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Bowie cover of the week: Alberto Estive covers “Days”

YouTube is full of Bowie covers from performers ranging from the most famous of bands to amateurs who don’t know what they are doing. It appears, though, that new covers are posted every week. So, starting today I’m going to add a more or less random new cover (based on when it’s posted) (at least) once per week.

To kick it off is this very well done cover of, “Days,” a lesser known late Bowie song from Reality (2003) by an artist I otherwise know nothing about, Alberto Estive. His arrangement is seemingly identical to Bowie’s, but he has a different voice and adds a Spanish translation in his video. His pronunciation is so different, in fact, that the first time I heard this I wasn’t sure that he was singing in English, however upon my second listening I don’t know how I made that mistake. Anyway, to the extent that Bowie had a stereotypical sound (which he really didn’t), “Days” doesn’t sound like a Bowie song, and despite the arrangement, it seems even further removed as performed by Estive. That said, it’s a beautiful, reflective song that touches on some themes that pop up once in a while in other Bowie songs, specifically the idea of giving and taking.

In the Bowie worldview, emotional and creative output is like a commodity, traded between partners or the artist and his audience. I get the sense that for Bowie, art, love, money are all products derived from limited resources, so the giving or acceptance of these and other aspects of his cognition are quantifiable transactions. The song’s title, “Days,” also hints at an even larger Bowie theme, which I have pointed out many times before, that time is an enemy. The word hints at a ticking clock: “All the days of my life; All the days I owe you”— within the song, this is where the word appears. All the days of his life is a finite number, and the idea that he owes some of them to “you” is quite distinct from the concept of something like endless love.

Anyway, I was happy to stumble upon this cover and drawn to Estive having chosen a non-obvious song to cover. Now let’s see what I come up with next week…

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