Bowie tribute week continues on On a Good Day with our track of the week. One of the many great things about Bowie is the depth and variety of his back catalogue. Unless you are a truly hardcore fan there are still new delights to discover.
On the day the news of his death was announced, I was reading through his discography and was surprised to discover he had released a live album in Santa Monica, where my wife spent her early childhood. So I had a listen, and in amongst the versions of songs we’re all very familiar with was this gem ‘My Death’
It’s a cover of a Jacques Brel track, translated into English, and sounds like it was written to be backed by an orchestra. What’s amazing is how dramatic and powerful Bowie makes it with just his voice and acoustic guitar. With all the talk of Bowie’s image changes and experimentation with different musical styles, it shows how impressive he was just stripped down to the basics.
The subject matter, of course, also feels particularly relevant this week, but ‘My Death’ also reminds me greatly of Scott Walker (which is understandable, as he also covered it), whose influence also crops up on Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, so it seems doubly apt.