David Bowie's Best Covers, From The Beatles to Bruce Springsteen
When it came to covering all genres of music, nobody did it better than David Bowie, the consummate rock and roll chameleon.
While Bowie created outstanding original music that inspired covers by artists such as Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots and Beck, the Thin White Duke -- who died Sunday at age 69 after battling cancer for 18 months -- also covered plenty of artists himself throughout his decades-long career.
Here are a few from his extensive catalog:
The Easybeats, “Friday on My Mind”
Sadly, Stevie Wright of The Easybeats died at age 68 on Dec. 26. Featured on Bowie’s all-covers album Pin Ups, it seems fitting to include this frenetic version of the Australian band’s ‘60s classic in memory of both musicians.
The Rolling Stones, "Let's Spend the Night Together"
Bowie adds some honky-tonk piano to this sexy track, included on Aladdin Sane. Just before the end of the song, Bowie whispers the lyrics, inviting the listener to spend more than some time together.
The Beatles, "Across the Universe"
Recorded for 1975's Young Americans, Bowie put his undeniable stamp on the Fab Four classic. As an added bonus and stamp of approval, John Lennon (who co-authored Bowie's hit "Fame") lends his vocals in the background.
Bruce Springsteen, "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City"
In a Facebook message on Monday (Jan. 11), Springsteen thanked Bowie for being an early supporter of the E Street Band. Bowie endorsed the group with two covers: "Growin' Up" and "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City," with added strings and Bowie spitting out the lyrics like a "Harley in heat."
For his 2002 record Heathens, Bowie made it a point to include this Pixies song. Bowie was a fan of the band going back as early as 1991, when his group, Tin Machine, covered "Debaser."
Morrissey, "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday"
For his 1993 release Black Tie White Noise, Bowie paid tribute to another vocalist with a flair for the dramatic: Morrissey. This cover captured the sad essence of the original, while remaining undeniably glam.
The Stooges, "I Wanna Be Your Dog"
Bowie and Iggy Pop went way back, with Bowie producing The Idiot. This cover, on the 1987 Glass Spider Tour, was a blast to hear live.
The Velvet Underground, "Waiting for the Man"
Bowie long talked about how the Velvet Underground and Nico influenced him and his music. He later said that he had his then-band Buzz covered the song before they broke up. Check out this version from a 1970 radio session featuring Mick Ronson on guitar.