15 mostly great David Bowie covers

15 mostly great David Bowie covers



Since the great man died on 10 January this year, there's been no shortage of David Bowie tributes, from speeches to specially orchestrated gigs to heartfelt performances.

Bowie's work has always been covered by artists from all backgrounds, and it's tough to pick out favourites – but here we go for a cross-section, encompassing new efforts, unlikely attempts and natural fits, starting with a belter from as recent as last weekend.

LCD Soundsystem – Heroes

Always a big Bowie fan, LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy worked with him on Arcade Fire's Reflektor and remixed Love Is Lost for The Next Day Extra. Last weekend, at California's Coachella festival, the reunited LCD Soundsystem crowned their headline slot with a cover of 1977 classic Heroes, delivered with love and respect.

Lorde – Life On Mars

Back a bit further to February of this year, Lorde – a personal favourite of Bowie's – led his old band in a touching rendition of Life On Mars? that made sitting through Annie Lennox's speech worth it.

Michael Stipe – The Man Who Sold The World

Former REM singer Michael Stipe fronted up at New York's series of Bowie tribute concerts a few weeks ago, and promoted the shows with this performance – and a vast beard – on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.

Nirvana – The Man Who Sold The World

Stipe's not the only artist to cover The Man Who Sold The World. Other renditions include this legendary 1993 performance by Nirvana for their live acoustic album MTV Unplugged In New York.

Lulu – The Man Who Sold The World

Oh look, another The Man Who Sold The World. Lulu was an early adopter, cutting this version in 1974 with Bowie himself on very obvious backing vocals.

Duran Duran – Fame

The New Romantics were big on Bowie, nicking his style, sound and handy way with the slap. Duran Duran are serial Bowie cover-ers, and here's an early example from the B-side of 1981 single Careless Memories.

Robbie Williams – Kooks

Another B-side, this time on the flip of Robbie's 1997 single Old Before I Die, back in the days when it looked like this solo career thing was never going to work out. Bowie's original, from 1971's Hunky Dory, was a love song to his new son Zowie/Joe/film director Duncan Jones.

Tegan And Sara – Rebel Rebel

Canadian identical twins Tegan and Sara Quin recorded this version of the old classic for fairly literally titled 2003 compilation Spiders from Venus: Indie Women Artists and Female-Fronted Bands Cover David Bowie.

Tina Turner – 1984

The closing track on Tina Turner's gargantuan 1984 (see what she did there?) comeback album Private Dancer is a none-more-80s take on the old Diamond Dogs album track, that even features Heaven 17's Glenn Gregory on backing vocals.

M Ward – Let's Dance

US baroque-folk singer-songwriter M Ward managed to find the still jazz heart in the heavy funk of Bowie and Nile Rodgers' number one hit, with this John Martynesque cover.

Bauhaus – Ziggy Stardust

One of the more commercially successful Bowie facsimiles, Brit goth pioneers Bauhaus's ever-so-slightly sleazy Ziggy Stardust made it to number 15 on the UK singles chart, with singer Pete Murphy's razor-sharp cheekbones leading the way.

The White Stripes – Moonage Daydream

Pretty sure someone in the audience calls Jack White a "weirdo" just prior to this live cover of the Ziggy Stardust album track.

Marilyn Manson – Golden Years

The Prince of Darkness reinterprets The Goblin King with seedy results.

Warpaint – Ashes To Ashes

LA band Warpaint laid down their sparse cover of Bowie's second solo number one for 2010 compilation We Were So Turned On: A Tribute To David Bowie, and have played it live frequently since.

Sharleen Spiteri – Cat People (Putting Out Fire)

Who knew Bowie's creepy post-new wave theme had a touch of old-time swing about it? Occasional Texas singer Sharleen Spiteri, that's who.

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