Remembering David Bowie: 5 classic Bowie hits covered
David Bowie was one of the most prolific musical artists of his generation, leaving behind an unparalleled body of work.
His hits included Let’s Dance, Space Oddity, Starman, Modern Love, Heroes, Under Pressure and Rebel Rebel.
He produced 25 studio albums and sold 140 million copies of them. His final album, Blackstar, was released on Jan. 8, 2016, three days before his death.
As a tribute to his talent, countless artists have produced their own versions of Bowie hits.
Here’s a look at five that stand out.
Originally released as a single in July 1969, it was also the opening track of the album David Bowie, which was also known as Space Oddity.
In May 2013, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield took the song to new heights when he performed it from the International Space Station.
Today on Twitter, Hadfield paid tribute to Bowie.
The Man Who Sold the World
The title track of Bowie’s third album was released in the United States in November 1970 and in the UK in April 1971. It was covered by a number of artists, including Nirvana. The band, led by Kurt Cobain, performed the song for the television program MTV Unplugged, introducing it to a new generation.
Sound and Vision
This song was recorded as part of the album Low, which was released in 1977. In 1990, Bowie embarked on a “greatest hits” tour, which was called the Sound + Vision tour.
The artist Beck performed a memorable cover of the song in February 2013, accompanied by an 157-piece orchestra on a slowly-rotating stage. The orchestra was conducted by Beck’s father, David Campbell, who’s a noted arranger.
After All was described as the hidden gem of the 1970 album The Man Who Sold the World. In 2001, Tori Amos recorded her version of the song as part of a project in which she re-interpreted songs performed by men to give the stories from a female perspective.
Perhaps the most covered Bowie hit was the song Fame, initially released in 1975. It rocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became Bowie’s biggest hit to that point in the United States.
Since then, it’s been covered by artists including:
Duran Duran: April 1981
The Eurythmics: in 2005 as a bonus track on the remastered album Touch.
Tommy Lee – the former Motley Crue drummer called his version Fame 02, when it was released on May 21, 2002.
Scott Weiland – the former Stone Temple pilots frontman who died Dec. 3, 2015 as part of an album released in 2011: A Compilation of Scott Weiland Cover Songs.
And here’s a Bowie bonus. They’re not famous Bowie covers, but they are notable duets.
Annie Lennox teamed up with Bowie to perform Under Pressure, at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in London, on April 20, 1992.
And who could forget one of the oddest Christmas duets: Bing Crosby and David Bowie teamed up in 1977 on Crosby’s last Christmas television special. They sang a rejigged Little Drummer Boy, which – for the occasion – was called Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.
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