11 songs about the moon… and beyond

The moon has been an inspiration for songwriters for centuries. And with it being the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission's touchdown on the moon this week, what better time to celebrate a cosmic selection of those songs?

Buzz aldrin

Buzz aldrin

Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon, 20 July 1969. IMAGE: Neil Armstrong/Corbis

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin is now, astoundingly, a rapper who hangs with Snoop Dogg. Which, any way you look at it, is one very small step for music.

But hey - these handpicked moon-and-beyond related clips will make you loony with happiness. Enjoy.

Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon

DSOTM is not really about the moon at all, of course, but 'moon-damaged' lunatics. Here, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters shows you how to play Brain Damage on acoustic guitar.

Kid Koala - Moon River

This song has been covered by many more people than have entered Lunar orbit, but this is surely one of the more inventive reworkings. Watch as the Montreal-based marsupial gives Jonny Mercer's classic a thorough and scratch-heavy going-over.

David Bowie - Space Oddity

From 1969 itself, when the world was obsessed by space travel. Still haunting, despite the flutes. If you prefer the 'hit' remake, watch this homemade vid with added consumerist satire.

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising

From The Johnny Cash Show - how cool is that? And no, for the millionth time, John Fogerty is NOT singing, "There's a bathroom on the right."

Gil Scott-Heron - Whitey On The Moon

A fan-made video for possibly the first NASA-program protest song, by the righteous Gil Scott-Heron.

The Police - Walking On The Moon

Originally called Walking Round The Room - good job it changed. Here are The Police live in 1979. Nice Pete Cornish pedalboard, Andy Summers.

Can - Moonshake

In lieu of a grainy live clip, here's a brief-but-totally-bonkers homebrew video for a song from Can's finest hour, Future Days (1973). Who knew motorik and the Famous Five were such a perfect match?

Inspiral Carpets - Saturn 5

These nearly-men of early-'90's UK indie managed to cram a song with Farfisa organ hooks, references to JFK's assassination and the rocket that launched NASA mission Apollo 11. Stellar fact? The Inspirals' drum roadie was a young aspiring songwriter called Noel Gallagher.

William Shatner interprets Elton John's Rocket Man

The only thing more surreal than Captain Kirk's way-out reading of this song is that he smokes a cigarette throughout. How '70s can you get?

Babylon Zoo - Spaceman

From the Babylon Zoo debut album (yes, they made a whole album - actually, they made two!) The Boy With The X-Ray Eyes - ooooh, very alien-like.

Spiritualized - Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space

If we were going to float around in space like spiritual spacemen from outer-space… this, ladies and gentlemen, would be our soundtrack of choice.

Still lunatic?
Watch THAT rocket take off. Sounds like a My Bloody Valentine encore...

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