29 May 2005

Lulu - The Man Who Sold The World


Following on from the Peter Noone post, here's another example of Bowie playing on a cover of his song by a second rate lightweight British entertainer.

Previously best known for her respectable cover of the Isley Brothers' Shout in 1964, and subsequently for doing Relight My Fire with Take That in 1993, somehow her path crossed Bowie's in late 1973 and he decided to do a single for her.

It was the twilight of Bowie's collaboration with Mick Ronson, and together they put together the tracks. There's clear Ronson guitar, albeit mostly in a low-key strum, and Bowie plays sax and does chorus vocals on the A-side.

The B-side is a slightly pedestrian version of the Aladdin Sane track Watch That Man that gives Lulu the chance to exercise that rasp in her voice that she used to such effect on Shout.

As with Peter Noone's Oh You Pretty Things, you've got to wonder what the vacuous no-mark who was singing thought of Bowie's lyrics of psychological turmoil, alienation and breakdown.

Bowie's career is littered with little dead ends and peculiarities (Peter & The Wolf, for fuck's sake). Expect more here as time goes by.

In the meantime, this excellent Bowie site has loads of great rarities (irritatingly, they're all in the .rm file format). Bowie singing in Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, Indonesian and German, as well as obscurities in English too.

[MP3s deleted to make room for new ones. Sorry!]


anthonyqkiernan said...

Amazing how the memory can be deceptive. I was gonna post about how I liked that record. But, I actually listened to it. What was I thinking? Don't remember it being cod-reggae either

Anonymous said...

WOW. I can't believe i've actually found a site with Lulu's Man Who Sold the World. I had it on tape but the tape's about as old as the song so you can imagine the quality. Thanks a million for this.

Anonymous said...

Great to get a copy, our band is going to cover this-are we mad?? We think it will go down well !!!

merrick said...

Peter, I'll sort you out an MP3 of Watch That Man in the next day or two.

I've not had any copyright issues at all. Members of several bands (Indians in Moscow, The Three O' Clock, Age of Chance, The Ska-Dows) have come on and left Comments, seemingly quite happy with the blog.

The whole notion of copyright is shifting; not only with things like this but especially with the way new bands distribute their music; go on MySpace and you hear the tracks automatically and can download them for free. The idea that people hearing your music is actually good for sales is winning.

That said, obviously if some artist has a Prince/Allen Klein attitude and was irate about a track being posted here then I'd remove it.