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Farewell David Bowie [Jan. 11th, 2016|10:03 pm]
The first really BIG concert I went to was Bowie in 1987. I already knew his '80's material and had a greatest hits collection but that concert was a gateway to all his incredible material. In addition to his immense skill as a songwriter, man could he put a band together. His piano player, for years, Mike Garson has always represented my highest aspiration on piano.

When he stopped out of the spotlight in 2008, there was speculation that there were health troubles. The release of Blackstar seemed at first like a comeback, but now obviously it was an adieu. Has any artist ever left the stage so gracefully, with such a parting gift to fans?

Since 1983 or so, I've been compiling Bowie Top Tens in my head. (With Bowie, it really needs to be a Top 50, Top 100) But these are the songs that comforted me today.

10) Jean Genie Inspired by and written about Iggy Pop. In 2013, complicat & I went to the "David Bowie Is" exhibit in London. The exhibit wound through several halls and opened up in a 3 storey hall, with a huge screen showing concert footage. When "Jean Genie" came on, everyone in the hall, consciously or unconsciously and regardless of age, began to sway to the rhythm.

9) TVC 15 Such swagger!

8) Queen Bitch This one was a homage to Lou Reed. One of Bowie's nice qualities was helping friends when they were down and out, getting Iggy cleaned up multiple times and producing Lou to hit record status (and getting very little gratitude because Lou was a grump.)

7) Golden Years Bowie used his acting talent in his songs, never better than here when he pleads with his listener. "Doing all right but you gotta get smart." The plea in his voice.

6) Lady Grinning Soul A love song, possibly inspired by back up singer Claudia Lennear? Lush & beautiful.

5) Fashion Pure fun, pure style. Beep beep.

4) Life on Mars Piano bliss and impossible not to join in on "CAVEMAN!"

3) Fantastic Voyage Always find this one very moving. "Learning to live with somebody's depression...I don't want to live with somebody's depression."

2) Absolute Beginners His 80's canon tends to get disparaged in comparison to the 70's but this is a pure, unironic, beautiful love song.

1) Starman Other songs may rise & fall in my rotation but this is always #1 because of lying in bed one night in the late 80's and hearing the line "I had to phone someone so I picked on you" as though it was sung to me directly. Let the children boogie.

((My beloved DB tote bag)
 photo Bowie1_zps0mpzekbd.jpg

[User Picture]From: roxymissrose
2016-01-12 03:12 am (UTC)
This is a wonderful post--thank you!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2016-01-12 03:55 am (UTC)
There's a real sense of community over this loss, isn't there? He resonated for so many.
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[User Picture]From: dawnybee
2016-01-12 04:03 pm (UTC)
Fantastic list that encompasses his fantastic career!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2016-01-14 02:19 am (UTC)
Thank you!

Was just thinking how sad it is he didn't write his autobiography. Because his songs weren't autobiographical, apart from the underlying feelings. There's loads about him we don't know and I'd have loved to read his memoir but I guess he preferred to keep his mystery.
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[User Picture]From: complicat
2016-01-12 10:44 pm (UTC)
I remember that 'Jean Genie' moment at the V&A exhibition! It was perfect.

One of my choir friends told me today that she didn't really know any of his songs. She's only a couple of years younger than me and even though she's really into opera and the like, I'm not sure how that is possible! I missed the boat on a lot of his early stuff but it still found it's way into the national consciousness.

Lots of Bowie tributes on TV and radio last yesterday and today which is lovely.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2016-01-14 02:23 am (UTC)
One of my choir friends told me today that she didn't really know any of his songs.
Most of his biggest hits didn't even dent the charts "Rebel Rebel" and "Fame" were the exceptions (up until "Let's Dance.") You had to seek his stuff out. (I'm surprised that Life on Mars & Ashes to Ashes didn't give her some exposure though.)

I remember that 'Jean Genie' moment at the V&A exhibition! It was perfect.
One doesn't get to dance in museums very often!
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