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.

‘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’.