Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 249
Wed. Nov 6, 2013
“Sound + Vision (2013)”
On the year that Bowie made his surprise return to the music world that missed his music so much and after releasing the critically and universally acclaimed The Next Day, David wasn’t done astonishing us— for the artist formally known as The Thin White Duke dropped this nugget, a classic tinged re-recoding of his 1977 single “Sound + Vision.”
Even though this Low song was featured in an TV ad this year, it’s still kind of strange that Bowie would pick this specific song to remake as Peter Doggett revealed when he wrote, in his book The Man Who Sold The World: David Bowie and the 1970’s, “ “Sound + Vision” was Bowie’s admission that his creative inspiration had disappeared; cunningly, he used a confession of artistic bankruptcy to spark his new muse back to life.” 2013 was the year when Bowie had his creative resurrection, it’s ironic that David chose to redux a song that signaled his creative drought in the late 1970’s. Maybe this piano based beauty was a paean to the Music Gods for giving him the fruits to resurrects his creative juices for the songs he released in this year’s The Next Day.
Listening to this new and less grooved 2013 version of “Sound + Vision” I can understand why Bowie would strip down his original arrangement as in 2003, The Thin White Duke originally described this Low 1977 single in Nicholas Pegg’s The Complete David Bowie, as—“[…] a very sad song for me… I was trying very hard to drag myself out of an awful period of my life. I was locked in a room in Berlin telling myself I was going to straighten up and not do drugs anymore. I was never going to drink again. Only some of it proved to be the case. It was the first time I knew I was killing myself and time to do something about my physical condition.”
Thankfully Bowie not only overcame his addiction— he also survived his heart surgery in time to release his album The Next Day. This lovely new piano based rendition might just be the sound of a quieter and gentler Bowie. As long as our favorite author of such hits as “Space Oddity,” “Heroes,” “Fame,” “Ashes to Ashes” and “Sound + Vision” keeps on crafting songs like 2013’s “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” we shouldn’t have to worry about another self-imposed Thin White Duke sabbatical. So grab a glass of wine, a cold drink and maybe even a smoke— lay back and be amazed at another glimpse of the astonishing musical brilliance of David Bowie’s “Sound + Vision (2013)”.