Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Electro Classic Jukebox: Peter Schilling.

Hello, everybody. Happy Tuesday to you and yours! Today I thought I'd share with you all an absolutely fantastic gem from 1982 that's been popping up on my playlist lately - and it's a track that I just can't get enough of. I'm speaking, of course, of "Major Tom (Coming Home)" - or "Major Tom (Völlig Iosgelöst)", meaning "totally disconnected" in its native German - by the Stuttgart, Germany-based 80's synth-wizard Peter Schilling.

Taking David Bowie's 1969 masterpiece "Space Oddity" as its inspiration, "Major Tom (Coming Home)" takes a stab at describing the experiences of Major Tom as he launches into the great void above and loses contact with Ground Control. "Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows," Bowie crooned toward the end. What Schilling wanted to do with "Major Tom" was to tell the story from Major Tom's point of view - what was happening to him after his last transmission?
Far beneath the ship
The world is mourning
They don't realize he's alive
No one understands but Major Tom sees
"Now the light commands
This is my home,
I'm coming home,"
the lyrics go. It packs an emotional punch - there's a lovely melancholic sensibility going on here, and I find it absolutely irresistible. The song was originally sung in German (which is the version I'm currently listening to), but was rerecorded in English as the single, like Major Tom himself, launched into the stratosphere. It was also to be, alas, Herr Schilling's one and only hit.

But what a hit it was! Here's the English version:

... And here's the 12" version, with fantastic Japanese anime images put together by intoantics. It's pretty spectacular, so I recommend watching this one on a large screen.

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