The release

‘Hallo Spaceboy’ was first released as the sixth track on the 1.Outside album on 25 September 1995.

The first two singles from the album were ‘The Hearts Filthy Lesson’ and ‘Strangers When We Meet’, released on 11 September and 20 November respectively.

‘Hallo Spaceboy’ was the third single from the album, issued on 19 February 1996.

The single topped the charts in Latvia, and reached number 8 in Finland. In the UK it peaked at number 12, his highest chart placing before 2013’s ‘Where Are We Now?’

The video, directed by David Mallet, included shots of Bowie and the Pet Shop Boys as well as sci-fi and retro futuristic scenes.

The PSB remix became the preferred choice for Bowie best-ofs, and was included on both Nothing Has Changed and Legacy. The 12″ remix was also included on the band’s Disco 4 collection in October 2007.

The UK 7″ single featured the Pet Shop Boys remix, with a radio edit of ‘The Hearts Filthy Lesson’ on the b-side. A CD single added live versions of ‘Under Pressure’ and ‘Moonage Daydream’ from the Outside Tour.

There was also a UK 12″ single featuring Ball and Vauk’s Double Click, Instrumental, and Lost In Space remixes of ‘Hallo Spaceboy’.

In other European countries, a two-track CD single included the PSB remix of ‘Hallo Spaceboy’, and the live version of ‘Under Pressure’. There was also a four-track edition which added ‘Moonage Daydream’ and the Bowie Mix of ‘The Hearts Filthy Lesson’.

A 12″ single released in the US included the PSB 12″ mix, their shorter single version, and the Double Click and Lost In Space remixes.

There was also a CD single released in Japan which featured the PSB remix, the live versions of ‘Under Pressure’ and ‘Moonage Daydream’, and the Rubber Mix of ‘The Hearts Filthy Lesson’.

Two versions of ‘Hallo Spaceboy’ appeared on the soundtrack of Brett Morgen’s 2022 film Moonage Daydream. The first was a remix of the Pet Shop Boys’ version, while the second was a live performance featuring Bowie’s band.

Promotional appearances

David Bowie performed ‘Hallo Spaceboy’ live on the BBC’s Later… with Jools Holland in December 1995.

He also sang the song with the Pet Shop Boys at the Brit Awards on 19 February 1996. This was followed by another duet with the group on Top Of The Pops on 1 March.

In concert

During Bowie’s autumn 1995 tour, ‘Hallo Spaceboy’ was one of the songs performed with co-headliners Nine Inch Nails during the two acts’ crossover set.

Bowie performed ‘Hallo Spaceboy’ throughout his Outside and Earthling tours, as well as various festival appearances. A 1996 version from the Phoenix Festival in England was included on the following year’s Phoenix: The Album compilation, and also on a bonus CD with the French edition of Earthling.

Another recording, from the 1997 Phoenix Festival, was released on the 2021 release Look At The Moon! (Live Phoenix Festival 97).

Another live version, from Rio de Janeiro on 2 November 1997, was included on Bowie’s own album.

‘Hallo Spaceboy’ was one of the songs performed at Bowie’s 50th birthday concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden on 9 January 1997. Bowie duetted with Foo Fighters on the song, with Dave Grohl, Zachary Alford and William Goldsmith playing three separate drum kits, and Gail Ann Dorsey and Nate Mendel on bass guitars.

The song returned to Bowie’s set during summer 2000, including his headlining Glastonbury Festival performance. From the same week, a performance at the BBC Radio Theatre in London was included on the bonus disc with early copies of Bowie At The Beeb, and reissued in 2021 as part of the box set Brilliant Adventure (1992-2001).

‘Hallo Spaceboy’ was performed throughout the Heathen and Reality tours, Bowie’s last. A performance from Dublin in November 2003 was included on the following year’s A Reality Tour DVD, and on the 2010 album of the same name.

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