Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Some Great Videos - David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes"
I was only 13 when this song came out. From the album "Scary Monsters.. And Super Creeps," in the year 1980. It was the No. 1 hit at the time. I love this video. Bowie looks like a clown from outer space. And who are those behind him? One of them is Steve Strange and the other, non other than Boy George. These guys at the time were total Bowie groupies and they began a movement in England at that time called "The New Romantics" which gave birth to such bands as Visage (whom Steve Strange fronted), Duran Duran, Culture Club, Ultravox (with Midge Ure), Spandau Ballet. And I'm sure there are couple of readers that can name a slew of others. Depeche Mode and The Human League I believe were also among them, though I think they were more labeled as "Futurists."
I remember when I first saw this video. It was late night on one of those late night shows that sometimes aired videos. I remember my oldest brother was watching as well. He was chuckling at all the scenes. I myself had my mouth open and was transfixed at all the imagery that Bowie was presenting.
The song references "Major Tom." from "an early song.." Later on, a singer by the name of Pete Shilling wrote a song called "Major Tom" which was a pretty big hit.
"Ashes to Ashes" incorporated a lot of keyboards. This was a time when most rock bands treated the synthesizer as a novelty, but for such performers with imagination like Bowie, the synthesizer was a godsend. Chuck Hammer, I believe lending his hand for this track. I think Bowie also worked with Brian Eno and Philip Glass on several of his other albums.
"Ashes to Ashes" is by far my all time favorite Bowie song. Other favorites include "Golden Years", "Fashion" and off course "Space Oddity."