A lot of people woke up to the very sad news today that David Bowie has passed. A lot of people will spend all day today listening to Bowie records. Somewhere in the world, people will even listen to Tin Machine II in tribute. Mostly, though, people will be listening to the incredible stuff he was putting out in the 1970s. And for a lot of people, that will mean …Ziggy Stardust…. I don’t have the full Bowie catalog. I’ve only got a few albums, and naturally one of them is The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. It’s an essential album. A ton of bands have covered the song “Ziggy Stardust”, and some have done it quite well.
Bauhaus quite famously covered the song, and I absolutely adore it. I was going to post it today, but I forgot that I had this.
A few years ago, the Canadian label Paper Bag Recrords asked its roster to contribute to a Ziggy Stardust tribute cover album. Some of the songs are really well covered. Some are wildly creative. Some aren’t so good. That’s the case with any compilation tribute.
Since the Rural Alberta Advantage has been a favorite band of mine over the last six years or so, I had high hopes when I saw that they were doing “Starman”. Indeed, they put their own spin on it. It’s almost unrecognizable until it gets to the chorus. Naturally, drummer Paul Banwatt adds his signature fills and rapid-fire drum style, putting his own stamp on it. I love Amy Cole’s backing vocals, and Nils Edinloff’s blazing guitar and his unique singing style make this something quite different and pretty amazing. It sounds nothing at all like the original, but it’s really fantastic anyway.
“Starman” as covered by The Rural Alberta Advantage
The rest of the Paper Bag tribute looks like this:
Born Ruffians – “Five Years”
Austra & CFCF – “Soul Love”
PS I Love You – “Moonage Daydream”
The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Starman”
Slim Twig – “It Ain’t Easy”
The Luyas – “Lady Stardust”
Cuff The Duke – “Star”
Young Galaxy – “Hang On To Yourself”
Elliott BROOD – “Ziggy Stardust”
The Acorn – “Suffragette City”
Woodhands – “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide”
Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – “John, I’m Only Dancing” [Bonus Track]
You can download it here.