Get the tissues ready - these a capella takes will make you weep
It’s been almost two years since David Bowie’s death but it still feels unfathomable that the world has lost such a unique and celebrated artist. You might want to stock up on an industrial amount of tissues before you continue on this page. Over the years, isolated vocal takes from some of the icon’s biggest and best songs have appeared online and that looks like that will continue now he’s left us.
The latest to emerge are from one of his last masterpieces. In the BBC’s recent documentary about his final days, The Last Five Years, producer Tony Visconti shares his memories of recording ‘Lazarus’ with Bowie. As he does so, the star’s isolated vocal plays, lyrics like “Look up here man, I’m in danger/I’ve got nothing left to lose” given added poignancy and emotion with all their backing removed and Bowie’s shallow breaths audible.
It’s yet another reminder of the late legend’s unbeatable star quality – as if you needed one. It’s not the first time we’ve had the opportunity to listen to Bowie’s stunning voice removed of distractions like other instruments. Let’s recap those below.
Complete with spoken word intro, this isolated vocal is made eerier by the ghostly backing vocals that join Bowie on his take.
This one emerged in 2014 and is a goosebump-inducing a capella version of one of Bowie’s best-known tracks. Listen out for those gasps on the chorus. Spine-tingling.
This one is a little bonus – not only do you get to hear the Thin White Duke’s voice ringing out loud and clear, but also Freddie Mercury’s. Win. The “dah-day-oh”s of the collaboration will bring light relief from the sorrow of ‘Lazarus’.