'Major Tom' Singer Peter Schilling on David Bowie: 'Hardly an Artist Had Such an Impact'

David Redfern/Redferns
Peter Schilling performs on stage at the Montreux Rock Festival held in Montreux, Switzerland in May 1984. 

The singer hit the Hot 100's top 15 in 1983 with his "Space Oddity" sequel song, "Major Tom (Coming Home)"

As the world mourns the loss of David Bowie, who passed away Jan. 10 at 69, and remembers his iconic catalog, it's also worth remembering a big Billboard hit by another artist that he directly inspired.

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In 1983, German pop singer/songwriter Peter Schilling rocketed to No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Major Tom (Coming Home)." With its signature "four … three ... two … one …," countdown lyric leading into its chorus, the song was born as a sequel song to Bowie's space-travel tale "Space Oddity." Schilling's song even one-upped Bowie's on the Hot 100: "Space Oddity" had reached No. 15 in 1973.

"Major Tom," from Schilling's album Error in the System, stands as his biggest hit. (It also reached No. 8 on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart.) In 1989, he added a second Hot 100 entry, the No. 61-peaking, and similarly hooky and synth-heavy, "The Different Story (World of Lust and Crime)."

Upon Bowie's passing, Schilling remembered the legend on his official Facebook page (as translated from German): "I'm stunned and saddened. Hardly an artist has had such an impact on the world of music as he did."