Kenny Rogers' otherwise typical pop-country album from 1989, Something Inside So Strong, threw quite the curveball at fans with its second single, "Planet Texas." Over 30 years later, the bizarre tale that likens the Lone Star State to an alien planet is an '80s pop culture curiosity, if only because of a music video directed by Sex Pistols videographer Julien Temple.
In a May 1989 Associated Press article, Rogers described what eventually became a curious outlier in his catalog as something capable of redefining a legendary career.
"It's the most unique piece of music I've heard in 20 years," Rogers said at the time. "It may be a new genre. It has to do with space and time travel, but it's also a Western. These alien cowboys pick me up and take me to a planet called Texas.
"We may do this as a movie for NBC, but we're also toying with the idea of trying to attract a Stephen Spielberg or George Lucas and making it a feature film," he added. "It's such an unusual concept and offers the same limitless possibilities that The Gambler did."
Spielberg and Lucas never came calling, leaving "Planet Texas" as one of the more bizarre top 30 singles by any country artist, much less a legend the caliber of Rogers.
Better yet, it's a reminder that country music isn't always serious business.
"Planet Texas" Lyrics
They rode like they was Rangers as they came out of the skies
They had High-Tech horses with beacons in their eyes
My gun was cocked and ready when I looked into their face
I seen they just weren't just common buck-a-roos born of the human race
No, sir, these Cowboys came from space
Their shootin' irons shot laser light and their spurs was anodized
Bandanas caked with stardust and their jeans was pressurized
Well he handed me a halter, said, "Tighten up the girth."
But before I hit the saddle we were miles above the Earth.
And I mean MILES above the Earth
I seen London, Paris, Budapest, Kashmir and Tokyo
And there ain't no sight like a desert night looking down on Mexico
To the Moons of Mars and Jupiter, 'round Saturn's rings we rode
Past the frozen plains of Pluto where even the sunshine's cold
Man, I do mean COLD
Then our interstellar stallions sailed through the starless void
There was nothing to miss in that emptiness, not even a stray asteroid
So we picked up the trail of a comet tail, man, you can't even DREAM that far
And the galloping beat like the rhythm of an old catgut guitar
Just the strummin' of a distant star
Well, it could have lasted minutes or a hundred thousand years
When they got me down, I was safe and sound and it hadn't even popped my ears
And they reared back on their broncos and they shot a bolt of light
I knew they were the good guys, yes, sir. you got it right
'Cause their cowboy hats was White
So I asked 'em as they pulled their reins towards the settin' sun
I said, "Before you go, I'd like to know, just where you boys come from?"
Well they opened up a star chart and said, "right here where this 'X' is
It's the biggest place in Outer Space, the planet known as Texas"
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