1. David Bowie, “Space Oddity”
The title track from the album of the same name, David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” might be the quintessential space jam. Fun fact: Commander Chris Hadfield performed the song on the International Space Station in May 2013, because, like, what is more space than singing in space?
2. The Kinks, “Supersonic Rocket Ship”
Ray Davies, the mastermind behind the Kinks, wrote “Supersonic Rocket Ship” in response to BS celebrity culture, using the metaphor of an awesome rocket ship where “nobody has to be hip” and “nobody’s gonna travel second class.” Basically, go to space, everyone is chill there.
3. Liz Phair, “Supernova”
Here’s the rundown: Liz Phair is, like, super into some bro, who is so sick he’s basically a human supernova. Literally nothing says love like a solid space metaphor.
4. Radiohead, “Subterranean Homesick Alien”
Space can also represent isolation, vastness, feeling all the sad feelings you’ve ever felt; Radiohead teaches us this in college.
5. Kool Keith, “Aliens”
Nobody, NOBODY believes in aliens more than rapper Kool Keith, who was once quoted as admitting to actually owning alien bones. Like, he thinks he found them. Conspiracy theory: he’s the alien, diverting attention by claiming he knows of other aliens.
6. R.E.M., “Man on the Moon”
While the R.E.M. single is largely about performer Andy Kaufman, it deals with ideas of hoaxes, including the moon landing. Get it? Man on the moon?
7. The Jesus & Mary Chain, “Lost Star”
The Jesus & Mary Chain are arguably the coolest band on the planet (all the planets) and their music sounds like floating in space. In addition to “Lost Star” they have a few universe jams, including “Stardust Remedy” and “Man on the Moon.”
8. Felt, “Space Blues”
Scottish cult heroes Felt released this song as a 12-inch; it’s impossible to find in real life and sometimes I question whether or not it is even real. “Space Blues” is about being sad.
9. Sun Ra, “Tapestry From An Asteroid”
Get this: his name is Sun Ra, the song is titled “Tapestry From An Asteroid,” and it’s from the album We Travel the Space Ways on Saturn Records. You can’t get more space than that.
10. Europe, “The Final Countdown”
There are actual verses to this song about going to Venus and whatnot but clearly that doesn’t matter because IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN do da do do da do do do
11. Patti Smith, “Space Monkey”
Pretty sure goddess Patti Smith is discussing metaphorical space here — as in the absence between things — but this song is just too perfect not to include on this list. Also: monkey.
12. Tori Amos, “Space Dog”
Space dog as patriarchy, space dog sucks, Tori Amos does not.
13. Kate Bush, “Hello Earth”
Take a men’s choral passage, add dreamy female vocals, drizzle on top figurative language, and you have “Hello Earth,” Bush’s spacey masterpiece. She truly reached for the stars on this one.
14. The Steve Miller Band, “The Joker”
The ultimate in space jams. They better call you the space cowboy.