Monday, January 11, 2016

David Bowie: Fame

This morning on the way to work I heard the sad news of the passing of David Bowie due to cancer. It was just Friday that this same news outlet reported that it was Bowie’s 69th birthday as well as the day his new album “Blackstar” was being released. Too bad he never had the opportunity to see the success of his latest release.

As looking over the number of Bowie’s songs that I have featured on Reading between the Grooves over the years, I found nine – here are the links.

As a tribute to the life of David Bowie, this week I am going to feature more music by this late great rocker who changed musical styles throughout his career; what a trendsetter. For the initial post, it’s a #1 record from 1975: “Fame.” The songwriting credits went to Bowie, John Lennon, and Carlos Alomar.

While all three play guitar on the track, Alomar plays the funk parts. Lennon is doing the background vocals as well as engineering the tape loops that are found during the song. The beginning tape loop is a recording of several chords played backwards. Later, a backwards guitar is added to the mix. The final effects have Bowie’s voice recorded at various speeds and played back at normal speed. This not only changed the speed of which the word “Fame” was sung, but also the pitch of the playback as well.

“Fame” – what’s your name? Why, I think its David Bowie. Rest in peace Ziggy Stardust.

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