ex girlfriend Dana Gillespie. We hear in full, exclusively to this programme, for the very first time, the earliest known demo of Space Oddity – performed as a duo with Hutch, but with different lyrics and arrangements.

We have previously unheard archive interview of Bowie’s manager at the time, Ken Pitt, talking about the unshown TV special ‘Love You Till Tuesday’ for which the song was written and we hear a previously unheard studio outtake of the song from February 1969. We hear about his multi-media trio Feathers – which was the starting point for the song – plus other influences such as Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey. We learn how Bowie admits that ‘Gee I am Major Tom’ and how the creation of the Major Tom character would be the first of many in his career.

» davidbowie.com

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