I am David Bowie fangirl, but if I had to pick just one of his songs, this would be it.
BBC radio 2 described this song as having one of the strangest lyrics ever, a cross between a Broadway musical and a Salvador Dalí painting. Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph ranked it as #1 in his 100 Greatest Songs of All Time list & said of it “A quite gloriously strange anthem, where the combination of stirring, yearning melody and vivid, poetic imagery manage a trick very particular to the art of the song: to be at once completely impenetrable and yet resonant with personal meaning. You want to raise your voice and sing along, yet Bowie’s abstract cut-up lyrics force you to invest the song with something of yourself just to make sense of the experience. And, like all great songs, it’s got a lovely tune.” And I’m only telling you all that because if you asked me to write something about the song, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to do so (besides, they say it so much better!)
There was a BBC television drama Life on Mars named after this song, & that show even had a spin off called Ashes to Ashes after another amazing & surreal David Bowie song.
If you’re new to Bowie, you might find his look a tad shocking, & I think that was the point. (sort of the whole thing Lady GaGa is trying to emulate now). If you’re curious about his very different eyes, (as is everyone who’s ever seen this video), they’re the result of one of his pupils being permanently dilated from a childhood accident. I also really love his keen sartorial sense, just look at that beautiful turquoise suit.
If you’re not into David’s look in this video from 1973 & can’t get past it, you can watch this minimal live performance from 1999.

Many comments on the video claim that this is better than the original. I don’t know about that, but it made me quite emotional with how beautiful it is.


PS– I was one of the happiest people ever when Youtube started to get stricter with artist attribution & musicians started to have official channels to put their videos. But VEVO? I really really hate VEVO. It sponsors most big musician’s Youtube channels. I originally wanted to share a different video today, by one of my favorite bands Tears for Fears, but their official (VEVO) channel makes sure their music videos aren’t available in India. Why? What are they losing if I watch & share an amazing music video? I know it’s not that simple, but it should be. Sometimes laws & privacy policies & all that are inherently stupid.

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