Monday, 11 January 2016

There's a starman waiting in the sky.......

....He'd like to come and meet us but he thinks he'd blow our minds
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He's told us not to blow it cause he knows it's all worthwhile
He told me: Let the children lose it, let the children use it, let all the children boogie

I got in to work today to be confronted by the news that David Bowie has passed on following an eighteen month battle with cancer. This left me a little bit sad. Now I'm not going to start waffling on about how I was his number fan as that would not be true. I liked some of his stuff and appreciated the vast amount of talent that he had and his amazing ability to reinvent himself and adapt and evolve and just keep on going with his music. He was uncompromising and did what he wanted to do. I also loved Labyrinth and let's face it, who doesn't LOL.

So where am I going with this? Well I started thinking about Bowie's songs that I enjoyed, most of which were his most popular singles but there was nothing really deep. I started listening to The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars and it suddenly hit me what a profound effect this particular album had on me and I hadn't actually realised it. I did have a connection with David Bowie. When I first heard it way back around 1985 I was amazed (yeah I know, I was a late starter what with it being 12 years after the initial release). I was fifteen years old and it spoke to me. I was captivated as Five Years started to unfold. The composition and the lyrics were just wow. Every song is strong and even though at the time I wanted fast rock n roll type numbers (I did get this with Star, Hang On To Yourself and Suffragette City) I loved the mix of song styles and tempos across the album. I did enjoy Diamond Dogs and Aladdin Sane but for me they were never as good as Ziggy Stardust!

Listening to it today made me realise just how special it was and how it made me think about songwriting and composition. It transported me back to when I first listened to it and how moving the whole thing was. Damn, how moving the whole thing is. The arrangement and dynamics sound fresh even today which isn't bad for an album released in 1972!

Did David Bowie change my life? No not at all! Did he help me through the dark times? No, not really. But he did create The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars which forever changed the way I would look at songwriting, composing and musical structure etc. That is where I get my connection with David Bowie. A remarkable album that has a remarkable effect on me.

Just like Freddie Mercury he pushed through against the odds to complete one last project to give to the fans. I will be buying Blackstar and will treat it with the respect it deserves. Farewell Starman, wherever you are......

I shall leave you with four videos. We'll start off with my favourite part of Labyrinth:

...and now on to some Bowie music:

The Laughing Gnome:


One of the best covers of a Beach Boys song ever, this is a beautiful version of God Only Knows:


..and his last ever video, released a few days before he died, Lazarus:


Lady Stardust sang his songs of darkness and dismay.....
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