David Bowie [SotW Jan 2016]
This Song of the Week segment is dedicated to musical legend David Bowie.
One of the all time greats, Bowie’s passing – following his battle with cancer – rightfully reverberated across the globe. He was a pioneer who
changed the shape of music changed music forever.
In tribute to Jean Jenie, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, the Thin White Duke, Major Tom and my personal favorite: the Generalist, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite Bowie songs.
RIP David Bowie, 1947-2016
Space Oddity; 1969
The first time I heard “Space Oddity”, I put it on repeat at least a dozen times, and each time I heard something new. Ever since, I’ve been searching for that feeling but veeeeeery few songs have the same captivating magic the way “Space Oddity” did.
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars; 1970
Ziggy Stardust was the first Bowie album I got into, and what an album! It’s faultless from start to finish. The album cover. The sheer theatrics. The space concepts. The milkshakes and ice cream parlors of “Five Years”. The crashing anthemic chorus of “It Ain’t Easy”. The starmen all around us. So much is going on in this album, and all the while, perfectly content, Ziggy played guitar.
The Bewlay Brothers
Hunky Dory; 1971
The Bowie album I listen to the most, Hunky Dory is full of insanely great tracks (“Changes”, “Life on Mars?”, “Oh, You Pretty Things” and of course “Queen Bitch”). But it’s this slow burning track I like the most. It’s so English in nature, the type of song you could imagine Charles Dickens or even Harold Pinter writing, yet with the underlying whimsy and beauty of Waterloo Sunset…Just listen as the song builds and builds until the final refrain in which Bowie pleads: “Lay me place and bake me pie/I’m starving for me gravy.” It’ll give you goosebumps.
Sound and Vision
One of the most fun, rollicking Bowie songs in his entire catalogue, “Sound and Vision” is the highlight of Low, the first album in the Berlin trilogy (Heroes and Lodger being the others). Fed up with the coke-fuelled debauchery of LA, Bowie absconded to Berlin with Iggy Pop and Brian Eno and gang in tow and created three absolute gems.
This classic might be a little obvious, but rightfully so. It’s one of the best tunes ever (Rolling Stone has it at a respectable #46). (Possibly) inspired by two lovers he spotted caught on different sides of the Berlin Wall, Bowie describes the longing and lust of these two characters, feelings that could, even if just for one day, turn them into heroes. The swirling synths, passionate vocals, “Heroes” is way ahead of its time…The fact that Heroes didn’t even make the top 100 on its release is at once somehow freakishly surprising and not surprising at all. In other words, typical Bowie!