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Bowie cover of the week: The Yada Yadas cover “Five Years”

This is the second of what I intended to be a weekly series featuring videos of, what will probably end up being lesser-known bands, covering Bowie songs. It appears that bands and individual performers post Bowie covers on a weekly basis and I’m guessing I’ll be able to keep this going in perpetuity.

The Yada Yadas are another band I know nothing about, but it’s clearly a professional band— there’s booking information in the video. The video itself is basically concert footage, but it has moderate production quality and is obviously packaged as a video, as opposed to just being someone’s phone footage from the audience. The performance is fairly faithful to Bowie’s familiar version of “Five Years” from Ziggy Stardust, although a few of the lyrics have been slightly altered.

I usually hear “Five Years” in the context of the album its on. Bowie also included a live version on Stage, however even there that was part of what at the time was an entire album side of live performances off Ziggy. So, to the extent that there’s a novelty about this performance, it’s that the song has no other context. It’s simply a song about the impending end of the world. On Ziggy, the song is usually heard as the opening to a story that might or might not be there. I like it here as a stand-alone, which forces us to pay attention to the song itself and not its place within a possibly illusory concept.

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