Few things can top gazing up at the night sky. There’s something magical about looking at the stars and the planets in the vast expanse of space. All that’s missing is a playlist to set the mood. Here are the ten best songs any space-lover can rock out to while hoping for a shooting star to make a wish on.
Best Songs About Space, Stars and the Universe
“Fly Me to the Moon” – Frank Sinatra
Old Blue Eyes himself wrote what is probably the ultimate space song. In the 1954 hit, he sings all about flying to the moon, playing among the stars, and seeing springtime on Jupiter and Mars with his beau. There are also plenty of cover versions of the song to enjoy.
“Rocket Man” – Elton John
Legend has it Elton John’s classic hit was inspired by a shooting star. The 1972 song takes the idea of being an astronaut and treats it like any other nine-to-five job.
Some speculated “Rocket Man” was a metaphor for drug use based on the line “I’m gonna be high as a kite by then”. In fact, it was inspired by the book The Illustrated Man written by Ray Badbury, as Bernie Taupin (lyricist) clarified. In a story within it, “The Rocket Man”, astronauts of the future would become regular daily vocations.
In this song the protagonist sings about being lonely out in space and not really understanding how all the science works. This one, too, has plenty of cover versions.
“Space Murder” – Death
Murder by Death is constantly pushing boundaries. The Other Shore is a space opera about a relationship dying in tandem with a planet, one venturing out to find a new world, the other staying behind in the husk of the old world.
It’s overwhelmingly ambitious and hugely impressive in how it functions both as a complete piece and as individual songs. In our interview with Adam Turla he discussed the inspiration, “I basically have been toying with doing a space opera for a long time. I started writing one when I was a teenager. The story kind of unfolded line by line honestly, and song by song.”
“Space Cowboy” – Steve Miller Band
Not completely dissimilar to Rocket Man, the 1969 hit Space Cowboy is all about…well, a space cowboy. But unlike Elton John, the singer in this song is all about his life in space and exploring the outer realms of the galaxy. A word of caution: many mistake another Steve Miller Band Song, The Joker, for Space Cowboy.
“Space Oddity” – David Bowie
Bowie released Space Oddity just before the Apollo 11 mission launched and landed a man on the moon for the first time. It quickly became one of his trademark songs. The singer in the song is an astronaut who runs into trouble on his mission and is left floating high above the Earth.
“Spaceman” – The Killers
Anybody who likes a good alien intrigue will appreciate this song. It’s about a man who’s taken from his bed by aliens and forced to undergo a series of procedures. The titular spaceman tries to convince the man that the whole thing never really happened, but he knows better. The song debuted in 2008 and quickly became a hit.
“Andromeda” – Paul Weller
This 2010 song is a little on the short side, but it still packs quite a punch. It’s all about the Andromeda galaxy, the closest major galaxy to the Milky Way. The song centers around a space traveler who leaves Andromeda bound for another world, knowing full well he might not make it.
“Life on the Moon” – David Cook
Astronomy enthusiasts might find the idea of life on the moon appealing, but the singer in American Idol winner David Cook’s song isn’t a fan. He sings about being lonely and missing his lover back on Earth. Apparently, space colonization isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
“Walking on the Moon” – Cas Haley
On the other hand, the singer in this song has his partner right by his side, so it makes walking on the moon a joy. Haley’s 2008 version is a re-make of the hit by The Police, written by the one and only Sting.
“Heightened Sensitivity” – Anakim
DJ Anakim describes his music as an accompaniment for interstellar travel with the goal to take you into another world, even for a moment, but keep you dancing. In our interview with Anakim, he describes his fascination with space travel:
“While I do pay attention to new developments within the science of astronomy, my music relies much more on the emotive. At the center of it all, I try to score mini-movies within my head that happen to fit into a dance floor setting.
For example, say there’s some distant world in another galaxy that has a hostile environment filled with unknown hostile beings. What would the soundtrack to flying into that world sound like to me?”
“Starlight” – Muse
Continuing the theme, this 2006 alt-rock song is about a man who sings about a rocket ship taking him away from his loved ones. But, even across vast spans of space, he won’t give up on the memory of his lover. This song was also a hit when it was released.
“Space Truckin'” – Deep Purple
In this 1972 song, the singer imagines what it might be like to roam the galaxy and hanging out with aliens on other planets. This one is sure to inspire the imagination of anyone who’s ever dreamed of flying among the stars.
Of course, this is just a handful of songs all about space and space travel. There are countless songs out there that will speak to space-lovers and planet enthusiasts.
“We Are All Made Of Stars” – Moby
“We Are All Made Of Stars” was written and recorded by American songwriter and electronica musician Moby. The song was the lead single from his sixth disc, titled “18.” It hit stores on April 1, 2002. The single hit number 11 on the UK Singles Chart and was a top-10 tune in several European nations. The track was later included on the 2008 release “Songs for Tibet.”
“Black Hole Sun” – Soundgarden
This song was recorded by the American rock group known as Soundgarden. It was written by band frontman Chris Cornell. Released in 1994, it was the third single off the group’s fourth album titled “Superunknown.” The song climbed to the top of the well-known Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, camping out there for seven weeks in the number one slot. Arguably one of the group’s most recognizable and popular songs, it hit number one in Iceland.
“Supersonic Rocket Ship” – The Kinks
Next on the list of songs about space, stars, and the universe is “Supersonic Rocket Ship” by the Brit rock band, The Kinks. Written by lead singer Ray Davies, it was originally released as a single on May 5, 1972, in the UK, and in September of 1972 in the US. The single was backed with the tune “You Don’t Know My Name” which was written by lead guitarist Dave Davies.
“There’s A Star For Everyone” – Aretha Franklin
“There’s A Star For Everyone” was recorded by American singer, songwriter, and pianist Aretha Franklin. The song was co-written by Allee Willis, David Lasley, and Don Yowell. It was included on her 27th studio album titled “Love All the Hurt Away.” This was her second Arista Records label release, and it hit the record racks on August 20, 1981.
“Mr. Spaceman” – The Byrds
This one was recorded by the US rock group, the Byrds. It first appeared as the third cut on the band’s 1966 LP, “Fifth Dimension.” It was written by frontman Jim McGuinn. The single peaked at number 36 on the famous Billboard Hot 100 chart but did nothing in the UK. Music journalists coined the label “space-rock” to describe the music even though the term would later be used to describe another genre completely.
“Space Station #5” – Montrose
This song is the third cut on “Montrose”, the premiere platter of the American hard rock band of the same name. It was released on the Warner Bros. label in October of 1973. The song was co-written by lead guitarist Ronnie Montrose and lead singer, Sammy Hagar. It was Hagar’s official recording debut as a lead singer and he went on to become famous as a solo act and with Van Halen.
“Rocket” – Def Leppard
“Rocket” was written and recorded by the English rock group Def Leppard. It first appeared on the band’s 1987 platter “Hysteria.” It was the seventh and last US single, dropping in January of 1989. The song broke into the well-known US Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart too. With a running time of 6:34, the single release was significantly edited for radio airplay.
“Ashes To Ashes” – David Bowie
This song was written and recorded by the late English singer-songwriter David Bowie. It was the first single off his 1980 disc “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” and became his second number-one single in the UK. The song’s lyrics famously revisit Bowie’s legendary character, Major Tom, from his 1969 classic “Space Oddity.” Bowie would reference the astronaut again in his 1995 number “Hallo Spaceboy” and yet once more in his 2015 tune “Blackstar.”
“Space Junk” – Devo
“Space Junk” is a song by the American new wave act Devo. The song was co-written by Gerald Casale and Bob Mothersbaugh. It’s the fourth track from their debut disc titled “Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!” It hit the record stores in August of 1978 on the Warner Bros. label and was produced by English musician and composer Brian Eno. It hit number 78 in the US and 12 in the UK.
“30th Century Man” – The Jigsaw Seen
Our final entry in this list of songs about space, stars, and the universe is “30th Century Man.” This is a cover cut by the Los Angeles, California-based alt-pop band The Jigsaw Seen. The song was originally recorded by the English alternative band, Catherine Wheel.
The Jigsaw Seen released their version of the song on their 2002 EP titled “30 Century Man.” It also appears on their 2003 album named “Songs Mama Used to Sing.” The is perhaps best known for its inclusion in the animated feature “Futurama: Bender’s Big Score.”