Release notes: Life Beyond Mars: Bowie Covered

July 14, 2008

Following up on their (presumably successful) compilation of Radiohead covers, Rapster Records corraled a dozen electronic artists to create their own versions of David Bowie songs and released Life Beyond Mars: Bowie Covered. As a lifelong Bowie fan and someone who loves electronic music and covers, I feel like I personify the target demographic for this album (and I did, in fact, buy the CD). Sadly, however, I found the song quality to be rather uneven. As might be expected, given the genre, the song choices are heavy on Bowie’s Berlin years, and the standout track is definitely Matthew Dear’s cover of “Sound & Vision.” Most artists chose  lesser-known Bowie songs, rather than hit singles – understandable, really, as who’d want to take on the challenge of reinterpreting a beloved masterpiece? – but the The Thing took a different approach. Their ‘cover’ of “Life on Mars” has nothing discernibly in common with the original besides its title. I’m going to politely describe its style as ‘experimental,’ including sounds like rusted metal-on-metal creaks and squeaky balloons. I’d suggest the version below instead.

MP3: David Bowie and Arcade Fire – Life on Mars (live)

Life Beyond Mars: website amazon

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