There’s long been a fascination amongst musicians and other artists with the topic of space. The concept of the vast unknown has inspired many great songs about space across all genres and styles, with some of the best-known artists of the past century.
There are so many different aspects to space that can be covered in song lyrics, whether it’s imagining life on other planets, being amongst the stars, or simply gazing up at the moon on a clear night. In this guide, you’ll find many of the most popular songs ever written about space.
1. Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival
|Genre||Rockabilly, Folk Rock|
“Bad Moon Rising” was released by the American band Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969. Written by the band’s founder and prolific songwriter John Fogerty, the album track is about the way a full moon appearing in outer space can change the things that happen on our planet. At just over two minutes long, the song is catchy and short, leaving you wanting more, and it was one of the band’s most successful singles throughout their career.
2. Rocket Man by Elton John
Written by Elton John along with frequent collaborator and lyricist Bernie Taupin, “Rocket Man” is one of the most popular songs ever written about space. The track was interestingly produced by Gus Dudgeon, who also worked on David Bowie’s track “Space Oddity.” Taupin had the idea for the lyrics when he saw a shooting star in the distance, coming up with the idea of writing from the perspective of an astronaut who is struggling with the pain of leaving his home planet to go to Mars.
3. Stars in the Sky by Kid Cudi
“Stars in the Sky” is a feel-good electronic dance track by American artist Kid Cudi. It’s another reminder of Cudi’s versatility, as he switches from his usual style of conscious hip hop for this space-inspired song. Written in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X, the song’s lyrics are centered around the moon, the stars, and letting go of your worries.
4. Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden
In 1994, Seattle’s grunge rock band Soundgarden was at the height of its popularity. They’d just released their fourth album entitled Superunknown, which notably included the powerful single “Black Hole Sun.” Penned by frontman Chris Cornell as he drove home from a recording studio one evening, this song would go on to become one of the band’s best-known tracks, and as the title suggests, its lyrics include several space-related topics.
5. Counting Stars by OneRepublic
“Counting Stars” was a worldwide hit for the American band, One Republic. Released in 20-13 on their hit album Native, the song is about transcending the worldly worries of trying to make ends meet and instead focusing on the higher places, notably the stars in space. It’s a well-produced pop song that includes elements of folk and dance music, and a live video of the band performing the song has amassed billions of views online. This is one of those old songs that everyone knows.
6. Fly Me To The Moon by Frank Sinatra
|Album||It Might as Well Be Swing|
“Fly Me To The Moon” has been covered by many artists in the past fifty years or so, but none have been more popular than the versions recorded by swing legend Frank Sinatra. Released in 1964, this song, along with the album it was featured on, was produced by Quincy Jones, and its lyrics heavily feature planets, stars, the moon, and other space-related concepts. Compared to many of the other versions of the song that had been released, Sinatra’s cover was significantly more upbeat.
7. Saturn by Stevie Wonder
|Album||Songs in the Key of Life|
As the name of this song suggests, “Saturn” is written about the sixth planet from the sun. Its lyrics are sung from the perspective of an alien who has come to earth from Saturn and becomes disillusioned by the negativity they encounter, deciding to return to their home planet. It’s a straight-up R&B classic from Stevie Wonder, and although it was never released as a single, it’s one of the most notable tracks that he’s ever released. With soulful vocals and an exceptional bassline, this song is a great example of Wonder’s amazing musicianship and songwriting skills.
8. Yellow by Coldplay
|Genre||Soft Rock, Pop|
Coldplay is one of the biggest-selling bands to ever come from Britain, but back in 2000, they were still making a name for themselves. The song “Yellow” became the band’s breakout hit outside of their native country, and it opens with the iconic lyric: “look at the stars/see how they shine for you.” The song switches between talking about stars and space with describing the love for another person, and it’s perfectly complemented by the uplifting piano chords and guitar melodies.
9. Life on Mars? by David Bowie
|Genre||Glam Rock, Rock, and Roll|
David Bowie’s interest in space is evidenced by the number of amazing songs he composed on the topic throughout his glittering career. “Life on Mars?”, despite being written as a tongue-in-cheek track inspired by “My Way” by the crooning legend Frank Sinatra, quickly became one of the most popular songs from Bowie’s classic album, Hunky Dory.
Regarded by many music critics and fans as one of the greatest songs of the 1970s, and all time for that matter, “Life on Mars” is an example of Bowie’s exceptional songwriting skills and his theatrical, versatile vocals.
10. The Final Countdown by Europe
|Album||The Final Countdown|
Another space-related song that was inspired by the work of David Bowie, “The Final Countdown,” was released in 1986 by the Swedish glam metal band Europe. From the introduction with a catchy keyboard riff, this song is an ‘80s classic. Its lyrics are about embarking on a trip to outer space and dealing with the thought that you may never return. This is one of my personal favorite songs about space.
11. E.T by Katy Perry ft. Kanye West
As humans, we’re often fascinated by the possibility of there being life on other planets, as is evident in the number of films and songs that are written about this subject. American pop icon Katy Perry shares this fascination judging by the lyrics to her 2011 hit single, “E.T.” The song features a verse from rapper Kanye West and blends the topic of extraterrestrial beings with falling in love with someone from a different dimension. This song was a massive hit and even reached a number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
12. Champagne Supernova by Oasis
|Album||(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?|
Although Oasis songwriter and lead guitarist Noel Gallagher has previously stated that he doesn’t really understand what his composition, “Champagne Supernova,” is about, the word supernova describes a huge, incredibly bright explosion of a star in space. This song closes Oasis’ iconic second album and is considered by many to be one of the band’s signature songs, frequently being played at their live shows until they disbanded in 2009.
13. Major Tom by Peter Schilling
|Album||Error in the System|
“Major Tom” was likely inspired by Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” following the theme of a spaceman losing the ability to communicate with his colleagues back on Earth and therefore submitting to his fate of drifting into outer space. The song was written and released by Peter Schilling on his album Error in the System and was a commercial success initially in Europe and then in the United States. The song blends elements of new-wave with classic ‘80s synthpop.
14. Intergalactic by the Beastie Boys
Blurring the lines between rock and hip hop, The Beastie Boys are one of the most influential groups to ever come out of the United States. In 1998, they released the song “Intergalactic” from the successful album, Hello Nasty. This song is about space travel, going to other dimensions, and exploring other planets, and it possesses all of the qualities we’ve come to associate with the group’s energetic brand of rap.
15. Across The Universe by The Beatles
|Album||Let it Be|
Written by John Lennon, “Across The Universe” is a beautiful composition that describes a journey into space, both inwardly and outwardly. It features poetic lyrics like “Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box” and was initially released on the compilation album, No One’s Gonna Change Our World but later re-worked for The Beatles’ final studio album, Let it Be in 1970.
16. Starships by Nicki Minaj
|Album||Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded|
“Starships” was the song that transformed Nicki Minaj from being a well-known artist amongst fans of hip-hop and rap to a global pop superstar. The song uses the analogy of starships flying into outer space to describe the confidence and self-belief that a person should have, and it quickly became a worldwide hit. If you’re looking for a feel-good pop hit that is about space-related topics, this is the track for you! This is one of Nicki Minaj’s massive hits, and it even reached position five on the Billboard Hot 100.
17. Man on the Moon by R.E.M
|Genre||Alternative Rock, Country Rock|
|Album||Automatic for the People|
This beautiful and slightly haunting track by R.E.M was released in 1992 when the band was enjoying a resurgence in popularity. The lyrics, which were written by frontman Michael Stipe, are somewhat mysterious but continuously return to the topic of being on the moon. A hugely popular track amongst fans of the American band, it has featured on several greatest hits compilations in the years since its release.
18. Satellite of Love by Lou Reed
Former lead singer of The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, released an eclectic and innovative body of solo work, with his most popular album being Transformer in 1973. This album spawned several hits, such as “Walk on the Wild Side,” “Vicious,” and the second single, “Satellite of Love.” This song is about Reed’s fascination with satellites in space, beaming signals to planet Earth, and it describes his childlike wonder for the topic over a relaxed, piano-led instrumental.
19. There’s a Star for Everyone by Aretha Franklin
|Album||Love All the Hurt Away|
Soul music icon Aretha Franklin has an incredibly long and successful career, releasing music in six decades. In 1981, she released her twenty-seventh studio album, Love All the Hurt Away. Track four on the album, which was written by the songwriting trio of Allee Willis, Don Yowell, and David Lasley, is a beautiful ballad about the mystery of the stars in space.
20. Ballrooms of Mars by T Rex
English glam-rockers T-Rex were one of the pioneers of the flamboyant style of rock music that took over London in the early 1970s. Fronted by Marc Bolan, the band released hits like “Children of the Revolution ” and “Get It On.” Another of their standout tracks is “Ballrooms of Mars,” which was produced by Tony Visconti and heavily focuses on themes of space and the universe.
21. Space Walk by Lemon Jelly
Featuring a sample from the first-ever spacewalks by an American astronaut named Ed White in 1965, this song was released as the second track from Lemon Jelly’s album, Lost Horizons. Produced by Nick Franglen, the song has a relaxed beat with a range of atmospheric sounds and samples coming in and out to accompany the repeating piano and acoustic guitar parts.
22. The Whole of the Moon by the Waterboys
|Album||This Is the Sea|
When Scottish band the Waterboys released the single “The Whole of the Moon” in 1985, it initially was somewhat of a commercial flop. However, years later, it would become one of the band’s best-known hits and eventually won the prestigious Ivor Novello award in 1991. The mysterious and poetic lyrics deal with the concept of the moon in outer space, and according to songwriter Mike Scott, it was inspired in part by the work of writer C.S Lewis.
23. Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
|Album||Faster Than the Speed of Night|
Bonnie Tyler’s 1983 hit single, “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” combines the subjects of heartbreak, healing, and love with references to the solar event when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun. This power pop ballad enjoyed commercial success in countries all over the world and played a large part in the success of the Welsh singer’s fifth studio album, Faster Than the Speed of Night. If you like this song, we recommend heading over to our playlist of sad breakup songs.
24. Starman by David Bowie
|Album||The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars|
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is a masterpiece of a concept album, with so many incredible songs included in it. One of the most notable compositions is the 1972 single “Starman,” which was written exclusively by David Bowie and produced by him in collaboration with Ken Scott. The song is about a “starman” who lives in outer space, who would “like to come and meet us/but he thinks he’d blow our minds!”
25. Mr. Spaceman by The Byrds
This catchy country-infused psych-rock number by the American four-piece band, The Byrds is an excellent example of a space-based song. The dreamy instrumental perfectly suits the lyrics about astronomy and extraterrestrial life, and songwriter Jim McGuinn expertly crafts the chord changes to match the melodies played on the guitar. The title paid homage to Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” which The Byrds famously covered a few years earlier. If you’re looking for songs about outer space, then this is simply one you must have on your playlist.
26. Walking On The Moon by the Police
|Album||Regatta de Blanc|
Written by the band’s frontman and guitarist Sting, “Walking on the Moon” is a great track by the British three-piece rock band, The Police. The song was written after Sting found himself slightly drunk after attending a gig in Munich, Germany, and thankfully he managed to write down the lyrics and chords so that he could continue to work on this space-inspired track and turn it into the versions that appeared on the band’s album, Regatta de Blanc.
27. Spaceman by The Killers
|Album||Day & Age|
“Spaceman” is a song released by the American rock band The Killers in 2008. Its lyrics compare finding fame with being abducted by aliens, hence its title. It highlights the not-so-glamorous side of being a successful musician, losing privacy and control over aspects of your life, and uses space-related imagery to make these points. Despite not being one of The Killers’ best-known songs, it’s a great example of their chemistry as a band.
28. Eclipse by Pink Floyd
|Album||The Dark Side of the Moon|
There are many moments throughout Pink Floyd’s classic album Dark Side of the Moon when you feel like you’re in outer space, but this feeling is particularly strong during the closing song, “Eclipse.” A reprise of the opening song, “Breathe,” this track is the perfect space-inspired end to an incredible album. If you enjoy songs with deep meaning, you’ll love Pink Floyd’s music and this song.
29. Starlight by Muse
|Album||Black Holes and Revelations|
The 2006 Muse single, “Starlight,” has become a staple of the British three-piece rock band’s live shows ever since its release. Written about the endless pursuit of something better, this track deals with the topic of black holes, galaxies, and venturing into the unknown. It’s one of the standout tracks from the group’s iconic album, Black Holes and Revelations, and was written entirely by frontman and guitar virtuoso Matt Bellamy.
30. Cygnus X-1 by Rush
|Album||A Farewell to Kings|
If you want to simulate the feeling of being in outer space, put a good set of headphones on, sit back, and listen to this weird and wonderful track by Canadian prog-rock legends Rush. Released as a two-part song series, “Cygnus X-1” is an ambitious piece of art that consists of complex rhythms, ethereal sounds, and insanely technical musicianship. It tells the story of an explorer on a spaceship moving towards a black hole, wondering whether they will find something beyond it.
31. Supersonic Rocket Ship by The Kinks
|Album||Everybody’s in Show-Biz|
As you can tell by this song’s name, “Supersonic Rocket Ship,” is written about the subject of space travel. Penned and produced by lead singer Ray Davies, the track wasn’t much of a commercial success initially but eventually became a fan favorite. The lyrics talk about having a supersonic rocket ship that allows you to escape the worries of the world and the pressures of society.
32. Flash by Queen
Written for the 1980 movie Flash Gordon, “Flash” is a song by the British rock band Queen. Although not explicitly about space, the song is written about a man who is going to save the universe and mentions concepts like a solar eclipse. Despite being released as part of the film’s soundtrack, this Brian May-written track is one of Queen’s best-known compositions.
33. Into Dust by Mazzy Star
|Album||So Tonight That I Might See|
“Into Dust” was released on American alt-rock duo Mazzy Star’s second album, So Tonight That I Might See, in 1993. It was surprisingly not released as a single but achieved critical and commercial success, nonetheless enjoying a resurgence in popularity in 2009 after being used in a commercial. The song’s lyrics deal with the topic of disappearing into dust and experiencing the seeming nothingness of outer space.
34. Space Invader by The Pretenders
Sometimes, a song doesn’t need to have any lyrics to evoke feelings and images of a certain theme. “Space Invader” by the band The Pretenders is a perfect example of this. The fourth track on the band’s debut album, this instrumental features sound effects from the 1978 video game of the same name and has a classic synth-based new wave musical style.
35. Jupiter by Earth, Wind & Fire
|Album||All N’ All|
Earth, Wind & Fire’s music is very hard to pin down and categorize – the band has released songs in almost every contemporary style imaginable over their long career. One of the standout compositions from the album All N’ All is Jupiters, which was released as a single in 1978, and is one of the funkiest jams you’ll ever hear. The lyrics are about gazing up into outer space, looking for the moon, but instead being greeted by a man from the planet Jupiter.
36. Space Truckin’ by Deep Purple
Rock legends Deep Purple have come up with some of the catchiest riffs in music history, but one of their most underrated songs has to be the final track from their sixth album, “Space Truckin’.” This song’s lyrics focus on the topic of traveling through space, imagining what it would be like to play music in faraway galaxies.
37. The Joker by The Steve Miller Band
Often mistakenly named “Space Cowboy,” this classic rock track by the Steve Miller band is an excellent blend of smooth vocals, jangly guitars, and catchy lyrics. It opens with the line, “some people call me the space cowboy,” and then goes on to describe all of the different identities that the singer takes on in life.
38. Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen
“Don’t Stop Me Now” is without a doubt one of the best-known Queen songs of all time, with its soaring vocal melody and memorable lyrics. The song is about momentum and features several references to space. Frontman Freddie Mercury sings, “I’m a shooting star leaping through the sky like a tiger” and “I’m a rocket ship on my way to Mars on a collision course.”
39. Space Oddity by David Bowie
Perhaps the best-known song ever to be written about the topic of space, “Space Oddity” is an amazing composition by British artist David Bowie. Focused on the predicament of a fictional astronaut, the song begins with the iconic line “Ground control to major Tom” and tells the story of how he has to deal with leaving his life on planet Earth behind.
40. Spaceman by 4 Non-Blondes
|Album||Bigger, Better, Faster, More!|
Released in 1993 by the American rock band 4 Non-Blondes, “Spaceman” is a dreamy song that is about the wonder of space. Its lyrics ponder whether there is a better life out there in another dimension. While it wasn’t as commercially successful as the band’s previous best-selling single, “What’s Up?” “Spaceman” is still charted in many countries around the world.
That does it for this playlist. If you know of any great songs about the universe or space that we missed, let us know in the comments section below.
Hi, my name is Kevin and I’m from Butler, Pennsylvania. I’ve been obsessed with music and audio gear for as long as I can remember. I started this website to help people find professional advice related to a wide range of audio topics. We have a number of Audio Engineers on our team who have been designing and fixing audio gear for decades.