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CSX Classic Cuts

British rock singer and actor David Bowie performs on stage in Brussels, Belgium, May 19, 1983. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)

WCSX Classic Cuts

David Bowie: “Space Oddity”

The Hook: Although he didn’t play on the recording, Spider from Mars guitarist Mick Ronson loved playing it live and loved its melody.

Album: David Bowie (original British release)/Space Oddity (U.S. version)

Year: 1969/1972

Writer: David Bowie

Stats: Peaked at number-15 on the Billboard Hot 100 when reissued in America in 1972, after failing to make the Hot 100 its first time around in 1969.

Background: In a very odd coincidence, the lead guitar on David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” was played by a then-bandmate of future Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson. Their band was called Rats and, oddly again, his name was also Mick — Mick Wayne. The late Mick Ronson, who joined Bowie about a year after “Space Oddity” was recorded, played it live many times during his four years with him. He told us in 1990 that it showcased one of Bowie’s greatest strengths as a songwriter.

In a 1990 interview, the late Mick Ronson on “Space Oddity.” OC:… :27

“Great song. Great song to sing. Great song to play. I always like good melody and David’s music was always real interesting melodies. ‘Cause I was brought up as a classical musician. I remember the first piece of music I ever heard, at about 4 years old, that inspired me to want to even play on any instrument was the theme from ‘Limelight,’ the Charlie Chaplin piece of music. And working with David was really good on that level. Some songs were, like, just beautiful, you know. Nice changes.”