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Bowie cover of the week: Matte Black performs “Within You”

I am often reminded that some fans were first introduced to Bowie through the movie, Labyrinth, and a subset of them only know him form that movie. “Within You,” from the movie’s soundtrack might be prominent in the minds of such fans, but not so much for anyone else. Without watching this video, think to yourself if you remember how Bowie sings it, or even where it appears in the movie. I have a little trouble doing so, but I’ll tell you this— Bowie doesn’t sing it like Matte Black.

Matte Black is a “dark electro band.” See this article about their single, “Pure”). Whatever “dark electro” is, it sounds like a good way to describe what the band did to “Within You.” Keep in mind that Bowie’s version of the song was originally used in a children’s movie about a goblin king’s obsession with a teenage girl. Matte Black emphasizes the obsession part without any hint that this song was ever — could ever- have been aimed at children. This cover draws attention to Bowie’s actual lyrics in a way that his own performance almost certainly deliberately did not. I guess was can count “Within You” as yet another Bowie song that musically conveys one mood but lyrically conveys something much darker.

“Cover of the week” is a feature where I select my favorite cover of a Bowie song posted on line over the past week. I tend to like covers of more obscure Bowie songs (far and away the most frequently covered song is “Heroes”) and I tend to like lesser-known bands. The cover of the week is not necessarily the only cover I might post during any given week, but it’s the newly posted cover I like best. There were many excellent covers to choose from this week including “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” covered by Wagner and “Heroes” by Cinematic Cover, both of which were performed well in high-production quality videos (so much so that I might post them separately despite being beaten out for the highly coveted designation of “cover of the week”) as well as a performance of “Life on Mars” by Peter Lopez that was apparently a segment on a song contest show and many more.

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