20 Stellar Songs About Space: The Universe Through Music

When exploring the universe, what music is suitable to listen to is subjective to the individual space explorer, their culture, and even the decade they flew in.

However, there is indeed a vast selection of excellent space music available. Some of these were even played in space, such as the NASA wakeup songs for astronauts or the playlist from the Voyager mission Golden Record that ultimately left our solar system.

It is challenging to choose favorites and even more challenging to compile a list of recommendations, but we have done our best.

It is worth noting that we are a North American and European-based staff; hence, we have stuck to English-language songs or instrumental songs to avoid any cultural misunderstandings. However, we welcome your international music suggestions in the forum.

While we have attempted to include family-friendly songs, we advise that parents should pre-screen this list of music before sharing these selections with their children.

1. “Under the Milky Way” by The Church

“Under the Milky Way” is a timeless single by the Australian alternative rock band The Church, released in 1988. The track stands as the band’s most renowned song, an iconic piece from their fifth studio album, “Starfish.”

Characterized by its haunting, melancholic melody and evocative lyrics, the song paints a picture of introspection and longing.

Rich with the sound of a 12-string acoustic guitar and a distinctive, memorable chorus that features an otherworldly bagpipe solo, the song captures a sense of yearning for something more.

It gained widespread acclaim, becoming a radio favorite and charting internationally. Its atmospheric and dreamy vibe makes it a perfect companion for reflective night-time listening, resonating deeply with audiences through the decades.

2. “Space Oddity” by Chris Hadfield

“Space Oddity” performed by Chris Hadfield is a beautifully unique cover of David Bowie’s classic, made even more remarkable by being recorded in space.

As the first music video shot in the International Space Station, this rendition gained widespread attention and acclaim.

Hadfield, an astronaut with a passion for music, reinvents the iconic track with heartfelt vocals and acoustic guitar, all while floating in zero gravity.

The visuals, showing Earth from space and the interior of the ISS, coupled with the poignant lyrics, create a deeply moving experience.

This version of “Space Oddity” transcends the original’s narrative, blending art and science in a tribute to human curiosity and the spirit of exploration.

It’s a must-watch, offering a glimpse of life beyond Earth, underscored by an unforgettable soundtrack.

3. “Space Truckin'” by Deep Purple

“Space Truckin'” is an electrifying song by the renowned English hard rock band Deep Purple.

As the closing track on their 1972 album, “Machine Head,” the song captures the exhilarating essence of the band’s innovative sound.

The lyrics of “Space Truckin'” invite listeners on a cosmic adventure, celebrating space exploration with boisterous energy and enthusiasm.

It embodies the era’s fascination with space and science fiction, wrapped up in driving guitar riffs, pounding drums, and Jon Lord’s thunderous organ play.

Unleashing a raw, psychedelic vibe that commands attention, the song has become a signature encore piece at the band’s concerts. “Space Truckin'” is a star in Deep Purple’s discography, offering a high-octane finish to an album that solidified their status as rock legends.

4. “Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse

“Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse is a scintillating fusion of alternative rock and bold, electronic elements that marked a daring departure from the band’s previous sound when it was released in 2006.

Featured on their album “Black Holes and Revelations,” this track showcases Muse’s knack for blending different musical textures, creating a gritty, yet sleek sound.

Frontman Matthew Bellamy has described the song as being partially about women, reflecting a theme of fascination and enigma.

The track is famous for its catchy main riff, innovative use of falsetto vocals, and a pulsating beat that draws listeners into a vortex of sound, mirroring the gravitational pull of the titular astronomical phenomenon.

“Supermassive Black Hole” stands out for its energetic delivery and has become a staple of the band’s live performances, captivating audiences with its intensity and futuristic allure.

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5. “Starlight” by Muse

“Starlight” by Muse is a soaring anthem from their acclaimed 2006 album “Black Holes and Revelations.”

Often described as a modern take on the feel and energy reminiscent of bands like The Strokes, this song exudes a mix of melancholy and hope, encapsulated in its atmospheric blend of smooth bass lines, shimmering synthesizers, and passionate vocals.

The track has been characterized as a love song that delves into themes of longing and the emotional impact of separation.

Its powerful chorus, underscored by Dominic Howard’s dynamic drumming and Matt Bellamy’s expressive voice, ignites a sense of resilience and the urge to reunite with loved ones.

The anthemic nature of “Starlight” has made it a fan favorite and a highlight in Muse’s live performances, resonating with audiences through its heartfelt lyrics and compelling melody.

6. “Space Age Love Song” by A Flock of Seagulls

“Space Age Love Song” is an iconic track by A Flock of Seagulls, released in 1982 as part of their self-titled debut album.

This song epitomizes the optimistic spirit of the early 80s synth-pop movement, combining ethereal synthesizer melodies with jangly guitars and the distinct, earnest vocals that defined the era.

The lyrics convey a simple, heartfelt narrative of love at first sight and the ensuing emotional journey encapsulated in the band’s unique futuristic soundscape.

The title itself, “Space Age Love Song,” hints at the blend of romanticism and the new wave’s fascination with technology and the future.

Celebrated for its euphoric and uplifting vibe, this track remains a timeless piece, evoking a sense of nostalgia while continuing to resonate with fans of all ages who are drawn to its dreamy, synth-driven allure.

7. “Space Dementia” by Muse

“Space Dementia” by Muse is a masterful blend of classical-inspired piano rock with electronic and heavy rock/metal elements.

Featured on their second studio album, “Origin of Symmetry” (2001), the song is composed in the key of E minor and showcases the band’s talent for integrating different musical influences.

It starts with a haunting piano riff, an homage to the romantic grandeur of Rachmaninoff, before escalating into a full-bodied, dynamic sound with Matt Bellamy’s intense vocals and fierce guitar work.

The lyrics explore themes of madness and the overwhelming nature of space, while the music conjures an expansive, otherworldly atmosphere that ebbs and flows like the tide of human emotions.

The ambitious composition and Bellamy’s passionate delivery make “Space Dementia” a striking and memorable track that highlights Muse’s innovative approach to modern rock.

8. “The Final Countdown” by Europe

“The Final Countdown” is an iconic song by the Swedish rock band Europe, released in 1986. Known for its powerful and instantly recognizable keyboard riff, this song catapulted Europe to international fame.

Written by lead singer Joey Tempest, “The Final Countdown” combines soaring vocals, dynamic guitar solos, and a compelling rhythm section, crafting a track that is both anthemic and emotive.

The song’s lyrical content, inspired by the concept of leaving Earth to explore space, reflects the optimism and curiosity of the mid-80s, making it resonate with listeners dreaming of new frontiers.

Its grandiose sound and apocalyptic overtones give it a timeless appeal, ensuring its place as a staple in rock music and pop culture.

Beyond its success on the charts, “The Final Countdown” has become an enduring symbol of 80s rock, celebrated for its epic construction and memorable melody.

9. “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

“Bad Moon Rising” is a classic hit by American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Released in 1969, this song is synonymous with the band’s signature roots rock sound that smoothly blends rock with elements of folk and country.

With its catchy guitar riff and John Fogerty’s distinctive vocal twang, the track exudes an upbeat, toe-tapping rhythm that contrasts with its apocalyptic lyrics.

The song paints a picture of impending doom with imagery of natural disasters and a sense of foreboding, reflected in lines like “I see earthquakes and lightnin’, I see bad times today.”

Despite its ominous warnings, “Bad Moon Rising” remains a beloved anthem, celebrated for its succinct storytelling and infectious melody.

It’s a testament to the band’s ability to craft songs that are not only musically engaging but also culturally resonant, capturing the turbulent spirit of the late 60s.

10. “Man On The Moon” by R.E.M.

“Man on the Moon” is a captivating song by the American alternative rock band R.E.M.

Released in November 1992 as the second single from their eighth album, “Automatic for the People,” it stands out for its intriguing lyrics and distinctive composition.

Written by lead singer Michael Stipe, with drummer Bill Berry and guitarist Peter Buck contributing to the music, the song pays tribute to the eccentric comedian Andy Kaufman.

Notable references to Kaufman’s life and career furnish the lyrics, including his Elvis impersonation, pro-wrestling stints, and the movie “My Breakfast with Blassie.”

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The song title and chorus intriguingly evoke moon landing conspiracy theories, indirectly nodding to rumors about Kaufman’s death being faked.

“Man on the Moon” endures as one of R.E.M.’s most beloved tracks, thanks to its intriguing themes and ear-catching melody, and continues to shine brightly in the constellation of their vast musical catalog.

11. “Space Oddity” by David Bowie

“Space Oddity” is an iconic song by the legendary British musician David Bowie, released as a single in 1969 and later as part of his self-titled album.

Revered for its storytelling and musical innovation, the song captures the tale of Major Tom, a fictional astronaut who becomes untethered from Earth, both physically and metaphorically.

Bowie’s haunting vocals and atmospheric instrumentation evoke the vastness of space and the existential solitude it represents.

The song aligns with the era’s fascination with space exploration and stands as a poignant exploration of human vulnerability.

“Space Oddity” remains a timeless masterpiece, cementing Bowie’s status as a pioneer of narrative-driven rock music.

12. “Rocket Man” by Elton John

“Rocket Man” is a classic tune by the legendary Elton John, with lyrics by his longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin.

Featured on the 1972 album “Honky Château,” this song delves into the inner thoughts of an astronaut who feels disconnected from life on Earth as he embarks on a space mission.

The melodic structure, featuring Elton John’s expressive piano playing and distinctive vocals, complements the poignant lyrics that reflect the melancholy of isolation and the mundanity that can accompany extraordinary experiences.

“Rocket Man” has since become an anthem, an ode to the human experience, and a frequently referenced work in pop culture, illustrating the timeless nature of John’s and Taupin’s songwriting genius.

13. “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra

“Fly Me to the Moon,” famously performed by Frank Sinatra, is a classic standard that has become synonymous with the legendary crooner’s smooth and charismatic style.

Originally written by Bart Howard in 1954 and titled “In Other Words,” the song gained widespread popularity when Sinatra recorded it for his 1964 album “It Might as Well Be Swing,” accompanied by the Count Basie Orchestra.

Sinatra’s rendition, with its lush orchestral arrangement by Quincy Jones, exudes a suave and effortless charm.

The lyrics express a romantic wish to soar through the heavens, reflecting both the mid-20th-century fascination with space and the timeless desire for a love that transcends the ordinary.

“Fly Me to the Moon” remains one of Sinatra’s most beloved and enduring recordings.

14. “Life on Mars?” by David Bowie

“Life on Mars?” is a mesmerizing track by David Bowie, featured on his 1971 album “Hunky Dory.” This song is known for its cinematic piano intro and rich, sweeping arrangement, complementing Bowie’s compelling vocal performance.

The enigmatic lyrics pose philosophical questions about the absurdity of life, media, and the human condition, all while drawing a vivid picture of a young girl’s disillusionment with her surroundings.

With its haunting melody and thought-provoking imagery, “Life on Mars?” has been hailed as one of Bowie’s greatest works, showcasing his unique ability to blend intricate storytelling with avant-garde pop music.

The track continues to captivate listeners with its otherworldly beauty and timeless appeal.

15. “Starman” by David Bowie

“Starman” is one of David Bowie’s most cherished songs, serving as a key single from his 1972 album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.”

The song introduces the character of Ziggy Stardust’s Starman, an extraterrestrial being who brings a message of hope and unity to the youth of Earth through the power of music.

With its catchy chorus and glam rock flair, “Starman” became an anthem for the 70s generation, radiating optimism and the promise of a broader universe.

Bowie’s imaginative storytelling and charisma shine through, melding cosmic fantasy with rock and roll to create an enduring legacy that continues to inspire dreamers and music lovers across the world.

16. “Space Cowboy” by Steve Miller Band

“Space Cowboy” is a classic rock track by the Steve Miller Band, prominently featured on their 1969 album “Brave New World.”

Known for its groovy feel and catchy chorus, the song blends rock, blues, and psychedelic influences to capture the essence of the era’s counterculture movement.

The moniker ‘Space Cowboy’ became one of Steve Miller’s personas, and the term itself has since entered the lexicon to describe an easygoing, rebellious spirit.

The lyrics, while fanciful and filled with space-themed imagery, also deliver a sense of freedom and nonconformity that resonated with the audiences of the time—and continue to resonate today.

The Steve Miller Band’s “Space Cowboy” remains an iconic piece, bringing a sense of nostalgia and the spirit of liberation to listeners.

17. “Across the Universe” by The Beatles

“Across the Universe” is a profound and poetic song by The Beatles, penned by John Lennon and credited to the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership.

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This contemplative track appears on their 1970 album “Let It Be,” though it was recorded earlier and various versions have been released.

The song is renowned for its dreamy, ethereal quality, featuring introspective lyrics that reflect on the nature of existence and the boundlessness of the universe.

The repeated mantra “Nothing’s going to change my world” anchors the song, juxtaposing the cosmic and the personal.

With Lennon’s soothing vocals, gentle guitar strumming, and the delicate sitar in the background, “Across the Universe” invites listeners into a peaceful, meditative state, offering a transcendent experience that drifts, like the lyrics suggest, endlessly through the cosmos.

18. “Intergalactic” by Beastie Boys

“Intergalactic” is a high-energy track by the iconic hip-hop group Beastie Boys, featured on their 1998 album “Hello Nasty.”

The song stands out with its driving beat, futuristic robotic sounds, and playful lyrics that mix science fiction themes with the band’s signature braggadocio and humor.

Known for its infectious chorus and the memorable line “Intergalactic, planetary, planetary, intergalactic,” the song became an instant hit, showcasing the Beastie Boys’ ability to evolve their sound and stay relevant in the ever-changing music landscape.

The accompanying music video, with its homage to classic Japanese monster films and robot tropes, further cemented “Intergalactic” as a creative and entertaining milestone in the Beastie Boys’ illustrious career.

19. “Space Oddity (Cover)” by Chris Hadfield

“Space Oddity (Cover)” by Chris Hadfield is a unique rendition of David Bowie’s classic song.

Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut, recorded his version aboard the International Space Station in 2013, making it the first music video shot in space.

With the Earth as his backdrop, Hadfield’s cover added a layer of authenticity to the lyrics about the isolation and beauty of space.

His heartfelt performance and the striking visuals of our planet seen from orbit struck a chord with audiences worldwide, serving as a tribute to Bowie’s original and as a testament to human ingenuity and the wonders of space exploration.

The video, which shows Hadfield floating in zero gravity with his guitar, became a viral sensation, endearing him to both space enthusiasts and music lovers.

20. “Walking on the Moon” by The Police

“Walking on the Moon” is a hit single by the British rock band The Police, featured on their 1979 album “Reggatta de Blanc.”

With its distinctive reggae-influenced bass line and spacious, echo-laden guitar riffs, the song evokes the weightless sensation of lunar exploration. Sting’s lead vocals are both subdued and evocative, capturing the surreal and dreamy atmosphere that the title suggests.

The lyrics play with the metaphor of walking on the moon to describe the exhilarating feeling of being in love, where even the ordinary feels extraordinary.

“Walking on the Moon” was both a commercial and critical success, further cementing The Police’s status as one of the most innovative bands of their time. The track remains a classic example of their ability to blend rock, reggae, and new wave into a unique and timeless sound.

FAQs

How can I use these songs to inspire me?

Listening to space-themed songs is a great way to feel inspired by the stars and curious about life beyond our planet.

These tracks provide an escape from reality while reminding us to look up at the open sky with awe and wonder.

They challenge listeners to think about our place in the universe and reflect on questions such as “What are we here for?” or “Where do we go when this life ends?”

Ultimately, they help us connect with something bigger than ourselves and experience something new and exciting.

What other forms of art explore themes related to space?

Besides music, literature and visual arts (including paintings, photography, and film) have also been used to explore themes related to space.

These works often draw upon the same ideas such as exploration and discovery, isolation and loneliness, imagination and escape, futuristic themes, emotional journeys, etc.

Are there any educational resources about songs about space?

Yes! There are many online educational resources available that cover the topics of space-themed songs.

Some examples include National Geographic’s “Songs About Space” series or PBS Learning Media’s “Exploring Space Through Music” resource for educators.

Additionally, magazines such as Astronomy magazine often feature articles about space-themed songs, providing deeper insight into the themes and messages present in these tracks.

How can I find songs about space to listen to?

There are many websites, streaming services, and radio stations dedicated to playing music related to space themes.

Explore different genres like classical and electronic music to find space-themed tracks. Look up popular musicians who have written songs about space, like David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”.

What’s the best way to use songs about space as a teaching tool?

Space-themed songs are great for teaching astrophysics, astronomy, and space exploration. They inspire creativity and imagination in students and can be used by educators as conversation starters on topics like courage, hope, exploration, and discovery.

Songs about space can encourage students to explore further by researching scientific or historical events mentioned in lyrics or connecting them with related literature or visual arts pieces, providing an engaging way to learn.

Conclusion 

Throughout history, humans have been driven and inspired by space exploration. Music has played an important role in helping us connect with something beyond ourselves and explore various space-related concepts.

From classical music to contemporary tunes, different artists have interpreted space in their unique ways. Take some time to listen to a variety of interpretations of space and discover which ones resonate with you. You might even discover new universes while doing so!

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