Yes, it had to happen…
Was it a shock, despite all of our anticipation?
David Bowie is dead.
Actually, I saw something on the Web — a comic strip, I believe — that read:
— “Did you hear Bowie’s dead?”
— “Bowie’s not dead; he just went home.”
I think that is somewhat true. Not that I’m a particularly spiritual or superstitious person, but in Davey Jones’ case, one has to wonder if he really belonged with us, mere mortals.
Of course, he did, since he passed from a very mortal disease, and we all refuse to look a fact in the face: in the end, he was just as discombobulated by Life as we all are.
Yet, in the meantime, from his first conscious memories to his last, he left us with a legacy like the world seldom sees.
I don’t want to fall into the superlatives trap, so I’ll leave the word “genius” and its ilk out of this.
But a great artist he was. Musician. Writer. Composer. Producer. Actor. Et j’en passe… Oh! and what a singer!
There! That’s his TRUE legacy.
The number of human beings he inspired in one way or another is probably even more staggering than you (or you, or I) can even fathom. And, as you have guessed, I don’t mean just artistically.
The world bears beings of this grandeur and talent only every so often, and we should all feel lucky we weren’t dead before he was born…
I’m lucky enough to have parents that are about Bowie’s age (a tad younger, really), which means I literally grew up with the man.
Obviously, it’s only in my teens that I actually developed a true appreciation for his oeuvre, an appreciation that only grew as I grew older and, hopefully, wiser. Or smarter.
Meh. Maybe not.
But more equipped to understand his art, undoubtedly.
In that sense, I feel privileged, for I was best equipped to follow his every twist and turn. When, in the 90’s, for example, he explored Drum n’ Bass or asked to be remixed by this or that producer, I was already privy to their genres, so it did not sound foreign to me.
Bowie always had his ear to the underground, as all the best artists do: they know that’s where true innovation comes from.
The Trickle Down theory simply does not work in art; it’s a grassroots process.
Few, if any, artists have disregarded conventions as defiantly as Bowie did.
You’ve probably read, throughout this sad, sad week, that he constantly reinvented himself; I believe that it was much more than that — it was a passion for communicating what he sensed were creative wells that needed to be explored… or revisited.
Was he always successful?
Not all of his output is stellar; far from it…
There are almost as many misses as there are hits in his amazingly fruitful repertoire.
But Oh! the hits…
Hence this selection: these are (some of) my favourites of them all, but this hommage mix could’ve been thrice as long and it wouldn’t even cover it all.
What I wanted to do here is graze on the many aspects of his intuition, inspiration, and multi-faceted talent.
There are songs of his, covers, most of which he produced, played or sang on, or inspired, and the common thread in all of them is the impact they/he on my life as a music lover…
I sincerely hope you’ll enjoy taking this trip with me, and Him.
Thank you. And Him.
- Are You Sitting Comfortably? _ David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev’s Peter And The Wolf _ 1978
- Black Star _ Elvis _ Flaming Star _ 1960
- Love Is Lost _ Hello Steve Reich Mix _ The Next Day Extra _ 2013
- Ashes To Ashes _ Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) _ 1979
- Reflektor _ Arcade Fire _ 2013 (Bowie on additional vocals)
- Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime) _ Blackstar _ 2016
- I’m Deranged _ Outside _ 1995
- Bring Me The Disco King _ Reality _ 2003
- Life On Mars? _ Barbra Streisand _ Butterfly _ 1974
- Cat People _ Soundtrack _ 1982
- 1984/Dodo Medley _ Recorded 1973, Released On Sound And Vision 1989
- Stay _ Station To Station _ 1975
- Walk On The Wild Side _ Transformer _ 1972 _ Acoustic Guitar and Produced by Bowie
- Changes _ Hunky Dory _ 1971
- It’s Gonna Be Me _ Young Americans _ Recorded 1975, Released 1991
- Abdulmajid _ “Heroes” _ Recorded In 78 Or 79, Released In 1991
- Seven (Beck Mix) _ Hours… _ 2000
- A Better Future (Remix By Air) _ Limited Edition Bonus Disc For Heathen _ 2002
- Blackstar _ Blackstar _ 2016
- It’s No Game _ Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) _ 1979
- Heroes _ “Heroes” _ 1977
- Ziggy Stardust _ Bauhaus _ Single _ 1982
- ‘Tis A Pity She Was A Whore _ Blackstar _ 2016
- The Dirty Song _ David Bowie In Bertolt Brecht’s Baal _ 1982
- The Man Who Sold The World _ Lulu _ Single _ Vocals and Produced by Bowie _ 1974
- DJ _ Lodger _ 1979
- Somebody Up There Likes You _ Simple Minds _ New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84) _ 1982 _ Simple Minds’ band name comes from the lyrics of Jean Genie and this song is a nod To Somebody Up There Like Me from Young Americans (1975)
- This Is Not America _ The Falcon And The Snowman Soundtrack _ 1985
- Lazarus _ Blackstar _ 2016
- Space Oddity _ Demo Version _ 1969
- Sense Of Doubt / Moss Garden / Neuköln _ “Heroes” _ 1977