Bookended by Cats was named after Milo and Otis. They are the short, orange, and furry brothers who, upon entering our lives in 2003, often bookended us on our couch. And who are we? We're a geek couple living in PA. We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for January 17, 2020

A 1980s photo of David Bowie (1947 - 2016)

[Farewell Thin White Duke - REDUX] -- This Flashback was originally posted on Prophet or Madman on 1/15/2016.

David Bowie, who started performing music in 1962 and released his final album on 1/8/2016, died on Sunday, 1/10/2016 at the age of 69. I learned of his passing via a news alert early on the following Monday. In what must be the most impressive act of keeping a story under wraps, no one knew just how sick Bowie was until after his death. As this week has progressed, many people with greater verbal facility or better familiarity with Bowie's career have waxed poetic in their tributes. As I have neither, but have been a fan, I would like to mark this giant of an artist's passing. So I'll offer up a trio of selections from Bowie's 80s catalog. Read and hear more after the break!

Flashback #1"You wouldn't believe what I've been through."

"Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" was the theme song for the 1982 remake of Cat People, a film about people who turn into cats. Bowie penned lyrics to the main theme by Giorgio Moroder, who had already recorded most of the music for the film. There are several versions of the song: (1) The full-length version of the original 1981 recording; a shorter, edited version; and a re-recording (my preferred version) for Bowie's 1983 album, Let's Dance. We'll kick off this week's Flashback with the original.

Flashback #2"I've nothing much to offer | There's nothing much to take | I'm an absolute beginner."

For our second Flashback of this week, we'll assume beginner's mind with "Absolute Beginners," the theme for the 1986 rock musical of the same name. David Bowie composed and performed it. He also performed in the film, in the supporting role of Vendice Partners, an advertising man. If you're not familiar with this soundtrack, pick it up. It runs the gamut from pop, to rock, to acid jazz. Bowie has three tracks on it, and the other performers include the likes of Sade, The Style Council, and Gil Evans. Here is Bowie performing the track in 1987 during his Glass Spider Tour

Flashback #3"When I needed soul revival I called your name."

To this day, I don't know why "Never Let Me Down" didn't strike more of a chord with the US record-buying public. And if you have a reason, I don't want to hear it. I kinda dig this tune. It marks the perfect transition from his more pop-oriented 80s tunes to his Tin Machine days. "Never Let Me Down" was the third single and title track of Bowie's seventeenth studio album, which was released in April of 1987.

Flashbacks are like comedy: They both must follow the rule of three. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

I'll see you in seven!

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