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Bowie cover of the week: The Bridge Music Class covers “The Man Who Sold the World”

The Bridge School is a program for educating children with severe speech and physical impairments. Neil Young and his wife are supporters and have organized an annual fundraising concert on the school’s behalf at which Bowie once performed (see my comments on the live album based on Bowie’s performances, which was oddly titled Unwashed and Slightly Phased by clicking on the bolded album title). All that said, I am not at all sure that this student cover of “The Man Who Sold the World” is from that program, Bridge Arts and Education based in Kingston, NY or something else. There is little in the “about” section on the YouTube page.

That said, what’s clear is that the lead singer and at least two of the supporting musicians are children, and they do a great job.

The other thing I can’t help but think is that when Bowie released this song in 1970, he was considered so subsverisive that anyone involved in education would to to lengths to keep children away from Bowie, this song or the album from which it came. Actually, Bowie wasn’t a household name in 1970. That was before Ziggy Stardust and even before “Changes” and “Life on Mars.” I have heard a story about Bowie going through an airport around that time wearing a dress, and that by itself being so weird that airport personnel called him something like the strangest person they had ever seen. Today, a biological male child would have the right to wear a dress at (at least many) schools.

So, the performance is pretty good, if faithful to the original, but this video wins “cover of the week” for ther journey of how we got from there to here.

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