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Day 33 | Fashion

Songs

This song, which is really about politics rather than fashion, is pretty resonant today. Left and right are nothing more than passing fads, like dance moves. One of the memorable elements of the video is a dance move, which I always thought of as a bunny-hop. The move re-appears in the video for Blackstar, but this time performed by living…

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Day 32 | Boys Keep Swinging

Songs

A funny little song that sounds great, has a slightly suggestive title but ironic lyrics, and an iconic video. Album: Lodger

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Day 31 | “Heroes”

Songs

I think of this song as similar to Springsteen's “Born in the USA” in that it is very popular but maybe for the wrong reasons. The quotation marks around the song's name are very deliberate, to convey irony. The characters in the song are not heroic; they are pathetic. The song, however is not! Album: "Heroes”

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Day 30 | Sound and Vision

Albums

The greatest song ever about writer's block. Album: Low

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Day 29 | Station to Station

Songs

The albums Diamond Dogs, Station to Station and Blackstar each feature long songs that are actually two songs grafted together. In each case this device is intended, I think, to convey transformation. Candidate/Sweet Thing from Diamond Dogs signaled the transition from glam to disco, while Station to Station came out on the other side and telegraphed disco to proto-new wave.…

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Day 28 | Starman

Songs

Starman has been getting attention lately- it will be featured in an Audie Super Bowl ad. Bernie Sanders played it at his Iowa victory rally. It turns up again and again. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou used Bowie music sung in Portuguese as its soundtrack, but used the Bowie original in the trailer. Even the Simpsons used Starman. In…

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Day 27 | Fame

Songs

There's a good argument to be made that all the troubles we've experienced over the past 40 years are because the entire point of human existence was to get to David Bowie lip-syncing Fame on Soul Train. Having accomplished that, the human race has been adrift ever since. Album: Young Americans

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Day 26 | Rebel Rebel

Songs

Rebel Rebel. Although I already knew and liked this song, and knew who David Bowie was, the point at which I came to realize this was a Bowie song was probably the point at which I became a fan. For some reason I previously thought this was the Kinks. That was a looooong time ago. Album: Diamond Dogs

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Day 25 | Sorrow

Songs

Yesterday I mentioned Bowie's cover album, Pinups. He didn't really claim most of the songs on the album as his own, with the exception of this one, which he'd continue to sing concert for years. Not sure why. It's a nice, all purpose song but not especially Bowie-like. Album: Pinups

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Day 24 | Comfortably Numb

Songs

Bowie sings Pink Floyd. I was looking for a video of "See Emily Play," which is my favorite song on Bowie's 1973 all-cover album, "Pinups." Instead I came across this video of another Pink Floyd song, "Comfortably Numb," which Bowie never recorded, at least in the studio. What's heartening about this for me is that I am reminded that there's…

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Day 23 | Panic in Detroit

Songs

One of my very favorite songs. This is another song I like most of all just because of how it sounds, but I also like the chaotic imagery, and the idea that the amidst the chaos and revolution, the song's narrator is looking for "an autograph." Kind of reminds me of politics. Album: Aladdin Sane

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Day 22 | Ziggy Stardust

Songs

Unlike Ziggy, I do not play guitar. But at some point in my life, I will learn how to play the opening chords of this song. And at some point after that l will have the opportunity to play them at a party. And then I will be the Naz. Album: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the…

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Day 21 | Quicksand

Songs

On the three-week anniversary of Bowie's death I offer what was probably his most depressing, hopeless song. There's only way to make this song any gloomier-- sing it as a duet with Robert Smith. (By the way, I think Rosemary Maggiore saw this concert. I still hold it against her that I didn't!) Album: Hunky Dory.

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Day 20 | Width Of A Circle

Albums

Listen to this and tell me it's not a heavy metal song. From 1970. That means he was a pioneer in that genera too Album: the Man Who Sold the World.

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Day 19 | Crystal Japan

Songs

I'm posting this song as representative of Bowie's many instrumental songs. I've been listening to a compilation of them as background music, but unlike the other songs on the compilation, Crystal Japan didn't originally appear on any album. It was used in a Japanese commercial. Nonetheless it is my favorite of his instrumentals and to me sounds different than the…

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Day 18 | Strangers When We Meet

Songs

Bowie probably never invested so much in a song you probably don’t remember. He first put this on the somewhat obscure soundtrack album, the Buddha of Suburbia, the added a slightly different version to Outside, which mostly had an entirely different feel from the song. He released it as a single, as a video, and included it in the career-spanning…

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Day 17 | Sue (Or a Season of Crime)

Songs

This version of the song was released as the one new contribution to a 2014 compilation album. Since I already had all the other songs, I downloaded this one and... didn't like it. I think I read it would appear on what would be Bowie's next studio album, which lowered my expectations. The year before he came out with the…

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Day 16 | Modern Love

Songs

Rolling Stone polled readers on their favorite Bowie videos, songs and deep cuts and from the polls came up with three top ten lists. It isn't clear if they are presented in order, but Modern Love is first on the video list. Album: Let's Dance

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Day 15 | It’s Hard to Be A Saint in the City

Songs

Bowie usually included one or more songs on his albums that he did not first make famous. He covered the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Cream and many others. This, along with Growin' Up, is one of two Bruce Springsteen covers. This one is for Jesse Jackson. Album: Sound and Vision.

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Day 14 | We Are The Dead

Songs

On the second week anniversary of his passing, I'm choosing another death related song in part to answer a request from Susan. This is from Bowie's abandoned project to make a musical out of George Orwell's 1984. The Orwell's widow put a stop to the project but a few of the songs which make direct reference to incidents or characters…

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Day 13 | Ashes to Ashes

Songs

I read today that Bowie's ashes will be spread in the Catskill Mountains, near his Woodstock home, which is about an hour from where I live. Thus today's song, which comes with one of the handful of early videos that everyone remembers and comes from my overall favorite Bowie album. Album: Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps).

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Day 12 | Heaven’s In Here

Songs

I could never be in the same city as Tin Machine when the band was touring, usually performing in intimate venues. Subsequently Bowie never performed any of the band's songs in his solo concerts, so although I saw him live several times I never saw him perform any Tin Machine songs. This one is a good example of why I…

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Day 11 | Breaking Glass

Songs

I've had this song in my head since I wrote about Bowie sketching the Tree of Life on the back cover of Station to Station. That's supposedly what he's referring to by the line, "Don't look at your carpet, I drew something awful on it." Album: Low Note from May 30, 2018: I still have this song in my head...

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Day 10 | Under Pressure

Songs

This one is for Dianne. You know the studio version with Freddie Mercury. if you watch this video, you kind of get the impression Annie Lennox is excited about singing with Bowie. Just a little. Album: Hot Space (Queen)

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Day 9 | Let’s Dance

Songs

You either like "Let's Dance" or you secretly like "Let's Dance." 35 years later we can all agree it is actually a great song on a great album. This one is for Susan Maggiore , Caroline Hassett Roeder and Rosemary Maggiore who saw Bowie on the Serious Moonlight tour before I ever did! Album: Let's Dance

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Day 8 | Everyone Says Hi

Songs

Yesterday, I wrote that today's song would be more cheerful, and it is, but it's still about death, or at least loss. "Said you took a big trip, They said you moved away, happened oh, so quietly they say." Some of the lyrics suggest that whoever everyone is saying hi to literally just moved away, but I always thought this…

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Day 7 | My Death

Songs

On the one week anniversary of his passing, I offer a song he didn't actually write or, to my knowledge record in the studio. He had been singing about death for most of his career and this song is the least ambiguous. Tomorrow's song will be more cheerful. Album: Ziggy Stardust the Motion Picture Soundtrack

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Day 6 | Five Years

Songs

A week ago was Bowie's last full day of life, so today I'm selecting his song is about impending doom and beginning of one of his very best albums. Album: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Note from 8/5/22: The original video I posted has since been blocked.  I replaced it with what I’m…

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Day 5 | Lazarus

Songs

On the one-week anniversary of the release of the album, "Blackstar," I'm going today with the song that apparently has become the most watched video in history. The lyrics and image of a very sick looking Bowie singing from his deathbed are beyond eerie. What you won't pick up on is that the striped outfit he's wearing in the parts…

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Day 4 | Blackstar

Songs

Less than a week since its release, Bowie's requiem for himself is a staggering masterpiece. The song is worth contemplating, but look at the video imagery especially after seeing the one I posted yesterday of "Space Oddity" (which I'm pretty sure was a from 1967, rather than the better known 1969 version). The astronaut takes off, and half a century…

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Day 3 | Space Oddity

Songs

Bowie's first well-known song, coincidently enough became famous the year of my birth, 1969. Bowie's life as a star began the year I was born and ended the week I turned 47.

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Day 2 | “Beauty and the Beast.”

Songs

My favorite song. Bowie's voice at its strongest. I have long thought the song is about adultery, but it might be about nothing at all. Anyway I like the sound. Album: "Heroes”

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Day 1 | Absolute Beginners

Songs

This song is the best thing about the movie of the same name. Catchy if long, evocative of the 1950s but a product of the 1980s. Absolute Beginners Soundtrack.

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