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Day 100 | New York’s in Love.

Songs

I am posting this song on the day of the New York Primary. “New York’s in love, with the way she talks…” Unfortunately I cannot find a video of Bowie singing this song, however I did find a video of a band I never heard of singing this song, and, dare I write, I like their version better! I’ll also…

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Day 99 | Hurt

Songs

In 1995 Nine Inch Nails toured with Bowie who was promoting the album, Outside. I’m not a big NIN fan, but I saw them in Pittsburgh as part of this tour. The thrilling part of the collaboration was rather than the one band finish its set, take a break and then Bowie come out and do his part, Bowie came…

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Day 98 | Tonight

Songs

This was originally another Bowie-Iggy Pop collaboration, which Iggy recorded first on the Bowie-produced album, Lust for Life. Iggy’s version has a spoken preface establishing that the song is directed to a dying girl from her lover, offering final words of comfort. Bowie’s version leaves that out and certainly Tina Turner wasn’t going anywhere near that part. Album: Tonight

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Day 97 | Drive In Saturday

Songs

I have been waiting to post this song...tonight we plan to do one of my favorite things-go to a drive in movie.  It is a drive in Saturday.  Album: Aladdin Sane

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Day 96 | John, I’m Only Dancing.  

Songs

If you're looking for David Bowie the androgyne, look no further.  This song can be interpreted through a bi, straight of gay lense.  At its core, the singer is assuring "John" that he's only dancing with rather than romantically pursuing someone he refers to as "she," while confirming that he finds her attractive.  What I think is the standard interpretation…

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Day 95 | Sister Midnight

Songs

Iggy Pop first did this song on his Bowie-produced album, The Idiot.  Shortly thereafter Bowie took the music but used completely different lyrics in "Red Money" on Lodger.  I don't know what either song is about, but I'm glad Bowie got around to performing this version, which I like better.  This isn't the only time Bowie did that kind of…

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Day 94 | Can You Hear Me?

Songs

This unremarkable song is fairly representative of the "plastic soul" that characterizes most of the album on which it appears. The real reason I included it is because of this duet with Cher. And Letizia knows why that's on my mind. Album: Young Americans Note from 2018: My friend Letizia and I had performed a duet of “I Got You,…

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Day 93 | Dirty Boulevard

Songs

Note from 2018: I originally logged this as “David Bowie and Lou Reed,” and included links to several videos of the two singing together at Bowie’s 50th birthday concert in New York. This was a mistake as each of the selections deserved their own place among my daily tribute. Later, I’ll post the other songs and comment on them individually.…

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Day 92 | The Supermen

Songs

The album, The Man Who Sold the World was released today in 1971.  Much of the album has a heavy metal feel to it, with the album version of this song being an example.  Much as with his own style, Bowie can change up the style of his songs as demonstrated here, but he can't shake the song's mystical imagery…

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Day 90 | Sex and the Church.

Songs

What I’ve been reading and hearing about the Pope’s “The Joy of Love” makes me think of Bowie’s “Sex and the Church.” The name of the song are just about the only discernible lyrics, but there are more lyrics that sound at first-listen like synthesizer sounds. What they really are are musings about the intersection (intercourse?) of religion and sex.…

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Day 89 | Look Back In Anger

Songs

I'm posting this song in honor of Dennis Davis, a drummer who collaborated with Bowie for many years including this song. This song also happens to be one of my favorites and can be counted as yet another song having something to do with death. Davis passed away this week. Album: Lodger

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Day 88 | I Can’t Give Everything Away  

Songs

This video was released today by Jonathan Barnbrook, who did the art for Blackstar. I was wondering if there were more Blackstar videos waiting to be released- this wasn't-it was created after Bowie died. The song has significance as the last song to appear on the last Bowie album. I considered saving it for Day 365 but thought it would…

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Day 87 | Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?)

Songs

On this day in history, the US entered World War I. The Bowie free association that has been informing my song choice brings me to this one because of th dates that follow what would otherwise be the name of the album on which the song appears. The first two dates, of course are the years before the first two…

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Day 86 | When the Wind Blows.

Songs

The return of winter weather made me think of of this unaccountably obscure song, which really isn't about winter but is actually the title song for a possibly even more obscure movie.  Even the video, which features an animated Bowie is hard to find- I couldn't find a cleaner version than this one. It's a testament to Bowie's prolific output…

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Day 85 | Day In, Day Out

Songs

My boss is going to sign into law today paid family leave and a phased in $15 minimum wage. That made me think of this song about a woman (implied by the video to be a single mother) who has to stoop to desperate measure to make ends meet (possibly also to feed a drug habit, which brings us to…

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Day 84 | Blackout

Songs

I’m reading a book about New York City in 1977. One of the many momentous occurrences of that year was a blackout accompanied by hideous vandalism and looting. I believe this song was partially inspired by the blackout of 1977—I’m not exactly sure because it was released in the same year and as is sometimes the case with Bowie songs,…

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Day 83 | Slip Away

Songs

Iman is having a terrible year. Her mother just passed away, 83 days after her husband. I don’t personally know Iman but I feel for her and could have chosen among several Bowie songs as a show of empathy. I settled on this one in a roundabout way. At first I was thinking of songs that might be appropriate for…

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Day 82 | All the Young Dudes

Songs

No other Bowie song is known better as a cover. Bowie gave it to the band, Mott the Hoople and in so doing revived its career (Bowie does sing backup on that version). Nonetheless the song does represent Bowie planting his flag on behalf of his generation, which he distinguished from that which was slightly older (at home listening to…

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Day 81 | Heroes Symphony

Songs

The Buffalo Philharmonic is performing the music of Bowie tonight and I can't make it! Inspired by that, I'm posting Philip Glass's Symphony based on the music of Bowie's "Heroes," which followed a similar work based on Low. You might listen to about a minute of this and turn it off, or you might be amazed it exists and go…

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Day 80 | I Feel Free

Songs

Today is Eric Clapton's birthday, so I'm posting Bowie's version of this Cream song. Clapton sent Bowie a congratulatory note after the release of "Where Are We Now." Bowie wrote back, "Thanks, old sock." And that- "Old Sock" became the title of Clapton's next album. Album: Black Tie, White Noise.

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Day 79 | The Heart’s Filthy Leason

Songs

The meaning of this song has relevance to the ambiguous plot of the concept album on which it appears, but it might be better known as the song that plays over the end credits of the movie, Seven. The song that plays over the opening credits is by Nine Inch Nails- I saw Bowie and that band when they toured…

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Day 78 | Warszawa

Songs

This song has nothing to do with Dyngus Day, but it was inspired by Bowie's travel through Warsaw, Poland and the vocal part is either Polish or based on a Polish chant, so... Bowie's lyrics often make no sense. I think he did that both to make his music more impressionistic that literal and also because he thought of the…

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Day 77 | Word on a Wing

Songs

For Easter, the most important Christian holiday, I am posting Bowie's most religious song. This is quite overtly a prayer, in the Augustinian tradition: "Just because I believe, don't mean I don't think as well; Don't have to question everything In heaven or hell." Bowie called this a cry for help during the darkest days of his life. If Seems…

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Day 76 | 10 More Covers of “Life on Mars”

Songs

Update (January 7, 2022): The original video compilation that this post was about is no longer available.  What you’ll see is an entirely different cover of Life on Mars.  I’ll leave what I originally wrote below: Actually nine more because I already posted the Lorde version. I found this compilation to be extraordinary. If at first you don't think you…

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Day 75 | The Extras song

Songs

Gary Shandling did not occupie a huge space in my universe but I had a positive impression of him as a funny guy. His death made me think of this sketch complete with its own, original Bowie song. Other Bowie songs have humor, but this is the one that is most explicitly a joke. And it is pretty funny

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Day 74 | To Be Love

Songs

There's a really good chance you never heard this before. It is a newly released song from 1970. How can that be? How much more music is out there? This song won't make it into future greatest hits albums but reminds me a little of Polyphonic Spree, which I once saw open for Bowie. Unfortunately there's usually a reason unreleased…

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Day 72 | Cactus

Songs

The Arizona primary is my excuse for posting this song (Arizona makes me think of cactuses). Rather than politics, this Pixies cover is about perverse obsession. Though not an original, it is one of my favorites from the Bowie album I probably listened to more than any other (probably, but I'm not sure) since it was released. Album: Heathen

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Day 71 | Fantastic Voyage

Songs

I was inspired to post this song by President Obama's trip to Cuba. The song isn't about Cuba but rather about how nationalism is less important than staying alive- I've always interpreted it to be a song about diplomacy. Album: Lodger

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Day 70 | Fill Your Heart

Songs

While not explicitly about Spring, I cannot think of a more appropriate Bowie song to mark the first day of the season. It is atypically happy for a Bowie song, and in fact is a cover so there's a reason for that. How he chose to put this song and the equally optimistic, "Kooks," on the same album as "Quicksand,"…

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Day 69 | Watch That Man

Songs

Today's song was inspired by the Hulk Hogan verdict. I was going to post the even more appropriate Tin Machine song, "Video Crime," but I couldn't find a video for that and it's not a great song anyway. If Bowie did a song called, Don't Watch That Man" I would have posted that. Thankfully this song really has nothing to…

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Day 68 | Try Some, Buy Some

Songs

Stick with me on this one: George Martin died last week and I was just listening to a retrospective radio show about his work with the Beatles. Several Bowie songs have Beatles connections, from "All The Young Dudes" which casts the Beatles as yesterday's news, to his cover of "Across The Universe," to his collaboration with John Lennon on "Fame."…

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Day 67 | Gloria

Songs

This one is a St. Patrick's Day special. I saw Bowie perform this Van Morrison song live, and it was great. In this version Bowie calls for the help of another Irish singer, Bono. After finishing up a scorching rendition, the two singers break into the Jean Genie. Sadly there is no video– Just audio, but the performance is terrific.…

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Day 66 | The Jean Genie

Songs

I am posting this song because Bowie's hand-written lyrics are going up for auction. It is also one of my favorite Bowie songs. Is it about Iggy Pop? Jean Genet? Drugs? Is it just a camped up and sped up blues song? I think that's all beside the point. The point is, however captured in one of the lyrics: "Let…

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