Major Tom is a fictional astronaut referenced in David Bowie's songs "Space Oddity", "Ashes to Ashes", "Hallo Spaceboy", "New Killer Star" and "Blackstar". Bowie's own interpretation of the character evolved throughout his career. "Space Oddity" (1969) depicts an astronaut who casually slips the bonds of the world to journey beyond the stars. In the song "Ashes to Ashes" (1980), Bowie reinterprets Major Tom as an oblique autobiographical symbol for himself. Major Tom is described as a "junkie, strung out in heavens high, hitting an all-time low". This lyric was interpreted as a play on the title of Bowie's album Low (1977), which charted his withdrawal following his drug abuse in the United States. Additionally, the choked and self-recriminating tone used in the lyrics "Time and again I tell myself I'll stay clean tonight. " reinforces an autobiographical and retrospective interpretation. A short time later, there is another reversal of Major Tom's original withdrawal, turning 'outwards' or towards space.