Hallo Spaceboy
by David Bowie (featuring Pet Shop Boys)

Album: Outside (1995)
Charted: 12

Songfacts®:

  • It was American guitarist Reeves Gabrels who originally came up with the musical foundations for this track. He arrived at the recording sessions for Outside with a demo called "Moondust." Bowie and co-producer Brian Eno them proceeded to transform his guitar instrumental into a trashy, hardcore song with a Nine Inch Nails-like vibe.

    Bowie told Axcess magazine: "I adore that track. In my mind, it was like Jim Morrison meets industrial. When I heard it back, I thought, 'F--k me. It's like metal Doors.' It's an extraordinary sound."
  • The song was re-recorded the following year, and issued as a single, featuring Pet Shop Boys as guest vocalists. It was a major smash across Europe especially in France where it topped the chart.
  • The Pet Shop Boys duo of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe oversaw the remix mischievously lacing it with references to "Space Oddity".

    "When David Bowie asked us to do a reworking of 'Hallo Spaceboy', that was a career high point," Tennant recalled to NME in 2017. "But the song only had one verse and Chris in the studio suggested we cut up 'Space Oddity' to make a second verse – 'Ground to Major bye-bye Tom. Dead the circuit countdown's wrong'."

    "David Bowie phoned up to ask how it was going and we said, 'We've cut up the lyrics of 'Space Oddity'.' Silence. 'Sounds like I'd better come in,'" he continued. "We completed the Major Tom trilogy: 'Space Oddity', 'Ashes To Ashes' and suddenly 'Hallo Spaceboy'. I said to David Bowie, 'It's like Major Tom is in one of those Russian spaceships they can't afford to bring down,' and he said, 'Oh wow, is that where he is?'"

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