BOWIE SONGS IN SEARCH OF TRIBUTE BANDS
'Space Oddity' is in all likelihood the most over-recorded Bowie tribute song ever. Yet 'Janine' a song from the same album remains a forgotten gem that somebody must re-record. The sooner the better. And then there is "Heroes", another song that no longer needs a tribute band. But 'Joe The Lion' - that's another story. To my knowledge, the song has never been covered. Perhaps we could get Billy Corgan or King Crimson to re-record 'Joe The Lion'. Anybody but RUST - the Dutch Bowie Fanclub. They have cornered the market on Bowie songs along with Steve Harvey.
I can not fathom why somebody hasn't re-recorded 'The London Boys' or 'We Are Hungry Men'. I can understand why songs like 'Dead Man Walking', 'We Shall Go To Town', and 'Something In The Air' have not been done over yet. They are too new. Earthling and 'hours...' are just too recent. The songs need to incubate a little. But inevitably they beg for re-recording. Once they reach maturity, they will produce covers.
Songs from Outside are prime pickings by now: 'No Control' and 'I'm Deranged' haven't been re-recorded at all and 'The Motel' has only been recorded by Syria (The Dark Side Of David Bowie). 'The Hearts Filthy Lesson' has the "enviable" position of being recorded by RUST, the Dutch Bowie Fanclub. A lot of Bowie songs have that "coveted" position.
And there are absolutely no excuses for Bowie's earlier material being ignored by tribute bands and artists. These songs from The Man Who Sold The World and Young Americans should have been re-recorded by now: 'Running Gun Blues' and 'Somebody Up There Likes Me'.
Then of course, there are classics that are only disregarded at our peril: 'Word On A Wing' from Station To Station and 'Teenage Wildlife' and 'Scream Like A Baby' from Scary Monsters and Super Creeps. Why somebody (at least to my knowledge) has not remade these songs is beyond my comprehension.
Then there are the difficult to redeem albums with songs that perhaps through reinterpretation may come to life and sparkle. For example 'Ricochet' from Let's Dance and 'Shining Star' from Never Let Me Down are prime candidates for resalvaging. In my opinion they are neglected wonders.
Perhaps certain Tin Machine songs are cast aside because assorted tribute bands or artists don't think they are "Bowie enough". But that is absurd especially when it comes to the songs 'Under The God' and 'Prisoner Of Love' from Tin Machine I and 'Shopping For Girls' and 'Betty Wrong' from Tin Machine II. These songs more than deserve recognition.
The nineties are over so it's time to re-record Bowie's early nineties material. 'The Wedding Song' from Black Tie White Noise and 'Strangers When We Meet' from The Buddha of Suburbia merit tribute.
And inevitably 'If I'm Dreaming My Life' and 'Seven' from 'hours...' must be paid homage to before the end of the Zeroes. They cry out for reinterpretation.
The albums Hunky Dory and The Man Who Sold The World contain songs that most tribute bands are not shrewd enough to re-record. Some have been brave enough to honor Bowie's more brainy songs. But under-re-recorded songs like 'She Shook Me Cold', 'Width Of A Circle', 'The Supermen' and 'Saviour Machine' are often too cerebral for most recording artists.
The following are my candidates for Bowie Cover Songs. To the best of my knowledge they have never been re-recorded:
01) Janine (Space Oddity)
02) Joe The Lion ("Heroes")
03) No Control (Outside)
04) Ricochet (Let's Dance)
05) Scream Like A Baby (Scary Monsters)
06) Shining Star (Never Let Me Down)
07) Shopping For Girls (Tin Machine II)
08) Somebody Up There Likes Me (Young Americans)
09) Something In The Air ('hours...')
10) Strangers When We Meet (Buddha Of Suburbia)
11) The London Boys (early Bowie)
12) The Wedding Song (Black Tie White Noise)
13) We Shall Go To Town (B side 'hours...')
14) Word On A Wing (Station To Station)
15) Betty Wrong (Tin Machine II)
16) Dead Man Walking (Earthling)
17) If I'm Dreaming My Life ('hours...')
18) I'm Deranged (Outside)
19) Prisoner Of Love (Tin Machine)
20) Running Gun Blues (The Man Who Sold The World)
21) Seven ('hours...')
22) Teenage Wildlife (Scary Monsters)
23) Thursday's Child ('hours...')
24) Under The God (Tin Machine)
25) We Are Hungry Men (Early Bowie)
Again the following Bowie songs have been covered only once. Here is the list, along with the name(s) of the artists covering the songs:
01) Letter To Hermione - Human Drama
02) Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed - The Bare-Ass Minimums
03) The Bewlay Brothers - The Replicants
04) Star - Billy Bragg (With a Decidedly Political Bend)
05) We Are The Dead - The Passion Puppets
06) Stay - Ava Cherry (God help us!)
07) Fantastic Voyage - RUST (Again and Again)
08) Up The Hill Backwards - RUST
09) It's No Game - Born To Worry
10) Never Let Me Down - Birth Marc
11) Time Will Crawl - Burning Gates
12) Bus Stop - RUST
13) Crack City - Spacehog
14) The Heart's Filthy Lesson - RUST
15) The Voyeur Of Utter Destruction (As Beauty) - NIN (Live with Bowie)
16) The Motel - Syria
17) Seven Years In Tibet - Foo Fighters (Live with Bowie)
Send out the message that the under-covered songs must be re-covered. And the un-covered ones must be ultimately covered!
If you have a list of songs that you feel have been neglected in the Tribute Department (songs re-recorded only a handful of times) send the list to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
I would be happy to add them to the current list.
14th December 2001.
BW MB Profile...