Astronaut’s Space Oddity back on YouTube

Commander Chris Hadfield’s cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity is back on YouTube following months of contract negotiations.

The Canadian astronaut recorded the classic track last year on the International Space Station as he prepared to return to Earth after five months in orbit.

It launched on YouTube under a one-year agreement with Bowie’s publisher and racked up close to 24 million views. It was removed in May this year after the deal expired.

Now, following months of talks, a new two-year agreement is in place enabling the track and video to be re-released. And Hadfield doesn’t blame anyone for the situation.

He says on his blog: “David Bowie and his publisher had been very gracious – they had allowed his work, his intellectual property, to be made freely available to everyone for a year and had worked with us and the Canadian Space Agency to make it happen.

“There was no rancour and we removed it from YouTube to honour the agreement. This sequence wasn’t anyone’s fault. The day we took the video down, we started to work again to get permission to get it re-posted. But the legal process is careful and exacting and takes time.”

He continues: “Despite countless online expressions of frustration and desire, it wasn’t anyone’s ill-will or jealousy that kept this version of Space Oddity off YouTube – it was merely the natural consequence of due process.

“We’re proud to have helped bring Bowie’s genius from 1969 into space itself in 2013.”

Bowie previously called the recording “possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created.”

He released the track Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime) in October which appears on his upcoming three-CD retrospective Nothing Has Changed. It’s set for release on November 17.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.