A materialistic reference embedded in one of the most post-corporeal entreaties of songwriting in the 20th century, David Bowie’s ethereal anti-realpolitik masterpiece “Space Oddity” blew minds around the world when it was released in July, 1969 – just days before the Apollo 11 moon mission launched into history.
“Space Oddity,” covered by We Are KING is the first single teased off the BBE Music David Bowie tribute album Modern Love, announced January 8th (Bowie’s birthday), and set for release May 28, 2021. The company, which I’ve come to know through its rare-groove Japanese jazz compilations, and Masterclass Series – all curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden – is steadily draining my wallet with an impressive determination to re-release not only private-pressing J-jazz, but dozens of eclectic soul and modern jazz outings such as the Bowie Love project.
Bowie's catalog has been ripe for an eclectic covers compilation for a long time (and BBE is just the label to organise it), just ask anyone whose heard the 2005 Seu Jorge Life Aquatic Studio Sessions (only vinyl available is unofficial 2xLPs released in the EU by Hollywood Records in 2014 AFAIK), because those sparse, haunting covers in Portuguese are a ticket to ride. The session prompted Bowie himself to say "Had Seu Jorge not recorded my songs acoustically in Portuguese I would never have heard this new level of beauty which he has imbued them with."
It’s unknown at this time if Love will be a 2xLP or not, but looking at the track list, I can’t see it not being spread across at least two slabs of vinyl. No word on pre-orders either, so keep checking BBE if you’re as interested as I am.
Excerpts from the press release below:
Featuring an array of artists such as Jeff Parker, We Are KING, Meshell Ndegeocello, Helado Negro, Khruangbin, Matthew Tavares, L’Rain, Nia Andrews and more, Modern Love seeks to champion David Bowie’s lesser known connection to soul, R&B, jazz, funk, and gospel. The prominent jazz influences throughout Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, were a key inspiration for curating this collection of reimagined Bowie songs with these artists. The resulting album is an eclectic tribute featuring a group of artists who not only fit together creatively, but who, like Bowie, straddle different worlds musically, with soul and jazz at their core. Modern Love offers a fresh look at Bowie’s diverse and transcendent career, aiming to highlight the often overlooked relationship between his back catalogue and musical genres traditionally pioneered by artists of color. – BBE Music