As Chicago celebrates David Bowie day, here are his essential tracks, according to Neil McCormack.
1. Black Country Rock (1970)
1970 was a productive start to the decade for Bowie. He was on the cusp of perfecting ‘Ziggy’ and flitting between acoustic and electric sounds. This track defines his brief flirtation with the blues-rock genre. Visconti-produced and T-Rex inspired, in Bowie’s typical, insular style at the heart of this song is an in-joke: a piercing vibrato, sung in mocking reference to Marc Bolan but in fact replacing place of forgotten lyrics. Which ones, we’ll never know.
2. Andy Warhol (1971)
Taken from his resolutely dark pop album, Hunky Dory, this pared-down ode to the Sixties artist begins with a disagreement between Bowie and his producer, Ken Scott, over the pronunciation of “Warhol”. Unresolved, Bowie collapses into laughter and immediately segues into a flamenco riff, rolling and growling his words in mock-praise of the artist. Quite understandably, Warhol despised the song for making fun of him.
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