This Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the historic moon landing. Let this playlist of cosmic songs be your gateway to a galactic wonderland. Below you’ll find a few highlights, but you can find the full 50-song playlist on our Seattle Times Spotify profile.
“Space Oddity,” David Bowie
Ground Control to Major Tom! This song was released just five days before the Apollo 11 launch. Mr. Bowie knew what he was doing.
“Man on the Moon,” Britney Spears
There are actually three different songs on this playlist with this same title but I am highlighting this one because the songwriters were on point with the space and moon references. See if you can count them all!
“Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time),” Elton John
Fun fact: “Rocket Man” and “Space Oddity” were both produced by Gus Dudgeon.
“Intergalactic,” the Beastie Boys
Honestly, aside from the title and repetition of “intergalactic, planetary, planetary, intergalactic” in the song, there aren’t too many space references. However, that beat is what I assume would be playing at a party for aliens.
“Starboy,” The Weeknd
OK, but how good would a buddy comedy about The Weeknd’s Starboy and David Bowie’s Starman be?
“Anna Sun,” WALK THE MOON
This song actually has nothing to do with the sun but the band name alone makes them qualified for the list.
“E.T.,” Katy Perry
What I learned from this song is that if aliens are real, Katy Perry would not be afraid to fall in love with one. You go, girl.
“NASA,” Ariana Grande
Ariana got to visit NASA’s Johnson Space Center in May where she tried on a spacesuit and zipped around in a rover. Perhaps it was NASA’s way of saying, “Thank you!” for the unofficial anthem.
“Dancing in the Moonlight,” King Harvest
That moment when you make the perfect song to dance in the moonlight to and it’s about dancing in the moonlight.
“Talking to the Moon,” Bruno Mars
Bruno is not having as much fun as King Harvest in this song. Instead of dancing under the moon he’s talking to it as he yearns for someone he loves. Yikes.
“Space Cowboy,” Kacey Musgraves
All you really need to know about this song is that it would be perfect for a Western/space/romantic crossover film. Not to be confused with the *NSYNC ft. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes song “Space Cowboy (Yippie-Yi-Yay)” which I also included on this playlist, obviously.
“Space Jam,” Quad City DJ’s
I thought about having this be the only song on the playlist, but figured it wouldn’t be fair to all the other space songs out there.
“Moon River,” Frank Ocean
Technically this song is about a river named moon and has nothing to do with the actual moon but Frank’s cover is melt-worthy so, you’re welcome.
“Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words),” Frank Sinatra
“Rocketeer,” Far East Movement
If you were an eighth grader in 2010, this one will take you back to those awkward after-school socials that you probably (read: rightfully) blocked out of your memory.
“Aliens Exist,” blink-182
Former blink-182 member Tom DeLonge, who takes the lead vocals on this one, is super into aliens. So much so he founded an organization devoted to the study of UFOs and extraterrestrial life. Sounds like an out-of-this-world endeavor.
“Life On Mars?,” David Bowie
What can I say? Bowie really liked space.
“Drops of Jupiter,” Train
Name of a planet in the title, check. Many references to space imagery, check. 10/10 would put it on a space-themed playlist again.
“Outer Space Girls,” the Spice Girls
Five words: Guaranteed to blow your mind! (Side note: There was a missed opportunity to name this song “Outer Spice Girls.” I mean, they got it right with “Spice Invaders”!)
“All The Stars,” Kendrick Lamar ft. SZA
Not actually about those twinkly things in the sky but a fantastic collaboration by two real-life stars.