- Written by
- David Bowie
- Thematically, the song has been seen as reflecting the influence of occultist Aleister Crowley, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, and Edward Bulwer-Lytton's novel 1871 Vril, the Power of the Coming Race, and heralding "the impending obsolescence of the human race in favour of an alliance between arriving aliens and the youth of the present society".
The song was first released by Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, in a single on which Bowie played piano. It became a #12 hit in mid-1971. Noone replaced Bowie's line "The Earth is a bitch" with "The Earth is a beast", in a performance that NME editors Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray opined to be "one of rock and roll's most outstanding examples of a singer failing to achieve any degree of empathy whatsoever with the mood and content of a lyric".
- Published by
EMI MUSIC PUBLISHING LTD
SCREEN GEMS-EMI MUSIC INC
Request a synchronization license