15 April, 2016

Seven Days of Bowie - Day One

This is one of those facebook "challenges" that goes around. I was invited by a friend to participate and thought that it sounded like an interesting idea. I'm not linking to my facebook here but for the next seven days (or maybe eight) at around this time(ish) I will be posting some of my favourite Bowie songs and why.

Absolute Beginners:
For Day 1, I'm going to start roughly where I started with Bowie, in the mid-80s. There are even hardcore Bowie fans who will tell you that pretty much everything he did between Scary Monsters and Heathen was crap. 
Bal. Der. Dash! 

I was well aware of Bowie by 1986, having heard Let's Dance, Under Pressure, Blue Jean, Changes and the like, but Absolute Beginners really hit me in the face.

I was 14 when it came out so the lyrical themes resonated with a romantic teenager, and the change from Bm to Amaj7 between the 2nd and 3rd lines of the verse was just sublime. It's hard to describe what an amazing sound this was in the age of synth-pop and hair metal.

Another great thing about the song is that it was written to order for a movie and yet stands on its own outside the context of the film. Few film songs can do that.

It was clearly a favourite of Bowie's too. This is a beautiful version with the brilliant Gail Ann Dorsey providing the harmonies. The warmth between them is so touching.

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