Can You Hear Me, Major Tom?

Written By: Elsie & Sophie

It has been a week of living in a world without one of the greatest icons to ever grace this planet. And it has been bleak as hell. We speak, of course, of David Bowie. Major Tom, The Starman, Ziggy Stardust, Halloween Jack, the Thin White Duke, the Goblin King himself. There has and never will be anyone that even comes close to this man. The impact he has made on music, style, and culture in general has never been matched and he will continue to influence musicians and artists everywhere until music ceases to exist. Being personally impacted by Bowie, Sophie and Elsie would like to take you through why this man is one of the greatest that ever lived.

“I can’t tell you where I’m going next but I can promise you it won’t be boring…”

After a lengthy discussion about our favourites, we decided that we cannot choose just one song or even album that we like above all others. David Bowie changes so often that you can continuously discover a new album that you fall in love with, because it’s as if it’s not the same person. Bowie’s not just some band or singer who’s made some albums. His persona and sound evolved almost too fast for the rest of the world to keep up. His music evolved and he evolved with it.

Bowie wasn’t always the theatrical icon the masses will remember him as. Davie Jones emerged in the 1960’s, creating sixties pop music with bands like the Manish Boys. But in his nature, keeping with one genre for even a year was too long and David Bowie soon forged his own sound. People may disregard Bowies early songs, but, however cheesy, these songs showed that even then Bowie was stepping away from the mainstream. Songs like The Laughing Gnome *may be weird but they sounded different from anything else that was around at the time, and you cannot deny how brilliant his lyrics were at this time (When I Live My Dream is a masterpiece*).

Although we can’t possibly choose just one album, we do agree that Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of ZIggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars *and *Aladdin Sane are the original trilogy of Bowie’s back catalogue. These albums are not only ground breaking and each unique in their own right, but they were all released in the same three years. In terms of creating new material, Bowie was a MACHINE. Not to mention making all of these albums whilst simultaneously producing Lou Reed’s Transformer *which, to quote Adam Franklin “had David Bowie’s s* all over its shoes*”. However, in the interest of not to wasting too much of your time by prattling on about how brilliant these three albums are, we’ve chosen to just talk about one.

”It’s War-HOL, actually…”

The thing about Hunky Dory is that it’s just timeless. You listen to Changes and you cannot place it in any one decade or genre. It has never sounded dated. There are so many incredible songs on this album to name a few; the heart breaking Quicksand, the brutal Life On Mars? and Queen Bitch (David Bowie’s “I wanna be Lou Reed SO BAD” song…) The album is so personal yet so accessible. As well as being this god-like artist he also puts himself across as a human being, admitting on the inside sleeve that he only played the ‘less complicated piano parts (inability)’. We think this is one of his greatest albums. The songs are so perfectly structured and the lyrics are like poetry. It’s a work of art.

However, no matter how great this album is, as usual, Bowie didn’t settle for too long in one position and was already writing his next album before Hunky Dory was even finished. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was recorded in 10 days and deserves an article of its own.

“So, the Labyrinth is a piece of cake, is it? Well, let's see how you deal with this little slice...”

As well as a substantial career in music, working with Iggy Pop, Queen, Annie Lennox (the list goes on), David did try his hand at acting on multiple occasions. Whether you can bear his terrible acting or not is irrelevant… but having to remain emotionless in his role as The Man Who Fell to Earth may have worked to his advantage. Labyrinth is a classic (jokes aside, please). Yes, there may be a few too many close-ups of his crotch (very cosy in that spandex) but who else would you get that would willingly play that part? This is not his best era of his music but the soundtrack for this film is an absolute belter – if you like as much synth crammed into one song as possible.

“I'm not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with potential of a superman. I'm living on.”

Yeah, it’s been over a week since his death, but Bowie touched many lives with his music and his presence is still fresh in our minds. Elsie is still crying into her pillow every night whilst listening to Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide on repeat and she probably will do so until Paul McCartney bites the dust. (Thanks, Sophie…)

But in all seriousness, in losing David Bowie we have lost one of the greatest icons of any generation. There will never be time when people stop being inspired by his music or forget the impact he made. He was someone who made the world move.