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With David Bowie’s blessing, astronaut’s ‘Space Oddity’ is back on YouTube

🕐 2 min read

Abby Phillip (c) 2014, The Washington Post. “Space Oddity” fans rejoice! Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s impressively awesome cover of the David Bowie classic is now back on the interwebs.

The video was taken down from YouTube after reaching more than 23 million hits. It features Hadfied’s playing and signing the ballad in space — I repeat, in space — aboard the International Space Station. It was reportedly the first music video ever recorded from space.

Hadfield had a one-year agreement with Bowie to leave the video up after it was released in 2013. When that expired, it was gone, for the most part — though like all things, if you’re crafty enough, it could be found.

Now Hadfield has inked a new two-year agreement with Bowie to re-post the historic and well-loved cover. Tuesday evening, Hadfield tweeted:

“Bowie’s back! Here’s the story:chrishadfield.ca/space-oddity/

In a blog post on his Web site, Hadfield noted that the original video was posted in 2013 with Bowie’s permission, and he added that the singer and his representatives were “very gracious” throughout the process. It was removed in May when the first one-year agreement expired.

“Despite countless on-line expressions of frustration and desire, it wasn’t anyone’s ill-will or jealousy that kept this version of Oddity off YouTube,” Hadfield wrote. “It was merely the natural consequence of due process.”

Bowie has actually praised the cover, calling it “possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created” back in 2013.

And after months of negotiation and grappling with the complex legal questions that surround copyright in space, they had a breakthrough.

“The reasons we originally made the video were multifold. It was in response to repeated widespread requests via social media. It was a fun Saturday project with my son, Evan. It was a continuation of the other music that I was playing and recording while on ISS. But maybe most importantly, it was a chance to let people see where we truly are in space exploration. We’re not just probing what lies beyond Earth — we inhabit it,” Hadfield explained.

“We’re proud to have helped bring Bowie’s genius from 1969 into space itself in 2013, and now ever-forward,” he added.

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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