Saturday, January 17, 2009

BQRH #2: "Thursday's Child" (David Bowie)

Dear readers, former listeners.

BQ's aim has always been to keep expanding everybody's musical horizons. So, we are presenting today our first non-Beatles related song, ever. David Bowie collaborated with Lennon in 1974 (they wrote Bowie's #1 hit "Fame" together, and also recorded a version of "Across the Universe" during the same sessions), but this particular song is as removed from The Beatles as it can be. Be prepared for more....

Well, today's song is called "Thursday's Child", and was first released on Bowie's 1999 album "...hours". This song was the lead-off single. That album is important from an historical standpoint, as it was the first album ever to see its first release as a commercial digital download (on the now quasi-defunct Liquid Audio format). But also, this was a very laid back effort from this artist, probably his most melodically beautiful album since his Berlin trilogy of the late 70's. However, this album resembles very little of those releases. This is a strong pop album, full of nice melodies, but also great lyrics. In particular, "Thursday's Child" offers a lot more than just a reference to the traditional superstitious rhyme in which an individual's character and fate is determined by the day of the week they are born (by itself a pretty banal concept in my opinion, by the way). This song has quite a bit to do with feeling out of place everywhere, as if the narrator (to whom I can easily relate) felt he could have enjoyed life a lot more had he been born in a different time.

This song also strikes me personally, as a hopeful song from somebody who has been hit hard and who can, despite all shortcomings, find happiness in the hope of the new day. Surely, lyrics can hit people in different ways, but the verse "Lucky old sun is in my sky / Nothing prepared me for your smile / Lighting the darkness of my soul / innocence in your arms" found me in a very emotional mood. And those who know me are aware that I am a romantic....

And the main melody is quite beautiful. Bowie delivers an all-time classic vocal interpretation, as well. This particular live version was culled from VH1 Storytellers in 1999.

Stay tuned for the next episode.....

Love, BQ

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