Song of the Day: “Starman”

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For awhile now, I’ve been choosing a song every day — not entirely at random — from a wide variety of genres. They’re usually songs that I’ve heard before and love, or ones that have recently been released. But for the next few weeks, I’m going to be trying something a little different. Each week, I’ll choose a genre or theme, then each day, pick a song that fits in it.

For this first week, we’ll start with the genre of classic rock. I know I’ve already covered a lot of songs in this genre, but that’s only because it’s one of my favorites.

So, unnecessarily-long disclaimer aside, let’s start the week off by looking at David Bowie’s 1972 single, “Starman”.

Starman

Technically, “Starman” falls into the sub genre of glam rock, but let’s not split hairs here. It’s still rock, and it’s definitely a classic.

“Starman” was released as a single in 1972, and is featured on “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars”, Bowie’s fifth album.

The lyrics describe Bowie’s alter ego, “Ziggy Stardust” sending a message to the Earth’s youth. The message is one of salvation from an alien “Starman” waiting in the sky. The song itself is sung in the perspective of one of the youths who hears this message.

“I had to phone someone so I picked on you / Hey, that’s far out so you heard him too / Switch on the TV we may pick him up on channel two”.

The message itself can be heard in the chorus of “Starman”.

“There’s a starman waiting in the sky / He’d like to come and meet us / But he thinks he’d blow our minds / There’s a starman waiting in the sky / He’s told us not to blow it / Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile / He told me: / Let the children lose it / Let the children use it / Let all the children boogie”.

Final Thoughts

I know that I’ve already covered David Bowie before, but he’s been on my mind recently. A few nights ago, I had a dream that he appeared in, so it seemed appropriate to revisit one of his more popular tunes.

If you listen closely, you’ll be able to pick up that the chorus is loosely based on “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Bowie sings “Starman” with the same octave leap that can be heard in “Somewhere”.

“Starman” was also a milestone in David Bowie’s career, from a more commercial aspect. It was his first hit since the 1969 single “Space Oddity”, and many assumed that it was, due to the similar subject matter, a sequel to his previous hit. “Starman” made the top ten on the UK Singles chart, held the No. 65 spot on the Billboard Top 100, and hit No. 19 on the US Billboard Rock Songs chart.

 

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