Q Magazine

Diving Into the David Bowie Songbook Through a Decidedly Diverse Collection of Covers

Among the artists included: Bauhaus, the Bay City Rollers, Superchunk, Dinosaur Jr., Lulu, the Cure, and...Barbra Streisand?!

Source: MEGA

David Bowie: To Infinity and Beyond

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David Bowie was a master of many things, including timing: he managed to die only a few days after the day he was born, thereby providing magazines with the opportunity to both honor his life and commemorate his passing in one fell swoop. All things being equal, however, it just seems more pleasant to remember him on his birthday, which is why Q has decided to put together a playlist featuring a plethora of artists paying tribute to Bowie by covering his songs.

You will find that some of them land clearly in the "obvious pick" column, whereas others have most decidedly been pulled from the drawer marked "somewhere out in left field," but they're all done with love and affection, and most of them were done within Bowie's lifetime, which means that he probably had the opportunity to hear them.

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Source: MEGA

David Bowie: He never let us down...except, ironically, with the possible exception of the 'Never Let Me Down' album.

For instance, in an interview with Cameron Crowe, Bowie was asked what he thought of Barbra Streisand's version of "Life on Mars." His response: "Bloody awful. Sorry, Barb, but it was atrocious." Needless to say, we included it in our playlist anyway, if only because the mere fact that it exists immediately makes anyone who hasn't yet heard it want to at least sample it for a moment.

Then there's Peter Noone's rendition of "Oh! You Pretty Things," which isn't necessarily the sort of song you'd expect to hear covered by the once and future lead singer of Herman's Hermits. As it happens, however, Bowie himself actually played piano on the track, which may or may not have had anything to do with the version making its way to No. 12 on the UK Singles chart.

And, of course, it was always a given that we'd include Bauhaus's immortal take on "Ziggy Stardust," a song which was so influential on the band's lead singer, Peter Murphy, that he effectively built a career around it. Granted, he took it a little bit darker, but from a vocal standpoint, the similarity remains so profound that he was set to embark on a tour in 2023 where he - along with guitarist Adrian Belew - would be performing naught but Bowie covers. (Alas, due to "ill health and doctor’s orders to rest and recover," he was forced to bail out of those plans.)

Oh, but there's so much more here to explore than those tracks, so prepare to dive in and explore the myriad interpretations of the Thin White Duke from throughout his career...


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