Staff Picks: A Tribute to David Bowie

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Legend David Bowie died last week after a lengthy battle with cancer. The English musician had just released Blackstar, his fifth and final studio album. Few artists will every be able to claim that they were as prolific, successful and influential as Bowie. He was an innovator and an inspiration not only to musicians, but to everyone and he will be dearly missed. To celebrate his career, here are a few of his songs to sing to. RIP, Starman.

 “Space Oddity”

Many people know “Space Oddity” as the song that Commander Chris Hadfield sang from outer space while aboard the International Space Station. While the cover did spark something of a legal battle, Bowie himself commented on it, calling the Hadfield’s version “possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created” which is quite the compliment coming from the Starman himself. The song was originally a track on David Bowie, Bowie’s second album, which was released in 1969.

“Starman”

The night after Bowie died the crowded in Brixton, London, where Bowie was born in 1947, sang “Starman” in his honor. The song was off of his fifth studio album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which gave rise to his androgynous alter ego persona Ziggy Stardust in 1972. The image of the flamboyant and fiery haired Ziggy Stardust is perhaps the look Bowie is best remembered by.

 “Heroes”

Off of his twelfth album by the same name, “Heroes” wasn’t as popular when it was released as his other singles. Eventually the record, Heroes, would go on to win the NME Album of the Year and “Heroes” itself would become Bowie’s most well-known song. It was co-written by Brian Eno and co-produced by Tony Visconti. Both men had a big influence over Bowie at the time, during his Berlin period, and intermittently throughout his career. Visconti would return to co-produce Bowie’s final album Blackstar.

“Sound and Vision”

Off of his 1977 album, Low, “Sound and Vision” was also produced during his Berlin period, although it was actually recorded in France and mixed in West Berlin. Eno and Visconti both worked on the song and it actually includes vocals by Visconti’s wife, Mary Hopkin. The record Low is considered by many to be Bowie’s best, if not one of the best of all time.

“Rebel Rebel”

His last true glam rock single, “Rebel Rebel” is one of his best songs. Off of Bowie’s 1974 Orwellian album Diamond Dogs, the song is a gender-bending goodbye to the glam rock genre that featured Bowie himself on guitar. The concept album would be followed by Young Americans in 1975, in which Bowie showed off his “plastic soul.”

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