And you can hear Jack say.. MOAR COWBELL

…or rather, ‘Sweet Jane’.

Many, many bands have covered this song. it’s a great warm-up number and I have vague memories of seeing Hello Sailor use it as a set opener back sometimes during one of their mid-80s incarnations.

It’s got a chugging basicness, a riff which kind of pulls you in.

I’ve always loved the Mott the Hoople version. I think it’s my favourite one, although the Cowboy Junkies and Lone Justice run it close.

Not to mention, of course, the original, on Lou Reed’s final album with the Velvet Underground.

Mott the Hoople’s big hit, All the Young Dudes, was written by David Bowie, and he produced them in 1972.

This demo track seems to have been a warmup number in the studio, that year, and they are backing the man who actually wrote Sweet Jane, Lou Reed.

The recording quality is a bit fuzzy but you can hear the zest and verve in the playing.

Return of the Short Ginga Duchess…

Since Bowie-related stuff is still in the ether, since I’m taking a tea break, and since apparently today is Hug a Ginga Day….Here’s Lulu doing ‘The Man Who Sold the World’. 

I gather it was Bowie’s idea she cover the song – he plays saxophone on it and may have produced as well.

 It’s probably the best thing Lulu ever recorded – not so much Return of the Thin White Duke as Return of the Short Ginga Duchess- even if she seems a bit bewildered at times during this UK Top of the Pops clip (watch the eyes. There’s a few ‘WTF?’ moments). 

It’s a measure of Bowie’s brilliance he could pull off something as mainstream pop as this, and something like ‘Low’. Man, the guy had range.

I can remember this being a hit in New Zild – not sure when, sometime in the mid-70s. Can  recall hearing it on the radio at the summer place we used to stay. I thought she was singing about the man who stole the world, which was confusing: had a mental image of someone trying to hoist a globe onto his back.

‘Carry the News…’ – Bowie 

This seems appropriately anthemic and elegiac .  Bowie at the Freddie Mercury tribute cocert, with Ian Hunter & Mick Ronson from Mott the Hoople, with the song he wrote  initially for “Ziggy Stardust” but which Bowie then sold to Mott,  produced and played on with them,  and which was their big hit.

Ronson also of course was in Bowie’s band. One of the great, often overlooked, guitarists of the rock era. 

Its an era which is now pretty much over, I guess.  I suspect this is part of what people are mourning – which is not to diminish  Bowie’s  stature one iota.

Oh, and then there’s a stomping, soaring version of ‘Heroes’.