1983 Peter Schilling – Major Tom (Coming Home)
David Bowie’s first album did not sell well, so his manager arranged for David to create a short film to introduce his music to new listeners. David wrote an additional song for Love You till Tuesday and they produced a surprisingly good video to accompany Space Oddity.
David recorded a new version of the song for his new record label five months later, and Mercury Records released the song as a single in 1969. The record peaked at #5 in the UK but unfortunately failed to reach the US Hot 100 at all.
A re-release of the song in 1973 took the single to #15 on the US Hot 100 but only reached #16 on the UK chart the second time around.
David recorded his own sequel of sorts to Space Oddity in 1980. His song Ashes To Ashes includes the line, “We know Major Tom’s a junkie.” That, of course, gave the original song a completely different spin.
German singer/songwriter Pierre Schilling wrote a song that appears to be a simple retelling of Space Oddity. His song got released as a German single in 1983 and an English language version (using the name Peter Schilling) followed later that year. The English title of the song, Major Tom (Coming Home), leaves little doubt that the lyrics of his song owe an obvious debt to David’s original lyrics.
Major Tom (Coming Home) peaked at #14 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the US Dance chart in 1983.
While Peter initially denied that David’s song inspired the lyrics of his own recording, his denials became weaker and less frequent after David announced that he appreciated the music in the new song.
Peter had one other single reach #61 on the Hot 100 in 1988, but never again charted in the US. He continued touring and recording new music until at least 2006.
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