Monday, 11 March 2013

My Top Ten Songs About David Bowie


So, there's a new album out from The Dame. And from what I've heard of it (admittedly only the first two singles so far: the album's still in the post), it sounds pretty spiffy. Since I already did My Top Ten Bowie Songs... here's some other people paying tribute.


10. Liam Lynch - Fake David Bowie Song
I've been stuck in space for such a long time
Sorry mum, I'm 5 years late for tea time
One of many fake songs Liam recorded, from the album of the same name... sadly, this one ends far too soon.

9. The Very Sexuals - Bowie Eyes

I always took Bowie's eyes to be the clearest evidence that he was, in fact, not of this earth.
And I want a star that guides me
To a girl with Bowie eyes
Got visions of my glamrock idols saving me
8. The Flaming Lips with Neon Indian -  Is David Bowie Dying?

The end of the universe, the death rays of the sun, with Wayne Coyne channeling the ghost of Bowie, the last man in existence.

Or something. 

7. Phish - David Bowie

An 11 minute jam, the only lyrics being repeated mentions of "David Bowie"... and, erm, "UB40".

Look, don't hold your breath waiting for my Top Ten Songs About UB40, OK?

6. Tori Amos - Not David Bowie

There's an underlying bitterness to this lyric that appeals to me. Tori's boyfriend blames her for the fact he's never made anything of his life, so she hits back...
...but I am not the reason you are not David Bowie...
5. They Might Be Giants - Au Contraire
David Bowie came to town
Flying overhead
"Don't you dig my chops?" he cried
This is what they said...

Au contraire, Dave
Quite the opposite, in fact
As it happens, au contraire
Au contraire, mon frère
Yeah. It makes as much sense as anything else TMBG ever recorded. Still ace.

4. Amy MacDonald - Barrowland Ballroom 

Amy's tribute to a legendary Scottish music venue... wishing she saw The Laughing Gnome there.
And when the night turns to day
And the lights they fade away
I wish that life and love would pass me by
And when the band stops a song because there's something going on
Well there is magic in the air I swear.
And I wish that I saw Bowie, playing on that stage
I wish that I saw something, to make me come of age.
3. Veruca Salt - With David Bowie

Extra marks for naming your band after a character from Charlie & The Chocolate Factory.
I'm never alone
Cause you're following me home
I'm falling in love
My walkman and me
With David Bowie
2. Rolling Stones - Angie

Enough people believe this is about Dave's first missus that it merits inclusion. Plus, it's a great song. And no Mars Bars were hurt during the recording of this track. That's just apocryphal.


1. Flight of the Conchords - Bowie

A tribute and pastiche in one, though no other record on this list does justice to the unique insanity of the "freaky old bastard" behind Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke... I like to think he'd approve.
Do you have one really funky sequined space suit, Bowie,
Or do you have several ch-changes?




Got any about-Bowie songs you want to share with the class?

14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It's nice to know I win occasionally!

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  2. I hate so say it but Killing Joke have really let me down on this one.

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    Replies
    1. And yet, I can't help but feel the influence is there...

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  3. Dystopian Dream Girl by Built to Spill mentions him.

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  4. Also, "(David Bowie I Love You) Since I Was Six" by Brian Jonestown Massacre is a great one.

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    Replies
    1. Great suggestions (which I hadn't heard before). Thanks, Rena.

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  5. IAN MCCULLOCH'S "ME AN DAVID BOWIE"

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  6. It hit me outta nowhere tonight to wonder what songs have been written about David Bowie, or written to be sung TO him--in light of the fact that he wrote and sang so many of HIS songs to various women he met. You can compile your own list from his lifeworks, if you feel like it. But it suddenly struck me so strange, that I would think that by now, SOMEONE should have made a song telling David about all the reasons or things they love about him.
    I came here looking to see if anyone has expressed this yet. And it seems no one has. That's surprising, if you think about it. Bowie was a sex symbol, a legendary lover, a bleeding-edge innovator, and has 6,700,000 followers on facebook! Shouldn't SOMEONE have sung what they love(d) him for, by now??? If not, why NOT??! Is everybody just so dammned cynical and hip, that the only 'cool' way to mention him is to reference him with scorn, or ridicule, or space? I can NOT be the only person on earth who feels he deserves to have a song of genuine love written about him- -! I'd write it myself, but songwriting isn't one of my gifts. I can repurpose other people's songs, but that ain't fair. I want somebody to write him a song that tells him how beautiful he was, all the things he did that we love him for. And I don't CARE that he's 'dead' now. He'll hear it wherever he is, now.

    I'm Janet P Schwartz

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  7. Ian Hunter has done 2, firstly on his eponymous first solo Album.

    The track is BOY and is a heart felt ballad with a co writing credit for Mick Ronson.

    Ian has confirmed the song certainly references Bowie, but states it is not only about Bowie. It has been suggested some verses are about John Lennon, some about an ex Mott band member, but to me it certainly reads like it's an open letter to Bowie to clean up his act. The opening at least is irrefutably about Bowie with a lyric that goes thus:

    'Genocidal tendencies are silly to extreme After all you're still quite small you don't know where you've been You was only swearing yesterday Oh you want to win the world away But now you got nothing to say-ay-ay

    Boy you're getting out of hand You've got to make a stand So put the coke away Boy you got the do the show Got to let the people know You got the strength to stay'

    In my opinion it is a magnificent song, one of Hunters best.

    Since Bowies passing he has since done another more overt tribute to the man he obviously still holds dear. The song is called DANDY and can be found on his latest album with his Rant Band called FINGERS CROSSED.

    In my opinion the song is not in the same class as BOY but it is still a sweet and obviously a heart felt tribute.

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  8. Ian hunter has written 2 songs at least that are about Bowie.

    The first one is BOY, Co written by Mick Ronson and can be found on his brilliant eponymous first solo album.

    Ian Himself confirms the song is about Bowie, but he claims only in part, but if you look at the lyrics the entire song reads like an open letter, or plea in fact, to his old friend to get his act together.

    The opening of the song is most certainly aimed at Bowie:

    'Genocidal tendencies are silly to extreme After all you're still quite small you don't know where you've been You was only swearing yesterday Oh you want to win the world away But now you got nothing to say-ay-ay Boy you're getting out of hand You've got to make a stand So put the coke away Boy you got the do the show Got to let the people know You got the strength to stay'.

    It is suggested that some verses are aimed at John Lennon while others at an ex Mott the Hoople band member.

    Either way it is a masterpiece.

    The second song is DANDY and con be found on his latest album FINGERS CROSSED made with his RANT BAND.

    Whilst not in the same class as BOY it is still a lovely heartfelt tribute to an old friend and worth a listen, as is the entire album to be fair.

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  9. pet shop boys "friendly fire."
    beautiful

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