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Bowie Cover of the Week: Pete Foley performs “Time”

This was another very strong week for Bowie covers and it was a tough choice but I selected this cover of “Time” both because it sounds great and it is a rarely covered song. Why is that? That its rarely covered? It’s a great song. Maybe it gets lost on the generally more raucous album, Aladdin Sane. Actually, in my mind its hard not to think of Bowie descending from the Glass Spider rafters, performing this song was metal wings during his 1987 tour— maybe, since that era is not well regarded today, “Time” suffers by association. I’m not sure, but Bowie’s original is terrific and so, too is this one by Pete Foley.

I can find very little about Pete Foley, even on his YouTube page. There’s another, apparently better known Pete Foley— this isn’t that guy. I especially like the guitar playing here, but Foley also gets some of the subtle vocal effects that work well with the song (feints, lilts—- listen to the song and you’ll hear what I mean).

This is a straight up, into the camera black and white video. I think the choice to do it in black and white works, seemingly saying something about time itself. For Bowie, time was the enemy. Time, the passage of time and the effects of time come up again and again in Bowie’s songs… and it’s never good. Bowie’s treatment of time is linked to his interest in impermanence— very little last forever for Bowie. When he does evoke the eternal, that too is never good (“endless, tragic lives…”). That’s not this song, but you don’t get a much better feeling about time which is the consuming and deadly within this song.

Anyway, I like Foley’s performance. Who was he up against this week? Some of the other outstanding covers include the following (click on the bolded words to link):

Life on Mars” by Ami Alex.
The Man Who Sold the World” by Alexia Scott. This one was probably my second favorite of the week. A tie, reall,y in terms of quality, but the rarity of “Time” as a cover versus “The Man Who Sold the World” pushed it ahead for me.
Lady Stardust” by Revolucion Heliotropo
Heroes” by Martyna and the Sinners. In terms of visuals, this video was the best of the week. The musical performance is very good as well, but “Heroes” is too common a cover.

There were many other covers posted for the first time within the last week, which has always been the case since I started this series, so this list is not meant to be comprehensive, just the ones I liked best.

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