Major Tom (Coming Home)

Major Tom (Coming Home)
"Major Tom (Coming Home)"
Single by Peter Schilling
from the album Error in the System
Released 1983
Format 7", 12"
Recorded 1983
Genre Neue Deutsche Welle
New Wave
Length 4:33 (German edit)
5:00 (English Version)
8:02 (Extended Version)
Label Elektra (United States)
WEA Records (Germany)
Writer(s) Peter Schilling
Producer Armin Sabol, Peter Schilling
Peter Schilling singles chronology
"Fehler Im System"
"Major Tom (Coming Home)"
"Terra Titanic"

"Major Tom (Coming Home)" (German: Major Tom (Völlig losgelöst) Major Tom (totally disconnected)), is a song by singer Peter Schilling from his album Error in the System. With a character unofficially related to "Major Tom", the theme of David Bowie's 1969 album Space Oddity, the song is about the character being caught in an accident in space.

The song was originally recorded in German, and released in West Germany on January 3, 1983. It reached #1 in West Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The English version was first released in the United States on September 24, 1983. It reached #1 in Canada, #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart in 1984, and #4 in South Africa. The English-language version of the song also reached number two on the dance chart in the U.S.[1]


Chart (1983) Peak
Austrian Singles Chart 1
Canadian Singles Chart[2] 1
Dutch Singles Chart[3] 2
French Singles Chart 2
German Singles Chart 1
South African Chart 4
Swiss Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 42
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 14

Cover versions

  • In 1983, the Belgian musician Plastic Bertrand recorded a cover with a variation on Schilling's lyrics.
  • In 2001, the band Dealership recorded a cover of "Major Tom (Coming Home)". The track has been posted on the band's web site, but has not been released on an album.
  • In 2004, the Dutch punk band Travoltas covered the song for their "Highschool Reunion" album.
  • In 2005, the band Fenix TX released a live cover of the song for their album Purple Reign in Blood.
  • In 2007, the band I Hate Kate released a cover of the song for their album Embrace the Curse, which did not feature the full lyrics.
  • MxPx recorded a version of the song, releasing it as an iTunes bonus track for their On the Cover II album.
  • Chicago-based Canasta recorded a version of the song as a free download track.
  • In 2009, Shiny Toy Guns recorded a cover of the song that was featured in a 2010 Lincoln MKZ commercial. It was later released as a single and on the remix album Girls Le Disko.
  • Chiasm (Emileigh Rohn) included a cover version on her 2009 album Apple Island.
  • William Shatner included a cover on the 2011 album Seeking Major Tom.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 228. 
  2. ^ Library and Archives Canada.
  3. ^ Top 40 Hit dossier 1956-2001 ISBN 90-257-3349-2
Preceded by
"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" by Culture Club
German Singles Chart number-one single
28 January-25 March 1983
Succeeded by
"99 Luftballons" by Nena
Preceded by
"Say Say Say" by Paul McCartney
Canadian RPM 100 number-one single
January 14, 1984 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club

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