MADAME GEORGE (Morrison)
Van Morrison's number, from 1968's Astral Weeks, was performed live by Hype.
This unfinished collaboration between Bowie and Marc Bolan is thought to date from September 1977, when David made his guest appearance on Granada TV's Marc (see "Sitting Next To You"), although it's possible that it dates from the previous March, when he stayed with Bolan in London for a few days during the Iggy Pop tour. A number of demo tryouts, featuring the pair sharing vocals and guitars, has appeared on bootlegs. In 1980 The Cuddly Toys recorded a cover version (likeable enough but clearly demonstrating the sketchiness of the almost nonexistent lyric), released as a single and on their album Guillotine Theatre.
Several other demo collaborations said to date from 1977 (with titles coined by bootleggers) are "Casual Bop", "Exalted Companions", "Companies Of Cocaine Nights", "Skunk City" and "Walking Through That Door". Only the last, a disco-ish number swathed in falsetto vocals, is unmistakably Bowie, and is believed by some to date from his earlier rumoured collaborations with Bolan in Los Angeles in 1975.
MAGGIE'S FARM (Dylan)
A-Side: September 1989
Download: May 2007
Bob Dylan's 1965 single (from Bringing It All Back Home) was added to Tin Machine's repertoire during the 1989 tour, restructured around the riff from Marc Bolan's "Jeepster". For British audiences the refrain "I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more" had acquired a satisfying new resonance in recession-hit, poll-tax-looming 1989. A version recorded at La Cigale in Paris on June 25th was released as a double A-side with "Tin Machine". The little-seen video, shot at the previous night's Amsterdam gig, was a useful commemoration of the tour but failed to push the single any higher than number 48.
US A-Side: January 1987
Compilation: Best Of Bowie (New Zealand)/Club Bowie
Promo: December 2003
Download: May 2007
Bowie's first on-screen number in Labyrinth is a surprisingly hard-rocking workout, constructed around traditional children's rhymes and much benefiting from funky rhythm guitars and a searing electric solo. An unusual problem occurred during recording when backing singer Diva Gray's baby refused to gurgle on cue: "It really buttoned its lip," recalled Bowie, "so I ended up doing the gurgles, so I'm the baby on that track as well!"
In the film, "Magic Dance" (referred to in the closing credits, and by Bowie during filming, as "Dance Magic") is the cue for a full-blown Muppet showstopper, in which David dances with 48 puppets and 12 costumed extras. The nursery-rhyme lyric ("slime and snails, puppy-dogs' tails") and chorus of comic goblin voices bring back distant memories of another notorious song, revealing a strand of continuity that is seldom acknowledged: "I never thought in twenty years I'd come back to working with gnomes"" he laughed at the time. The "Power of voodoo / Who do? / You do" patter which underscores the song is an old playground nonsense-chant originally popularised by Cary Grant and Shirley Temple in the 1947 film The Bachelor And The Bobbysoxer, while the cry of "Slap that baby, make him free!" has its antecedent in Biff Rose's "Mama's Boy" ("Trust your babies, let 'em go"), a 1968 song which was also a likely influence on "Oh! You Pretty Things". Most intriguingly, the melodic "I saw my baby...." opening suggests a more sinister throwback to Iggy Pop's original version of "Tonight".
"Magic Dance" was remixed for a 12" release in several territories, making full use of Dan Huff's muscular middle-Eastern guitar break. A 4'08" single edit was prepared for radio play, but this got no further than the promo stage. A previously unreleased 4'01" edit of the "Dance Mix", incorrectly labelled the "Single Version", appeared on the New Zealand edition of 2002's Best Of Bowie, while the following year's Club Bowie featured a new "Danny S Magic Party Mix", which also appeared on a 12" promo alongside the otherwise unavailable "Magic Dust Dub". An EP of various remixes was released as a download in 2007.
MAID OF BOND STREET
Album: David Bowie
Recorded on December 8th and 9th 1966, the quietly superb "Maid Of Bond Street" features a vaudeville piano, acrobatically syncopated vocals and a typical Deram-era lyric of frustrated lives blighted by London's cruel underside, where celebrity and surface show are the only guarantors of success. Given that David's first job on leaving school had been in Bond Street, it might not be entirely fanciful to place an autobiographical construction on the envious boy who "really wants to be a star himself". Like "Little Bombardier", the lyric contains one of Bowie's earliest references to the fantasy of cinematic glamour as an escape route for drab lives: "This girl, her world is made of flashlights and films / Her cares are scraps on the cutting-room floor". Perhaps because of its parochial references, the track was left off the American release of David Bowie.
A degree of uncertainty persists about the song's correct title: on the sleeve of the original Deram LP it was listed as "Maids Of Bond Street", and in the lyric David certainly uses the plural as well as the singular. Meanwhile, Lindsay Kemp's musical collaborator Gordon Rose tells Paul Trynka that he can recall David singing a song called "Maids Of Mayfair" in some performances of the stage production Pierrot In Turquoise. It's unclear whether Rose's memory is at fault or whether Bowie genuinely altered the postcode, but either way "Maid Of Bond Street" is known to have been among the numbers performed during the production's London dates.
MAKE UP (Reed)
Co-produced by Bowie for Lou Reed's Transformer, "Make Up" publishes a virtual manifesto for the gay following that had gathered around the pair: "Gowns lovely made out of lace, and all the things that you do to your face...Now we're coming out, out of our closets, out on the streets." At the time, Reed explained that "The gay life at the moment is not that great. I wanted to write a song which made it terrific, something that you'd enjoy. But I know if I do that, I'll be accused of being a fag; but that's all right; it doesn't matter. I like those people, and I don't like what's going down, and I wanted to make it happy."
THE MAN see LIGHTNING FRIGHTENING
MAN IN THE MIDDLE (Pritchett)
B-Side: August 1972
Danish A-Side: May 1985
The most obscure of the Arnold Corns recordings was cut at Trident on June 17th 1971. The backing is an indifferent slab of sub-Man Who Sold The World hippy rock not unlike the original take of "Holy Holy", but Mick Ronson provides a superb solo while uncredited vocalist Mark Pritchett, who also wrote the song, essays a pleasant enough impression of Lou Reed. It's interesting to note that Pritchett's lyric sounds remarkably like a dummy-run for the androgynous alien superstar character towards whom David was rapidly groping his way: "He is a symbol of a new age, he glides above the realms of you and me...His gowns come from Paris, occasionally from Rome, he can go anywhere, except back to his home...He's the man in the middle, you can't tell which way he lays..."
With the lead vocal misleadingly attributed to Freddie Burretti, and the songwriting inaccurately credited to David Bowie (apparently a deliberate move to facilitate the recouping of royalties for Pritchett), "Man In The Middle" became the B-side of the second Arnold Corns single, released In August 1972. It reappeared in 1985 as the A-side of an Arnold Corns 12" released on the Scandinavian Krazy Kat label.
THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD
Album: The Man Who Sold The World
B-Side: June 1973
A-Side: November 1995
Live: Bowie At The Beeb/A Reality Tour
Live Video: A Reality Tour
A top ten hit for Lulu in 1974, and memorably covered by Nirvana in their 1993 Unplugged set (during which Kurt Cobain spoke of "the debt we all owe David"), "The Man Who Sold The World" has become a familiar title in the roll-call of Bowie classics - even if many people still seem unaware that he actually wrote it. "In America especially," David commented ruefully in 2000, "when I do "The Man Who Sold The World", the amount of kids that come up afterwards and say, 'It's cool you're doing a Nirvana song.' And I think, 'Fuck you, you little tosser!'" Certainly the song's many high-profile cover versions have tended to obscure Bowie's original recording which, with its sinister guiro percussion, circular guitar riff and ghostly vocal, achieves an unassuming air of pathos and menace far in advance of its subsequent imitations.
According to Tony Visconti, David's vocal was recorded at Advision on May 22nd 1970, the very last day of mixing The Man Who Sold The World. There is every indication that the lyric was a last-minute composition: barely two weeks earlier, "The Man Who Sold The World" was still the working title of a completely different song, "Saviour Machine".
Like most of his work of the period Bowie kept his counsel about the song, although he did once remark that it might have been unfair to unload it onto Lulu because it dealt with the "devils and angels" within himself (for her part Lulu confessed she "didn't know what it meant"). In 1997's ChangesNowBowie documentary David revealed that "I guess I wrote it because there was a part of myself that I was looking for...that song for me always exemplified kind of how you feel when you're young, when you know there's a piece of yourself that you haven't really put together yet - you have this great searching, this great need to find out who you really are."
This anxious grapple with the elusiveness of identity has led some to conjecture that the song was triggered by David's family troubles. The opening lines ("We passed upon the stair, we spoke of was and when / Although I wasn't there, he said I was his friend") evince a sinister echo of Hughes Mearns' famous nursery rhyme The Psychoed: "As I was going up the stair / I met a man who wasn't there / He wasn't there again today / I wish, I wish he'd stay away." Bowie compounds the identity crisis by claiming that he himself "wasn't there", while he thought his companion "died alone, a long, long time ago". The effacement of the individual and dread of mortality provide grim counterpoints to the immortal anguish of "The Supermen" and the meditations on "impermanence" and "rebirth" in "After All". It has been suggested that the song's title partly reflects an element of self-disgust over the question of "losing control" and "selling" his private life via such profoundly personal music.
In their biography, the Gillmans suggest another poetic model in Wilfred Owen's war poem "Strange Meeting", whose narrator enters a mystical dreamscape to meet the enemy soldier he killed in battle. Certainly there's a persuasive correlation between "He said I was his friend...I thought you died alone" and "I am the enemy you killed, my friend".
The album cut became a B-side in 1973 (for "Life On Mars?" in Britain, and for "Space Oddity" in America, Australia and Europe), but the song only really entered the public consciousness when Bowie produced Lulu's hit cover version. He had first encountered the singer at 1970's Disc & Music Echo Awards ceremony, and after meeting again during the final Ziggy tour David invited her to the "Last Supper" at the Café Royal. "We started talking about the possibility of working together," he explained later. "I was keen to get something fixed up, because I really have always thought that Lulu has incredible potential as a rock singer. I didn't think this potential had been fully realised...we decided on "The Man Who Sold The World" as being the most suitable." Having laid down some backing tracks and Lulu's vocals on July 16th 1973 during the Pin Ups sessions at the Chateau d'Herouville, Bowie added saxophone overdubs and oversaw the final mix during the Diamond Dogs sessions at Olympic. "I used the Pin Ups line-up to back her, including Ronson and drummer Aynsley Dunbar," Bowie recalled in 2002, "and played the sax section on overdubs. I still have a very soft spot for that version, though to have the same song covered by both Lulu and Nirvana still bemuses me to this day."
Boasting a prominent Bowie saxophone solo and backed by her cover of "Watch That Man", Lulu's version was released in January 1974 and reached number 3 in the UK, where its substantial airplay included a Top Of The Pops performance on January 10th for which Lulu devised "an androgynous look" in charcoal suit, tie and gangster hat which bore a remarkable resemblance to the future Thin White Duke's wardrobe. "Bowie loved that look," said Lulu later. Rumours persist of a longer edit, possibly featuring a heavier vocal contribution from David. The pair would go on to record unreleased versions of "Dodo" and "Can You Hear Me".
Lulu's version of "The Man Who Sold The World" later appeared on her 1977 album Heaven And Earth And The Stars, and latterly on the 1994 compilation From Crayons To Perfume - The Best Of Lulu. A marginally different edit of the Lulu recording, featuring a snippet of studio talk from Bowie, appeared on the 2006 compilation Oh! You Pretty Things alongside a 1977 version recorded by then Tony Defries client John Cougar Mellencamp. Nirvana's cover appeared on their 1994 album Unplugged In New York and 2002's Best Of Nirvana. The countless other covers include versions by Richard Barone (on 1987's Cool Blue Halo), No Man (on 1990's Whamon Express), Ed Kuepper (on 1995's Exotic Mail Order Moods), Simple Minds (on 2001's Neon Lights), The Section Quartet (on 2007's Fuzzbox), Ohashi Trio (on 2011's Fakebook II), and Midge Ure (on the 12" format of 1985's single "If I Was", and later on a reissue of that year's album The Gift as well as on David Bowie Songbook). In 2009 Bowie's original recording was featured in an episode of the BBC drama Ashes To Ashes, and the young cast of the 2011 film Hunky Dory perform the song during their school production of The Tempest. In 1982 The Waterboys recorded a cover version during sessions for their eponymous debut album, but this remains unreleased. Talking of The Waterboys, perhaps the unlikeliest version of "The Man Who Sold The World" was the B-side of a cover of "The Whole Of The Moon" released as a single in 1998 by Boys Of A New Age: both tracks were Hi-NRG gay disco versions, and also appeared on the compilation Sex, Swords & Sandals 2.
Bowie himself revived the song on a number of occasions, including the superb version in his Saturday Night Live set recorded in December 1979. The Outside tour's radical trip-hop revamp was commemorated by an excellent studio recording, mixed by Brian Eno for release as a double A-side. "It sounds completely contemporary," Eno recorded in his diary on October 30th 1995, the day he mixed the track at Westside Studios: "I added some backing vocals and a sonar blip and sculpted the piece a little so that there was more contour to it." An acoustic rendition, closer to the original, appeared during Bowie's Bridge School benefit appearances in October 1996, and again for his BBC session for ChangesNowBowie. The live trip-hop version continued to crop up on the Earthling tour, while a superb recreation of the original arrangement, complete with phased vocal effects, was included on the summer 2000 tour, from which a live version recorded at the BBC Radio Theatre on June 27th 2000 was included on the Bowie At The Beeb bonus disc. A similarly faithful arrangement reappeared throughout A Reality Tour, and the song was among those performed in the musical Lazarus.
MAN WITHOUT A MOUTH (Gutter/McNaboe/Zoidis/Albee/Roods/Ward)
Bowie sings backing vocals on this dark, edgy funk-rock number which closes the Rustic Overtones' Viva Nueva. His vocals were recorded in July 1999, on the same day as his more substantial contribution to "Sector Z". "He listened only once, then asked if I had three spare tracks left on the multi-track tape," explained Tony Visconti. "Within minutes he was in front of the microphone, and he started to sing a very haunting backing vocal. Afterwards he triple-tracked it. It was so perfect, that he could think of lines like that! He was finished in only twenty minutes." In February 2000, eighteen months before the album's delayed release, "Man Without A Mouth" appeared on a limited-edition promo EP, and cropped up again a year later in the soundtrack of the film Attraction.
MARS, THE BRINGER OF WAR (Holst)
The Lower Third's 1965 live shows usually culminated in a hard-rock rendition of "Mars, The Bringer Of War" from Gustav Holst's The Planets, forever enshrined for David's generation as the theme tune of Quatermass, Nigel Kneale's famous sequence of futuristic thriller serials screened by the BBC between 1953 and 1959. "David wanted to make it terrifically powerful, with World War Two sirens and explosions," recounted The Lower Third's drummer Phil Lancaster.
Many years later David would describe the original serial, 1953's The Quatermass Experiment, as "tremendous", recalling that he watched it "from behind the sofa when my parents thought I had gone to bed. After each episode I would tiptoe back to my bedroom rigid with fear, so powerful did the action seem to me. The title music was "Mars, The Bringer Of War", so I already knew that classical music wasn't boring."
The popular impact of Quatermass in an age before Star Trek and Doctor Who is now difficult to recall. Kneale's postwar re-readings of HG Wells rooted the fantastic in 1950s suburbia, becoming a national talking-point and penetrating deep into the public consciousness. Their influence on Bowie's enduring sci-fi shtick cannot be underestimated; more than one childhood acquaintance has told biographers that Quatermass was second only to The Flowerpot Men as David's favourite television show. The Quatermass stories were founded on a compassionate juxtaposition of man's loneliness and spiritual hunger with his newly acquired capacity to obliterate himself, apocalyptic themes which remain central to Bowie's lyrics throughout the 1970s. Elements of the mood and content of the serials trickle through his early work, from the Major Tom-like lost astronaut of The Quatermass Experiment to the portentous, Quatermass II-like advent of the "Starman" and "the strange ones in the dome" who populate "Drive-In Saturday". Bowie's dabblings in older mythologies during the Station To Station period echo the primeval rationale granted to the ascent of black magic, Kabbalistic symbols and rascism in the third serial Quatermass And The Pit. For those willing to seek out the original serials (and for all their technical naivety, the television episodes are far superior to the subsequent cinema versions), the associations are legion.
MARY ANN (Charles)
Ray Charles's 1956 B-side was played live by The Manish Boys.
MASS PRODUCTION (Pop/Bowie)
Produced and co-written by Bowie for Iggy Pop's The Idiot, this is a frighteningly bleak slab of manic depression whose ambient atmospherics and woozy synthesizers prefigure Bowie's imminent Low. According to Iggy, the lyric was suggested by Bowie: "He just said, 'I want you to write a song about mass production,' because I would always talk to him about how much I admired the beauty of the American industrial culture that was rotting away where I grew up. Like the beautiful smoke-stacks and factories - whole cities devoted to factories."
MEMORY OF A FREE FESTIVAL
Album: Space Oddity/Space Oddity (2009)
A-Side: June 1970
Bonus: Re:Call 1
Live: Bowie At The Beeb
Bowie's valediction to his short-lived hippy summer initially looks like an unqualified eulogy for the Woodstock generation. The childlike melody and the album version's low-tech arrangement evoke a doped-out atmosphere reinforced by some open drug references - "someone passed some bliss among the crowd" is hardly ambiguous, while the opening reference to the children who "gathered in the dampened grass" is a neat prepositional pun. Further evidence of David's preoccupations can be found in the line "We scanned the skies with rainbow eyes and saw machines of every shape and size": at the time both David and Tony Visconti were regular attendees at a UFO-spotting collective on Hampstead Heath hosted by Lesley Duncan (see "Love Song"), where they were convinced that they saw flying saucers. The hallucinatory space-trips and references to the Buddhist ideal of satori (sudden enlightenment) are very much of a piece with David's 1969 worldview, and in selecting it as Space Oddity's closing track, he told Disc & Music Echo that he intended to "go out on an air of optimism, which I believe in. Things will get better. I wrote this after the Beckenham festival when I was very happy."
But the story behind "Memory Of A Free Festival" is rather less straightforward. It commemorates the open-air event staged by the members of Growth, Bowie's Beckenham Arts Laboratory, on August 16th 1969, mid-way through the Space Oddity sessions and just a few days after the death of David's father. The twist is that sources have attested to the fact that David's disposition on the day couldn't have been further removed from the sentiments expressed in the song. Apparently he spent the festival quarrelling with his friend Calvin Mark Lee and future wife Angela, calling her and friend Mary Finnigan "materialistic arseholes" when he spotted them counting money they'd raised selling hamburgers and psychedelic posters. Later that year Bowie would tell journalist Kate Simpson that the attitudes of many of his contemporaries were "hypocritical...They're striving like mad for some kind of commercial success...I've never seen so many dishonest people in my life." Tune-in, turn-on hippies he dismissed as "so apathetic, so lethargic. The laziest people I've met in my life."
Thirty years later David admitted that "I think I stomped off in a temper tantrum at the end of the day, but I certainly turned it around by the time I came to write the song, because I felt, well, the idea of it was great, so I'll write about the idea more than anything else." While his low spirits at the festival might very understandably be put down to his father's funeral only five days earlier, there was a palpable reality in Bowie's sense of disillusion with what he considered the low ideals and flimsy convictions of the hippy movement. His anger would find a fuller expression in Space Oddity's blistering "Cygnet Committee", but on closer inspection the popular reading of "Memory Of A Free Festival" as a hippy panegyric simply doesn't stand up. The lyric systematically undermines "the ecstasy that swept that afternoon" as a falsehood buoyed up by drugs and simplistic slogans, and his estimation of the festival as "ragged and naive, it was heaven" is surely a deliberate exposure of the paradox rather than a celebration of it. Hence "We claimed the very source of joy ran through / It didn't, but it seemed that way", and hence the yearning "to capture just one drop" of the ideal in a real, grown-up world, rather than in a stew of dope. Like "Cygnet Committee" it's an assertively retrospective song with past tenses in nearly every line; it's Bowie's end-of-project report on the failure of the Beckenham Arts Lab, a "Memory" about "the summer's end". Mary Finnigan's dismissal of the song as "sheer hypocrisy" merely makes it sound as though she thinks it's about getting stoned and kissing people. It isn't; it's the close of a chapter and, in its evocation of spacecraft and "tall Venusians", a furtive taste of things to come.
The original album version was recorded at Trident on September 8th and 9th 1969, just three weeks after the event. David himself played the shaky psychedelic intro on a Rosedale electric chord organ. He was joined by a motley crew of acquaintances to track and multi-track the hypnotic closing mantra of "The Sun Machine is coming down, and we're gonna have a party", a sequence echoing the singalong playout of The Beatles' "Hey Jude" which Bowie had tacked onto his demo of "Janine" a few months earlier. Among those lending their vocal talents to this section were The Rats' vocalist Benny Marshall, future Sony vice-president Tony Woollcott, and rising Radio 1 stalwart "Whispering" Bob Harris and his wife Sue, who had befriended David the previous year.
What Tony Visconti would later describe as a "terrible" version of "Memory Of A Free Festival" was recorded during Bowie's BBC session on February 5th 1970; cut down from 6'40" to just over three minutes for the broadcast, this admittedly rather ropey version, in which David seems a little unsure of the lyrics, now appears on Bowie At The Beeb. Six weeks later, just before The Man Who Sold The World sessions, a tighter and more energetic re-recording was made at the express request of Mercury in America, who believed the song had stronger hit potential than the UK single "The Prettiest Star". In March Mercury's Robin McBride had written to Tony Visconti with detailed suggestions regarding the new version, asking him to "consider the possibility of picking up the tempo" and to "come to the sun machine take out lines at approximately two minutes and twenty seconds into the record...it is very important that we have a short mix in order to give us the maximum opportunity for radio exposure." Recording, produced by Visconti, took place at Advision Studios between March 21st and April 15th. It was drummer John Cambridge's last Bowie engagement, marking the end of the Hype line-up. The timing problems that had concerned McBride were overcome by editing the track as a two-part single, the B-side consisting of the closing "sun machine" chant. The US promo duly contained very short edits of both A-side and B-side, running to 3'18" and 2'22" respectively, but historians now doubt that the American single was ever issued: while the promo survives, not one stock copy has ever come to light. Meanwhile the European version was released on June 26th; it enjoyed the luxury of a longer edit, with an A-side running to four minutes, but like its predecessor it failed to trouble the chart. David promoted the single with a couple of his lesser-known television appearances, performing "Memory Of A Free Festival" on Granada Television's Six-O-One in June 1970, and on the Dutch television show Eddy, Ready, Go! on August 15th.
The sumptuously rich single version, later included on the 1990 and 2009 reissues of Space Oddity and on Re:Call 1, marks the first appearance on a Bowie recording of keyboardist Ralph Mace, a Philips executive who stepped in to play Moog synthesizer and would soon be making regular contributions during the sessions for The Man Who Sold The World. Following the February 5th 1970 BBC session, it also marks the official debut of Mick Ronson on a Bowie studio recording, his instantly recognisable guitar sound bringing muscle and beauty to the music. Ronson plays a double-tracked figure which anticipates his work on "The Supermen" and "Running Gun Blues", and antedates the double-tracked guitar sound which later became a trademark of Queen's Brian May. Ronson also introduces a recurring guitar riff borrowed from The Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" (first heard at around 1'30" in "Free Festival", and repeated several times thereafter) which would become a familiar Ronson standby, deployed as an accompaniment to similar rising chord changes in "Looking For A Friend", "Bombers", "Ziggy Stardust", and Bowie's 1972 rendition of "Waiting For The Man". The "sun machine" section is ushered in by cacophonous variations on the "Space Oddity" lift-off sequence and another classic Beatles moment, the orchestral crescendo in "A Day In The Life", while Ronson's dramatic guitar solo in the second half crackles with pre-echoes of "The Width Of A Circle" and "Moonage Daydream".
"Memory Of A Free Festival" was played live between 1969 and 1971, and was briefly revived as part of a medley with "Quicksand" and "Life On Mars?" for a few UK dates in May 1973. During the Soul tour a Young Americans-style gospel makeover became the standard closing number of The Garson Band's support set.
In June 1990 E-Zee Possee scored a minor hit with "The Sun Machine", an uninteresting dance-trance single on which the closing refrain of "Memory Of A Free Festival" was sung over a house piano. The idea was repeated with greater success in 1998 by Dario G's top 20 hit "Sunmachine", this time sampling Bowie from the original version and featuring a guest appearance by Tony Visconti on recorder. An eccentric folk/rap hybrid version of "Memory Of A Free Festival" by 1 Giant Leap was premiered on the main stage on the closing night of 2002's Glastonbury Festival with an accompanying film; recorded and mixed over the preceding three days, it included live contributions from various acts at the festival, including Badly Drawn Boy and members of Faithless and Spearhead, and was intended as a tribute to the event's history. In April 2004, the Washington Ballet's 7x7 event included a ballet piece set to Bowie's original recording of "Memory Of A Free Festival" by choreographer Trey McIntyre. Bowie collaborators Kashmir introduced the song into their live repertoire in 2006, and a cover by actors Aneurin Barnard and Tom Harries appears on the soundtrack album of the 2011 film Hunky Dory.
A previously unreleased "Alternate Mix" of the original album version, clocking in at 9'22" and thus well over two minutes longer than the original, was included on 2009's fortieth anniversary reissue of Space Oddity. Mixed from the original tapes, this version was created at Chappell Studios in 1987 by Bowie devotee Tris Penna, then a repertoire manager at PolyGram. Penna's mix features the application of a heavy echo effect to David's lead vocal, while the spoken dialogue of the all-star chorus is more discernible, both during the preamble to the "sun machine" section and at the conclusion when, instead of fading out, the song crashes to a ragged end amid raucous applause and cheering.
MIND CHANGE see NOTHING TO BE DESIRED
Album: Black Tie White Noise
A-Side: October 1993
Bonus: Black Tie White Noise (2003)
Download: June 2010
Video: Black Tie White Noise/Best Of Bowie
Constructed around an infectious five-note synthesizer bleep, which in Bowie's words "just keeps coming and coming", "Miracle Goodnight" is a breathless vow of love which, as a mark of its romanticism, breaks at one point into a full-blown rearrangement of Handel's The Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba. It's perhaps the most unabashed love song that Bowie ever produced: "I love you in the morning sun, I love you in my dreams, I love the sound of making love, the feeling of your skin, the corner of your eyes..." David Buckley reports that the insistent riff is identical to the night chorus of Balinese frogs, and although this might seem a ludicrous proposition, we know that David holidayed on Bali many times, notably during his honeymoon with Iman immediately prior to the Black Tie White Noise sessions - so it's not impossible.
"Miracle Goodnight" performed disappointingly as the third Black Tie White Noise single - released ahead of the album, it might have been a hit. Matthew Rolston's quite brilliant video shuffles images of Bowie in a Harlequin costume (shades of "Ashes To Ashes") and playing the fool as a latter-day Buster Keaton, against shots of him suavely unaffected by a bevy of busty women. There are playful mirror-images and split-screens, and even an image of David as Eros. The effect is of a little boy bashfully declaring his love; it's very endearing and certainly among Bowie's most undervalued videos. A selection of out-takes and mishaps from the shoot appear at the end of the Black Tie White Noise documentary, which also features a superfluous second video directed by David Mallet.
Video: The Looking Glass Murders (included on the Love You Till Tuesday DVD)
Written and performed by David for Lindsay Kemp's 1970 TV production The Looking Glass Murders, "The Mirror" presents an intriguing foretaste of things to come. The opening lyric, "Wash your face before the faded make-up makes a mark", sounds like an uncannily prescient mission statement for Bowie's future career, and although the number is as slight as the others in The Looking Glass Murders, in both composition and performance it has a palpable Man Who Sold The World-era gravitas about it.
MISS AMERICAN HIGH
This unreleased track was apparently recorded during the Toy sessions in 2000.
MISS PECULIAR see HOW LUCKY YOU ARE
MIT MIR IN DEINEM TRAUM (Bowie/Busch) see WHEN I LIVE MY DREAM
MOCKINGBIRD see I NEVER DREAMED
Album: Let's Dance
A-Side/B-Side: September 1983
Live: Glass Spider (2007 CD/DVD Release)
Compilation: Sound + Vision (Expanded 2003 Reissue)
Video: The Video Collection/Best Of Bowie
Live Video: Glass Spider/Live Aid
The opening track of Let's Dance epitomises the album: bursting with energy, brilliantly performed and undeniable catchy, but depressingly superficial by comparison with practically anything Bowie had recorded before. Lyrically it establishes the album's recurring theme of conflict between "God and man" in a secular world, and the spoken intro intriguingly echoes the closing mantra of "Ashes To Ashes" ("get things done"), but the attempts of some to interpret the title (and the opening line "I catch a paper boy") as a restatement of sexual ambiguity fail to convince.
Tony Visconti considered "Modern Love" one of the best tracks on Let's Dance, but despite its gleaming production it's a number that has not worn well. Almost buried in the mix, Rob Sabino's boogie-woogie piano gives the song its best moments, but it's the wall of cacophonous drums and honking saxophones which sets the template for the mid-1980s. David later revealed that the song's ancestry lay in his earliest rock hero: "When I do my little call-and-response things on songs like "Modern Love", it all comes from Little Richard." The track was a favourite of the album's producer Nile Rodgers, who described it in 1983 as "an old barrelhouse rocker with a real pounding Little Richard-type piano, while on top it has a very sophisticated jazz horn sound."
An edited version became the third Let's Dance single, successfully following "China Girl" to number 2 in Britain (it was held off the top by Culture Club's million seller "Karma Chameleon"), while in America it made number 14. The B-side was a live version recorded in Montreal on July 13th 1983, which made its CD debut 20 years later on 2003's Sound + Vision reissue. The video, directed by Jim Yukich, was a composite of performance shots filmed on July 20th in Philadelphia. By the time of the single release Elton John's remarkably similar sounding "I'm Still Standing" was already riding high in the chart, although both tracks were recorded around the same time and any malice aforethought seems unlikely.
"Modern Love" became a staple final encore (rather cheesily allowing David to "wave bye-bye" to the crowd as per the lyric) for the Serious Moonlight tour, Glass Spider and Sound + Vision tours, later making the occasional appearance on A Reality Tour. It also featured in Bowie's Live Aid set in 1985, while in the spring of 1987 it was pressed into service for a commercial venture: to raise funds for the Glass Spider tour, David signed a sponsorship deal with soft drinks giant Pepsi, for whom he filmed a high-profile television advertisement with Tina Turner. "Money is the only reason anyone would want to do a commercial, don't you think so?" he admitted during filming, which took place in an Amsterdam TV studio. Entitled Creation, the 60-second advert was set to a new recording of "Modern Love" with lyrics reworked to fit Pepsi's motto of the time, "The Choice For A New Generation". In a modern-day Frankenstein pastiche indebted to 1985's teen comedy Weird Science, David appears as a mad professor in bow tie, spectacles, white lab coat and slicked-down hair, plotting to create the perfect woman in his ramshackle laboratory. He takes a sip from his Pepsi bottle before accidentally spilling the contents into the works. Cue a big explosion and a driving wind which blows off his glasses, transforms his clothes and miraculously restyles his hair, while his creation - Tina Turner, of course - emerges in a cloud of smoke from an incongruous red telephone box (Ziggy Stardust parallels no doubt intended). They gallivant off to an American diner and dance around a Pepsi machine to the suitably re-worked lyrics. Absolutely dreadful, and an absolute hoot.
Coming hard on the heels of an unfortunate 1984 incident involving Michael Jackson's hair, the commercial was destined to be another casualty in Pepsi's troubled history of pop-star endorsements. On October 9th 1987, David was accused of assaulting a female fan in Dallas. The case was soon dismissed, but at the first whiff of controversy the courageous multinational withdrew the Bowie/Turner commercial from the airwaves. As a result it was only ever screened a handful of times.
In 2001 tribute artist Jean Meilleur performed a classically orchestrated version of "Modern Love" on his Jeans'n'Classics tour, while teen idol Aaron Carter performed it back-to-back with "Let's Dance" on his 2003 Jukebox tour. In 2006 The Last Town Chorus included a beautiful downtempo version on their album Wire Waltz, later releasing it as a single, and in 2007 a live cover by Matchbox Twenty appeared as a B-side on their single "How Far We've Come". Bowie's original recording featured in the soundtracks of 2009's Adventureland, 2010's Hot Tub Time Machine, and 2014's The Way He Looks.
MOMMA'S LITTLE JEWEL (Hunter/Watts)
Produced by David for Mott The Hoople's All The Young Dudes. Listen carefully and you can hear Bowie overriding a mishap with the words, "No, don't stop - carry on!"
MONDAY, MONDAY (Phillips)
The Mamas And The Papas' 1966 hit was played live in the same year by The Buzz.
MOON OF ALABAMA (Brecht/Weill) see ALABAMA SONG
A-Side: May 1971
Album: Ziggy Stardust
Live: David Live/Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture/Santa Monica '72/Bowie At The Beeb
Bonus: The Man Who Sold The World/Ziggy Stardust (2002)/Ziggy Stardust (2012)/Re:Call 1
B-Side: February 1996
Live Video: Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
If the opening and closing tracks of Ziggy Stardust are the album's framework, then "Moonage Daydream" is surely its keystone. The opening thunderbolt of guitar cuts rudely across the fade-out of "Soul Love" (and yet, brilliantly, maintains its tempo), plunging the listener headlong into the morass of sleazy sex and surreal science fiction that occupies the album's heart. Three tracks in, and here at last is Ziggy Stardust, proclaiming himself an exotic hybrid of rock's past and mankind's future: "an alligator", "the space invader", "a mama-papa" and "a rock'n'rollin' bitch", extolling the virtues of "the church of man, love" (or, more provocatively, "the church of man-love"), a construct perhaps descended in part from the "Church of God, Love and Man" proposed by Thomas Paine, the revolutionary philosopher often indirectly referenced by Bowie (and directly in "Pretty Pink Rose"). Occasionally during the Ziggy Stardust tour, Bowie introduced "Moonage Daydream" as "a song written by Ziggy", and at various times it would be cited as the album's best track by Trevor Bolder, Woody Woodmansey and producer Ken Scott.
Although irrevocably linked to Ziggy, "Moonage Daydream" began life several months earlier. Composed during Bowie's promotional trip to America in February 1971, the song's earliest extant version is a recording by the short-lived Arnold Corns. This cut, taped at London's Radio Luxembourg Studios on February 25th 1971, became the group's first single the following May and later appeared (without the spoken "Whenever you're ready" intro) as a bonus track on The Man Who Sold The World and on the 2002 Ziggy Stardust reissue; Re:Call 1 restored the spoken preamble. It sorely lacks the Ziggy version's lightness of touch, suffering from a ponderous arrangement and David's strained attempt at an American rock'n'roll vocal, complete with a gauche whoop of "Come on, you mothers!" Although both lyrics and delivery would be massively improved, the essential Americanism remains in the definitive Ziggy version, recorded at Trident on November 12th 1971. "Moonage Daydream" continues the album's systematic plundering of the American rock idiom, replete with abbreviations ("comin'", "'lectric", "rock'n'rollin'") and phrases like "busting up my brains", "freak out", "far out" and "lay the real thing on me". There are nods to key influences like Iggy Pop, whose "she got a TV eye on me" evolves into "keep your 'lectric eye on me", and the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, whose "I shot my space gun" gets a similar makeover. What to Bowie was still the distant glamour of America is here invested with a literal sense of alienness. The hotchpotch of opening images recalls some of rock's American antecedents: Bill Haley's "See You Later, Alligator", The Mamas And The Papas, the "rock'n'rollin' bitch" Little Richard, perhaps even the 1958 Sheb Wooley/Jackie Dennis hit "Purple People Eater", which David once recalled "was big on my agenda" when, as an 11-year-old, he had first discovered American music.
The unison playing of baritone sax and recorder in the song's instrumental break, both played by David himself, also hark back to his youth: the inspiration was The Hollywood Argyle's "Sure Know A Lot About Love", the B-side of their hit "Alley Oop". The strings over the final fade were orchestrated by Mick Ronson, but the swirling phased effect was Scott's idea during the mixing stage.
Another vital ingredient is Mick Ronson's spectacular guitar solo, arguably his finest on a Bowie recording and renowned among guitarists as an all-time classic. Like many of Ronson's moments of genius, it was improvised after Bowie had conveyed the mood he wanted by the most unconventional of means: David explained in 2002's Moonage Daydream book that he would "literally draw out on paper with a crayon or felt-tip pen the shape of a solo. The one in "Moonage Daydream", for instance, started as a flat line that became a fat megaphone type shape, and ended as sprays of disassociated and broken lines. I'd read somewhere that Frank Zappa used a series of drawn symbols to explain to his musicians how he wanted the shape of a composition to sound. Mick could take something like that and actually bloody play it, bring it to life. Very impressive."
"Moonage Daydream" was included in the BBC radio session recorded on May 16th 1972 (a superb version which later appeared on Bowie At The Beeb), and featured throughout the Ziggy Stardust tour. Early on the first UK leg an accompanying video was shot by Mick Rock: "That was the first video I ever did with David," he recalled in 1998. "It was shot on a Bowlex 16mm camera in April of 1972. It was a collage of live footage. I can't remember if it's ever been publicly shown, but I'm sure that at some point in the not-too-distant future it will get seen." "Moonage Daydream" reappeared on the Diamond Dogs tour, and latterly on the Outside, Earthling and Heathen tours. A live version recorded on December 13th 1995 appeared on the "Hallo Spaceboy" single, while a previously unreleased remix by Alan Moulder, originally heard in a 1998 commercial for Dunlop tyres, was included on the 2002 reissue of Ziggy Stardust. Ten years later a previously unreleased instrumental version, mixed to 5.1, was included on the DVD packaged with the vinyl format of the album's 40th anniversary edition.
Cover versions have been released by numerous artists including Ava Cherry, Beth Ditto, Charlie Sexton, Terrorvision, Racer X, Patti Rothberg (on her 2001 album Candelabra Cadabra), 10,000 Maniacs (as a medley with "Starman"), LA Guns (on 2004's Rips The Covers Off), and Camille O'Sullivan (on her 2007 live album La Fille Du Cirque). Mike Scott of The Waterboys quotes the chorus lyric, complete with a creditable Bowie impersonation, in his solo track "King Electric" (a B-side on the 1997 single "Love Anyway", and on some editions of the same year's album Still Burning), for which Bowie receives a co-writing credit. A sample from Bowie's original recording appears in "Moon Rocks", a track on the Rapdragons' 2009 album Ten Stories High. The Killers added "Moonage Daydream" to their live sets in 2005, as did Crowded House in 2010. Mick Ronson retained the song in his solo repertoire during the 1970s, and a live tribute version by The Spiders From Mars, fronted by Joe Elliott, appears on the album of 1994's Mick Ronson Memorial Concert. The original Ziggy version featured in the soundtrack of the 2014 film Guardians Of The Galaxy.
MOSS GARDEN (Bowie/Eno)
Elsewhere on "Heroes" Bowie sings about being "under Japanese influence", and "Moss Garden" consolidates his long-time fascination with a country he had first visited as Ziggy Stardust. Here he plucks an evocative koto over a soft backing of synthesizer atmospherics that phase from speaker to speaker, suggesting the sound of distant aeroplanes. In the 1980s Bowie's taste for Japanese gardens would extend as far as creating one at his Mustique hideaway. The love affair would continue with "Crystal Japan", and the gentle ambient textures of "Moss Garden" itself would be recalled on 1993's The Buddha Of Suburbia and 1999's "Brilliant Adventure".
Brian Eno explained that the recording of "Moss Garden" was informed by the drawing of two contradictory "Oblique Strategies" cards; according to Eno, Bowie drew a card with the instruction "Destroy everything", while Eno's card read "Change nothing and continue with immaculate consistency". Neither knew what was written on the other's card until the end of the day.
Live: liveandwell.com/A Reality Tour
Live Video: A Reality Tour
With a title redolent of Hitchcock's Psycho (presumably intentionally, given 1.Outside's subject matter), this long and complex track lurks unobtrusively at the album's heart and repays attention as arguably its finest moment. It was a favourite of pianist Mike Garson, who told David Buckley that "It's probably in [Bowie's] top ten songs ever." Bowie's funereal vocal is mournfully tugged along by weeping guitars, Garson's melancholic piano and a shuffling drumbeat reminiscent of "Five Years", burning a slow fuse towards a final orgiastic explosion of feedback. It invites comparison with the Diamond Dogs classic "Sweet Thing", and the lyrics, with a similar refrain of "boys", are about as cheerful: "Explosion falls upon deaf ears, while we're swimming in the sea of shame / Living in the shadow of vanity, a complex passion for a simple man / There is no hell like an old hell..." The last line, repeated throughout the song, is an echo of The Walker Brothers' "The Electrician" (from 1978's Nite Flights, whose title track Bowie had already covered), and may also refer to David's 1994 visit to the Guggin psychiatric hospital in Austria, where he later explained that in the wing "where all the psychos and murderers live...the only thing written on the wall is 'THIS IS HELL'." According to 1.Outside's sleeve notes, "The Motel" is "To be sung by Leon Blank", the young murder suspect in the narrative's art-crime investigation.
"The Motel" was performed live during the European leg of the Outside and Earthling tours, and reappeared throughout A Reality Tour. A version recorded in Amsterdam on June 10th 1997, introduced by David as "a love song to desperation", was included on liveandwell.com, while a performance from Dublin in November 2003 appears on A Reality Tour. The original studio version reappeared on the soundtrack album of the 2001 film Intimacy, while a shorter 5'07" edit was included on the LP Excerpts From 1.Outside.
In 1973 Rock magazine recorded the spectacle of Bowie sitting by an open fire at the Chateau d'Herouville, listening intently to John Lennon's anguished 1970 single during a break in the Pin Ups sessions. Twenty-five years later, in August 1998, Bowie recorded a cover of "Mother" for a tribute album being assembled by Yoko Ono. Having initially cut a demo in Nassau with Reeves Gabrels and drummer Andy Newmark (whose last Bowie engagement had been the Soul tour back in 1974), Bowie later added overdubs in New York City during the recording of "Safe", consolidating his long-awaited reunion with producer Tony Visconti. "It was a good excuse for us to get into the studio," said David. "In fact we were looking for a project to do together, and this song, completely autonomously, seemed to fit. We didn't want to run the risk of doing a whole album and then discovering after three songs that there was no more current between us. And it worked very well, to the point that we are going to work together again in the near future." During the New York session, overdubs were added by backing vocalist Richard Barone and keyboard player Jordan Ruddess, while Visconti himself provided bass guitar and further backing vocals. Bowie's performance was taken chiefly from the original demo: "David's vocal was live and the drum leakage was terrible," Visconti later recalled, "but his vocal was ever so soulful and he wanted to keep it. During the recording of "Safe", David punched a few lines of vocal onto "Mother"."
Ono's tribute album was originally intended for release in October 2000 to mark Lennon's sixtieth birthday, but at the time of writing it remains unreleased. However, in 2006 Bowie's 5'03" recording was leaked online and rapidly became a favourite among collectors. Perhaps wisely, it doesn't attempt to outperform the savagely raw emoting that distinguishes Lennon's original, but it's nonetheless a superb recording which captures Bowie in strikingly dramatic form; it's to be hoped that this excellent track will yet receive the official release it richly deserves.
MOTHER, DON'T BE FRIGHTENED (Gillespie)
Co-produced and arranged by David for Dana Gillespie's Weren't Born A Man.
Registered by Essex Music in 1967 but abandoned at the demo stage in early 1968, this little-known song later became the subject of a copyright dispute with Essex (see "April's Tooth Of Gold").
B-Side: August 1980
"Move On" consolidates the theme of wanderlust spread across the first side of Lodger. It was recorded under the original title "The Tangled Web We Weave", while a subsequent reputed working title, "Someone's Calling Me", more closely reflects the completed lyric; for here Bowie contemplates his own restless shifting from country to country and, in the process, creates a metaphor for his musical backpacking. He considers many of the environments that have informed his work throughout the 1970s - including Cyprus, the former home of Angela Barnett which he had visited at the beginning of the decade - but particularly prominent are the scenes of his Kenyan safari and Kyoto Christmas of 1978: "Africa is sleepy people, Russia has its horsemen / Spent some nights in old Kyoto, sleeping on the matted ground." Here, at the height of Bowie's new Europeanism, America is noticeable to its absence - except, perhaps, in his recently perfected pseudo-Elvis baritone, which suits the song perfectly.
In 1979 Bowie described "Move On" as "blatantly romantic", and revealed that the backing track was another reminder of his own musical heritage. He had been playing some of his old tapes on the studio Revox: "I accidentally played one backwards and thought it was beautiful. Without listening to what it was originally, we recorded the whole thing note-for-note backwards, then I added vocal harmonies with Tony Visconti. If you play it backwards, you'll find that it's "All The Young Dudes".
Little is known about this track except that it was recorded in Los Angeles in May 1975 at the tail-end of an abortive session with Iggy Pop, who had been attempting to assemble a solo album with the assistance of ex-Stooges James Williamson and Scott Thurston. Bowie hired the four-track Oz Studio, where early versions of "Sell Your Love" (later featured on Iggy's Kill City) and two new songs, "Drink To Me" and "Turn Blue" (later revamped on Lust For Life) were attempted, but neither David nor Iggy was in the best of conditions in mid-1975 and the sessions were unproductive. Williamson later recalled Bowie being at the height of his "stick insect paranoia", while Iggy was permanently the worse for drink and drugs. After the session collapsed, Bowie remained in the studio and improvised "Moving On" on acoustic guitar. On finishing it, he is said to have complained, "Another song; that's the last thing I need." Any connection with the Lodger track "Move On" is pure supposition.
MUSIC IS LETHAL (Battisti/Bowie)
Bowie provided the English lyric for this cover on Mick Ronson's Slaughter On 10th Avenue, originally recorded by the Italian singer-songwriter Lucio Battisti under the title "Lo Vorrei...Non Vorrei...Ma Se Vuoi" ("I would like to...I wouldn't like to...but if you want") on his 1972 album Il Mio Canto Libero. A revered and influential artist in his native country, Battisti had made an earlier contribution to British pop music as the author of "Il Paradiso", which became a 1969 number 1 for Amen Corner under its English translation "(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice".
Following his customary practice regarding foreign-language songs, Bowie wrote not a literal translation but an entirely new lyric. In doing so, he returned a five-year-old compliment of sorts: the song's original Italian words were written by Battisti's longtime collaborator Giulio Rapetti who, under his professional name Mogol, had penned the equally free-handed "Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola" version of "Space Oddity" in 1969. Mogol's collaborations with Battisti had already seen him emerge as a prolific translator of English pop songs, penning Battisti's Italian covers of "California Dreamin'" and "A Whiter Shade of Pale".
Written in 1973, Bowie's lyrics for "Music Is Lethal" tellingly bridge the gap between Jacques Brel's "Amsterdam" and his own "Rock'n'Roll Suicide", a connection which Mick Ronson seems implicitly to acknowledge in his instrumental arrangement and vocal delivery. Bowie pens a melodrama of drunken bar-fights, "mulatto hookers, cocaine bookers, troubled husbands, stolen freedoms" and sexual redemption, themes common in his work as Diamond Dogs loomed large. "The story's about a guy in the 1980s," Ronson told the NME. "He's a layabout...just sort of bums around the streets. He sees this chick and falls in love with her. She's a dancer in a nightclub and a prostitute as well. She falls in love with him in the end and wants to quit and go with him. But her pimp boyfriend finds out. She comes out of his club one night and he shoots her. And I'm left alone without her." "Music Is Lethal" was later included on the 2006 compilation Oh! You Pretty Things.
MY DEATH (Brel/Shuman/Blau)
Live: Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture/Santa Monica '72/RarestOneBowie
Dutch B-Side: December 2015
Live Video: Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
With "Amsterdam" already established as a popular number during the early Ziggy concerts, Bowie struck gold when he elected to co-opt a second Jacques Brel composition, the doom-laden melodrama "My Death", into The Spiders' repertoire. Blessed with a poetic but free English translation by Mort Shuman and Eric Blau, Bowie's version was unveiled for the Rainbow Theatre shows in August 1972 and thereafter became an eagerly anticipated live highlight. Versions of the early acoustic guitar rendition, recorded on September 28th and October 20th 1972 respectively, appear on RarestOneBowie and Santa Monica '72; the former became the B-side of a Dutch 7" single of "Amsterdam" released in 2015 to mark the Groningen residency of the David Bowie is exhibition.
On January 17th 1973 Bowie performed "My Death" alongside "Drive-In Saturday" on LWT's Russell Harty Plus, transmitted three days later. Legend has it that a guitar string broke during the performance, but in fact this mishap occurred during camera rehearsals. In the later stages of the 1973 tour, the addition of a romantic Mike Garson piano arrangement transformed "My Death" from a softly-strummed acoustic number into a full-blown torch song, as recorded on Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture. The torrid romanticism, existential bleakness and high dramatics of "My Death" perfectly suited the style and subject matter of the Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane compositions, eloquently underlining their debt to Brel's chanson tradition. A further studio take from the Ziggy period - possibly an audio recording of the Russell Harty Plus performance - exists in private hands.
"My Death" was revived for the Outside tour in a magnificent full-blooded orchestration, although one of the finest performances was a stripped-down version accompanied only be Mike Garson on piano, which Bowie performed at a private charity function in New York on September 18th 1995. The song reappeared occasionally on the Earthling tour's American leg. In 2003, the same year he alluded to "My Death" in the title track of Reality, Bowie described it as "very important to me as a song."
MY WAY (Francois/Thibault/Revaux/Anka) see EVEN A FOOL LEARNS TO LOVE
Album: The Buddha Of Suburbia
The longest track on The Buddha Of Suburbia is also the most reminiscent of Bowie's Berlin period: a long, ambient instrumental, devoid of percussion and relying instead on a droning glissando of synthesizer sound overlaid with plaintive hints of acoustic guitar and Erdal Kizilcay's reverse-tracked keyboard. Bowie explained that "the original tape was slowed down, opening up the thick texture dramatically and then Erdal would play the thematic information against it." The minimal, magnificent result is a staggering artistic volte face from a man who was still performing with Tin Machine only eighteen months previously.
THE MYTH (Bowie/Moroder) see CAT PEOPLE (PUTTING OUT FIRE)