Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Morrissey, Ricky Gervais and more choose their favourites…
From Heathen (June 2002)
Low-key opening track from Heathen, with Bowie reunited with Tony Visconti for the first time since Scary Monsters…
TONY VISCONTI: “Sunday” is absolutely stunning. It took a long time to make and every time we added a layer of sound from either us or a visiting musician, the song grew to be more and more of an emotional experience. I think Heathen was a very spiritual album. David wrote some great lyrics, wore his heart on his sleeve for that album. This is all my assumption. He rarely “explains” his lyrics to me. But I have to make something of them so I can help to create his musical settings. Sometimes he would specifically tell me his meaning, to keep the recording focussed. I don’t know what [2003 album] Reality really is. We created it under completely different conditions. Heathen was made in an isolated studio in upstate New York and it sounds as lofty as where the studio was located, on a mountain top. Reality was made on the border of SoHo and NoHo in New York City. It has more angst than Heathen and sounds like a teeth-grinding record to me. Was he on the way to another great trilogy of albums? Yes, David was very keen to do a third album and it would’ve been perfect. There might be a third in the series someday. He’s very fit now.
21 The Bewlay Brothers
From Hunky Dory (December 1971)
Mysterious but moving closing track on Hunky Dory, reputedly about Bowie’s relationship with troubled half-brother Terry Burns
JAMES MURPHY (LCD Soundsystem): Where I grew up, it was a small town. I always played music. I don’t remember not playing music or writing songs since I was four or five. My older brothers and sisters were 10 years older than me so I listened to a lot of classic rock. My first records were “Alone Again Naturally” by Gilbert O Sullivan and “Fame” by David Bowie.
People say that “New York I Love You” [from LCD’s Sound Of Silver album] sounds like Bowie’s production on Transformer. But are we really in a time where the problem is that there are too many bands that sound like Transformer? How is this a problem?! I WISH we had the kind of problem!
“The Bewley Brothers” is just so beautiful and sad. It really uses his voice. It’s one of those songs that would be a very hard cover. Maybe that’s why I like it most. His best songs are just so wonderfully coverable, because they’re such good songs. But “The Bewley Brothers”? So sad, and it really uses his voice in a really cheesy, borderline hack-Broadway kind of way. But it’s so good!