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What was your favorite David Bowie song?

 
 
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2016 08:58 pm
@Tes yeux noirs,
Tes yeux noirs wrote:

Quote:
Still, 69 is a pretty good innings.

It is tragically young. I guess you aren't very old?



I'm 62. I am simply very aware of the possibilities of death at any age. My life experiences and work possibly make me very keenly aware of that. Lots of children, teenagers and much younger people than Bowie die every day, even in the rich west. Specifically, in his cohort of musicians, drugs and booze took a very heavy toll early, Bowie was in it with the best of them.

He did well. But we can easily agree to disagree.
hingehead
 
  4  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2016 09:28 pm
@hingehead,
Stretching my brain now. Pretty sure the first Bowie album I actually bought was Changes One (a greatest hits) no point going for a favourite off that. It did stop at Golden Years, so I think the next one I bought was Heroes. It wasn't a revelation - I already had Eno, Fripp and Kraftwerk albums but it was solid I loved the title track (who didn't?) but also had affairs with Blackout, Joe The Lion and Moss Garden. But the track that I most like turning up on random is still:



0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  4  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2016 09:38 pm
Meanwhile my best friend had acquired Hunky Dory and was all gooey for 'Life On Mars', 'Oh You Pretty Things' and 'Kooks'. Changes was on the Greatest Hits (and one of the few songs I ever taught myself on piano).

But I liked the the darker side of that album, 'The Bewlay Brothers' written for his schizophrenic brother but mostly for a song that they Jays played on some weird 'after midnight' special on artists who'd sold their souls to the devil.

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2016 10:20 pm
@hingehead,
hingehead wrote:


But I liked the the darker side of that album, 'The Bewlay Brothers' written for his schizophrenic brother but mostly for a song that they Jays played on some weird 'after midnight' special on artists who'd sold their souls to the devil.



That's kind of the theme of the bit he did in Extras with Ricky Gervais. Very vicious show!

But....it's a universal theme anyway.
hingehead
 
  5  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2016 11:46 pm
My next exploration of the back catalogue was Diamond Dogs. At the time I really loved it. The title track, 1984, Rebel Rebel (which my crappy band covered).

Bowie's voice got deeper here - he almost borders on chanson is some places - in retrospect I can see how Young Americans was the next album, vocally. This is the last album with any influence from Mick Ronson, and even that was only in the arrangements of a couple of songs. Interestingly Bowie plays lead guitar. And clearly he was influenced by Ronson.

Anyway, this has long been my favourite track (and one of the few of my faves that is also one David Bowie's faves).

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2016 12:23 am
@hingehead,
Great stuff, Hinge!
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2016 08:49 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Didn't know he'd quit by then, in any case cocaine was only a small part of the debauchery I suspected might have happened.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2016 01:16 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

That's kind of the theme of the bit he did in Extras with Ricky Gervais. Very vicious show!


That was truly hilarious.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2016 01:59 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
His death was unsettling, not just for the loss of a uniqe and wonderful talent, but because I feel like he was a contemporary of mine. May be the first time the death of a celebrity reminded me of my own mortality.


Really? I'm probably close to half your age and feel that each year I am reminded of my mortality as a greater share of my heroes die. Realizing that more of the people who shaped my thinking or who contributed to my life are going to be passing away each year...

Perhaps I'm a bit skewed by having a lot of heroes before my time, so to speak. And I guess what you describe is different, I am not reminded so much of my own mortality so much as that getting old will result in the mortality of more people I know. I remember being young enough to not know anyone who had died, and how big a deal the first was. It is only going to get more common from here on out is the reminder I get with each of these deaths to public persons that are in my cultural orbit.


When I was half my age I wasn't reminded of my mortality no matter who died. If it was someone of my age, I just chalked it up to bad luck and the random nature of the universe. At that time, though, there was a sufficient number of people acting as a mental buffer between me and Death. Surely my grandmother would go before I and thereafter, surely my parents would go before I and so on. Of course I was upset and saddened by their passing, but only the deaths of the last ones to go reminded me of my personal mortality.

Now everyone who made up that buffer is gone and I am in a position where, not considering the character and evil deeds of anyone, there isn't anyone whose passing before mine would seem to be part of the natural order of things. I would be devastated if any of my children passed before me.

62 (on March 1) is not terribly old, but it's a lot older than the person I was when I listened to Ziggy Stardust. This is the age when you really start noticing the physical changes that come with time. It may be because I've been prompted to look for them because I've crossed into what I've always considered Old Age, but I doubt it. I'm reasonably fit for my age. I'm at my recommended weight, I don't smoke and thank God and knock wood just in case, I don't suffer from any serious chronic illnesses or medical conditions. However I know I've lost a step, my fingers hurt throughout the day (worse in the morning) because of arthritis, six decades of physical stress and gravity have resulted in three herniated lumbar discs and my hearing is definitely not what it used to be. I'm losing hair in the place I want it (my head) and growing it where I'd rather not: eyebrows, nose and ears. None of these (except the back at times) is debilitating, just very annoying and harbringers of things to come. They are the irrefutable signs that I am on the down slope of my life. I've reached an age where it is virtually impossible for me to continue living for more years than I have already lived and even living for half that time more will be outside of what the acutuaries tell me is likely.

Not whining, it's just the facts which you find yourself thinking about more when your are my age. When I get together with my brother who is 65 I find we talk a lot about growing old and what it means and we also spend a lot of time reminiscing about our youth. I think that's fairly natural. I guess I could consider him the last remaining member of the buffer zone, but I don't. I'm just as likely to go before him as he is to go before me.

In any case not only was Bowie roughly my age he was someone I identified with and who occupied a minor but in someway significant role in my life. He was a contemporary. When Heath Leger died it was tragic but it was self-inflicted. When Eva Cassidy died it was tragic but bad luck. When Bowie died it was, more or less, within the natural order of things, and if I die tomorrow there will people who think it is tragic and there will be many who say "He was too young to die," but in reality, I am not. This is what can happen to you when you cross 60, you can die. Perhaps less so than when you cross 70 or 80, but no one is shocked to learn a 62 year old man who they barely knew died; not the way they would be if he were 32 years old.

I don't mean to get maudlin about this and I didn't go into anything even remotely like depression upon hearing that Bowie died, but it was, just as I wrote, unsettling.

I've taken comfort, if that's the right word, in the fact that it appears that in addition to his being greatly successful at what he loved, he seemed, at least since the Berlin days, to also have been happy with his life. The former is great, but of course doesn't at all guarantee the latter and the latter really is more important than anything else. Maybe I found what I was looking for, but that's OK, illusions are often more comforting than reality; the trick is to buy into them.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2016 02:42 pm
@Robert Gentel,
If Mercury and the Queen members were involved there easily could have been drugs and debauchery, and it's also possible that the session took place before Bowie cleaned himself up, but it's my understanding that it not only was but that he had also parted ways with his life as full blown libertine and might have been simply an observer. It might also be why Mercury needed him and why he was able to assume a much bigger role in the composition and production of the song than simply singing background vocals.

A lot of people seem to like their rock stars to be stoned out of their gourds and sexual pirates. I have to say, even in the days when I adopted these behaviors myself I didn't really care much about the lives of these musicians if this was all that was reported about them. It's pretty cliche and regardless of what it feels like to be part of it, it's not very entertaining to observe.

I'm amazed that the worst offenders could manage to produce anything of value let alone works of art, but off course most of them, at one point or another, died or flamed out because of such a lifestyle. The lucky ones capable of self-discipline managed to restore their careers but they probably are rare exceptions. Of course not every rock star went down that road to begin with. As hard as it may be to believe, based only on his work, Frank Zappa claimed he never took drugs.

Obviously no proof of God can be found here, but it is at least ironic (and damned unfair) that the most pleasurable drugs are addictive and will, almost always, eventually destroy you and, at least prior to the advent of antibiotics the life of the libertine very often was cut short by a horrible demise caused by venereal disease. It's easy to understand how many people have surmised that drug usage and wanton sex is something God really doesn't like. That belief was only reinforced by AIDS
0 Replies
 
Tes yeux noirs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2016 03:16 pm
@dlowan,
Quote:
I'm 62. I am simply very aware of the possibilities of death at any age.

I see where you are coming from. Of course many people younger than Bowie die every day. It's just that I am used to seeing the expression "had a good innings" used as comfort after the death of someone much older than 69. I am 63 myself, and I don't like the feeling that if I die in 6 years time people will say "he had a good innings".

Seeing the amount of drugs and drink he got through in his wild phase I guess he was lucky to have made it as far as he did.
Lordyaswas
 
  3  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2016 03:33 pm
I think that Pink Floyd summed it up nicely.

"You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death. "




In a week's time I will leave my fifties behind. Sort of focuses the mind, wot?
hingehead
 
  3  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2016 04:57 pm
I think my next Bowie album was Space Oddity, an asked for Xmas gift from a fave aunty&uncle.

The title track was big in Australia - a few years after it's recording (got to No.6 in the winter of 73) - just before I caught the music bug. A liked a bunch of tracks of this - weird to think that before this he was putting out stuff like the Laughing Gnome. I should read up on what happened in that time. Anyway, the title track was a little bit of anomaly, and was a foreshadowing of some of his later stuff. Mostly it was faux country rock, and folk pop, with a devilish line in chorous hooks. From the slightly twee Letter to Hermione and Occasional Dream, to the much more raucous Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed and God Knows I'm Good - with a nod to Hippy Glam (Memory of a Free Festival (with endless coda chorus completely at odds with rest of song) and Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud) - how weird is that - I listed all those from memory - the only song I didn't mention is Janine, and now I have.

Anyway the lasting favourite for a long time is:



0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2016 07:56 pm
It may surprise people to learn the following appears in National Review On-line but it does. It's quite long but, I think, well worth reading. I don't remember Bowie getting panned by American rock critics, because I never read their all to often pretentious dreck, but I do know that a lot of my friends found him to be horrible and in no way a worthy successor to groups like The Rolling Stones, Cream or Crosby Stills Nash & Young. He was changing music and some people didn't welcome it.

Quote:
On January 11, the world awoke to terrible news: David Bowie, the creator of such culturally ubiquitous landmarks as The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, Young Americans, “Heroes,” and Let’s Dance, had passed away from liver cancer after an 18-month illness. Almost universally, Bowie was eulogized as one of rock and roll’s greatest stars — as a unique, evergreen talent who managed to keep his music fresh, relevant, and disarmingly weird for nearly 50 years.

These eulogies are wholly justified. And yet, amid the paeans and the praise, it’s easy to forget just how reviled Bowie was during the Seventies and Eighties, especially in the world’s more fashionable quarters. People who are different are often people who are disliked, and what set Bowie apart from so many others of his era was the very thing that made him so immediately polarizing during his heyday: his refusal to treat music as a simple end in itself, but rather as the leading facet of a life centered in all ways around art — and particularly the art (both classical and modern) of self-fashioning his identity through his work.

This led many critics (Americans in particular) to loathe him with a passion that was usually reserved for disease-ridden vermin and Republicans. His openly theatrical affectations, his emphasis on fashion and the visual arts as well as music, and his steady maintenance of a layer of ironic detachment from his musical subject matter (at least until the ice began to crack midway through Station to Station) were all at one point treated as a direct affront to the true, putatively working-class heart of rock music. And so, even as he was helping to revive the careers of several ostensibly more “authentic” artists (Lou Reed, Mott the Hoople, Iggy Pop), he was more often than not derided by American cognoscenti as inherently fake, or even worse, ghoulish: a pale Nosferatu-like creature insidiously feeding off of the vitality and essence from those more “real” than him. Such critical misapprehensions (many of which linger on even now; the lazily reductivist line is that Bowie was a “musical chameleon”) were perhaps inevitable, coming as they did from critics who could not understand the world he emerged from, could not grasp the influences he drew upon, and could not comprehend the way in which he shaped his experiences into the fuel of his artistic aspirations. Bowie (born David Jones, a name he might have kept had not a certain Monkee beaten him to worldwide fame) came from a solidly working-class background in London, but he was always fascinated by both the beguiling rhythmic and sexual appeal of rock music and the intellectualized pleasures of the stage in equal measure. It is telling that, after years of fronting failed blues-rock bands in the mid-Sixties, he turned not to new musical pursuits but to developing his physical performance skills as a mime.

As silly as the idea of David Bowie achieving stardom in the field of pantomime must seem now — videos do exist, and yes, they are quite twee to modern sensibilities — this willingness to pursuit art for art’s sake was precisely what would come to define him. Strictly speaking, the miming went nowhere. But his ability to retain and incorporate all of the lessons he had learned would, eventually, become his calling card. As a live performer, Bowie was transfixing — irrespective of the set design. Later in life, he would credit this to the physical control and body-awareness he had learned studying mime.

The infamous gender-bending of the “Ziggy Stardust” era is best understood along these lines. Most assuredly, David Bowie was an openly bisexual man. But the homosexual experimentation of the late ’60s and early ’70s represented not the sort of determined Identity Statement to which we have now grown accustomed, but a reaction to his artistic milieu. For Bowie, sexuality was an opportunity for transgressive public self-definition — an endless source that could be aestheticized and recontextualized into artistic terms. However it might look today, the playful gender-bending on the cover of The Man Who Sold the World or the Ziggy Stardust era was a statement that served multiple purposes, all artistic: the bold transgression of accepted mores; the expression of a personal comfort with alternate sexuality; and — by no means least important — the excuse to make a publicity-garnering stir in the musical press. This is why, when Bowie “went heterosexual” around the time of Let’s Dance (remember him frolicking in the surf with that Asian beauty in the video for “China Girl?”) and later married the supermodel Iman, the LGBT community’s cries of betrayal were so misplaced. Like so many others, they didn’t understand that Bowie’s original glam-rock homosexuality was as much an artistic decision — made for the purposes of selling an aesthetic vision — as a statement of personal belief.

Which, inevitably, brings us back again to the question of sincerity that is never far from the center of any discussion of David Bowie’s art. The root problem with most Bowie retrospectives is that they inevitably treat his devotion to musical and aesthetic mutation as evidence that, like his brief “homosexual” phase, he was ultimately doing little more than putting on a mask. Depending on the provocation, the details of this argument change a little. But the thrust is always the same: Bowie’s “heart was never really in it,” his critics charge, “the whole thing was one pose after another.”

This, to put it bluntly, is sheer nonsense. The only time that Bowie could truly be said to have been playing a fabricated “character” was during the Ziggy Stardust years of 1972–1973, and even then Ziggy was half an artifice and half a very real reflection of Bowie’s yearning to achieve transcendent, culture-upending pop stardom. Beyond that, though, his work was invariably encoded with a deep and self-lacerating vein of personal confession that was more Neil Young than Neil Diamond. That this was inevitably filtered through the lens of Bowie’s relentless quest for new sounds — and, at times, through his esoteric literary, historical, artistic, and philosophical obsessions — should not disguise the essentially introspective nature of his music. Bowie wrote for the world, but he also wrote for himself, about himself, and in pursuit of the world around him. With the exception of a short period of pop complacency during the 1980s, he rarely, if ever, plucked random themes from the ether in order to rush an album out.

Although 1975’s Young Americans is often written off as a flabby “plastic soul” stab at American chart success, the record nevertheless hides a series of remarkably bitter, dark reflections on the toxicity of his lifestyle. (It is telling that the song that makes this theme explicit — “Fame” — was a last-second addition, an afterthought almost.) Indeed, from start to finish, the LP does its utmost to conceal its meanings. With “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” Bowie wrote a prescient song about his fear of the rise of Trump-like pop-fascism and then drenched it in Philly-style soul saxophones, bubblegum singing girls, and a title that would throw all but the most dedicated analyst off the trail. Clearly, Bowie felt a need to retain control and to hold at least something back from his audience: In “Who Can I Be Now?” he offered a naked confession of moral and mental confusion, and then dropped it from the record for fear of giving away too much.

The famous “Berlin Trilogy” (Low, “Heroes”, and Lodger, recorded between 1976 and 1979) is even stronger proof of the surprising balance Bowie struck between outward form and artifice, and inward confession. Those three LPs, which he recorded with Brian Eno and Tony Visconti while extricating himself from a crippling drug addiction, were transparent acts of musical therapy. Occasionally, Bowie’s need to withhold something of himself clouds the self-revelation, as on the cheerfully bouncy-sounding “Sound & Vision,” whose lyric is actually about the lonely search for inspiration while living as a convalescent shut-in, and on “Heroes,” one of Bowie’s most iconic songs. As its shimmering instrumentation makes clear, “Heroes” was intended as a soaring statement of triumph, and yet Bowie couched the song’s title in ironic quotation marks — perhaps as a way of suggesting that such triumphs are inevitably fleeting and usually purely personal. (At other times, however, he was willing to be frank: There are few more tidy lyrical metaphors for one’s repeated inability to avoid making the same mistakes as Low’s “Always Crashing in the Same Car.”)

These were no accidents. With few exceptions, Bowie’s career operated along the lines laid out above: First, he drew a world of disparate influences together; next, he ruminated upon them obsessively; and, finally, he reflected them outward in music that revealed nearly as much as it concealed. That he was able to so frequently universalize this — to write about his own obsessions and yet make listeners feel as though he was speaking to and for them — is the greatest tribute I can pay him. Remarkably, even at his drug-fueled nadir, he never lost control of who he was, or what he wanted to be. He wore many faces, but he never lost his self-control or his self-possession.

And it is that simple truth that made Bowie’s death such a profoundly moving thing: He died exactly in the same way he lived his life. Many among us would be forgiven for announcing their terminal cancer and collecting the world’s accolades while we still had time to enjoy them. David Bowie did no such thing. Instead, he suffered in private, with friends and family, and he crafted a final musical testament.

The world of popular music — indeed, the world of art writ large — is indescribably poorer for his departure. He was, without doubt, one of modern culture’s last true Renaissance men — a man who dedicated himself to self-fashioning a whole and indivisible artistic legacy as a tribute to a life lived in service of the muse. Unafraid to experiment, fearlessly literary, and indifferent to the artificial lines that are drawn between highbrow, middlebrow, and lowbrow, Bowie’s life stands as a testament to a man who refused to let himself be buffeted about by the winds of anything but his own inspiration. The quiet and dignified manner in which he took leave of this mortal coil was in keeping with the way he lived on it. We shall not look upon his like again for a very long time indeed. — Jeffrey Blehar is an attorney and analyst with the Ace of Spades HQ Decision Desk. He lives in Chicago.


http://www.nationalreview.com/article/429736/david-bowie-renaissance-man-legacy<br />
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2016 11:40 pm
A slight detour. Bowie did a 2 hour stint as a DJ on the BBC in 1979, playing his favourite stuff at the time.

Here it is in full



So far I've heard the Doors, Iggy Pop and John Lennon - hoping there's something in here I don't know.
hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2016 11:54 pm
@hingehead,
Ha! ? and Mysterians, Elgar, Danny Kaye and Phil Glass - and we're only at the 25 minute mark. Reminds me of radio DJing at Uni - just I was 17 years later.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jan, 2016 02:58 am
@hingehead,
Cool!
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jan, 2016 03:06 am
@Tes yeux noirs,
My personal experiences have made me feel every year past 10 as a bonus.

My studies and work experience have taught me that any experience of life at all is a miracle.

Bowie appears to have drained his personal cup all the way and appreciated every drop. He done good.

Thank you Mr Jones for all that you shared.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jan, 2016 03:07 am
@Lordyaswas,
You wild young thing, you!
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jan, 2016 08:06 am
@dlowan,
Sorry it has taken so long to reply.

I've been outside on my new skateboard, perfecting my double olly.
0 Replies
 
 

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