Back in 1986, Iggy Pop was on a roll with his solo career. His most recent album at the time (his 7th solo album) Blah, Blah, Blah would go on to be one of his most successful in his discography. This album also saw Iggy and David Bowie work together again after a 4 year hiatus. This would be their final collaboration but the end result is tremendous. Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols also co-wrote three songs on the album. On this album, Iggy did a cover of Johnny O’Keefe’s “Wild One.” The track would go on to appear in Crocodile Dundee II, Pretty Woman, the Problem Child movies and more. Iggy’s version is easily the most recognizable of all the versions out there.
The Velvet Underground is one of my Top 10 all time favorite bands. My mom got me into them when I was still a toddler. There’s something majestic about this band and what they create. Just when you think they are writing a “pop song” they flip the script and out comes something otherworldly. Lou Reed had one hell of a way of telling stories through songs. He was a profound writer and often doesn’t get the credit and respect he deserves. This song “White Light/White Heat” is also the title track of the same name. This song was released in January of 1968. Interestingly the song is about the sensations produced by intravenous injection of methamphetamines. “White Light/White Heat” was also a staple of the Velvet Underground’s live performances from 1967 on. The tune appears on numerous live bootleg albums, and the nearly nine-minute version included on the group’s posthumous 1969 Live double LP is one of the album’s centerpieces. This song holds such a candle with many artists, so much so that David Bowie even recorded a version of it. This track every time I hear it, I have to turn it up super loud and sing along! What a tremendous way to kickstart an album!
A couple days ago there was a huge David Bowie celebration. Tons of artists took part in this by performing Bowie’s songs. A good portion of these performances were accompanied by Mike Garson, David’s longtime piano player. Among the people performing on this night were, Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, Dave Navarro, Ian Astbury, Gavin Rossdale, Corey Taylor, Taylor Hawkins and so many more. I saw a few of these performances floating around and there were 2 that really stood out to me. It’s no surprise that the ones Trent Reznor performed were my favorite. He picked “Fantastic Voyage” from Bowie’s album, Lodger as well as “Fashion” from Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). He was joined by Mike Garson and Atticus Ross on both songs along with his wife Mariqueen on the latter. Both of these turned out great. I do have to say that Trent’s dance moves during “Fashion” are quite fun to watch.
If you’ve been watching the new HBO series Watchmen like I have, you are probably pretty enamored by the music as well as the show. As most of you know, David Bowie is/was a huge inspiration to Trent Reznor. Trent and Atticus’s cover of Bowie’s “Life On Mars” is quite a somber yet contemplative version. Plus with it being instrumental, it gives off a much deeper vibe. This will be available on Volume 3 of the Watchmen score which comes out December 16.
The other day I was hanging out with a friend and I presented him with a question, who are the best UK bands of all time. So, we sat there for a few minutes and created a list that pretty much sums up the best bands from the region. There are so many bands from that area but, the impact the ones on this list had made them the standouts. This list is in no particular order as well. And your input is always greatly appreciated to make this list complete.
01) The Beatles
02) The Rolling Stones
03) David Bowie
04) The Who
05) Pink Floyd
06) The Kinks
07) Led Zeppelin
09) Joy Division
10) Sex Pistols
11) The Clash
13) Depeche Mode
14) The Cure
15) New Order
16) Black Sabbath
17) Iron Maiden
19) Judas Priest
23) The Smiths
24) The Cult
The Wedding Singer is one of those movies that no matter when it’s on, it’s always a fun movie to watch. It’s aged well and the jokes are still funny. One other thing about the movie that has always been great is the music. The 80’s had some really good music and some that was well, lets just say, it was crap. One of the fun parts of The Wedding Singer was the ability for them to poke some fun at the music of the time. Either way, the soundtrack to the movie is a classic and it’s perfect for your 80’s themed parties or when you just want to have a good time. Songs by David Bowie, New Order, The Psychedelic Furs, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, and Billy Idol are just a few of the greats that appear on the soundtrack. Plus the two songs that Adam Sandler sing in the film are included and both of those are actually quite well done, especially “Somebody Kill Me.”
Quentin Tarantino has a knack not just for making great films but, also knowing just what songs to use for the scenes. Going back to Reservoir Dogs, you could get a sense that Quentin knows just what he’s doing in this regard. Over the weekend I saw that his epic 2009 masterpiece Inglourious Basterds was on. It had been a minute since I sat and watched so, naturally, I felt compelled to do so. The use of David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” in this film was absolutely outstanding. The song fit the mood and the way the scene was put together is a work of art. Enjoy this moment of Quentin’s greatness.
David Bowie was a huge fan of The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed. So much so that Bowie often tried to emulate Lou. The Lou Reed album TRANSFORMER, was also “produced” by David Bowie. The classic Velvet Underground song “White Light/White Heat” had been part of Bowie’s live repertoire since 1971. The Velvet Underground originally released the song in 1968 on their second album, White Light/White Heat. Bowie’s version wasn’t released officially until 1983, on the Ziggy Stardust – The Motion Picture soundtrack. Interestingly, Bowie’s version was supposed to be released on Pin Ups. Anyhow, enjoy David Bowie’s take on one of my all time favorite bands songs.
Yes, I am on a huge Depeche Mode kick right now. There is something so genuine and pure about a Depeche Mode album. Martin Gore’s songs along with Andy Fletcher’s soundscapes and Dave Gahan’s incredible vocals, make Depeche Mode a band that is timeless and exhilarating to listen to. One of my favorite stories about Depeche Mode is how they found Dave Gahan. The story goes, Vince Clarke (former member/founder of Yazoo and Erasure) was out one evening and saw Dave Gahan on stage doing a rendition of David Bowie’s “Heroes.” After that, Dave was in the band and Depeche Mode was born. So it’s only fitting that I share a cover of “Heroes” for you all to enjoy.