Written tributes and symbolic gestures for David Bowie have poured in since his death on Sunday (January 10), but several artists have been covering the Starman on the road and in the studio. Below is but a selection…
1. Moodoïd – ‘Let’s Dance’
“David Bowie we love you”, wrote this French psych outfit as they shared this Francophone, synthy version of Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’. Listen out for recognisable phrases like “chaussures rouges”.
2. Britt Daniel – ‘Never Let Me Down’
On this acoustic reworking of Bowie’s 1987 title track and single by the frontman of Austin, Texas five-piece Spoon, Britt Daniel, you can hear his voice cracking.
3. Portugal. The Man – ‘Moonage Daydream’
“A few years back we were working ‘Moonage Daydream’ into our sets,” wrote the Alaskan three-piece as they posted this brief cover of Ziggy-era Bowie.
“It is impossible to explain the impact that Bowie had on our lives,” they continue. “Every ounce of our being has been influenced by him. He has no peers. Thank you David, for giving us these great gifts.”
4. Adam Lambert – ‘Let’s Dance’
The new Queen collaborator was performing in Osaka, Japan when he unleashed his mimicry on Bowie’s legacy. It’s certainly a lot closer to the real thing than Moodoïd’s, but note-for-note impersonation possibly isn’t something Bowie would have encouraged.
5. Calvin Love – ‘Ashes To Ashes’
“One of my favourite songs by the one and only David Bowie,” wrote the artist from Edmonton, Canada (also once home to Mac DeMarco) as he posted this chilled version of ‘Ashes To Ashes’. “RIP Starman.”
6. Smash Mouth – ‘Under Pressure’
The comments on this lukewarm tribute to Bowie and Queen’s 1982 single are brutal. “Burn them with fire,” one person says. “Vomit”, says another. “You’re worse than Nickelback”. So it goes on. They’re just trying to pay their respects, guys.
7. Doveman – ‘Lazarus’
The National and Glen Hansard collaborator aka Thomas Bartlett has provided the cover of Bowie’s most recent single ‘Lazarus’. “I kept trying,” he writes, “but I couldn’t concentrate on work today. so instead I made a cover of “lazarus”. harmony + moral support from glen hansard. thanks to alec bemis for the prod.”
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7. Bananarama – ‘Changes’
This isn’t quite the same as the others – its recording wasn’t in response to Bowie’s death – but its leaking online was. In 1993, pop trio Bananarama recorded a version of ‘Hunky Dory’ lead single ‘Changes’ that never saw the light of day. Until now, that is. It zooms past Brie and Camembert way into Stilton levels of cheesiness.
8. Cristin Milioti – ‘Changes’
Bowie’s off-Broadway musical, Lazarus, has been described by one Deadline critic as “a work of blistering nihilism, no small sum of inscrutable foolishness and a fistful of the most brilliant contemporary rock you will hear anywhere.” Cristina Milioti, one of its actors – who has appeared in Fargo and How I Met Your Mother – performed this cover of ‘Changes’ onstage after hearing the news of Bowie’s death.
9. Madonna – ‘Rebel Rebel’
Tying in nicely with the themes of Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour, this song was chosen as Madge’s tribute to her inspiration, who as she wrote in a tribute the day after he died, “changed the course of my life forever.”
“I never felt like I fit in growing up in Michigan,” she went on. “Like an oddball or a freak. I went to see him in concert at Cobo Arena in Detroit. It was the first concert I’d ever been to. I snuck out of the house with my girlfriend wearing a cape. We got caught after and I was grounded for the summer. I didn’t care.”
10. Panic! At The Disco – ‘Oh You Pretty Things’
Prepping for the launch of their fifth album ‘Death Of A Bachelor’, Panic! played O2 Academy Brixton in London two days after Bowie’s death. In tribute to the man they donated all of their merch sales to Cancer Research UK and played Bowie’s ‘Oh You Pretty Things’, from ‘Hunky Dory’, which frontman Brendon Urie revealed as one of the songs “I wish I wrote”.
11. EL VY – ‘Let’s Dance’
Performing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The National/Menomena supergroup EL VY played ‘Let’s Dance’ alongside Colbert’s house band Stay Human. It’s possibly the most upbeat thing Matt Berninger’s ever done.