David Bowie's influence is undeniable. Well, duh. Talk about stating the obvious. Countless new wave, art-rock, and glam-rock bands of the '80s, and electronic, dance, and indie acts of the past decade (including obvious disciple/worshipper Trent Reznor and the occasionally lightning-bolt-faced Lady Gaga), owe Mr. Stardust an enormous and basically unpayable debt. And even now, the great bi-colored-eyed legend continues to inspire today's baby bands--despite the fact that he's pretty much a rock recluse now and hasn't released a new studio album since 2003's Reality (meaning that many of these baby bands were almost literally babies, or at least tweens, when Bowie was still making the scene).
This is why the two-disc covers compilation We Were So Turned On: A Tribute To David Bowie is so impressive. Buzz artists as disparate Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Vivian Girls, Chairlift, Warpaint, Carla Bruni, Devendra Banhart, Keren Ann, and A Place To Bury Strangers have all recorded various Bowie classics for the charity release, and somehow they've all made the songs their own--a true testament to the Thin White Duke's wide-ranging catalog and chameleonic artistry. But this is hardly shocking, because with Bowie's four-decade-plus career running the gamut from twee hippie Britfolk to OTT glam-slams, from druggy Berlin cool to blue-(and-green)-eyed soul, from peppy new wave to icy electronica, there's a Bowie sound + vision out there to inspire any sort of musician.
However, perhaps most exciting is the full-circle contribution of Duran Duran, a band that's clearly been influenced by Bowie (particularly his early-'70s glam era and Eno-helmed Berlin trilogy) throughout their own lengthy career. (Other veteran acts on this tribute disc include Viv Albertine of the Slits and Mick Karn of Japan, by the way.) Duran Duran sound totally reinvigorated on their remake of "Boys Keep Swinging," as fresh and edgy as any of the newer acts on the compilation...and the cut is certainly better than anything on their clunky Thank You covers album:
Here's Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes (arguably the band's most glamorously Bowie-like member) discussing D2's contribution to We Were So Turned On:
We Were So Turned On: A Tribute To David Bowie is available digitally now, and officially comes out September 14 on Manimal Vinyl, with proceeds going to War Child (an international charity that protects children living in war zones). See the full tracklisting and order the album HERE (or order it directly from http://manimalvinyl.com/catalog.php and get a limited-edition split 7-inch featuring Warpaint, Sister Crayon, Carla Bruni, Devendra's project Megapuss, Edward Sharpe, or Duran Duran). And get turned on to Bowie all over again.