Peter Schilling (born Pierre Michael Schilling; January 28, 1956) is a German synthpop musician whose songs often feature science-fiction themes like aliens, astronauts and catastrophes. He is best-known for his 1983 hit single “Major Tom (Coming Home)” which was an international success.
“Major Tom (Coming Home)” is from his album Error in the System. With a character unofficially related to “Major Tom”, the protagonist of David Bowie’s 1969 song “Space Oddity”, the song is about the character breaking off contact with ground control and travelling off into space.
The song was originally recorded in German and released in West Germany on January 3, 1983. It reached No. 1 in West Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The English version was first released in the United States on September 24, 1983. It reached No. 1 in Canada, No. 4 in South Africa and peaked at No. 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart the week of December 24, 1983. The English-language version of the song also reached No. 2 on the dance chart in the US.
In 1994, Schilling made and released a remixed version along with Bomm Bastic, titled “Major Tom 94”. Another remix was released in 2000, titled “Major Tom 2000”, and yet another in 2003, titled “Major Tom 2003”. In 2016, Jay Del Alma released a Spanish-language remake titled “Vuela (Major Tom)” with Schilling on vocals.