The new issue of NME celebrates the remarkable legacy of David Bowie.
Here, Jeremy Pritchard of art-rockers Everything Everything explains the artist’s enduring appeal
The first time I ever heard David Bowie? When I was about 14 a mate came over from school and he had the Singles Collection. About four or five songs in came ‘Life On Mars’, which at the time struck me as literally the best song I’d ever heard. It’s so grand. Enormous. And to this day, that chorus just flaws me.
People don’t make music like that at the moment. The production’s really spacious – you can hear the sound of a really big room. And that chorus. You can play that tune on the acoustic guitar and it has the same effect. It’s beautiful stuff.
The reason Bowie is so relevant today is that, nowadays, when artists get past a certain stage, say after three or four records, they do this thing called ‘reinvention’ and suddenly decide to buy a synthesizer. But with Bowie, it was never that contrived.
He’s been through so many different guises. And because he did all these things first, he established the route that any long living pop artist is going to have to travel down – that Bowie route, which is not resting on your laurels.
Plus, he was just so good at being a pop star. I think he really helped solidify what is expected of an icon. He kind of looks like an alien. He has that beautiful, ugly thing going on. He absolutely ticks all the boxes.
And there’s something about his songwriting – it has a particular signature that’s kind of wormed its way into other artists’ work. Damon Albarn, for example. His brand of slightly English melancholy, in a major key: that kind of happy-sad thing that Bowie did, and Blur really mastered as well.
There’s a Blur song, ‘On The Way To The Club’, from ‘Think Tank’, that’s actually has loads in common with ‘Space Oddity’. There is that line, “My eyes are blue and there is nothing I can do”. It’s so like Bowie. It shows how enduring David Bowie’s music has been.
Read more about David Bowie in the current NME, on sale Wednesday 29 September.