Random play: David Bowie: The Mod

by Simon

David Bowie could be said to be responsible for a lot of the course of music through the 70s and 80s. Obviously there was the whole Glam thing. He along with Roxy Music and Marc Bolan were the figureheads of the whole thing. A few years later a lot of people on the punk scene talk about Bowie being the vital spark that kicked off their lives. And if you listen to Ziggy Stardust and Pin-Ups there’s a lot of similarities between the sound he was playing with and some of the punks. And then the Young Americans album pretty much defined the whole sound of the early 80s. Of course a lot of the people from the punk scene were the same people that created the New Romantics thing so there’s not a lot of surprises there.

What gets missed sometimes is Bowie’s influence on the Mod Revival. In 1973, partly as a way to close the chapter on the Ziggy Stardust period and partly I think to revitalise his creative juices, Bowie released an album of covers. The songs were all songs he loved during the mid 60s. The album opened up a lot of people’s eyes to that music, and led a lot of people to go digging into the whole 60s scene, and in particular the Mod scene.

A lot of the Glam musicians had been around for a few years by the time of their success. Bowie, Bolan and Ferry had a musical history that stretched back through the 60s. A very Mod history. It’s no wonder that Glam was so centred on image.

Here’s a couple of tunes from Bowie’s mid 60s output. One is a repost of a classic Mod pop tune and the other is a bonafide Mod anthem, albeit a sad and sorry tale of the darker side of coming to London to get in on the scene.

David Bowie – Can’t Help Thinking About Me
David Bowie – The London Boys

*Coincidentally there is a great post about Bowie and his 60s period over at Another Nickel In The Machine. A fine fine blog which everybody should visit! Check the blogroll for link!