1973 single by David Bowie
“ Life on Mars? “ is a song by English singer-songwriter David Bowie, foremost released on his 1971 album Hunky Dory. In 1968, Bowie was commissioned to write english lyrics for the Claude François French song “ Comme d’habitude “. After his lyrics were rejected, songwriter Paul Anka rewrote it into “ My Way “, which became celebrated by singer Frank Sinatra in 1969. Annoyed at the achiever of “ My way ”, Bowie used the song as a template and wrote “ Life on Mars ? ” as a parody of Sinatra ‘s read. Like early songs Bowie wrote during this period, it was written primarily on piano. Recording for “ Life on Mars ? ” took place on 6 August 1971, the final day of the Hunky Dory sessions. Co-produced by Bowie and Ken Scott, the second band consisted of guitarist Mick Ronson, bassist Trevor Bolder and drummer Mick Woodmansey ; Ronson besides composed the song ‘s string musical arrangement. After failing to acquire pianist Dudley Moore, piano was played by Strawbs member Rick Wakeman.
Reading: Life on Mars (song) – Wikipedia
musically, “ Life on Mars ? ” is described as a “ sailplane, cinematic ballad ”. It is chiefly glam rock, with elements of cabaret and art rock. The birdcall has a complex structure, containing different chord changes throughout. The instruments act in tangent with one another and Bowie ‘s outspoken, steadily growing throughout its runtime. lyrically, the sung describes a daughter who goes to the cinema to escape reality, using numerous dreamlike images. It thematically reflects optimism and the effects of Hollywood. Despite its title, the song has no association to Mars itself ; it is rather a reference point to a then-recent media craze between the United States and Soviet Union. At the altitude of Bowie ‘s fame as Ziggy Stardust, RCA Records issued “ Life on Mars ? ” as a single on 22 June 1973 in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart and stayed on the chart for thirteen weeks. The single secrete was promoted by a promotional video shot by photographer Mick Rock, featuring a made-up Bowie in a greenish blue suit performing the song against a white backdrop. Bowie performed the birdcall during his concerts frequently throughout his career, performances of which have appeared on several live albums. The song besides has appeared on numerous compilation albums and was remixed by Scott in 2003 and 2016, the latter being a ‘stripped down ‘ shuffle. The 2016 mix was accompanied by a remastered and reedited version of Rock ‘s video. “ biography on Mars ? ” is considered by biographers and reviewers as one of Bowie ‘s finest songs, with many describing it as a masterpiece. praise is besides given to Bowie ‘s outspoken performance and growth as a songwriter. several publications have besides considered it one of the greatest songs of all time. The sung was the namesake of the british television series Life on Mars and has featured in early films and television shows. Artists who have covered the song include singer Barbra Streisand and Nine Inch Nails members Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The song charted cosmopolitan following Bowie ‘s death in 2016 and became a frequent tribute song for the artist ; tributes by Nicholas Freestone and singer Lorde garnered widespread attention .
Background and writing [edit ]
In early 1968, David Bowie ‘s publisher, David Platz, was sharing a London agency with another music publisher, Geoffrey Heath. One day, Heath brought in an acetate of the 1967 French song “ Comme d’habitude “, composed by Claude François and Jacques Revaux, and whistle by François. Having a limited option for the sung ‘s british rights, Heath requested Platz for a songwriter to write english lyrics for the song. Platz suggested Bowie, who at that point had done other translations for him. Bowie ‘s then-manager, Kenneth Pitt, believed that Bowie was a stronger lyricist than a composer and if he wrote “ to a strong melody composed by person else, ” it would guarantee him a hit. [ a ] Bowie ‘s translation, titled “ even a Fool Learns to Love ”, took influence from his then-recent work as a mime and featured a address to his 1967 track “ When I Live My ambition ”. He late told Michael Parkinson in a 2002 consultation that he “ wrote some very severe lyrics [ to it ] ”. [ 4 ] Although he recorded an unreleased demonstration in February 1968, the french publishers of “ Comme d’habitude ” rejected him, primarily due to his obscurity. soon after, songwriter Paul Anka bought the rights to “ Comme d’habitude ” and rewrote it into “ My Way “, a song made celebrated by american english singer Frank Sinatra in 1969. The achiever of “ My way ” prompted Bowie to write “ Life on Mars ? ” as a parody of Sinatra ‘s recording. He told Parkinson : “ That in truth made me angry for sol long—for about a year … finally I thought, ‘I can write something ampere boastfully as that, and I ‘ll write one that sounds a morsel like it. ‘ ” [ 4 ] Bowie acknowledged the song ‘s influence in the lining notes for Hunky Dory, which state that the song was “ inspired by Frankie ”. [ 5 ] Using “ My direction ” as a basis, Bowie wrote “ Life on Mars ? ” relatively promptly. He belated recalled in the liner notes for the 2008 compilation iSelect that he began humming the tune in a ballpark in Beckenham, Kent, thereafter returning home to Haddon Hall and writing the rest of the song that good afternoon on piano, [ b ] [ 11 ] which he primarily used to compose other songs of this period. Bowie believed that using “ Comme d’habitude ” as a footing was not “ larceny ”, but rather “ a statement of true ownership ”. One Melody Maker reviewer suggested the sung was written after “ a brief and irritating affair ” with actress Hermione Farthingale. While on enlistment in 1990, Bowie introduced the birdcall by saying “ You fall in love, you write a beloved birdcall. This is a sexual love sung. ” [ 14 ] Despite writing it promptly, Bowie ‘s original handwritten lyrics were vastly different—save for the chorus—than the finished read, being more akin to the spirit of Hunky Dory ‘s other Nietzsche -inspired numbers : “ There ‘s a shoulder-rock movement and the shaky starts / And a great Lord signs in conceited / What can you buy when there ‘s no-one to tell you / What a bargain you made … ”
Recording [edit ]
early show [edit ]
Bowie recorded a show of “ Life on Mars ? ” between May and June 1971. [ c ] According to biographer Nicholas Pegg, the show runs at a short distance of 1:53 and features Bowie alone on vocals and piano. lyrically, it only contains the beginning poetry and refrain, and featured several lyrical variations from the finished cut, including “ It ‘s a simple but small matter ”, “ Her mother is yelling no, and her founder has asked her to go ” and “ It ‘s a time for the lawman beating up the incorrectly guy ”. The demonstration remains unreleased. According to biographer Marc Spitz, Bowie had recorded show of “ Life on Mars ? ” and early Hunky Dory tracks “ Oh ! You Pretty Things “ and “ Andy Warhol “ around this clock time, which inspired Bowie ‘s fresh director, Tony Defries, to look into securing a new record contract for Bowie, finally signing him with RCA Records .
Studio translation [edit ]
I remember leaving [ the studio ] and saying to a couple of friends that I met that evening in a local public house that I ‘d good played on the best song that I ‘d ever had the privilege to work on. [ 4 ]
– Rick Wakeman reflecting on the record of “ Life on Mars ? “, 2016
work on Hunky Dory officially began at Trident Studios in London on 8 June 1971. “ Life on Mars ? ” was recorded on the final day of the sessions, 6 August. [ vitamin d ] According to O’Leary, Bowie and co-producer Ken Scott considered the traverse to be “ the Big one ” and saved it for the end. Earlier in July, Defries sent a letter to jazz pianist Dudley Moore asking him to play piano during a session. There is no know evidence that Moore replied and although the specific song Defries was asking him to play on is unknown, biographer Kevin Cann deduces that it was most probable “ Life on Mars ? ”. In the end, piano was played by keyboardist Rick Wakeman, noted session musician and extremity of the Strawbs, who previously played Mellotron on Bowie ‘s 1969 self-titled album. In 1995 he recalled that he met with Bowie in late June 1971 at Haddon Hall, where he heard demonstration of “ Changes “ and “ Life on Mars ? ” in “ their raw magnificence … the finest excerpt of songs I have always heard in one sitting in my entire life … I could n’t wait to get into the studio and record them. ” The piano Wakeman played was the same 1898 Bechstein used by the Beatles for “ Hey Jude “ and subsequently by Queen for “ gypsy rhapsody “ .
Rick Wakeman (pictured in 2012), whose piano playing is prominent on “Life on Mars?”, whose piano dally is big on “ Life on Mars ? ” Along with Wakeman on piano, the second band consisted of guitarist Mick Ronson, bassist Trevor Bolder and drummer Mick Woodmansey. Ronson besides composed the sung ‘s string musical arrangement which, according to Woodmansey, was the beginning he had always undertaken : “ He was identical anxious about it. We had a unharmed string part at Trident with the proper BBC session players who, if one note was not written properly, would turn their noses up and you would n’t get a beneficial sound out of them. so Mick was actually nervous, but when they played the parts they realized these rock’n’rollers might not be guys we want to be in the studio apartment with, but the parts are dear. They took it on and very went with it. ” Ronson ‘s wife Suzi recalled that he composed the agreement while sitting in the studio apartment public toilet. additionally, Woodmansey told NME in 2016 that “ Life on Mars ? ” was the first meter he realised the “ bore ” of Bowie ‘s songwriting, saying “ It had good gone to another level of quality … it was something in truth especial. ” He besides noted that it was a moment chilling because there was nothing around like that [ at the time ]. ” [ 4 ] Bowie recorded his vocal performance in one take. Regarding Bowie ‘s talent as a singer, Scott stated : “ He was unique. [ He was ] the entirely singer I ever worked with where about every claim was a master. ”
musical composition [edit ]
music [edit ]
“ life on Mars ? ” is described by biographer David Buckley as a “ hang glide, cinematic ballad ”. Musically, the song has been classified as glam rock, [ 30 ] [ 31 ] while Michael Gallucci of Ultimate Classic Rock finds the tune “ bridges cabaret and art rock “. [ 32 ] The song features a complex structure : the verses are chiefly in the key of F major, but different chord changes are stage throughout, including C7 ( “ told her to go ” ), F ( “ but her acquaintance ” ), and late on, C9 to A♭ ( “ lived it ten times ” ). The pre-chorus sections go from F major to B♭ major, which is dominant throughout the choruses ; Bolder ‘s bassline features a rising chromatic plate of E♭ to E to F to G♭. Bowie delivers his vocals stormily during the choruses and about nasally in the verses. The sung begins with a individual piano note, followed by a rest, with Bowie beginning his vocals on the one-third beat. The lapp chord sequence for “ My way ” is used for the hatchway bars of “ Life on Mars ? ”. Bolder enters on bass at the line “ sink dream ”. At the pre-chorus, the instruments begin to build : strings and bass clang on the downbeat, Wakeman continues a race of chords on piano, while Bowie ‘s voice grows in saturation, changing from D to B♭ ( “ focus on/SAI-LORS ” ). He weakens his B♭ note concisely for “ OH man ” before changing from E to B on “ law-man ”. The final climax arrives at the word “ Mars ”, a B♭ note which he holds for three bars. Afterwards, another sequence plays out before the following verse begins .
Mick Ronson (pictured in 1981), whose string arrangement is prevalent throughout the song., whose string arrangement is prevailing throughout the birdcall. Ronson based his string arrangement on the bassline Bolder worked on during rehearsals for the chase. The early instruments act as a counterpoint to the strings during the chorus : on drums, Woodmansey plays, in O’Leary ‘s words, a “ snare-medium turkey cock fill to echo a derive violin line ”, while Wakeman adds “ dancing ” replies on piano. Ronson plays the recorder during the moment verse at the “ Ibiza ” production line. Bowie noted that Wakeman “ embellished the piano part ” of his original melody and Ronson “ created one of his first and best string parts ” for the song. [ 5 ] Author Peter Doggett describes Ronson ‘s string placement as “ elephantine ”, and Sandford argues that the “ exuberant, orchestral placement ” of the track is what Hunky Dory would be good remembered for. Towards the end, after Ronson gives a unretentive, “ vibrato-saturated ” guitar solo—recorded in one take —the strings play “ thousand sweeps ” before a climactic tom-roll. Doggett and O’Leary compare the tom-roll to the kettle from 2001: A Space Odyssey ( 1968 ), while Pegg and Christopher Sandford compare it to the poem Also sprach Zarathustra. After a false ending, Wakeman ‘s piano plays the chorus tune “ off in the distance ”. then, in O’Leary ‘s words, “ a call rings, the sung ‘s manufacturers grumble, we ‘re leave alert and alone. ” According to Pegg, the call ring occurred during an earlier, scrapped take at the end of the record, which Bowie decided to keep for the final mix .
Lyrics [edit ]
BBC Radio 2 describes “ Life on Mars ? ” as having “ one of the strangest lyrics always ”, consisting of a “ skid of phantasmagoric images ” like a Salvador Dalí painting. [ 5 ] Spitz sees a subject of optimism, in the song. A “ girl with mousy hair ” looks to the film as a way to escape from world. [ 37 ] Sandford writes that it “ sets up a complex parallel world in which the film becomes life. ” After the daughter becomes “ dependent to the silver medal screen ”, Bowie uses an array of images one might see when viewing films from different decades, naming the likes of Mickey Mouse, John Lennon, “ rule, Britannia ! “, Ibiza and the Norfolk Broads. At the time of Hunky Dory’ second free in 1971, Bowie summed up the song as “ A sensitive young girlfriend ‘s chemical reaction to the media. ” In 1997, he added : “ I think she finds herself disappoint with world … that although she ‘s living in the stagnation of world, she ‘s being told that there ‘s a far greater life somewhere, and she ‘s bitterly disappoint that she does n’t have access to it. ” Doggett writes that a key theme throughout the song is Hollywood, which he describes as “ a manufacturer of dreams and stars that have become stale with repeat. ” This is apparent in the line “ the film is a saddening bore—she ‘s lived it ten times or more ”, which Sandford calls “ a clean, if well-worn magic trick, blurring the art-life separate. ” The Hollywood determine is besides present in the line “ front at those cavemen go ”, which is borrowed from the song “ Alley Oop “, a one-off 1960 hit by the american doo-wop band the Hollywood Argyles. The identity of the “ girl with the mousy hair ” has been debated. Some journalists and commentators have suggested the female child is Farthingale. however, Pegg disagrees, writing that there ‘s no evidence to support this claim. Farthingale herself has rejected this theory, telling Pegg : “ I do n’t actually have mousy hair … I was n’t a person who lived at dwelling with my parents, and I did n’t live a fantasy life in films. Nothing about me fits into any of the words. ”
title [edit ]
Although Bowie was fixated on becoming Ziggy Stardust at the time of its record, the birdcall has no connection to Mars itself ; the title was a reference to the holocene media craze of the US and Soviet Union racing to get to the bolshevik planet. Doggett states that the media craze sparked headlines around the world that asked the doubt : “ Is there life on Mars ? ” however, Perone opines that the science fiction -influenced quality of Ziggy Stardust and his back band the Spiders from Mars originated from the “ flit image ” of “ Life on Mars ? “, adenine well as the “ androgynous outcast ” that was portrayed in The Man Who Sold the World ( 1970 ) .
release [edit ]
RCA Records released Hunky Dory on 17 December 1971, [ 42 ] with “ Life on Mars ? ” sequenced as the fourth lead on side one of the original LP, between “ Eight Line Poem ” and “ Kooks “. eighteen months later, at the altitude of Bowie ‘s Ziggy Stardust fame, [ 44 ] [ 30 ] RCA late released the track as a single in the UK on 22 June 1973, with the catalogue count RCA 2316 and the 1970 cut “ The homo Who Sold the World “ as the B-side. Cann writes that its turn as a single was due to its “ impregnable reception ” on the Ziggy Stardust Tour. RCA had previously reissued “ Space Oddity “ as a individual in the US in December 1972. curtly before its release as a single, a new promotional video recording for “ Life on Mars ? ” was shot at the Blandford West Ten Studio in Ladbroke Grove, West London, on 13 June 1973. Directed and shot by photographer Mick Rock, who previously directed the video recording for “ John, I ‘m only Dancing “ and “ The Jean Genie “, [ 31 ] it features a heavily made-up Bowie mimic to the song solo against a white backdrop, wearing in a turquoise suit designed by Freddie Buretti. [ einsteinium ] Rock subsequently explained that “ it was n’t so much an idea as a consequence in time, ” clarifying that he “ wanted to do something that looked a little spot like a painting. ” Bowie former remarked that the final resultant role has a “ strange buoyant, pop-art effect. ” In 2016, it was remastered and reedited by Rock. [ 30 ] “ life on Mars ? ” has been released on a diverseness of compilation albums, including The Best of Bowie ( 1980 ) ( featuring a different edit ), Changesbowie ( EMI LP and cassette versions ) ( 1990 ), [ 49 ] The Singles Collection ( 1993 ), [ 50 ] The Best of David Bowie 1969/1974 ( 1997 ), [ 51 ] Best of Bowie ( 2002 ), [ 52 ] and iSelect ( 2008 ). [ 53 ] [ 54 ] Ken Scott remixed the chase in 2003, which appears on Nothing Has Changed ( 2014 ). [ 56 ] In 2015, the song, along with its parent album, was remastered for the Five Years (1969–1973) corner stage set. [ 57 ] [ 58 ] It was released in CD, vinyl, and digital formats. [ 59 ] Following Bowie ‘s death in 2016, a new desegregate of “ Life on Mars ? ” was released for the Legacy (The Very Best of David Bowie) compilation and besides as a single. The mix, by original co-producer Ken Scott, is ‘stripped down ‘ and has entirely strings, piano and Bowie ‘s vocals. [ 60 ] [ 61 ] [ 62 ]
critical reception [edit ]
[ “ Life on Mars ? ” ] speaks to the hanker for something more excite that everyone has, the kind of universal joint theme that, when married to a sweeping tune and executed with expressive style … will remain the stuff of best-of lists and subpar covers .
– Marc Spitz, Bowie: A Biography
Hunky Dory was met with very positive reviews from respective british and american publications. Classifying it under their “ Top album Picks ”, Billboard named “ Life on Mars ? ” as one of the strongest songs from the album. [ 64 ] Reviewers have by and large considered “ Life on Mars ? ” one of the best tracks on Hunky Dory. [ 42 ] [ 65 ] [ 66 ] Gallucci argues that “ Life on Mars ? ” is one of the tracks that “ painted a portrayal of an artist who could n’t be labeled because he himself had little idea of who or what he was at the time ”. [ 42 ] Dave Thompson of AllMusic describes it as “ a masterpiece of disconnected think and preempt vision ” and one of Bowie ‘s “ most astonishing ” songs. [ 44 ] early reviewers have classified the track as giving a hard theatrical performance of Bowie ‘s growth as a songwriter. [ 4 ] [ 67 ] On the eve of the song ‘s fiftieth anniversary in 2021, Matt Neal of ABC News writes that “ the song stands as an epitaph to [ a ] remarkable musician ”. [ 4 ] retrospectively, reviewers and commentators have praised “ Life on Mars ? ” as one of Bowie ‘s finest songs. Pegg calls it his “ 1971 masterpiece ”, while O’Leary considers it to be “ the Citizen Kane of Bowie ‘s songs : young valet ‘s bravura ”. Doggett and Rob Sheffield consider Bowie ‘s song performance to be one of his best. [ 69 ] meanwhile, Spitz describes it as “ one of the best popular songs ever written ”. Publications including Digital Spy, Mojo, and Consequence of Sound have considered it Bowie ‘s greatest song. [ 70 ] [ 71 ] [ 72 ] Digital Spy stated it has “ possibly become [ Bowie ‘s ] touch song —filled with dreamlike prankster lyrics …, it married vivid imagination with a tender, heartbreaking melody ”. [ 70 ] In 2008, Uncut magazine ranked it issue nine in a list of Bowie ‘s 30 best songs. [ 31 ] Following Bowie ‘s end, Rolling Stone named “ Life on Mars ? ” one of the 30 most all-important songs of Bowie ‘s catalogue. [ 69 ] Two years late in 2018, the readers of NME voted the sung as Bowie ‘s second best racetrack, behind “ All the Young Dudes “, [ 73 ] while the publication ‘s staff placed it at number seven in a list of Bowie ‘s 40 best songs. [ 74 ] In The Guardian, Alexis Petridis voted it count four in his number of Bowie ‘s 50 greatest songs, calling it a “ no-further-questions masterpiece ”. [ 75 ] interim, the staff of The Telegraph placed it at number five in a 2021 number of Bowie ‘s 20 greatest songs. [ 76 ] In a list ranking every Bowie single from worst to best, Ultimate Classic Rock placed “ Life on Mars ? ” at count six. [ 77 ] In 2020, Tom Eames of Smooth Radio listed it as Bowie ‘s second great sung, behind “ ‘Heroes ‘ “. [ 78 ]
Accolades [edit ]
“ life sentence on Mars ? ” has appeared on numerous best-of lists. Neil McCormick, head rock critic of The Telegraph, has ranked “ Life on Mars ? ” the greatest song of all time in two unlike lists compiling the 100 Greatest Songs of All Time. [ 79 ] [ 80 ] He described it in the first list therefore :
gloriously strange sci-fi anthem. A stir, yearning tune combines with intense, poetic imagination to accomplish a trick very detail to the art of the birdcall : to be at once completely impenetrable and yet evocative with personal intend. You want to raise your voice and sing along, yet Bowie ‘s abstract prankster lyrics force you to invest the song with something of yourself equitable to make common sense of the experience and then carry you away to a place evocative with intense, individual emotion. The charming and mystery of music and lyrics. It is something to behold. [ 79 ]
In 2007, Q magazine ranked “ Life on Mars ? ” third in a list compiling the “ 10 most perfect songs always ”, behind Jeff Buckley ‘s adaptation of “ Hallelujah “ and the Beatles ‘ “ Strawberry Fields Forever “. [ 81 ] The birdcall has besides appeared in lists of the best songs of the 1970s, including at number 25 by NME, [ 82 ] and number one by Pitchfork and Treble. [ 83 ] [ 84 ] In 2021, Rolling Stone cartridge holder ranked it number 105 in their update list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. [ 85 ] Based on the sung ‘s appearances in master rankings and listings, the aggregate web site Acclaimed Music lists “ Life on Mars ? ” as the 5th most acclaimed birdcall of 1971, the 17th most acclaimed song of the 1970s and the 96th most acclaimed song in history. [ 86 ]
commercial performance [edit ]
Upon let go of as a single, “ Life on Mars ? ” entered the UK Singles Chart at act 21, [ 87 ] peaking at issue three in mid-july, being held off the peak spot by “ Welcome Home “ by Peters and Lee and “ I ‘m the Leader of the Gang ( I Am ) “ by Gary Glitter. [ 88 ] It remained on the chart for a entire of thirteen weeks. It besides managed to peak at number 39 on the official german Charts in West Germany. [ 89 ] In the wake island of the massive commercial success of Bowie ‘s 1983 album Let’s Dance, “ Life on Mars ? ” returned to the UK chart for one week, peaking at phone number 97. [ 90 ] Over 30 years late after its initial release, the sung re-entered the UK singles chart at issue 55 in April 2007, largely because of its practice in the british television series Life on Mars. It besides charted at number 67 two years by and by on the australian ARIA charts. [ 91 ] Following Bowie ‘s death in 2016, “ Life on Mars ? ” charted around the universe. It became a top-five score in both France and Ireland, [ 92 ] [ 93 ] and in the US, it peaked at numeral seven and twelve on Billboard ‘s Euro Digital Song Sales and Hot Rock & Alternative Songs charts, respectively. [ 94 ] [ 95 ] Elsewhere, the song charted in Finland ( 12 ), [ 96 ] Italy ( 33 ), [ 97 ] Belgium Wallonia ( 40 ), [ 98 ] Sweden ( 44 ), [ 99 ] Switzerland ( 48 ), [ 100 ] Portugal ( 63 ), [ 101 ] and the Netherlands ( 95 ). [ 102 ]
know performances [edit ]
Bowie performed “ Life on Mars ? ” frequently throughout his concert tours. On the 1973 leg of the Ziggy Stardust Tour, the song was performed in a medley with “ Quicksand ” and “ Memory of a Free Festival “. alive recordings from the tour have appeared on the 2003 thirtieth anniversary bonus magnetic disk of Aladdin Sane, [ 103 ] and on the bootleg album Santa Monica ’72 ( 1994 ), which received an official free on Live Santa Monica ’72 in 2008. [ 106 ] Additionally, a live performance recorded during the 1976 Isolar Tour on 23 March 1976, in a medley with “ Five Years “, was included on Live Nassau Coliseum ’76, [ 108 ] primitively included as partially of the 2010 reissues of Station to Station, on the 2016 box set Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976), [ 110 ] and as a stand-alone album in 2017. [ 111 ] He besides performed the song on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on 5 September 1980. A performance from the Serious Moonlight Tour, recorded on 12 September 1983, may be heard on the exist album Serious Moonlight (Live ’83), which was initially released as separate of the 2018 box set Loving the Alien (1983–1988) and individually the follow year. [ 112 ] The filmed performance besides appears on the concert video Serious Moonlight ( 1984 ). After the Sound+Vision Tour in 1990, Bowie would n’t perform “ Life on Mars ? ” again until 23 August 1999 for a recorded-for-television performance, subsequently released on VH1 Storytellers in 2009. [ 114 ] A class late, Bowie performanced the song at the Glastonbury Festival on 25 June 2000, late released in 2018 on Glastonbury 2000. [ 115 ] The song was besides a independent stay during the Hours, 2000 and Heathen tours, while a November 2003 performance from his final A Reality Tour was released on the A Reality Tour DVD in 2004 and subsequently included on the A Reality Tour album in 2010. [ 117 ] The final performance of “ Life on Mars ? ” was on 8 September 2005, where Bowie performed it with the indie rock ring Arcade Fire at Radio City Music Hall in New York City at the 2005 fashion Rocks event. He was introduced by singer Alicia Keys and was accompanied by Bowie ‘s longtime pianist Mike Garson. A record was subsequently released via iTunes .
Cover versions and appearances in media [edit ]
“ animation on Mars ? ” has appeared in numerous television receiver series. The british television series Life on Mars was named after and heavily featured the song, subsequently appearing on its soundtrack album. interim, actress Jessica Lange sang a rendition with a deep german accent on the fourth-season premier of the FX television series American Horror Story: Freak Show. Playing a character whose surname is Mars, Lange wears an ice-blue trouser lawsuit and heavy match eye shadow in her operation, echoing the Bowie television. [ 119 ] The Doctor Who episode “ The Waters of Mars “ ( 2009 ) takes invest in the first human base on Mars, which is named “ Bowie Base One ”, acknowledged by showrunner Russell T Davies as a reference point to “ Life on Mars ? “. [ 120 ] The song has besides appeared in respective film soundtracks. The original soundtrack of the 1996 movie Breaking the Waves features “ Life on Mars ? ” during the epilogue, although the sung was replaced by Elton John ‘s “ Your Song “ on the international DVD publish for copyright reasons. [ 121 ] Seu Jorge recorded a portuguese cover for the 2004 film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, while Bowie ‘s original is included on the film ‘s soundtrack album. “ Life on Mars ? ” besides appears in Loverboy ( 2005 ) and Hunky Dory ( 2012 ), and on the soundtrack of Factory Girl ( 2006 ). [ 122 ] The song besides appears in the 2015 melodious Lazarus, written by Bowie and dramatist Enda Walsh near the end of Bowie ‘s life. It is sung by the character of ‘Girl ‘, played by Sophia Anne Caruso in the New York and London productions. For the musical, the song ‘s musical arrangement was downplayed in order to avoid it becoming a Broadway “ show-stopper ” .
Lorde (pictured in 2017), whose performance of “Life on Mars?” at the , whose performance of “ Life on Mars ? ” at the 2016 Brit Awards garnered widespread acclaim. A multitude of artists have covered “ Life on Mars ? ”. american singer Barbra Streisand covered the birdcall for her 1974 album ButterFly. [ 124 ] Bowie condemned it, saying in 1976 it was “ [ bacillus ] loody amazing. Sorry, Barb, but it was atrocious. ” Pegg besides panned a 2005 slowly listening interpretation by the british group G4 in his koran The Complete David Bowie, calling it “ heroically ghastly ”. ABBA member Anni-Frid Lyngstad recorded a swedish version titled “ Liv på Mars ? ” for her 1975 solo album Frida ensam, while a version by belgian singer Jasper Steverlinck reached number one in the belgian charts in 2003. In 2019, Nine Inch Nails members Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross covered the sung on their soundtrack for the HBO specify series Watchmen. The dark ambient piano screen appears in the end credits of the episode “ An Almost Religious Awe “. Reznor, who was personal friends with Bowie, [ f ] remarked that composing the cover was a daunt task, but that he and Ross were ultimately “ very proud ” of the leave. [ 127 ] [ 128 ] [ 129 ] Following Bowie ‘s end in 2016, “ Life on Mars ? ” became one of his most wide selected songs for tribute performances. A translation by Nicholas Freestone, harmonium scholar at St Albans Cathedral in Hertfordshire, became a viral hit after a video of his performance was posted on Facebook and YouTube. [ 130 ] New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde performed the birdcall with Bowie ‘s final tour ring at the 2016 Brit Awards in February 2016. [ 131 ] [ 132 ] Her screen was wide acknowledged as one of the finest tribute performances to the artist. Later that year, the birdcall was performed at the 2016 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. [ 133 ] “ Life on Mars ? ” has besides been used for versatile space-related events. In 2018, the song was played by the radio receiver of Elon Musk ‘s Tesla Roadster during its launch aboard the Falcon Heavy ‘s maiden over flight. [ 134 ] A overlay adaptation by the English singer Yungblud was used at the end of NASA TV ‘s live coverage of the land of the Mars 2020 wanderer. [ 135 ]
Personnel [edit ]
According to biographer Chris O’Leary :
Charts [edit ]
Certifications [edit ]
|Denmark (IFPI Danmark)||Gold||45,000|
sales since 2009
|United Kingdom (BPI)
sales since 2004
|Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone .|