Spotify Playlist: Space Is The Place

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One of the top headlines of the week was NASA’s declaration that its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter had produced “the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently” on the Red Planet. While the impact of the findings remains to be seen, we look to the cosmos for inspiration for this week’s Spotify Playlist – Space Is The Place – which focuses on songs that delve into outer space and beyond.

The selected songs in either title, lyric or topic are connected to the planets, the stars, the moon, comets, space ships and other elements associated with interplanetary exploration. No Mars-inspired playlist would be complete without David Bowie’s classic “Life On Mars?” which given the recent news from NASA still poses a timely question. From the jam world Phish leads things off with their massive “Halley’s Comet” from Hampton 1997, alongside fellow improvisors Widespread Panic, Grateful Dead, The Disco Biscuits, STS9 and Béla Fleck & The Flecktones.

The pace slows down and the mood turns introspective with entries by Big Star’s Chris Bell, Lou Reed, Fiona Apple (covering The Beatles) and Sufjan Stevens. Angular journeys are taken by prog masters Genesis, Pink Floyd, Rush and Blue Öyster Cult and space-driven funkiness is represented by the likes of Parliament, Deodato, Beastie Boys and Gorillaz. Weirdness gets explored by The Flaming Lips (with Tame Impala) and the playlist’s title track, Sun Ra’s 20+ minute jazz-dissertation “Space Is The Place.” The 25-track playlist is rounded out by legends Jimi Hendrix, The Police and Elton John.