“Outa-Space” is an instrumental recorded by Billy Preston that originally appeared on his 1971 A&M Records-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 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 Hot 100 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. Billboard ranked it as the No. 22 song for 1972.
In the 90’s Intel Corporation used the song to promote their MMX-enabled Pentium processors.