Bono y sus favoritas de Bowie

En la edición americana de Rolling Stone de este mismo mes encontramos las 15 canciones favoritas de David Bowie para Bono de U2. Muchas de ellas son mis favoritas también, por supuesto.

Me gusta cómo escribe Bono sobre música y cómo, al hablar de Bowie, nos habla de sí mismo y de su pasión por la música en esa tierra tan musical que es Irlanda.

  1. Space Oddity” (1969): We walk onstage to this every night — like four astronauts.
  2. “The Man Who Sold the World” (1970): America fell in love with that song because of Kurt Cobain — a man who wouldn’t sell the world anything.
  3. “Changes” (1971): It’s not exaggerating to say, what Elvis meant to America, David Bowie meant to the U.K. and Ireland. It was that radical a shift in consciousness.
  4. “Five Years” (1972): This sounds like it’s coming from the chanson tradition. Elsewhere on Ziggy Stardust, he talks about William Burroughs. I bought Naked Lunch, which is a hard read at 15. But Bowie made important introductions, just by talking about what turned him on.
  5. “Life on Mars” (1971): Bowie’s world was always full of intellectual and artistic static. Where he lived was a long way from where I lived in Dublin.
  6. “Starman” 1972The first time I saw him was singing “Starman” on Top of the Pops. It was like a creature falling from the sky. Americans put a man on the moon. We had our own British guy from space — with an Irish mother.
  7. “Lady Grinning Soul” 1973: This is a beguiling and unusual David Bowie song. It’s already there, the black influence that would be on the next album. I’d be interested to hear what Roy Bittan [of the E Street Band] would think of that operatic piano part. Bowie was a big fan of Springsteen.
  8. “The Jean Genie” 1973: Every so often, Bowie goes up against Jagger. I love his take on blues and R&B — the discipline, that swing beat. The Smiths are born in that song too.
  9. “John, I’m Only Dancing” 1972: Again, I love the economy, this rockabilly beat. It’s not enough to be a great songwriter. You have to turn that song into a record, and that requires production and arrangement of a high order..
  10. “Young Americans” 1975: The great moment in this is that beautifully out-of-tune guitar break. I loved that.
  11. “Fame” 1975: I was fascinated by Bowie’s predicament in this song. This was a precious and precocious talent, wanting not to die stupid.
  12. “Warszawa” 1977: I have powerful memories of meeting with my friend Gavin Friday in his living room on Monday nights to play music. We created our own world, listening to this album and trying to find out what it was about.
  13. “Heroes” 1977: It encapsulates the thought that all lovers go through: They’re not alone and can take on the world. And it has Robert Fripp’s furious contribution on guitar.
  14. “Ashes to Ashes” 1980: The sonic innovation of Low and Heroes is becoming more pop. I remember figuring out how they got that ping-ping-ping piano sound — we ended up using it on “Lemon.”
  15. “Up the Hill Backwards” 1980: I chose this because it’s like my life.

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