Saturday, 21 November 2015

Autumnal Covers 12

Aside from a special bonus treat for you next week, this is the last of the Autumnal Covers series. Yep, it's almost winter. However, I simply couldn't let the series pass without a mention of the great man himself - "Our Dave" - Mr Bowie. Now there are countless Bowie covers to choose from, some brilliant, some not so brilliant and some, pretty bloody awful. Of course, Dave is fond of a cover himself, taking on everyone from Jacques Brel and the Beach Boys to Jonathan Richman and Pixies.

For today's post, I've decided to plump for a couple of the not awful interpretations of early Bowie songs; you can decide how high they rate in the grand spectrum of things. The first sees Mancunian legends The Chameleons tackling Moonage Daydream. Originally recorded in 1971 as part of Bowie's side-project Arnold Corns, it flopped when released as a single (only 800 copies were sold, so the story goes). The following year it got made over by the Spiders From Mars line-up and featured on the 'Ziggy Stardust' LP. The Chameleons don't do anything radical with it, but they do extend the coda and in doing do add a more satisfying conclusion to the song, in my opinion. It closed the band's last album 'This Never Ending Now' from 2002.

Mercury Rev have churned out a few decent covers in their time. Memories Of A Free Festival originally appeared on Bowie's second self-titled record (later rechristened 'Space Oddity'). When released as a single, it was re-recorded and split into two halves, one on each side. Mercury Rev chose to do the second part (aka 'part 2') for their 2006 compilation 'Stillness Breathes'. Like the Chameleons, they don't go overboard, opting instead to go all out on the closing section. Quite a majestic end to the series, I think.



  1. Good stuff. No idea what season you'll follow with next, no idea at all...

  2. That Chameleon's cover reminds me of how much I enjoy The Never Ending Now. Along with The Comsat Angels, The Chameleons have always been way to underrated in my mind.