Tag Archives: David Bowie

David Bowie & Doctor Who: Proof That The Thin White Duke Is A Time Lord

David Bowie and David Tennant

David Bowie and David Tennant

David Bowie likes to flash back into relevance once a decade. Like a passing TARDIS, he enters deep space to cobble together fresh art before swinging by earth once again, delivering shiny new singles.

“Where Are We Now,” the singer’s first release in 10 years is quite a curious tune. It represents a softer phase for a man who has put down the saxophones and the sex, and begun looking back.

Which is odd because there is no past for David Bowie. That is because he lives forever… or at least until his alien organs give out. You see, the Thin White Duke is a Time Lord.

What’s a Time Lord you ask? Well, it’s a humanoid creature from the planet Gallifrey made popular on the BBC show Doctor Who. We’re pretty sure Bowie has been trying to tell us this for about four decades now, so we went ahead and put together some striking evidence. There’s also some SPOILERS below, so if you haven’t seen the most recent season, don’t read this.

Let’s Dematerialize!

The Sound of Time Travel

“Then the loud sound did seem to fade/Came back like a slow voice on a wave of phase/That weren’t no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive,” Bowie sings on 1972’s “Starman,” pretty much describing the very whooshing noise of the TARDIS.

Watch “Starman”

“This ain’t rock ‘n’ roll. This is genocide!”

The Doctor hates nothing more than when an entire race of aliens are blown to smithereens or killed by superior beings. He wouldn’t even wish total annihilation on his mortal enemies, the Daleks. Bowie’s intro to Diamond Dogs called “Future Legend” speaks of a distant dystopia, filled with “fleas the size of rats [sucking] on rats the size of cats.” He didn’t make it up. Bowie’s been there, and it’s called New New York.

Cosmic Connection to Billie Piper

Billie Piper

Billie Piper

The greatest — and most tragic — love story in the Doctor Who canon is undoubtedly between “Number Ten” (David Tennant) and Rose Tyler, better known as pop singer and star of the lurid show Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Billie Piper. Thing is, 10 wasn’t the only one with a connection to Piper. Piper and Bowie share a heat as intense as a thousand Cybermen x-ray lasers.

Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey

Changes & Regenerations

If ever there was a song that thinly disguised the existential angst of a Time Lord it would be “Changes” from David Bowie’s 1971 album Hunky Dory. Bowie’s chameleon-like shifts in appearance and personality are all summed up in four simple lines:

Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

Indeed, you can’t trace time. In fact, another Time Lord confirmed that (see above video).

David Bowie in a scarf

David Bowie in a scarf

Love of Scarves

If “Fourth Doctor” Tom Baker proved anything during his time in the TARDIS between 1974-81 it’s that Time Lords love scarves. The fourth Doctor had a signature extra long number that would drag on the ground and need constant adjusting. Not coincidentally, David Bowie loves scarves, too. He’s been photographed wearing an assortment of neck-cessories with a higher-than-normal frequency over the years.

“Still Not Ginger!”

David Bowie

David Bowie


Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust era saw the spacey singer as a fiery redhead, a regeneration trait that many a Doctor has sought after, especially “Number Eleven.”

Back in Time With Bowie

The John Simm Connection

John Simm, the actor who played the Doctor’s arch nemesis the Master, also starred as Sam Tyler in BBC’s Life on Mars, a crime drama featuring a policeman who travels back in time. Bowie has a song called “Life on Mars.” And a sequel to the television series was called “Ashes to Ashes.” There’s a cosmic connection here that’s no accident.

This story was originally published January 9, 2013 on AOL Spinner and was co-written with Cameron Matthews.

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David Bowie’s Fighting Past

David Bowie

David Bowie

On top of playing a mean guitar, Ziggy Stardust had a bit of the sweet science to him.

David Bowie apparently spent more than just a bit of time around the boxing ring.

Sarah wrote about it for Fightland.

To read the story go here.

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59 Songs Ranked: Nothing Has Changed The Very Best Of David Bowie

Nothing Has Changed

Nothing Has Changed

Nothing Has Changed, the recently released David Bowie “Very Best Of” chronologically lays out 59 of his songs in its three-disc deluxe version.

It also very ably illustrates the many musical diversions Bowie has taken throughout his career, whether they be zoot suit mod rock, blue-eyed soul, glam, new wave, disco, industrial or pretty much any other sub-genre which was trending at a given time.

What it doesn’t do, however, is pass much in the way of judgment.

That’s what we’re here for… namely to rank all the songs on Nothing Has Changed and therefore determine — at least within the parameters of what’s presented here — a ranking of 59 “best” Davie Bowie songs from worst to, well, best.

The Rankings:

59) “Jump They Say (radio edit)” … This sounds like the worst parts of ’90s alternative music.
58) “Absolute Beginners (single version)” … A complete non-event.
57) “Let Me Sleep Beside You”
56) “Sue (or In A Season Of Crime)” … Unearthed for Nothing Has Changed, this evokes a bad Tim Buckley impersonation.
55) “Seven (Marius De Vries mix)”
54) “Your Turn To Drive” … Infuriatingly — or perhaps appropriately — directionless.
53) “Strangers When We Meet (single version)”
52) “Where Are We Now?”
51) “Everyone Says ‘Hi’ (edit)”
50) “Buddha Of Suburbia
49) “Little Wonder (edit)” … Bowie discovers jungle. Nobody wins.
48) “Silly Boy Blue” … That short period when Bowie was a hippie.
47) “Shadow Man” … Attempting to sound like Elvis Costello is a downgrade.
46) “Sound And Vision”
45) “Dancing In The Street (with Mick Jagger)” … We’ll stick with Martha And The Vandellas.
44) “Modern Love (single version)”
43) “Blue Jean”
42) “Under Pressure (with Queen)” … A person should cease having any interest in anything Queen-related once they reach the age of 14.
41) “Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (single version)”
40) “Time Will Crawl (MM remix)”
39) “In The Heat Of The Morning”
38) “Survive (Marius De Vries mix)”
37) “Can’t Help Thinking About Me”
36) “The Heart’s Filthy Lesson (radio edit)”
35) “Slow Burn (radio edit)”
34) “You’ve Got A Habit Of Leaving” … Standard ’60s mop-top pop.
33) “Sorrow”
32) “Drive-In Saturday”
31) “Hallo Spaceboy (PSB Remix) (with The Pet Shop Boys)”
30) “Diamond Dogs”
29) “Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA Edit)” … Remixing the songs of classic rockers can be a minefield but Murphy’s subtle, aware-of-legacy touch works here.
28) “New Killer Star (radio edit)”
27) “Thursday’s Child (radio edit)”
26) “Fashion (single version)”
25) “Rebel Rebel”
24) “Heroes (single version)” … Lennon and McCartney used to have a thing they called “Let’s write a swimming pool” — basically churning out a pandering hit for $$$. This song feels like a favour to publishers.
23) “The Man Who Sold The World” … Still golden, but Nirvana’s unplugged version probably has more passion.
22) “Wild Is The Wind (2010 Harry Maslin Mix)”
21) “Boys Keep Swinging”
20) “China Girl” (single version) … If this song was released today would (could) it be a hit? Or is it socially unacceptable now?
19) “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”
18) “Loving The Alien (single remix)”
17) “All The Young Dudes” … Mott The Hoople are more invested when they perform it.
16) “Changes”
15) “Oh! You Pretty Things” … Probably the definition of lipstick glam Bowie.
14) “The Jean Genie (original single mix)”
13) “Golden Years (single version)”
12) “Let’s Dance (single version)” … This was annoyingly inescapable in the ’80s, but there’s an undeniable swagger to this song that you have to be a rock star to pull off.
11) “I’m Afraid Of Americans (V1) (clean edit)” … Bowie goes industrial and it works.
10) “Life On Mars? (2003 Ken Scott Mix)” … Mostly this song triggers flashbacks of DI Sam Tyler and the brilliant TV show (British version only) of the same name.
9) “Young Americans (2007 Tony Visconti mix single edit)” … There’s a clip of Bowie performing this song live in the 20 Feet From Stardom documentary. After you watch that it all makes sense.
8) “Ashes To Ashes (single version)”
7) “This Is Not America (with The Pat Metheny Group)” (3.51) … There’s a pensive feeling here that probably represents Bowie’s best musical rumination on America.
6) “Ziggy Stardust”

The Top Five:

5) “Fame”

The blunt jabbing qualities of this John Lennon-assisted song perfectly capture a sort of rage Bowie didn’t often display.

4) “Liza Jane”

Originally recorded as Davie Jones And The King Bees in the early days before Bowie became “Bowie,” this song has that same magical quality that The High Numbers (who became The Who) displayed on “Zoot Suit,” or The Rolling Stones on their early blues covers. When you listen you can feel there’s more than just a standard rock ‘n’ roll song there.

3) “Moonage Daydream”

It’s not until an exercise like this that you realize how preoccupied with the cosmos Bowie was… or how great many of these trips were.

2) “Starman (original single mix)”

This song represents the ultimate romantic idealization of David Bowie.

1) “Space Oddity”

The best attribute of “Space Oddity” is the way it inflames the imagination. There are few songs, be they by Bowie or anyone, which can take you on a journey this grand.

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Proof! David Bowie Is A Time Lord

David Bowie

David Bowie

When you look at it closely — at the expense of the regular work you’re supposed to be doing — it’s pretty obvious the Thin White Duke, David Bowie, isn’t actually an earthling at all. Rather, he’s from Gallifray. A Time Lord. Just like Doctor Who.

My Spinner colleague Cameron Matthews and I came to this determination recently and compiled our proof into an article called “David Bowie & Doctor Who: Proof That the Thin White Duke Is a Time Lord.”

To read our reasons why head over to Spinner by clicking here.

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This Week In Music History: January 20 – 26

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

My latest “This Week In Music History” feature went out again this week over at the Spinner.

In this edition we examined some of the things that elevate an artist, make them as much myth as man. For Elvis Presley it was his jumpsuits, for Ozzy Osbourne it was biting heads off animals, and for David Bowie it was an ever-shifting sexuality.

To find out what I’m talking about as well as other things that made music history, click here.



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