David Bowie, who would have turned 70 last Monday, passed away one year ago today. The glam-rock trailblazer is famous for landmark contributions like Ziggy Stardust and Let's Dance, among many gems in the worlds of art, music, fashion and film. Nevertheless, the South London-born artist experienced his first commercial breakthrough in July 1969 with "Space Oddity." The song gave Bowie his first chart bow, cracking the Top 5 in the U.K. and the Netherlands, and its 1975 re-release took the singer to the top of the U.K. charts for the first time.
"Space Oddity," whose name alludes to the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, included production by Elton John collaborator Gus Dudgeon and contributions from top session players, including a future member of Yes and a former Jimmy Page bandmate. Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space, taped a "Space Oddity" cover on the International Space Station, making it the first music video filmed in space. The original "Space Oddity" video came out in '69, but this 2011 video was made using animation from Andrew Kolb's illustrated children's book based on the song.