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Bus Stop Updated (Day 133 of the 2016 tribute)

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 to see guitarist Reeves Gabrels perform this song at a tiny concert in a bar in Troy. I’m glad, because I actually think it represents the best of Tin Machine. Its funny, it rocks and it even touches on one of Bowie’s themes, which is a quasi-religious spiritual struggle. It is the opposite in almost all ways of a song like, “Stateside” on the one hand, which in many ways represents the worst of Tin Machine. On the other hand it is also pretty much the opposite of some of the music Bowie was releasing two years earlier, like the syrupy “Never Let Me Down.” Does all that make this a great Bowie song? No. It lacks some of the mystery and majesty of Bowie’s very best, but not every song has to be great. Fun will suffice, and “Bus Stop” is fun.

Here’s what I originally posted on May 23, 2016: This is one of my favorite Tin Machine songs for no particular reason. The lyrics are inherently funny (speculating that a vision of Jesus could have actually been indigestion). This performance builds on that humor as the band performs it as a country song first before breaking into a more traditional rendition. This is the only time I am aware of Bowie singing country. This is also a reminder to me of my great regret of never having seen Tin Machine live. I remember several instances of being in the same city they would be performing either right before or right after they were there, but the timing never worked. What’s worse, Tin Machine’s one official, thankfully obscure live album – the embarrassingly named Oy Vey Baby (I’m not joking) is horrible. So, I’m happy that this tribute project has led me to clips like this. One last thing: the country version is conceptually funny, but it is performed like a straight up country song; this is not Weird Al stuff. Album: Tin Machine

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