Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I gazed a gazely stare.

Back in the hazy, crazy days of 1973, Scottish pop singer Lulu, who was by then past a string of Sixties hits including "To Sir With Love", the theme for a film in which she also appeared with Sidney Poitier and for which she was probably best known here in the States, gravitated into the orbit of David Bowie (she years later confessed to a fling, Bowie hasn't commented) and Mick Ronson at the height of the Glitter era...and the a single, a cover of Bowie's 1970 title track from his Man Who Sold the World album, was the result. Above is a TV performance of same from 1974. Although I dearly love the music the Bowie/Ronson team made together, I had not gone as far as to check this out before- although I was aware it existed. The slightly-different arrangement isn't bad, although the sinuous guitar melody line that runs through the original is missing until closer to the end, it's definitely got that honkin' sax that DB liked in this, the pre-Ronson split Pinups era...but I don't think Lulu's vocal does much for the song at all, sorry to say. Her calm, sweet demeanor doesn't really jibe with the ominous paranoiac mood the song (especially in its original version) evokes. I haven't heard the B-side, "Watch that Man", a fave Bowie track of mine from Aladdin Sane.

Anyway, today is Ms. Lulu's birthday today, and reading about it got me curious to hear her cover. Thought I'd take the opportunity to send along a BSBdG. Wish I could have been more complimentary- I did like "Sir", and she was definitely a big part of the whole Swingin' '60s scene. So there's that!

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