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BBC Radio 6 Music

Memory Tapes: Astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield

Assistant Producer

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We've just had the amazing Commander Chris Hadfield on air now giving us a Memory Tape of the music he takes into space. And, alarmingly, listening to music in zero gravity makes it sound different. We're still recovering from having our minds blow, but here's what Chris says about several of the tracks. 

Of Leonard Cohen he says: “Poetry emotion, a classic that so many people have recorded, one that our band has loved and sung with harmonies and soaring leads for years. I played it in Star City, Russia, inside the new wooden Orthodox cathedral while it was under construction, with guitar and flute accompaniment.”

Of Rush he says: “They were the first real rock band that I knew; simply guitar, bass, drums and vocals, but so much more. So original and unafraid, and from my part of the world. Listening to this tune while floating over the dark side of Earth sends a 'rush' up my back :)”

Of The Guess Who he says: “Especially in the coupled version with New Mother Nature, the odd neo-baroque intro and backbeat rhythm always struck me as wonderfully original, leading into the so-catchy rock chorus and Burton Cummings' unparalleled vocals. I love the Guess Who, and especially the distinctive creativity of this music pairing.”


Chris Hadfield's top list of must-hear songs while living and working aboard the ISS **mostly Canadian artists tbh**

Take it From Day to Day by Stan Rogers

Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen

What Am I Doing Here by Blue Rodeo

If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot

Big Smoke by Dave Hadfield

Arrow I Vow To Thee My Country a poem by Sir Cecil Spring-Rice, set to music by Gustav Holst

If I Had a Million Dollars by Barenaked Ladies  

Four Strong Winds by Ian & Sylvia Tyson

Trusscot by Trent Severn

Rockstar by Nickelback

Arrow No Sugar Tonight by The Guess Who

Canadian Tire by Chris Hadfield

Fly By Night by Rush

Annie Lennox






Kingston Trio

Van Morrison

Hans Zimmer

Mark Knopfler/Dire Straits

Great Big Sea

Loreena McKennit

Simple Plan

Sarah McLachlan

The Band

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