Monday, 27 February 2012

10 Great David Bowie Songs

Death is an inevitable part of life. With the recent loss of Whitney Houston and the reaction it garnered from the public it got me thinking. Every time one of our beloved music icon passes they are remembered so lovingly and so gracefully you'd think they hung the moon. However we rarely honour them thusly during their lives. So a new feature on Void Drops, the Living Legend Lists. Honouring great artists who are still with us. Who deserve praise and attention. First up.....David Bowie...

1. "Rebel, Rebel" (1974)"

Born David Jones he changed his last name to Bowie to avoid confusion with Davy Jones from the Monkees. Bowie was originally known for being a pillar in the glam rock movement. His album Diamond Dogs saw a departure from the glam though and into a more focused direction. "Rebel, Rebel" is a great song from 1974, about a girl who struggles with a gender identity...something many early fans were struggling with about Bowie

2. "Moonage Daydream (1971)"

Bowie liked creating characters and often sung his songs through these personas...which is why his music spans multiple genres and has withstood the test of time. He was always able to stay fresh and reinvent himself. "Moonage Daydream" was originally released as being by the band Arnold Corns, being one of Bowie's side projects. It would later be included on another character's album in 1972. The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars.

3. "The Man Who Sold The World (1970)"

Though his personal life, sexuality and eccentricities usually took the media's attention during the 70's, Bowie should be best remembered as a remarkable songwriter. To this day his songs are still being recorded and covered by modern artists. Perhaps one of the best known cover versions of his songs was done in 1994 when Nirvana performed "The Man Who Sold The World" for their MTV Unplugged performance.

4. "Little Wonder (1997)"

During the confused 90's when no one was sure what they liked and artists were trying anything and everything to make a few bucks, David Bowie released the left-of-centre Earthling. It was critically acclaimed and highly electronic. It's first single "Little Wonder" clearly plays on the techno remixing and sonic instruments that were becoming more prominent at the time. Bowie fit in to it seamlessly however and for a long time it was one of my favourites.

5. "Queen Bitch (1971)"

Back to the 70's for my favourite David Bowie track. "Queen Bitch" from the album Hunky Dory.  It's actually a tribute to Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground, a group that Bowie was very fond of. A simple rock song with simple lyrics...but it's got that Bowie charm which makes sure you pay attention. It was used swimmingly at the end of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou a wonderful movie and a great fit.

6. "Suffragate City (1972)"

If you haven't heard Ziggy Stardust I recommend you go and give it a listen. If you consider yourself a fan of great music then you won't be disappointed. Every track is worth a listen and it inspired many, MANY artists for years to come. Still considered Bowie's best. 'Suffragate City' is a fun song with catchy piano licks and guitar chords. It even references A Clockwork Orange. Delightful.

7. "Starman (1973)"

Another track from Ziggy Stardust, and it was a late addition apparently, but a solid one. It continues the concept of the album as Ziggy brings a message from an alien messiah to Earth.

8. "Modern Love (1983)"

Into the 80's we go where Bowie is usually hailed as an artist from. His album Let's Dance was definitely more accessible, easier to listen to for a casual fan. Which is fine, it just meant more people were noticing him and the things he was performing rather than giving 2 shits about his personal life.

9. Mott The Hoople - "All The Young Dudes"

I know it isn't a David Bowie song but he wrote this song specifically for the band Mott The Hoople. It's definitely got his flavour all over it. Lyrically, slow drawn out choruses and even a hint of the theatrics that Bowie's songs usually encompass. Apparently he first offered them "Suffragate City" but the band rejected it. Who the hell are they to reject a song David FUCKING Bowie writes for them? Friggin' one hit wonders.
Still good song.

10.  "TVC15 (1976)"

This song was from the 1976 album Station To Station, which apparently Bowie remembers very little from the recording session as drugs were very available to him at the time. Iggy Pop once told Bowie of a story of himself being so high that we hallucinated his television set eating his girlfriend. Bowie used that story as his basis for "TVC15". Cool, quirky song.

Hope you enjoyed the first of many Living Legend Lists. I'll have regular themed lists on the go as well.
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