Released: 25 September 1995
David Bowie: vocals
Reeves Gabrels: guitar, loops, textures
Carlos Alomar: guitar
Yossi Fine: bass guitar
Brian Eno: Yamaha DX7, Eventide H3000, JamMan, E-Mu Procussion
Mike Garson: piano
Joey Baron: drums
Credited to David Bowie and Brian Eno, ‘Hallo Spaceboy’ was the third single released from the 1.Outside album. It was remixed by Pet Shop Boys with additional lyrics referencing Major Tom from 1969’s ‘Space Oddity’.
I adore that track. In my mind, it was like Jim Morrison meets industrial. When I heard it back, I thought, ‘Fuck me. It’s like metal Doors.’ It’s an extraordinary sound.
Axcess magazine, issue 3
In 1994, Reeves Gabrels and Bowie spent a month together in Montreux, Switzerland, creating various pieces of additional music for the Leon project, which later became 1.Outside.
One afternoon, near the end of that month-long stay in Switzerland, I wrote an ambient piece which David then recited the words ‘moon dust…’ etc over. The words were from a poem written by a poet whose name escapes me (might be John Giorno), but David was reading that poem when I re-entered the control room after recording some of what became the ‘Moondust’ track. At that point he decided adding that to my idea.
The Complete David Bowie, Nicholas Pegg
The writer Gabrels was attempting to recall was, in fact, Brion Gysin, a poet, painter, filmmaker, musician, and inventor of the cut-up creative method famously put to extensive use by Bowie and writer William Burroughs.
In the studio, Bowie spoke the line “If I fall, moondust will cover me”. Although unused in the 1.Outside mix, it was included in the introduction of the Pet Shop Boys remix. The phrase, sometimes said to be Gysin’s last words, was in fact adapted from a line from Gysin’s 1969 novel The Process: “a familiar indigo rag flutters out of the sand where I look for my guide to find him, too, buried in moondust.”
1.Outside, subtitled The Nathan Adler Diaries: A Hyper-cycle, is a murder mystery involving various dystopian characters on the cusp of the 21st century. ‘Hallo Spaceboy’, however, bears little relation to the core concept, and is perhaps best seen as the equivalent of ‘Starman’ on the similarly-loosely conceptual The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.
There’s an emotional engine created by the juxtaposition of the musical texture and the lyrics. But that’s probably what art does best: it manifests that which is impossible to articulate.
Time Out, August 23-30 1995