When David Bowie was in his prime, which was most of his life, anybody who was somebody wanted to be him, or be near him.
He was the definition of rock and roll, which means he didn’t play by any rules when it came to writing, recording or dressing. He blew minds with 1969’s “Space Oddity” before taking off with the early 70s albums The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and Aladdin Sane. And then he stole the 80s as evidenced by Let’s Dance featuring the title track, “Modern Love” and “China Girl.”
Countless bands and singers across all genres of music have acknowledged Bowie’s influence over the years with thoughtful covers – either live or on record – and others have been fortunate enough to record with him. Here’s a look at seven times Bowie did something great with other artists or inspired greatness from them.
1972 - Mott the Hoople - "All the Young Dudes" - Writer
Even if you didn't know Bowie wrote it, you would have guessed it. It sounds like one of his songs and it helped these British glam rockers stay together.
1981 - Queen and David Bowie - "Under Pressure"
Two legends sing on top of one of the most memorable and catchy basslines of all-time. Bowie and Queen were recording at the same studio and one thing led to another.
1985 - Mick Jagger and David Bowie - "Dancing in the Street"
Bowie joins another legend and they really take the song title to heart in the made for the 80s music video. The Martha and the Vandellas cover was recorded to raise money for Live Aid.
1993 - Nirvana - "The Man Who Sold the World" - Cover
One of the out of the box song selections for Nirvana's "MTV Unplugged" gig that made helped make the performance iconic.
2008 - Scarlett Johansson - "Anywhere I Lay My Head" - Backing Vocals
Yes, that Scarlett Johansson. The actress and sometimes singer went to Louisiana to record an album of Tom Waits covers and Bowie provided backing vocals on this track.
2013 - Arcade Fire - "Reflektor" - Backing Vocals
The song sounds like something you'd hear if you were spinning off into outer space, so of course Bowie needs to be on it.
2019 - Hollywood Vampires - "Heroes" - Cover
The most recent version of the oft covered classic is given attitude and EBow by a supergroup of rock veterans.