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DLC Week of 4/20: David Bowie and Stephen Sanchez

David Bowie “Space Oddity” and Stephen Sanchez “Until I Found You” mine similar musical DNA – namely the rock/folk ballad – yielding decidedly disparate results. You’ll want to check out this new DLC debuting Thursday in the Rock Band Music Store!

The opening track from David Bowie’s eponymous second album (and featured on the Rock Band 3 soundtrack!) finds the now-iconic artist really swinging for the fences after his debut disc had failed to find an audience. An ambitious psychedelic folk ballad, “Space Oddity” was revolutionary for its time and remains quite forward thinking. A protracted fade-in intro features acoustic guitar joined by percussive flourishes, subtle bass, and Stylophone stabs (if you’re unfamiliar with what a Stylophone is, do a search – truly cool usage of a relatively obscure, quirky instrument!) before Bowie lends his voice to the proceedings at the 30-second point. At 1:11 begins a slow, upwards crescendo of strings, guitars, violins, flutes, and mellotron before, 10 seconds later (after a spoken countdown low in the mix that culminates with the words “lift-off”), we reach the instantly recognizable first chorus. It’s moments like that opening salvo, building to the refrain from the track’s very beginning, that illustrate just how groundbreaking this recording was in leveraging thoughtful songwriting, impeccable performance, and production techniques to create not merely a fine song, but a sense of atmosphere. Singing about fictional astronaut “Major Tom,” “Space Oddity” was initially rush-released in England to coincide with the Apollo 11 moon landing, eventually reaching number five on the charts in the UK. "In England, it was always presumed that it was written about the space landing, because it kind of came to prominence around the same time,” Bowie said. “But it actually wasn't. It was written because of going to see the film ‘2001,’ which I found amazing. I was out of my gourd anyway, I was very stoned when I went to see it, several times, and it was really a revelation to me. It got the song flowing.” It certainly seems to have done the trick!  The 1969 single’s rocket-launch structure presages the artist’s own rise to the upper echelons of rock stardom just a few years later, via another of  made-up character, Ziggy Stardust. The wildly innovative soundscapes, meticulous arrangement, and David Bowie’s willingness to inhabit other personas – it’s all here. “Space Oddity” is the sound of a future legend testing unfamiliar waters and realizing that he needn’t follow trends or copy others; From this point onwards, Bowie created the styles, sounds, and movements that *others* scrambled to shadow.

First going viral on TikTok, Stephen Sanchez “Until I Found You” eventually peaked at #1 on the U.S. Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart in 2022. Somehow, the 20 year-old singer-songwriter manages to effectively evoke an era that existed well before he was born with this dreamy ballad. Beginning with a chord progression strummed on non-distorted guitar dripping with tremolo and reverb, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter’s swoon-worthy, confident vocals join at the 10-second mark. Then, at :37, sparse drums, minimalist bass, and a soaring female vocal harmony complete the sonic picture. Doo-wop melodies, delicate tambourine, and a slow-dance 6/8 rhythm throughout conjure images of poodle skirts, pompadours, and sock-hops. As it turns out, such vibes are completely intentional: “I was obsessed with the style of the ‘50s when I was growing up,” Sanchez has explained. “The glamorous cars, movie theaters, mom & pop shops.” A nostalgic approach to the track’s production and mix adds to the overall vintage aesthetic and there’s enough sweet summer soul to inspire romantic types out there to perform some grandiose gestures of affection. Lyrically, we’re talking heart-on-sleeve sincerity delivered without a hint of irony. This, too, is by design. “I wrote this song in my bedroom for a girl I loved,” the up-and-coming artist says. “That’s all it was and all I ever needed it to be, but now it’s the soundtrack for so many love stories.” This compact (just under three minutes, total), retro single is determinately uncluttered – a tribute to the power of simplicity when wielded by a musician with a masterful touch. There’s a very good chance you’re already quite familiar with “Until I Found You,” but if not, prepare to be floored.
David Bowie “Space Oddity” and Stephen Sanchez “Until I Found You” are available for $1.99 each.

  • David Bowie – “Space Oddity” (Rock Band Rewind)
  • Stephen Sanchez – “Until I Found You”

Stephen Sanchez - “Until I Found You” is available in the Season 31 Season Pass.

VIDEO: Rock Band 4 DLC Week of 4/20: David Bowie “Space Oddity” and Stephen Sanchez “Until I Found You”


*Please note that this week’s DLC tracks will be available for purchase on Thursday, April 20th.