As promised, here are a handful of semi-obscure David Bowie songs that I would have picked had I been able to wriggle into his ear like that critter in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and control him when he was putting together his freebie newspaper compilation that I posted selections from the other day.
Bowie’s well must have been running dry when he put out Let’s Dance. It has the title track and the stunning “Modern Love,” but beyond that? “China Girl,” which is a fine song but written by Bowie and Iggy Pop several years prior for Pop’s album The Idiot; a faster version of the cheesy but entertaining “Cat People,” originally from the movie soundtrack of a year before; and some completely useless filler. The only other thing worth a damn on this short album (just eight songs) is “Criminal World.” I can understand why Bowie didn’t pick this one, as it’s a cover (and another sign of creative drought), but it’s a fine song nonetheless.
Fan-made video with clips from Pulp Fiction for who knows what reason. Ignore it–as Senator Obama would say, it’s a distraction.
This is a bonus track on certain reissues of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Startdust and the Spiders From Mars, and from the same era. Todd Haynes named a movie after it, which I haven’t seen (although I liked his movie Safe, which the handful of other people I know who have seen it hated. I know you were dying to know that).
The Heart’s Filthy Lesson
This one got some radio play when it came out, but I’m guessing that it’s largely forgotten. This fan-made video has footage from Labyrinth, which some people like for reasons that baffle me.
This song is also from The Lodger, which I previously noted as my favorite Bowie album (most days). I love the way the protagonist is a cocksure, James Bond-like figure at the beginning of the song, but the mask slowly falls to reveal an anguished, heartbroken man, all in the span of three minutes and change.
Sons of the Silent Age
A pretty song from “Heroes”. Unfortunately, the only video I could find was this one set to completely inappropriate Terry Gilliam animation. Please, do something other than watch the video when the song is playing.
Thus ends the obscure Bowie marathon, unless you, dear reader, have something you’d like to add.