Peter...Who?, you ask! He had a big international hit in the "Big Decade!"

And, that hit has something to do with the late, great....David Bowie!

Peter Schilling was born in Stuttgart, Germany on January 28, 1956.

His birth certificate says: Pierre Michael Schilling.

His music is of the synth/pop genre, and often revolves around science fiction themes like space, astronauts, aliens and nuclear holocaust.

Case in point: Schilling's only international top-40-charting hit, "Major Tom (Coming Home)"  (#14/1983).

Its rather obvious that Schilling admired, or at least really liked, David Bowie's 1969 hit "Space Oddity," as the song "Major Tom" allows Schilling to put his own spin on the story.

In Schilling's "sequel," astronaut Major Tom cuts off communication with Earth, and drifts off into space...

Feel free to do your own back-to-back comparison: Bowie vs. Schilling.

And, check out "Major Tom" in its original German version! The German version was a major hit across Europe!

The English language "Major Tom" was helped a lot, when MTV put the video on the air! This was due to the efforts of Robin Sloane, who was working at Elektra Records as head of video promotion...a job that only existed for the short time when MTV could be "pitched" videos!

Checking the chart books, I noticed that Peter Schilling DID try to follow up the success of Major Tom in the English language world...but it was not meant to be.

"The Different Story (World Of Lust And Crime) went no further than #61 on the Hot 100 charts in 1989.

Through the late 1980s, Schilling continued to put out songs in his native German.

By 1990, Schilling was suffering from burnout. He walked away from the music, taking a break, in 1991.

In his personal life, Peter Schilling married his girlfriend, Catyana, in 1994.

In the late 1990's, Schilling put together the band "Space Pilots" as a side project. The group included his wife, J. Feifel and P. Magnet...

Their only (recorded) song is "Trip To Orion," (above), which came out on vinyl and compact disc in 1995. It is based on, and includes sampled vocals from, the German sci-fi  TV show "Raumpatrouille Orion."

While Peter Schilling is basically a "one-hit-wonder" artist in the English speaking world, he has over 30 songs on his German...

Are you hearing this, Major Tom?

Check out Peter Schilling's official site by clicking will help A LOT if you read German...although it is interesting to watch the home page language barrier there!