In typical David Bowie fashion, there is always something new and exciting going on with his music despite his leaving us on 10th January 2016. This time, it is two unheard covers on what would have been his 74th birthday – ‘Tryin’ to Get To Heaven’ originally by Bob Dylan which was released on the ‘Time Out of Mind’ album, securing Dylan a Grammy in 1997. The second cover is ’Mother’ by John Lennon, originally released on Lennon’s 1970 album ‘John Lennon/Plastic Ono Album’. Both were released on the 8th January 2021.
Not only are both singles available to stream and download on Spotify, but the covers have been released as a 7” single. This limited edition only has 8147 numbered copies, with 1000 being cream! These are available from the Official David Bowie Store and Warner Music Dig! Store only.
Bowie recorded both ‘Mother’ in 1998. ‘Mother‘ was originally recorded to be apart of a tribute album to the late, great Lennon, who had died in 1980. He had recorded it with Tony Visconti, his longtime producer who had helped extensively throughout Bowies career, including on the iconic ‘Berlin Trilogy’ featuring ‘Low’, ‘Lodger’ and ‘Heroes’. However, the album was not released and the cover was shelved. The original by Lennon is haunting and experimental, conveying raw emotion by the end of the track. Bowie’s cover has the familiar opening, yet there is an intense electronica build up, similar to the sounds of his ‘Earthling’ album, released in 1997.
‘Tryin’ to Get To Heaven’ was also covered by Bowie in 1998. The cover reflects the experimental style Bowie was trying at this time period. In comparison to the original, Bowie’s version is somewhat more haunting, with synths and catchy electronic-guitar hooks making the song sound completely different.
David Bowie had a huge impact on many peoples lives, fans and musicians alike. This weekend from the 8th – 10th January, there were many tributes to the singer, with Dice streaming his play ‘Lazarus’, a sequel to the film ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’, which Bowie starred in. On 9th January 2021, ‘A Bowie Celebration: Just for One Day’ was live streamed across the world with musical legends such as Boy George, Duran Duran and Ricky Gervais paying tribute on the 5th anniversary of Bowie’s passing. Mike Garson presented the concert. Garson was a longstanding pianist and friend that worked with Bowie on iconic albums such as ‘Aladdin Sane.’ Duran Durans cover of ‘5 Years’ was performed over the weekend, which is now available to stream on Spotify.
Other tributes have been from social media platform such as Tik Tok. They have acquired Bowie’s full music catalog to their library. On 10th January 2021, Tik Tok released #TheStarman hashtag challenge, inviting users to re-create the iconic looks of David Bowie over his long music career, to remember and commemorate the cultural icon.