“Hello, this is David Bowie”.
And so the late, great artist introduces his two-hour show on BBC Radio One. It’s March 20 1979, by which time Bowie had only been famous for 10 years but had already released 13 albums, the latest being ‘Lodger’, the final instalment of his Berlin-era trilogy. Bowie moved to the German capital to seek solace from the cocaine addiction and paranoia that had all-but consumed him in the mid-’70s and he emerged from his Berlin period with, as he put it, “a joy of life and a great feeling of release and healing”.
On the cusp of the pomp and splendour of his great mainstream success in the ’80’s, Bowie certainly sounds content as he introduces songs close to his heart during this two-hour mix, which includes a cut from his pal Iggy Pop, along with the work of other greats such as Little Richard, Marc Bolan, Blondie and Ronnie Spector, plus lesser-known acts ? & The Mysterians and The Mekons. And yes, of course he sneaks a couple of his own songs in there. The old devil.
The track list below only tells part of the story, as the real joy here comes from Bowie’s easy patter and obvious love of music, so the whole thing is well worth a listen.
The Doors, ‘Love Street’
Iggy Pop, ‘TV Eye’
John Lennon, ‘Remember’
? & The Mysterians, ’96 Tears’
Edward Elgar, ‘The Nursery Suite’ (extract)
Danny Kaye, ‘Inchworm’
Philip Glass, ‘Trial Prison’
The Velvet Underground, ‘Sweet Jane’
Mars, ‘Helen Fordsdale’
Little Richard, ‘He’s My Star’
King Crimson, ’21st Century Schizoid Man’
Talking Heads, ‘Warning Sign’
Jeff Beck, ‘Beck’s Bolero’
Ronnie Spector, ‘Try Some, Buy Some’
Marc Bolan, ’20th Century Boy’
The Mekons, ‘Where Were You?’
Steve Forbert, ‘Big City Cat’
The Rolling Stones, ‘We Love You’
Roxy Music, ‘2HB’
Bruce Springsteen, ‘It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City’
Stevie Wonder, ‘Fingertips’
Blondie, ‘Rip Her To Shreds’
Bob Seger, ‘Beautiful Loser’
David Bowie, ‘Boys Keep Swinging’
David Bowie, ‘Yassassin’
Talking Heads, ‘Book I Read’
Roxy Music, ‘For Your Pleasure’
King Curtis, ‘Something On Your Mind’
The Staple Singers, ‘Lies’