Written by Billy Preston and Joe Greene
Date 1971
Source I Wrote a Simple Song (album)

"Outa-Space" is a funk/R&B instrumental recorded by Billy Preston that originally appeared on his 1971 debut album, I Wrote a Simple Song. Preston created the sound of "Outa-Space" by running the sound from a clavinet through a wah wah pedal and then improvising a groove while calling out chord changes to the backing-band. He later added organ and hand claps to the track. Preston came up with the title "Outa Space" due to the instrumental's spacy sound. While he thought that it would be a hit, A&M Records was skeptical and initially issued it as the B-side of "I Wrote a Simple Song". However, Radio DJs began flipping the single and, while "I Wrote a Simple Song" only reached number seventy seven on the Billboard Pop Singles chart, "Outa-Space" climbed all the way to the number two spot, showing that Preston's feelings about it were correct. While it just missed making it to the top of the pop chart, "Outa Space" did spend one week at number one on the R&B Singles chart. The single was certified gold by the RIAA for sales of one million copies. "Outa Space" also won the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance of 1972.

The song plays in the 1999 film Muppets from Space as Gonzo gets out of the bus at Cape Doom, prepared to meet his alien relatives.

Album releases

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