Astronomy Day takes place on Oct. 13, so AXS has put together a playlist for music fans who are also stargazers. Here are the 11 best songs ever released about the stars or the universe, to enjoy during astronomy-related pursuits. Listen to each song by clicking the titles below, and get the latest information on and tickets to see these artists through AXS.
Coldplay's dreamy pop-rock sound is perfect for this ballad about the stars. Chris Martin's vocals are naturally soothing, but they also lend themselves to the hopeful quality of this song. The combination of his performance and the ethereal instrumentals make the whole track feel as grand and beautiful as the universe.
10. "Intergalactic" - The Beastie Boys
The Beastie Boys knew how to rock out in any situation, and that included when talking about galaxies. They created a Grammy Award-winning song with a chorus that was the words "planetary" and "intergalactic" repeated over and over again. That wouldn't work for many artists, but they made it sound cool - and made listeners want to go to space.
9. "Champagne Supernova" - Oasis
One of the most popular Oasis songs was "Champagne Supernova." To this day, it's not entirely clear what a champagne supernova is, but the band made it sound like something everyone wanted to see. The song paints a visual picture that's fascinating, and its laid-back tone makes it perfect for relaxing as one looks up at the sky and takes in the stars.
8. "Rocket Man" - Elton John
Elton John created an unofficial anthem for space enthusiasts everywhere when he wrote "Rocket Man." The entire song is written from the point of view of an astronaut, and it talks about what it's like to be in space. This should be mandatory listening on all space-related playlists, not to mention the theme song for NASA. It's not, but NASA did use it to greet Atlantis astronauts in 2011.
7. "Starlight" - Muse
Muse have always been able to come up with creative songs, and "Starlight" is one of their most creative. It talks about being on a starship, flying away from bad memories, and one of its other lyrics gave the band's 2006 album Black Holes and Revelations its title. It was apparently the hardest song to record on the album, but it was worth it as it's also the best song on the whole record.
6. "All of the Stars" - Ed Sheeran
The stars and the universe are often referenced in love songs, and that's what Ed Sheeran did when he recorded this song for the romantic drama "The Fault In Our Stars." It's exactly the kind of over the top, romantic ballad that one would expect to be in a movie. But because it's Ed Sheeran, it's special; he makes it charming, vulnerable and appealing. He was so good that this song made "Fault In Our Stars" author John Green an Ed Sheeran fan.
5. "Life on Mars" - David Bowie
What made David Bowie a legend was that he was as talented a storyteller as he was a singer and musician. Every one of Bowie's songs was its own creative story, and "Life on Mars" was one of his best. It was beautiful yet also somehow haunting, simple but it still felt like there were multiple layers to appreciate. Between Bowie's lyrics and his remarkable vocal performance, this is a rock classic.
4. "Counting Stars" - OneRepublic
OneRepublic doesn't do anything without making it big, and "Counting Stars" is one of their biggest hits. The song has amassed more than 2.4 billion views on YouTube. It's also one of Ryan Tedder's best songs, as he delivers lyrics with rapid-fire precision. This is a prime example of why OneRepublic are so popular. And who wouldn't want to listen to a song about counting stars on Astronomy Day?
3. "Stars" - Skillet
Christian rock band Skillet is incredibly underrated, especially for their more ballad-like songs. "Stars" is one of those songs, where they reach down deep and are able to move the audience. Lead singer John Cooper's vocals are incredibly earnest, and he's supported by some of the best musicianship the band has ever exhibited. The song feels like a love letter to the entire universe and everything in it.
2. "Universe" - Punchline
Speaking of love letters, Punchline wrote an excellent one with "Universe." It's an unforgettable piece of pop-rock in which the narrator tells the woman he loves that she is literally his entire universe. It doesn't get more romantic than that, and it's incredibly catchy, too. Everything comes together in the best song from a band that deserves far more love than they get.
1. "Drops of Jupiter" - Train
It's impossible to think about the universe without remembering this classic Train song. The band took listeners on a journey through the universe with "Drops of Jupiter," which Pat Monahan wrote after the passing of his mother. As such, there's a spiritual element to it, as the song talks about someone being present "in the atmosphere" even if they're not physically there. That thought-provoking idea, plus a beautiful string section, and some creative lyrics make this easily the best song about space. Watch the music video by playing the video above and take a trip through the universe with it.
For more on any of the artists featured on this playlist, click their names above to visit their artist pages at AXS.