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Volume, Contrast, Brilliance
Saturday January 16th, 2016 with Steve Kirkland
David Bowie uninterrupted

No chatter tonight, just music. David Bowie's. A mix of material spanning 1967 to 2016, but predominantly from the 1970s, the period when his music had the biggest and most enduring impact on me as a fan. No chronology, no theme. The mix includes originals, alternate takes, rarities, collaborations (production, vocal or instrumental backing), as well as some covers. There are comments and details in the playlist preceding many of the tracks which I hope compensate for the absence of set breaks and patter. Check out these other CKCU Bowie tribute shows: Pure Radio Kaos: The Groove: Dylan Hunter: Joe Reilly: Tuesday Special Blend: The Sixties: I'll leave it up to others to cover off opinions and feelings on the man and his music. Lots available online, even after the F-book feeds fade... Here's a few obituaries, in case you missed them, want to re-read or check out their embedded links: The Economist: NY Times: The Telegraph: The Guardian: MOJO Magazine: Out Magazine: New Musical Express: Los Angeles Times: Here's a cool graphic/gif from illustrator Helen Green: The full version of Rick Wakeman's commentry and piano piece (Life on Mars), fom the BBC on January 11, 2016:
Station to Station
DAVID BOWIE - Station to Station - 1976, RCA
Bowie did about 70 radio sessions for the BBC between 1967 and 1972. His subsequent BBC session wasn't until 1999 with the band Tin Machine. This ession, presented by Bob Harris on Sounds of the 70s, recorded with the Spiders from Mars (and Nicky Graham on piano), was broadcast 19Jun72. "Bowie at the Beeb" is an excellent 2-CD set' A four-LP box set is due to be released in February 2016:
Lady Stardust
DAVID BOWIE - Bowie at the Beeb - 2000, BBC, recorded in
At the May 1972 sessions for Mott the Hoople's All theYoung Dudes LP, Bowie laid down a one-off vocal (over the backing track, which already had the chorus) purely as a guide to the band to assist in the vocal arrangement. If you are a Mott fan, this 3-CD box set is highly recommended. More details: . This reflects the point in history where Bowie rescued Mott from disbanding, and set them on course for greater things, however short-lived.
All the Young Dudes
MOTT THE HOOPLE featuring DAVID BOWIE (vocal) - Blistered Psalms (Disc 3 in All the Young Dudes Box Set) - 1998, CBS, recorded in 1972
This '72 session, presented by John Peel on Sounds of the 70s, recorded with the Spiders from Mars (and Nicky Graham on piano), was broadcast 19Jun72. I really like Mick Ronson's guitar work, especially the solo -- Bowie's call for "Ronno" brings to mind Rob Tyner's, "Welcome back, Sonic" introducing Fred Smith's solo on th MC5's The American Ruse on their Back in the USA LP.
White Light White Heat (Velvet Underground cover)
DAVID BOWIE - Bowie at the Beeb - 2000, BBC, recorded in 1972
Cracked Actor
DAVID BOWIE - Aladdin Sane - 1973, RCA
Bowie was living/working with Iggy in Europe in 1977 -- at a time when he was most prolific and surrounded by an A-list of musicians -- producing both Iggy's The Idiot and Lust for Life LPs that year.
IGGY POP - Lust for Life - 1977, RCA
the Jean Genie (cover)
the DANDY WARHOLS - Plan A ep - 2003, Capitol
Scary Monsters is the last Bowie album I slavishly listened to. I started to lose interest in his new recordings beyond that. This LP features the dual guitar attack (however subtle) of Carlos Alomar and Robert Fripp.
Up the Hill Backwards
DAVID BOWIE - Scary Monsters - 1980, RCA
I've always loved cover versions. Bowie's Pin-Ups was one of the first LPs I bought... I originally thought that was his wife Angie on the cover, not Twiggy. One of my favourite of his albums, my favourite track off the album, Sorrow, remains one of my best-liked Bowie tunes.
Sorrow (Merseys cover)
DAVID BOWIE - Pin-Ups - 1973, RCA
Bowie provides alto sax -- totally ungodlike, to be kind -- on the closing track on a neo-traditionalist-folk Steeleye Span album? A cover of a Phil Spector written/produced number (by The Teddy Bears, 1959), to boot. Odd place for Bowie to show up, but an early indication of his broad musical palette. Maddy Prior on vocals.
To Know Him is To Love Him (Teddy Bears cover)
STEELEYE SPAN featuring DAVID BOWIE (alto sax) - Now We Are Six - 1974, Chrysalis
Future Legend/Diamond Dogs
DAVID BOWIE - Diamond Dogs - 1974, RCA
Bowie hooked up, in one capacity or another with Lou Reed, in the latter's transition from the Velvets to his solo career. He produced Reed's Transfomer and provided background vocals.
Satellite of Love
LOU REED - Transformer - 1972, RCA
In 1989, Rykodisc released Sound and Vision, a six-LP (also on CD and cassette) box set on clear vinyl, exquisitely packaged, covering his very fruitful 1969-1980 period, with about a 2/3 to 1/3 mix of album tracks and rare or alternate takes, B-sides, and even a re-mix of 1977's "Heroes" sung in German, different (however marginally)from the English/German vocal version which surfaced on the Christiane F soundtrack. Later available on a 2002 compilation.
Helden (1989 remix)
DAVID BOWIE - Sound and Vision III (compilation) - 1989, Ryko
It would be a lie if I said it was a toss-up between playing Magnetic Fields' and the more recent TV on the Radio(on the 2009 compilation War Child: Heroes CD, see version of Heroes. I prefer the former, with Stephen Merritt's monotone vocal and respect for the original, over the more experimental take of TVOTR (, which fails to grow on me however much I listen to it...
Heroes (cover)
MAGNETIC FIELDS - V.A.: Crash Course for the Ravers - a Tribute to the Songs of David Bowie - 1996, Undercover
Breaking Glass
DAVID BOWIE - Low - 1977, RCA
Dave Gedge's band, The Wedding Present, based in Leeds, England, released a series of about a dozen 7-inches in 1991/92 (maybe into 1993?), each with an original on the A-side and a cover on the B-side. There was a Goth band in the 80s called Skeletal Family that probably took their name from this track originally on Bowie's Diamond Dogs album. If you're interested, the aforementioned WP singles are packed in two album-length and one ep-length CDs under the titles Hit Parade 1, 2 and 3. See
Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family (cover)
the WEDDING PRESENT - 7-inch B-side - 1992, BMG
What in the World
DAVID BOWIE - Low - 1977, RCA
Apologies that the following track skips in a couple of places. Difficult to spot any obvious imperfections in the clear vinyl grooves. This demo version of Bowie's most famous song was recorded in his bedroom, with guitar and vocal duties shared with John Hutchinson, primarily a jazz guitarist, who pursued a career outside music without giving it up entirely (see
Space Oddity (original demo)
DAVID BOWIE - Sound and Vision I (compilation) - 1989, Ryko, recorded in 1969
In March 2003, the UK film/music magazine Uncut's March edition included an 18-track CD of covers of Bowie tunes, several of them recorded exclusively for the release. The Black Box Recorder version of Rock'n'Roll Suicide was a 2000 BBC radio session. An interesting, eclectic range of interpretations. See
Rock'n'Roll Suicide (cover)
BLACK BOX RECORDER - V.A.: Starman - Rare and Exclusive Versions of 18 Classic David Bowie Songs (w Uncut Magazine) - 2003, Uncut, originally broadcast on BBC Radio April 2000
Junior's Eyes were an English band which released two psychedelic/hard rock LPs in 1969, and who backed Bowie for a short while that year. Their guitarist Mick Wayne played on Space Oddity, and the two of them lend a distinct early Michael Chapman vibe to this song, which never made it to air on the Dave Lee Travis show, for which it was recorded in October 1969.
Let Me Sleep Beside You
DAVID BOWIE featuring JUNIOR'S EYES - Bowie at the Beeb - 2000, BBC, recorded in 1969
The Spiders from Mars backing Bowie on an outtake from the Ziggy Stardust recording sessions in 1971, but showed up as the B-side of the Drive in Saturday (off Aladdin Sane) single two years later. Available on the Sound and Vision Box Set, Rare Bowie and probably other compilations.
Round and Round (Chuck Berry cover)
DAVID BOWIE - 7-inch B-side - 1973, RCA
A different version -- earlier than the one that appeared on Diamond Dogs? -- of Rebel Rebel was a limited 7-inch release in the U.S. All instruments (gtr/bs/dms) played by Bowie. Also on Sound and Vision... other comps?
Rebel Rebel (US-only single version)
DAVID BOWIE - 7-inch A-side - 1974, RCA
A strong argument could be made that singer Peter Murphy took a page or two from Bowie (no stranger to artistic appropriation himself), combining elements of Ziggy and Goth theatricality in Bauhaus, and later, in Dali's Car and as a solo artist becoming a thin white duke of his own. Bowie, along with Roxy Music, were key influences on the artier aspect of punk and post-punk, although few deigned to attempt to cover either of them outright. Full marks to Bauhaus on this one.
Ziggy Stardust (cover)
BAUHAUS - Ziggy Stardust ep - 1982, Beggar's Banquet
Can't remember if I found the Crash Course for the Ravers (a phrase from Aladdin Sane's Drive in Saturday) CD in a bargain bin or second-hand, but I loved most of it straight off, reiterating that I am more inclined than most to cover versions and tribute albums. This one is on an obscure Portland label (undercover). See Too bad this was never pressed on vinyl, its great cover art and liner notes render it worthy of a larger format.
Memory of a Free Festival (the Sun Machine) (cover)
MERCURY REV - V.A.: Crash Course for the Ravers - a Tribute to the Songs of David Bowie - 1996, Undercover
DAVID BOWIE - Hunky Dory - 1971, RCA
This session, presented by Bob Harris on Sounds of the 70s, recorded with the Spiders from Mars, was broadcast on 07Feb72, a few months prior to the release of the Ziggy Stardust LP.
Five Years
DAVID BOWIE - Bowie at the Beeb - 2000, BBC, recorded in 1972
Ashes to Ashes has an intro that is instantly identifiable within a few notes, and was accompanied by an amazing video. Also noteworthy for featuring third guitarist Chuck Hammer complementing Fripp and Alomar.
Ashes to Ashes
DAVID BOWIE - Scary Monsters - 1980, RCA
Red Sails
DAVID BOWIE - Lodger - 1979, RCA
Pre-Space Oddity Bowie (more whimsy than whammy) has never been my cup of tea... my only choice tonight from that period was selected for its morbidity, posthumously, and to loop back half a century, before closing that loop with Lazarus, which, following his death, rings with added poignancy... knock yourself out, conspiracy theorists.
Please Mr. Gravedigger
DAVID BOWIE - Davie Bowie - 1967, Deram
DAVID BOWIE - Blackstar - 2016, ISO New
Rick Wakeman, an accomplished, prolific keyboardist, often unkindly lumbered with a reputation limited to his stint in Yes, played on Hunky Dory. The day after Bowie's death he was interviewed on BBC, paid homage graciously and then played a lovely instrumental version of Life On Mars. Nice way to close things out...
Life On Mars (solo piano)
RICK WAKEMAN - (BBC excerpt, see link in introductory comments - 2016
Interactive CKCU
Steve Kirkland (host)
Since I'm not going to be on the microphone, I'm opening the communication lines, if you feel the urge to comment...

6:08 PM, January 16th, 2016
Hey Steve, are you going to include Bauhaus cover of Ziggy Stardust

6:30 PM, January 16th, 2016
The very first concert I ever went to was David Bowie in Ottawa 1978 at Landsdowne

6:40 PM, January 16th, 2016
Best tribute set yet. Going for some deep cuts. Steeleye Span!

7:02 PM, January 16th, 2016
Mike P
emotionally charged creative voyage. Maybe seems more so now. A true romantic. Kill me with "Five Years"!

7:18 PM, January 16th, 2016
Great show.

7:19 PM, January 16th, 2016
Glad I caught the show this week, it's been great!

7:47 PM, January 16th, 2016
once again Steve you amazed me. batteries on my radio running low but made it to the end,thanks

7:57 PM, January 16th, 2016
Dave jC
Wow, Steve, didn't think you did the interactive bit. Cleaning the flat and listening - good stuff.

7:58 PM, January 16th, 2016
Only caught the last half hour but I'll be replaying it. Great show as always Steve.

7:59 PM, January 16th, 2016
Great set.

9:41 PM, January 16th, 2016
Steve Kirkland (host)
Thanks for everyone's comments!

9:06 PM, January 17th, 2016
thank you Steve. Wonderful no-talk tribute. Greetings from the best coast (pre-Big One)

9:46 PM, January 17th, 2016
Elorious Cain
Amazing show Steve.

2:42 AM, January 18th, 2016
Thanks Steve - great show; great tribute, letting the music speak for itself.

3:50 PM, January 18th, 2016
Just listened to the show for a second time. Steve, you're a saint.

10:13 PM, January 20th, 2016
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