Tune du Jour: “Starman” – David Bowie
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Nosferatu vs. May Hart Band
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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"Free markets will not prevail without unfettered competition among cover songs." - Milton Friedbyrd

“Free markets will not prevail without unfettered competition among cover songs.” – Milton Friedbyrd

Starman was recorded by David Bowie in  February 1972 and released as a single that April. FUN FACT: The song was a late addition to Bowie’s album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars at the insistence of RCA’s Dennis Katz, who heard a demo and loved the track, believing it would make a great single. It replaced the Chuck Berry cover Round and Round on the album…Imagine that, axing a cover at the last minute!??! My God what a travesty! Oh the humanity!!!

According to David Thompson of AllMusic: “Starman is arguably the single most influential song in Bowie’s entire catalog. At the time of its release, after all, he was still a one-hit wonder, creaking around the club circuit with a critically acclaimed, but publicly ignored live show, while his Space Oddity signature theme sank ever further back into the mists of time.”

Starman embedded Ziggy Stardust in the nation’s consciousness and established David Bowie as the premier eccentric rock icon of the time. The single reached No. 10  while the album hit No. 5. in the UK charts. Starman remained in the UK charts for 11 weeks. In the US the song peaked at No. 65.

The Original

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David Bowie:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Nosferatu vs. May Hart Band

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Nosferatu:

May Hart Band:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Comments
  1. Cuspid says:

    Wow. What a nice change – I like both versions very much. I think the female vocal is a nice twist on the original. So I’ll go with May on this one. Three cheers for Dennis Katz.

  2. RDubbs says:

    Both versions were pleasant enough. When in doubt I tend to side with the female vocalist, which is where I am at on this one. Bowie’s tunes are well-suited to the female voice.

    May Hart Band, come on down…

  3. Arnold Plotnick says:

    Agreed…both versions are pretty darn good. Ever the iconoclast, I went with Nosferatu because “May Hart Band” has 11 letters in it, while “Nosferatu” only has 9, and I felt sorry for it.

  4. Pete Black says:

    I was not impressed by either cover. I voted for May Hart Band because it was pleasant karaoke and because of my distaste for Bauhaus/Peter Murphy, synth, hollow, weak 80s drums. I love the original but neither cover offered any twist in the arrangement therefore suffering badly by straight comparison.

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