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Bowie songs of the year #9: Space Oddity (1969)

Songs

“And the stars look very different today…” Of all Bowie’s space-themed songs, none is a better representative of the release of the first set of images taken by the James Webb space telescope than “Space Oddity.” In fact, if 2022 leaves an artifact that people will be looking at for years to come, it will be these images. Also, of…

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Bowie songs of the year #10: Repetition, 1979

Songs

I’ll begin this series with what I thought was the 10th biggest story of the year, and the one that I’d call a cultural development: the Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard defamation trial. Representing the issue is Bowie’s song, “Repetition,” which was possibly misplaced on Lodger. I had never seen the attached video before, which is of an 1997 acoustic…

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Ines Adam performs “Sound and Vision”

Songs

Add this one to the growing list of videos I came across from this project featuring a musician I never before knew about, doing a really good job. Ines Adam seems to have a small following, but I hope it grows. She, and an unidentified collaborator take ownership over “Sound and Vision.” I also came across a video of her…

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Could Bowie have Saved “A View to a Kill?”

Songs

MM and I found ourselves re-watching the most recent James Bond film, No Time to Die. Our initial impression of the movie was disappointment. Yet as we were watching it again, it seemed that most of the movie held up until, roughly the third act. If, by chance, you find yourself reading this and have not seen the movie, stop…

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Lana Del Rey sings “Terrence Loves You” (2015)

Songs

One of the things I get out of this project is discovering new music and musicians, sometimes with only a tenuous connection to Bowie. I don’t think I ever heard of Lana Del Rey before coming across an article about this song, which is inspired in part by Bowie’s relationship with his half-brother, Terry Burns. I have read that Bowie…

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Noel Gallagher sings “Valentine’s Day” and the latest mass shooting

Songs

The depressing headline of the day is yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Virginia. As of this writing (the morning of Wednesday the 23rd), there was no clear motive, but a Walmart employee shot five other people to death and he also died. These events are happening so fast that this latest incident will likely be…

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Elton John’s Bowie Tribute and his last US Concert

Songs

Elton John has been on a farewell tour for about five years. Three nights ago (Nov. 20), he performed his last concert in the United States, which was in Los Angeles. The concert was streamed on Disney, and we watched it the next night. Michelle and I saw the show when it came to Albany a few years ago. Prior…

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Chris Cornell sings “Lady Stardust” and the Colorado nightclub shooting

Songs

The biggest news story of the day is a hideous one— a mass shooting at a LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado. At some point there were news reports that the shooter’s motives were being investigated, but it seems likely that this was another terrible hate crime. I’m posting this song as a whisper-in-the-night gesture of solidarity. Bowie, of course, was among…

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Wallflowers cover “Heroes,” Trump, Duncan Jones and Twitter

Songs

Michelle and I watched Donald Trump’s speech announcing his third run for the presidency up to the point that he actually said he was going to run for president. We were watching it on CNN, and at that point in the speech, CNN broke in and commentators started to talk about it. So we watched some of the discussion, but…

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Beck sings Diamonds Dogs (and my thoughts on the movie, “Nightmare Alley”)

Songs

Beck contributed a rendition of “Diamond Dogs” to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack. This live performance has decent sound quality, though the visuals are not great (which is odd because it seems to have been professionally edited). Anyway, I’m using this as an excuse to write about another movie, Nightmare Alley. Bowie had nothing to do with that movie, but “Diamond…

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Kooks Updated

Songs

I recently posted an alternative version of “Kooks” which will appear on the forthcoming compilation, Divine Symmetry, but I noticed that the link I used for my original 2016 commentary went down, so here is yet another alternative take on the song. Here, Bowie performs what at the time was a new song live, in the days following the birth…

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Brian Gray sings Saviour Machine

Songs

This is not a political blog, but one of the things that unfolded over the time I was doing my original song-a-day Bowie tribute in 2016 was the surreal political ascent of Donald Trump. I used several of Bowie’s songs, including this one, as an excuse to comment on the race at the time. I don’t know Brian Gray, but…

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Slow Burn restored video

Songs

I’m pretty sure I had never seen this video before coming across it yesterday. I did previously comment on “Slow Burn.” You can read those comments and watch the video I included at the time, of Bowie performing the song live. But this is an official video. Apparently, despite the song being released (and nominated for a Grammy) in 2002…

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Brief Bowie Sunday: The Stars Are Out Tonight

Songs

Once again I didn’t have time to write a full entry, so here is a video I had previously never seen of what looks like a segment of the documentary, The Last Five Years. I have had trouble posting the official video for “The Stars Are Out Tonight” for a while and my original entry about the song is currently…

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Brief Bowie Saturday: Queen Bitch Live (1972)

Songs

I didn’t have time to write a real entry today, so here’s a repeat video. I used a different version of the same video for my original commentary on the song, however this version is cleaner. If you are reading this, I’m also guessing you haven’t watched the video in a while, so take a look…

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Ian Hunter’s Bowie tribute, “Dandy” (2016)

Songs

I’m surprised with myself that it took me this long to post this song. Ian Hunter was the lead singer of Mott the Hoople, the band Bowie resuscitated in 1972 by giving them the song, “All the Young Dudes.” The version of that song you know best is performed by Mott the Hoople, not Bowie, but if you are reading…

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Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed Updated

Songs

Originally Day 181, July 12, 2016 Updated comments: I still think of this song as a young Bowie trying to write a Bob Dylan song. Bowie himself would grow comfortable with obscure lyrics, but these, along with the folky arrangement, sound more Dylanesque than “cut-up technique.” And as if the song is not derivative enough, Bowie does a Marc Bolan…

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“Helden” Jojo Rabbit Soundtrack Version (2020)

Songs

“Helden,” the German version of “Heroes,” appeared as my entry for Day 290. If you just listen to the music, this is either identical or modified in some minor way. But, just as “Starman” appeared in the Academy Award Best-Picture winner, CODA, which I recently watched, “Helden” appeared — in its entirety— at the end of the Acadsemy Award nominated…

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Bus Stop Updated (Day 133 of the 2016 tribute)

Songs

Updated comments: The original clip, referenced below, broke down for some reason and this is just the song as it appears on the first Tin Machine album, which was originally issued in 1989. Clocking in at less than two minutes, it is one of Bowie’s shortest complete songs. I never got to see Tin Machine live, but I did get…

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Parálisis Permanente performs “Heroes” in Spanish (1982)

Songs

I mentioned the other day that Rolling Stone came out with its list of top 50 Goth songs of all time and clocked this “Heroes” cover in at #42, so I thought I might as well post it. I had never heard this — or heard of this, or this band before the Rolling Stone list. The band is from…

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Iggy Pop performs “Real Wild Child” (AKA “Wild One”), 1986

Songs

As far as I can tell, this is the nearest connection I can make between Bowie and Jerry Lee Lewis, who died on October 28th. The connection is tenuous— Bowie co-produced Iggy Pop’s album, “Blah Blah Blah,” and this song was on it, so Bowie co-produced this song. Jerry Lee Lewis recorded the song in 1958 (though he didn’t get…

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“Starman” from CODA Soundtrack (2021)

Songs

There are a couple of other entries I intended for today but I unexpectedly came across this rendition of “Starman” two nights ago while watching the 2021 Best Picture Oscar winner movie, CODA. In the context of the movie, a high school choir sings “Starman,” and sure enough the entire performance appears on the movie’s soundtrack — here it is.…

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“Heroes” Covered, Final Part: “The Secret Life of Arabia”

Songs

I imagine listening to “Heroes” as a vinyl album— side one featured five intense songs featuring Bowie when his voice, arguably, was at its strongest. Side two featured mostly instrumentals that, while intense in their own way, took things down quite a few notches. Its not just that the songs were instrumental, but heard in their intended order, the songs…

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Hey, wait a minute… where’s “Blackout” (here it is, covered by Momus).

Songs

For those following along with this series of covers of the songs from Bowie’s “Heroes,’ album, you might have noticed I skipped over the song, “Blackout.” That’s because I have been basing this sequence on an article that appeared in the on-line publication, Time Out, which also skipped “Blackout” perhaps by mistake. The song appears after “Sons of the Silent…

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“Heroes” Covered Part 7: Yugennui performs “Neukolln”

Songs

Despite the title of this video, the band performing this, probably the most obscure and least covered pieces from “Heroes,” is called Yugennui. This appeared on an album called, “Baltimore Does Bowie,” which contained Bowie covers by a variety of (presumably) Baltimore-based bands. “Neukolln” is probably the most desolate instrumentals in Bowie’s catalogue. It is named after a neighborhood in…

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“Heroes” Covered Part 6: Dylan Howe performs “Moss Garden”

Songs

I think of Bowie’s instrumentals, at least on “Heroes,” as contributing to the album’s overall ominous sense of dread. That’s not necessarily fair, and “Moss Garden” certainly doesn’t do that. You can easily imagine this playing in the background at a spa. Its relaxing and evocative of its name, or at least the name seems to make sense. Dylan Howe…

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“Heroes” Covered Part 6: hYrtis performs “Sense of Doubt”

Songs

This is an amazing video. French musician hYrtis (real name is apparently Gladys Hulto…and no, i didn’t know her before this video) performs the instrumental on a Theremin. If ever a piece of music was designed for the Theremin, it is this. The way the instrument, which does not involve physical contact, is played allows the artist to maintain a…

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“Heroes” Covered Part 5: The Spookers perform V2 Schneider

Songs

There aren’t many funny moments on the “Heroes” album, but “V2 Schneider” comes close. Mostly instrumental, the one actual lyric is, “V2 Schneider.” My understanding, which I think is the general understanding, is that this is Bowie’s nod to Florian Schneider, from the German band Kraftwerk. Bowie’s synthesizer-heavy music from that time (which, not coincidentally was his Berlin period) was…

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“Heroes” Covered Part 4: Matt Brown sings “Sons of the Silent Age”

Songs

Because of its name, I have long associated “Sons of the Silent Age” with silent movies. Though the lyrics are cryptic, I have kind of instinctually assumed the song was about —- had something to do with silent movies. After all, there’s a reference to “City Limits,” the Charlie Chaplain film, right? Well, I’ve probably been wrong all these years.…

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Alternate version of “Kooks” (1971)

Songs

You know I have an order in for the upcoming four-CD set of early 70s demos and alternate song versions called, “Divine Symmetry.” Ahead of the full set’s release comes this version of, “Kooks,” performed on a BBC show, “Sounds of the 70s Presented by Bob Harris” in 1971. Bowie would later include a more familiar version of the song…

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