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1
Miss Ann
Little Richard
02:16
2
Lonely Boy and Pretty Girl
Anthony Newley
02:32
3
Gurney Slade Theme
Max Harris
02:14
4
Try Me - Live At The Apollo Theater/1962
James Brown
02:14
5
Got My Mojo Working
Muddy Waters
02:51
6
Hobo Blues (Long Long Way from Home)
John Lee Hooker
03:04
7
Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am
Charles Mingus
04:42
8
Tomorrow Is The Question! - Instrumental
Ornette Coleman
03:09
9
Rosalyn
The Pretty Things
02:20
10
Where Have All the Good Times Gone - 2014 Remastered Version
The Kinks
02:49
11
See Emily Play - 2016 Remastered Version
Pink Floyd
02:54
12
Amsterdam - Live, Olympia / 1964
Jacques Brel
03:19
13
My Death
Scott Walker
04:57
14
Dove
T. Rex
02:05
15
October Mornings
Tucker Zimmerman
03:36
16
Somewhere They Can't Find Me
Simon & Garfunkel
02:35
17
Painting Box - 2010 Remaster
The Incredible String Band
04:00
18
Earth And Water Song
Humble Pie
06:17
19
I'm Waiting For The Man
The Velvet Underground, Nico
04:39
20
Real Cool Time - 2005 Remaster
The Stooges
02:30
21
Needles In The Camel's Eye - 2004 Digital Remaster
Brian Eno
03:11
22
I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby
Barry White
07:11
23
Funky Kingston
Toots & The Maytals
04:55
24
Nite Flights
The Walker Brothers
00:29
25
Good Times - 2018 Remaster
CHIC
08:06
26
Shipbuilding - Remastered in 1998
Robert Wyatt
03:04
27
Music for 18 Musicians: Section I
Steve Reich, Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, Bill Ryan
03:59
28
Everybody In The Place (Fairground Remix) (Remastered)
The Prodigy
05:09
29
Trying to Get to You
Elvis Presley
02:30

The Music that Made David Bowie

Legendary, unknown, or unexpected, hear some of the musicians who have inspired David Bowie all along his incredible journey.

I spent eight hours on Saturday 2 July 1983 sitting in blazing sunshine in a field in Milton Keynes, fifty miles north of London. Following this, I stood for two hours as a band fronted by a chap called David Bowie played two hours of incredible music whilst the sun gradually set. But my main memory is hearing Elvis’ Sun Sessions, particularly “Trying to Get to You”, being played over the sound system as I walked back to my car with thousands of others. It was a beautiful touch, I thought. Just perfect. Like being invited to David’s lounge after the show to unwind with some of his favourite music. Suffice to say it was a special day.

What I have tried to do here, following a lifetime of listening to and reading about Bowie (I have just finished Dylan Jones’ book A Life which I highly recommend) is to put together a list of songs/artists that,

a) the young David Jones enjoyed whilst striving to develop his voice and direction,
b) he subsequently worked with, and
c) influenced his changes of direction as a superstar and genius constantly looking for new ways of making music.

As the man himself admitted, “my voice is actually a complete steal from Scott Walker and Anthony Newley”.

Does it hang together as a playlist? Judge for yourself. Here is the most extraordinary artist to have emerged from popular music since the birth of rock’n’roll and we find that he loved blues, boogie, modern jazz, Belgian chanson, r’n’b, mod, psychedelia, folk, acoustic hippy, avant-garde electronica, Philly soul, reggae, funk, disco, ambient, drum & bass, and Anthony Newley! We have John Lee Hooker (who allegedly inspired the riff to Jean Genie) Ornette Coleman, James Brown, Jacques Brel, the Incredible String Band, Chic, and The Prodigy.  

“Bowie begged, borrowed, and stole,” is something I’ve read, but who hasn’t? Elvis? Abba? Michael Jackson? Picasso? The true artist keeps their eyes and ears open and takes/borrows what they will, whilst adding their own sprinkle of fairy dust to create something new. Bowie was not only an expert at this form of alchemy, but he also continued creating until his dying day with Blackstar, an album that stands as one of his very best alongside Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust, Station to Station, and Low.

We also have Little Richard, though it was the sax and Richard’s showmanship — rather than his piano playing — that grabbed the young David. The art critic Matthew Collings was once invited to a Bowie recording session and noted, “there was a framed photo of Little Richard [in the studio]. David said he had it at every recording session.”

This revealing insight shows that Bowie not only acknowledged his inspirations, but throughout his incredible journey he never quite forgot the teenage Davy Jones listening in thrall to rock’n’roll music in his bedroom.

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