Billy Preston – Outa-Space

This is a cool funky instrumental by Billy Preston from 1972.

This instrumental was a track from Billy Preston’s sixth album, I Wrote a Simple Song, his first for A&M Records. Preston had faith in the song but A&M placed it on the B side to I Wrote a Simple Song. The same old story here…when the disc jockeys turned the single over they played it more than the A side.

I Wrote a Simple Song,” only peaked at #77 on the Billboard 100 Chart. I’m sure Billy Preston felt good about that.

Like Stevie Wonder was using at the time, Preston used a Clavinet for this song.

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Three years before this, Preston played with the Beatles on the Let It Be album. John even suggested that they add him to the band. George Harrison kept working with Preston, using him on his 1970 solo album All Things Must Pass. When Harrison embarked on his only solo tour in 1974, Preston was in his band, but a big enough star in his own right to get some of his own songs in the set, including Outa-Space.

Preston was a top session keyboardist in the 1960s. He ended up backing artists such as Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, the Everly Brothers, Reverend James Cleveland, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

The song won the 1972 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.

This was used in several movies, including the 1973 TV movie Go Ask Alice, Muppets From Space, Rush Hour 2, and The Look of Love.

From Wiki: Preston had suffered kidney disease in his later years. He received a kidney transplant in 2002, but his health continued to deteriorate. He had voluntarily entered a drug rehabilitation clinic in Malibu, California, and suffered pericarditis there, leading to respiratory failure that left him in a coma from November 21, 2005. Preston died on June 6, 2006, in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Groove on the clavinet



Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

19 thoughts on “Billy Preston – Outa-Space”

    1. They may have actually carried on for a little while longer…they would have had more soul!
      Oh…come back Deke…Dave is hosting my site with a post in a few minutes…and I’m hosting his

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I always liked this tune, and his few other hit singles. (the early 70s ones mainly… I just heard that ballad ‘Woman With You I’m Born Again’, or something to that effect, which was a duet and I totally forgot it was him on it) but only in the past couple of years did I realize how much more he’d done. He might have come out of that ‘Get Back’ documentary looking better than anyone— what a good influence he had on them in the studio.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He had been around…The Beatles played with him in Hamburg while he played with Little Richard…he was great.


  2. Great piece. His Space Race was used as a bridge on American Bandstand.

    He had his troubles with kidney disease, drugs & alcohol and being thrown out of The Band for a sexual assault.

    He was a grand musician.

    Liked by 1 person

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