Starman (4:13)

Cover of The Best Of David Bowie 1969-74

From The Best Of David Bowie 1969-74 and 61 other releases

“Starman” is David Bowie’s Christmas carol. It offers a promise of deliverance, that the human race has been redeemed by greater powers, with a chorus built for a crowd to sing it. It’s the song that finally broke Bowie, whose performance of it on a July 1972 Top of the Pops made him a nationwide, and soon worldwide, pop star. So while the Ziggy-era Bowie is remembered today for his outrageousness, the song that made his name is warm, reassuring and most of all familiar.

The latter’s key. For the average UK pop listener of 1972, David Bowie was still the weirdo who had had the song about Major Tom back in the ’60s, and suddenly, here he was back again with another astronaut song. It finally connected. And “Starman” seems like a revision of “Space Oddity”—”Space Oddity” had placed a frail human figure against the unfathomable expanse of space and cast him loose to drift into the unknown. It was submission to the void, the human race reaching its limits. In “Starman” the unknown is domesticated: the alien comes to visit us, in our homes, whispering through our radios, speaking softly, promising release. The stoicism of “Planet earth is blue/and there’s nothing I can do” is replaced by “he’s told us not to blow it/’cos he knows it’s all worthwhile.” The human race, or at least its children, turn out to be essential after all—the earth, once again, is the center of the universe.

Tags

Everyone’s tags

More tags

Play with Spotify

Albums featuring this track (62)

Similar Tracks

  Track   Duration Listeners
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust 3:44 687,852
David Bowie - Suffragette City 3:25 532,267
Lou Reed - Satellite of Love 3:42 306,878
Lou Reed - Walk on the Wild Side 4:14 554,044
The Who - Baba O'Riley 5:00 726,640
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody 5:55 1,176,964

Listening Trend

525,490listeners all time
3,057,604scrobbles all time
Recent listeners trend:

Explore more

Shoutbox

Leave a comment. Log in to Last.fm or sign up.

Listening Now

Top Listeners