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David Bowie — The Man Who Sold The World
Album: The Man Who Sold The World
Avg rating:
8.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3136









Released: 1970
Length: 3:48
Plays (last 30 days): 1
We passed upon the stair
We spoke of was and when
Although I was not there
He said I was his friend

Which came as some surprise
I spoke into his eyes
I thought you died alone
A long, long time ago

Oh no, not me
I never lost control
You're face to face
With the man who sold the world

I laughed and shook his hand
And made my way back home
I searched for form and land
For years and years, I roamed

I gazed a gazely stare
And all the millions here
We must have died alone
A long, long time ago

Who knows, not me
We never lost control
You're face to face
With the man who sold the world

Oh no, not me
I never lost control
You're face to face
With the man who sold the world
Comments (421)add comment
Timeless,long live Major Tom’s music ❤️
Long Live RP
Rating to me is 8- Most Excellent
What about Lulu's 1967 version ?
First class use of the Guiro.
 ciarataylor wrote:
My god he must have gotten sick of people asking him to play his song that Curt Cobain received all the credit for..
Sometimes this fame for which he strived arrives in a very strange package, indeed.  How ironic.

And the song?  Not really his best anyway. He tossed that poor brain-addled Curt Cobain —a freebie. 
 
Bowie was much too classy ever to think in such a way.
My god he must have gotten sick of people asking him to play his song that Curt Cobain received all the credit for..
Sometimes this fame for which he strived arrives in a very strange package, indeed.  How ironic.

And the song?  Not really his best anyway. He tossed that poor brain-addled Curt Cobain --a freebie. 
Yet another fantastic song by a true artistic Legend.
Every time any David Bowie song is played I feel I should strongly recommend that if you are in New York City area please go to The Brooklyn Museum for the "David Bowie is" exhibition.  It is likely the best curated, most informative and personal exhibit that I have ever seen!  Even if you are only a casual Bowie fan I think that you will find it very interesting.  But do go early in the day as it tends to be pretty busy (this is the last stop for the exhibit which has been on display at various locations since 2013).  It took me 3+ hours to get through it all as it is quite large (though admittedly, I do read every card and tend to linger at all the individual displays). 
GO SEE IT!


Album: The Man Who Sold The World 
Released: 1970

                                48 years ago ~



{#Crown}

 lmic wrote:
"Bowie bemoaned the fact that when he performed the number himself he would encounter "kids that come up afterwards and say, 'It's cool you're doing a Nirvana song.' And I think, 'Fuck you, you little tosser!'" ~Nicholas Pegg

 
{#Biggrin}
Great drumming!
More cow bell       :-)
 max_p wrote:


 
This was the cover I had. Love this whole album.
I don't need Nirvana when this is still around.  No bum notes here.
A smug, handsome man smiles behind a scale with the globe on one side and gold and diamonds on the other.
Mikey has your trickle-down right here.

The RPHD Flickr group invites RP listeners, photographers, digital artists and photo editors to join us in the continual improvement of the RPHD slideshow. Come visit!
Bowie and Eno's loungey remix version of this from the 00's was equally awesome.
 flyboy wrote:

 One of the only songs where I enjoy the original and cover equally.

 
I liked the Nirvana cover at the time but now I don't care for it
Nirvana's is 23 years old and Bowie's is 47 years old and Bowie's still crackles and buzzes and illuminates,
Cobain's? old and draggy
 horstman wrote:
I think the cover by Nirvana makes the original sound even better (having the two as comparisons). They are both very good, and I love both versions but its the juxtaposition that brings out the highlights of each.

 
I agree.  One of the only songs where I enjoy the original and cover equally.
 lmic wrote:
"Bowie bemoaned the fact that when he performed the number himself he would encounter "kids that come up afterwards and say, 'It's cool you're doing a Nirvana song.' And I think, 'Fuck you, you little tosser!'" ~Nicholas Pegg

 
{#Clap} 


taken too soon
wowie-zowie moonboys and cotton pickers!!!!!!
Bowie follows Johnny Cash!!!{#Bananajam} 
"Bowie bemoaned the fact that when he performed the number himself he would encounter "kids that come up afterwards and say, 'It's cool you're doing a Nirvana song.' And I think, 'Fuck you, you little tosser!'" ~Nicholas Pegg
 hayduke2 wrote:
am going to see The Man Who Fell to Earth now (for the thirteenth time), David Bowie was a stellar gift to humanity

 
a new cleaned up version was to be released this fall, no doubt in select theaters only
might as well drop that Nirvana cover from the playlist
It's like an extremely fine wine {#Cheers}
am going to see The Man Who Fell to Earth now (for the thirteenth time), David Bowie was a stellar gift to humanity

45 years of his music live on forever
and the thousands of artists he inspired to make great art
and the millions of hearts and souls he touched
odd,...i am reading this interview with Tony Visconti (producer and bass player on this song) and this song pops up on RP
it's a recent interview about Bowie, good info, link below
https://www.heyreverb.com/blog/2016/04/12/david-bowie-producer-tony-visconti/116007/ 
I think the cover by Nirvana makes the original sound even better (having the two as comparisons). They are both very good, and I love both versions but its the juxtaposition that brings out the highlights of each.
fantastic song, wonderful person performing it!  10
Love the early stuff!

a great album
So admired/admire the artist and the grace with which he handled this transition.
" I thought you died alone
A long, long time ago
Oh no, not me
I never lost control" 
look up this song on YouTube when he did it on Saturday Night Live,...Bowie being Bowie, unreal, you'll love it
Reading some of the comments, is like reading The Onion. May be now they know who is David Bowie... I know everybody has to die, but for some reason I never thought of David being mortal. It's beyong sadness, the loss of an open mind, true discoverer, adventurer.
Oh well, we have the music, the plays, the writing.
Brilliantly excellent {#Bananajam}{#Dancingbanana}{#Bananajumprope}
 idiot_wind wrote:
Who is this guy?

I think he's trying to copy Arcade Fire! Now that's a band that gets it: provocative playing, hooks, melodies, harmonics, soulful sounds, and being creative and experimental.

They are truly a band for the 21st century...not like this strange guy.     

 
Either you are just emerging from under your rock after more than 50 years of seclusion, or you have a twisted and vivid sense of humor.
A good laugh here, whatever !! 


 bobzane wrote:
Martin Sheen was host - right after Apocalypse Now came out 


treatment_bound wrote:

Yeah, you might turn more than a few heads walking around in this "off the rack" special in 2012, but just imagine pulling it off in 1970!
 

 

Fits right in with the Game of Thrones crowd.


Excellent
 Webfoot wrote:
 oldsaxon wrote:

The Nirvana cover was good in that it might have brought a few young listeners closer to the Bowie original. It wasn't really all that good, in and of itself. 

I think it's "good" as much as any grunge can or wants to be. 

 
I liked the original Nirvana more than the new one.
What was I thinking giving this a nine?  Halfwit.  10, surely.
Forever ;)
A while back I stumbled over this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYeIqneQKA0
 oldsaxon wrote:

The Nirvana cover was good in that it might have brought a few young listeners closer to the Bowie original. It wasn't really all that good, in and of itself. 

I think it's "good" as much as any grunge can or wants to be. 
Who is this guy?

I think he's trying to copy Arcade Fire! Now that's a band that gets it: provocative playing, hooks, melodies, harmonics, soulful sounds, and being creative and experimental.

They are truly a band for the 21st century...not like this strange guy.     
Although in historical context this song is genius, I still think Cobain nailed it too. He took the song as his own. Bowie is pure genius.
Oh No, Not Me.....Almost Gregorian at the end...
David Bowie's comb in the background makes it groovy ;)
 2020sk wrote:
We need both versions, we have done ever since Nirvana did theirs on MTV and we probably always will do. A rare example, I believe, of a cover equalling the original and standing alongside it without detracting from it. Neither is perfect (slightly military trills in the drumming on Bowie's track, slurred - or forgotten - lyrics by Cobain; both minor gripes, negligible, only here for the record) but both stand out on their respective albums, and please don't ask me to choose one over the other - that's like asking me to rank my kids!

 
The Nirvana cover was good in that it might have brought a few young listeners closer to the Bowie original. It wasn't really all that good, in and of itself. 
 GTT wrote:
Just noticed, and love, the weird, horror movie keyboard underlying it all!

 
Hammond Model C-3 with the Tonewheel and ancillary Woofer Cabinet
 misterbearbaby wrote:
This is the American classical music, 10..

 
uhm..really? Google "Bowie" get back to us later.
 2020sk wrote:
We need both versions, we have done ever since Nirvana did theirs on MTV and we probably always will do. A rare example, I believe, of a cover equalling the original and standing alongside it without detracting from it. Neither is perfect (slightly military trills in the drumming on Bowie's track, slurred - or forgotten - lyrics by Cobain; both minor gripes, negligible, only here for the record) but both stand out on their respective albums, and please don't ask me to choose one over the other - that's like asking me to rank my kids!

 
Amen brother or sister
 1wolfy wrote:
When I first heard this, I'd ponder the lyrics and drift into deep thought....

 
It was all for nothing...
 GTT wrote:
Just noticed, and love, the weird, horror movie keyboard underlying it all!

  Many layers it has, young Jedi.


This is the American classical music, 10..
 Steely_D wrote:
It's one thing to acknowledge that it's a great song and do a cover of it.

But to write this? And make it such a touchstone for music during this period?
Now that's impressive. 

So it's a point of interest that Nirvana managed to do their version of it, which is quite good. But it's not in the same ballpark as Bowie.
That's like saying I drove my car from the east coast to the west, so I'm as important as the men that laid the Transcontinental Railroad. 

 
While I believe this is a great tune and also the definitive version of it, your comparison seems a little awry. I'm not sure if creative output could be compared with something as mundane as laying railroads or driving. Anyhow, there are many cover versions which surpass the originals.
Just noticed, and love, the weird, horror movie keyboard underlying it all!
It's one thing to acknowledge that it's a great song and do a cover of it.

But to write this? And make it such a touchstone for music during this period?
Now that's impressive. 

So it's a point of interest that Nirvana managed to do their version of it, which is quite good. But it's not in the same ballpark as Bowie.
That's like saying I drove my car from the east coast to the west, so I'm as important as the men that laid the Transcontinental Railroad. 
When I first heard this, I'd ponder the lyrics and drift into deep thought....
We need both versions, we have done ever since Nirvana did theirs on MTV and we probably always will do. A rare example, I believe, of a cover equalling the original and standing alongside it without detracting from it. Neither is perfect (slightly military trills in the drumming on Bowie's track, slurred - or forgotten - lyrics by Cobain; both minor gripes, negligible, only here for the record) but both stand out on their respective albums, and please don't ask me to choose one over the other - that's like asking me to rank my kids!
I like this version so much more than the Nirvana cover (my first exposure to the song) ... but thanks to Nirvana for bringing this back up from the depths.  While on the subject ... I like the original Meat Puppets much better than the Nirvana cover.
 enkay wrote:
I'm sure someone (or many someone's) will disagree with me, but I think it's quite often the case that people tend to prefer the version of a song they first become familiar with.

I almost never prefer a cover version of a song if I've known and liked the original first, although I really appreciate it when an artist tries to bring something new to it. Case in point would be Gary Jules doing Mad World.

I'll always prefer Bowie's version because I'd been listening to it for two decades before Nirvana had a go at it, and because Nirvana just turned in a karaoke version of it, in my opinion.

Or, more directly put, their version gets on my tits.
 
I agree in general
excepts for 2 songs i know
Hurt : cover by johnny Cash
Your song : cover by billy paul


Yes that's true, Mick was a wonderful guitarist. And Bowie a genious.
They made masterpiece, together.

zigzag wrote:
The brilliant Mick Ronson.

Miss you....miss you. 





...also, love that guiro. 

 


This is a great song ruined by the overzealous percussionist. I think Nirvana performed this song better IMHO.
wonderful outro
 enkay wrote:
I'm sure someone (or many someone's) will disagree with me, but I think it's quite often the case that people tend to prefer the version of a song they first become familiar with.

I almost never prefer a cover version of a song if I've known and liked the original first, although I really appreciate it when an artist tries to bring something new to it. Case in point would be Gary Jules doing Mad World.

I'll always prefer Bowie's version because I'd been listening to it for two decades before Nirvana had a go at it, and because Nirvana just turned in a karaoke version of it, in my opinion.

Or, more directly put, their version gets on my tits.
 
This is why I always say the one who wrote the song or performed it first deserves the ultimate and long-term credit.
"I gazed a gazely stare"
One of my favourite lines ever!!!! 
 This entire album was certainly a 'hit' for me, but not the masses. TomSweetwater wrote:
The cover songs on Nirvana Unplugged were the best part of the album, they added an attitude to this song that made it contemporary. I'd like to know how big a hit this was for Bowie at the time.

 


The brilliant Mick Ronson.

Miss you....miss you. 





...also, love that guiro. 
 TomSweetwater wrote:
The cover songs on Nirvana Unplugged were the best part of the album, they added an attitude to this song that made it contemporary. I'd like to know how big a hit this was for Bowie at the time.
 
There were no successful singles off of this album.  I think it may have had moderate sales, which increased after "Ziggy Stardust" was released.
The cover songs on Nirvana Unplugged were the best part of the album, they added an attitude to this song that made it contemporary. I'd like to know how big a hit this was for Bowie at the time.
First time I heard it was in 74, it was a small hit for Lulu. It took me a while to discover the Bowie single and album. Stil have the album, not the artwork though.
big stud Romeo Tuma wrote:
I always think about Nirvana's cover when I hear this...  love them both...
 

Yup...  amen...
 
Never heard this (original?) version, much thanks Radio Paradise for adding Bowie's dimension to this poetic and profound song.Quality of Bowie's voice on this reminds a bit of Jagger's on Heaven.
I like the way Cobain does the ending vocals with his guitar
 dwlangham wrote:
To my ear, and without the benefit of hearing them side-by-side, there's not a nickle's worth of difference between this and the Nirvana cover (the exception being Bowie's choral vocal "ahhhs" near the end). I agree with the fellow listener who thanked Cobain for re-introducing the song.
 
Your ear can't be very good then. There's a *huge* amount of difference. Cobain's voice is much rougher, I believe the version that's always played was the live acoustic set Nirvana did? It's ok, except for one terrible bum lead guitar note. 
I took that version as a 'hats off' to Bowie and soon got irritated that it was the only version the radio would play for many many years after.
 
So glad the original has made it's "comeback" on stations like RP. Whilst the Nirvana cover was OK, it became the most prevalent version for many years - despite it's rather wobbly out of tune bit part way through :)
I once saw Bowie standing alone outside Columbia Presbaterian Heart Center in New York waiting for his car to pick him up. We stood there fora good 3 minutes not sayong a word. Nobody else recognized him and I swear to god I have never been more gripped by fear since or before. Glad to know his health turned out ok.

Have the rare "German" CD-Cover in huge round shape!

About 800 Dollars worth!


(here)

(here)


So many reasons to love this song:  the enigmatic lyrics, the cheesy percussion instrument in the background, the flanged vocals, the fact that it is the original version of a popular re-make ... plus the unforgettable guitar and bass parts.  One of my favorite DB songs, and there are many great ones.
AWESOME!
It was just featured in "FRINGE" yesterday. 
 enkay wrote:
I'm sure someone (or many someone's) will disagree with me, but I think it's quite often the case that people tend to prefer the version of a song they first become familiar with. I almost never prefer a cover version of a song if I've known and liked the original first, although I really appreciate it when an artist tries to bring something new to it. Case in point would be Gary Jules doing Mad World. I'll always prefer Bowie's version because I'd been listening to it for two decades before Nirvana had a go at it, and because Nirvana just turned in a karaoke version of it, in my opinion. Or, more directly put, their version gets on my tits.
 
Well said. Often the fact is that if you've only just bumped into a tune covered by another as "better", you've already admitted your age and already defined the compass of your musical experiences. C'est la vie........

PS: I have two musician friends (one white, one black) who have similar birth dates to Bowie and both have VERY similar facial features. Go figure. 

I owe the original German cover, which unfolds to be a huge round cover!

Rare - 800 Euro value!

 

https://eil.com/Gallery/127870b.jpg

 

 

 

 


 I really love this song...{#Notworthy}
Martin Sheen was host - right after Apocalypse Now came out 


treatment_bound wrote:

Yeah, you might turn more than a few heads walking around in this "off the rack" special in 2012, but just imagine pulling it off in 1970!
 


 Randomax wrote:
I LOVE this album cover....Bowie always did JUST what he wanted and I admired him for that....does anyone remember him on Saturday Night Live performing in a dress?  Love it....Love shocking the masses!
 
Yeah, you might turn more than a few heads walking around in this "off the rack" special in 2012, but just imagine pulling it off in 1970!

 Hannio wrote:

I was riding my bike around the neighborhood and came upon two middle-school aged girls playing violins in their front yard.  As I rode past, I asked if they were having a hootenanny.  The younger one looked a little frightened, while the older one rolled her eyes and said " 'scuse me?"  I said, "you know, a hoe-down!"  At that the older girl gave me a shocked look while the younger one ran into the house.  I thought it was best to leave at that point.
 
Have you ever read Barry Hannah?  If he weren't dead I'd guess you were Barry Hannah.  Hannio, Hannah.  Any connection?
I LOVE this album cover....Bowie always did JUST what he wanted and I admired him for that....does anyone remember him on Saturday Night Live performing in a dress?  Love it....Love shocking the masses!
 sieversfam wrote:

And, I would classify Rap "Ho-Down" music.
 
I was riding my bike around the neighborhood and came upon two middle-school aged girls playing violins in their front yard.  As I rode past, I asked if they were having a hootenanny.  The younger one looked a little frightened, while the older one rolled her eyes and said " 'scuse me?"  I said, "you know, a hoe-down!"  At that the older girl gave me a shocked look while the younger one ran into the house.  I thought it was best to leave at that point.
The segue from Megafaun to this is a keeper.

Perfect.
I just love it... {#Angel}
I have always thought, that Nirvana wrote that. Well, I learned something today!
Great song, but this album contains better ones. Black Country Rock, Width of a Circle and Running Gun Blues to name a few.
To my ear, and without the benefit of hearing them side-by-side, there's not a nickle's worth of difference between this and the Nirvana cover (the exception being Bowie's choral vocal "ahhhs" near the end). I agree with the fellow listener who thanked Cobain for re-introducing the song.
 bev wrote:
Was a time I set this on repeat play — as I do with hypnotic tunes from time to time — and just let it take me...

Thanks to Kurt C. for introducing/re-introducing it to the masses. Certainly deserves it!

{#Music}
 
Second that!
Was a time I set this on repeat play — as I do with hypnotic tunes from time to time — and just let it take me...

Thanks to Kurt C. for introducing/re-introducing it to the masses. Certainly deserves it!

{#Music}
I'm sure someone (or many someone's) will disagree with me, but I think it's quite often the case that people tend to prefer the version of a song they first become familiar with.

I almost never prefer a cover version of a song if I've known and liked the original first, although I really appreciate it when an artist tries to bring something new to it. Case in point would be Gary Jules doing Mad World.

I'll always prefer Bowie's version because I'd been listening to it for two decades before Nirvana had a go at it, and because Nirvana just turned in a karaoke version of it, in my opinion.

Or, more directly put, their version gets on my tits.
 romeotuma wrote:


I always think about Nirvana's cover when I hear this...  love them both...

 
 
{#High-five} Me too!

This one's way better than Nirvana's version or others
Good song, like the Nirvana version more, and the song would be nothing without that guitar riff.  The whole song pivots around it.
 Hannio wrote:


Reminds me of the one about how Michael Jackson proved what a great country we live in.  Where else could a poor black kid grow up into a rich white woman?
 

Now THAT, IMHO is aGREAT comment! Thanks for the pleasure!
 sirdroseph wrote:
This is a great song, but I actually prefer the Nirvana version, they did a bang up job with it IMO.

 
>click< Like Button

This is a great song, but I actually prefer the Nirvana version, they did a bang up job with it IMO.

 sieversfam wrote:

And, I would classify Rap "Ho-Down" music.

 
HA!

It's all perception, but I feel like I've heard this track a dozen times on RP the past couple of years - and maybe ONCE prior to that in 20-30 years?
Oh, and he looks bloody creepy on the cover.


I always think about Nirvana's cover when I hear this...  love them both...

 
 lemmoth wrote:
I may be the biggest Bowie fan here and I of course couldn't disagree more with every comment Tex has ever made on Bowie songs.

But based on his comments - good and bad - I guarantee you he is no redneck in the pejorative sense of the word.  My assumption is that he is a very bright well educated sophisticated music lover - who just hates Bowie's music with a passion.
 
I agree with Lemmoth on two counts. Yes, Bowie is so intelligent it scares me, and two, Tex is no redneck.

And I've been battling him for years (and we have become friends in the broadest of internet sense).

Peace.


 Mojoboy wrote:
Essex-Tex you sure sound like yer from Texas! Redneck.
Bowie might be old but his always been a genius.
Ah just stick to ya hoe-down music
  I may be the biggest Bowie fan here and I of course couldn't disagree more with every comment Tex has ever made on Bowie songs.

But based on his comments - good and bad - I guarantee you he is no redneck in the pejorative sense of the word.  My assumption is that he is a very bright well educated sophisticated music lover - who just hates Bowie's music with a passion.


When the comet hits the Earth, I'll throw my body over my LP copy of TMWSTW so future spacefaring archeologists can know who we really were. This is your classical music,


 Mojoboy wrote:
Essex-Tex you sure sound like yer from Texas! Redneck.
Bowie might be old but his always been a genius.
Ah just stick to ya hoe-down music
 
I would argue your stereotypical view of Texas makes your comments as bigoted as Tex.

 Mojoboy wrote:
Essex-Tex you sure sound like yer from Texas! Redneck.
Bowie might be old but his always been a genius.
Ah just stick to ya hoe-down music
 
Hey, not to defend "Tex", but don't diss Country.. Appreciate all forms!

And, I would classify Rap "Ho-Down" music.


 Hannio wrote:


Reminds me of the one about how Michael Jackson proved what a great country we live in.  Where else could a poor black kid grow up into a rich white woman?
 
ROFLMAO  how true
Essex-Tex you sure sound like yer from Texas! Redneck.
Bowie might be old but his always been a genius.
Ah just stick to ya hoe-down music
 EssexTex wrote:
He sounds like a frail old lady......oh and he looks like one now too.

 

Reminds me of the one about how Michael Jackson proved what a great country we live in.  Where else could a poor black kid grow up into a rich white woman?
 ziakut wrote:
So glad to hear Bowie and not Cobain. 
 

Either is fine with me.
 scraig wrote:
 
This was a good one. Well, they were all good. So I guess this was exceptional.
 acolt wrote:
I'm going to get killed for this, but for the genius that Bowie is, I still like Nirvana's unplugged version better.
 

I completely agree with you, but my guess is that our opinion is common for those around our age, whereas the folks who were around when Bowie's original came out probably just see Nirvana's version as a very good cover of a great song.

Either way, I like both...just prefer one over the other.

Timeless
With all due respect to Nirvana, this version is so much better than theirs. . .
So glad to hear Bowie and not Cobain. 
I own the original LP in big round shape when unfolded!
Anybody know if this is collectible?



EDIT:
Just checked > https://cgi.ebay.com.sg/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250684116573