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Under the Influence: David Bowie Covers

Updated on June 11, 2011

 

Love him or hate him (find him sexy or creepy), David Bowie is one of the most influential musicians of modern music.  His distinctive voice and affective lyrics have gained him fans all over the world for the past half century.  He has reinvented not only himself numerous times, but also his musical style.  His use of synthesizers and his theatrical performances (hello, Ziggy Stardust!) ushered in the glam rock of the 1980’s.   His lyrics have remained relevant decades after their original inception.  This is evident by the numerous remakes of his songs.  His work has been covered on albums and in concerts by bands ranging from Bon Jovi to Oasis to Alice in Chains.  Here is a sample of these remakes along with the original versions.  Feel free to comment on your favorites!     

Heroes

“Heroes” is the title track from Bowie’s 1977 album.  The Wallflowers remade it for the 1998 movie, Godzilla.  Many other bands have covered this song in concert like Blondie and Bon Jovi.

Bowie

The Wallflowers

The Man Who Sold The World

“The Man Who Sold the World” from the album of the same name was released in 1970.  Nirvana performed it on their MTV Unplugged special in 1993.  This is a personal favorite of mine. 

 

Bowie

Nirvana

Ashes to Ashes

“Ashes to Ashes” from the album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) released in 1980.  Tears for Fears covered the song for their 1996 album, Saturnine Martial & Lunatic.

Bowie

Tears for Fears

Fame

“Fame” (co-written by John Lennon)  is from the album Young Americans which was released in 1975.  This video really showcases Bowie’s one-of-a-kind dance moves.  Duran Duran released their version as a B-side for their single, “Careless Memories.”

Bowie

Duran Duran

Suffragette City

"Suffragette City” from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars released in 1972.  Alice in Chains covered it on their 1989 demo Sweet Alice.  Frankie Goes to Hollywood recorded their own version the same year as Alice in Chains.

Bowie

Alice in Chains

Frankie Goes To Hollywood

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    • e-five profile image

      John C Thomas 

      5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois, USA

      Lulu (remember "To Sir With Love"?) did a very weird version of "The Man Who Sold The World" that was a huge hit in the UK in 1974. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyFAnA9oPRE

    • Megavitamin profile imageAUTHOR

      Megavitamin 

      8 years ago

      epigramman--I'm jealous you saw Bowie with Iggy Pop! Sounds pretty amazing. Thanks for reading--and for the compliments :0)

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      8 years ago

      ... I also saw Bowie on a tour with Iggy Pop where he stayed in the background to play piano .....

      .....yes you know your stuff too and your hubs are world class with their research and passion.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      8 years ago

      I like his triology work with Brian Eno on Low - Heroes - and Lodger .....

      also he is involved in a work with Phillip Glass and Brian Eno called the Low Symphony

      ...and on the Let's Dance album - Stevie Ray Vaughan plays lead guitar (Bowie discovered him I believe in Montreaux)

    • Megavitamin profile imageAUTHOR

      Megavitamin 

      8 years ago

      I absolutely agree with everything you said in your comment, Cheeky Girl! Bowie is so amazing. Thanks for sharing the love!

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 

      8 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Bowie rules! He's the master of re-invention. He was the first to successfully change musical direction and do even better by it, and he did it several times. His music is some of the best ever, and he's a cool actor. I loved him in the Christopher Nolan movie as Tesla, his entrance throught the shards of electricity was I think a tribute, he's magical anyway!!!

    • Megavitamin profile imageAUTHOR

      Megavitamin 

      8 years ago

      Thanks! I definitely want to read more about him.

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley Marks 

      8 years ago from California

      I like how you stacked the videos and kept the text to a minimum. Perhaps I should do more of that. Recently, I read a biography of David Bowie, and he's definitely gone through many ch-ch-ch-changes. Later!

    • Megavitamin profile imageAUTHOR

      Megavitamin 

      8 years ago

      Yeah, his cat teeth might have something to do with it! Thanks for stopping by :0)

    • profile image

      townart 

      8 years ago

      I think it's those fangs of his that are disconcerting...something about his canine teeth. You know he played a vampire once (The Hunger). Pretty solid songwriter, though.

    • Megavitamin profile imageAUTHOR

      Megavitamin 

      9 years ago

      Yeah, I feel like if I saw him on the street I wouldn't know if I should run toward him or away from him :0)

    • profile image

      Kat 

      9 years ago

      Interesting. There's something about him that is intriguing about him.

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