Tag Archives: Cream

Freaked out by Bowie

I’m going through a David Bowie phase in my car at the moment – in-car listening is a terrific way of exploring music – and am working through Changes, Black Tie, White Noise and Reality,

All was going well until three tracks into Black Tie,White Noise when Bowie started singing his cover version of Cream’s I Feel Free. I’ve not heard it before – and it was terrifying.

A 60’s super-group comprising guitarist Eric Clapton, bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker, Cream’s original version of I Feel Free has a manic, slightly trippy euphoria about it, a recklessly exuberant feel.

Bowie’s, however, has none of that: instead, there’s a brooding menace about his version: he sings in a very low register, the rhythmic feel is halved, such that it is much slower, there’s none of the jolly hand-clapping of the Cream original. All in all, it adds up to a very creepy rendition: I think it works, but I’m still not wholly sure, being slightly freaked out at hearing a song I’ve loved for years delivered in such a brooding and ominous fashion (once you get past the opening twenty seconds, that is…).

Combined with a slightly deranged guitar improvised chorus, it’s quite disturbing: shades of Buffalo Bill or the Jigsaw Man’s soundtrack inside their head as they stalk the pavements for their next victim.

Compare them for yourself, and let me know what you think. If you dare…

Waters under the bridge ? Not likely…

It must be the weather. Or the time of year. Or something to do with age. Hot on the heels of yesterday’s revelation about Led Zeppelin’s on-and-off-reunion tour being, well, maybe on: today it’s the turn of Roger Waters.

The Wall
Bricking it: The Wall

In what reads like a rather grouchy statement, Waters declares that David Gilmour, Pink Floyd’s guitarist from 1968, is ‘not interested’ in touring. With the thirtieth anniversary of The Wall coming up, Gilmour it seems has no desire to team up with Waters again, with whom hostilities have been maintained since the arguments over the album following The Wall’s release in 1982.

There was a brief cessation of hostilities in 2005 with the Live 8 concert, although Gilmour’s attempt to walk off-stage after the performance failed when Waters cajoled him into sharing a hug on-stage.

Still, one can but hope that other bands will also decide not to attempt to rekindle their former days of glory. There was nothing so depressing as watching super-group Cream at the Royal Albert Hall several years ago, and reflecting how much they had lost their youthful edge and committed drive. (They are still great, though).

So, the question (as with yesterday’s post) remains: should they or shouldn’t they ?