You’ve probably heard by now that David Bowie died Sunday after battling cancer. And if you’ve been a U2 fan for any length of time, you know of the immense impact that Bowie had on the band — and Bono, in particular.
I’d expect some kind of official statement on U2.com in the next day or three. But for now, we can look back to 2010 when Rolling Stone magazine did a special “Playlists” issue where popular artists listed their favorite songs from other artists. Bono gave the magazine a 15-song playlist of his favorite David Bowie songs. The top five:
1. “Space Oddity”
2. “The Man Who Sold The World”
4. “Five Years”
5. “Life On Mars”
In his write-up, Bono talked about Bowie’s influence on U2 — and note the talk about concert-as-drama, which is something U2 has incorporated into its live shows since day one.
U2 owe him a lot. He introduced us to Berlin and Hansa Studios, to collaborating with Brian Eno. It’s the high singing, beyond your ‘man’ voice into the feminine. And there’s the staging, the attempt to be innovative. It has been pointed out that the Claw [the 360 stage] looks like the Glass Spider. Bowie wasn’t afraid to use scale, to dramatize things. His set list was not just a jukebox he could run through. It was drama.”
Rolling Stone put Bono’s full Bowie playlist on Spotify. You can listen below, and join me in thinking about the amazing music Bowie gifted us and his substantial impact on U2.
Rest in peace, David Bowie.
(Photo by Hunter Desportes via Creative Commons.)