In common with a number of tracks on the album, the song's themes have been compared to the horror - fantasy works of H. Following Bowie's death in , Rolling Stone listed the song as one of his 30 essential songs.
Pegg calls this version "superb". Performances from these venues have been released on Bowie at the Beeb and Glastonbury , respectively. The song has been covered by hundreds of artists,  which many critics have noted has saved the song from falling into obscurity.
The most popular covers include Scottish singer Lulu , whose version produced a UK top ten hit in and was produced by Bowie and Ronson,  Scottish musician Midge Ure in , whose cover of the song was featured in the video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain , and the American rock band Nirvana , whose performance of the song for the television program MTV Unplugged introduced it to a new audience.
I added some backing vocals and a sonar blip and sculpted the piece a little so that there was more contour to it. In , on what would have been Bowie's 73rd birthday, a previously unreleased acoustic version, recorded for the ChangesNowBowie documentary in during the Earthling sessions, was released. According to Kevin Cann: . The song was covered by the Scottish singer Lulu in , who, according to biographer David Buckley, performed it in "a sleazy, almost Berlin cabaret style".
I loved everything he did. I didn't think 'The Man Who Sold the World' was the greatest song for my voice, but it was such a strong song in itself. I had no idea what it was about. In the studio Bowie kept telling me to smoke more cigarettes, to give my voice a certain quality.
I was keen to get something fixed up, because I really have always thought that Lulu has incredible potential as a rock singer. I didn't think this potential had been fully realised According to Pegg, this outfit bore a "remarkable resemblance" to the wardrobe of Bowie's future persona the Thin White Duke. All songs written by David Bowie. Cobain found great interest in the title track and was surprised to learn it was by Bowie. Brian Kay of Classic Rock History called their performance of the song "haunting" and "mesmerising".
Bowie said of Nirvana's cover: "I was simply blown away when I found that Kurt Cobain liked my work, and have always wanted to talk to him about his reasons for covering 'The Man Who Sold the World ' " and that "it was a good straight forward rendition and sounded somehow very honest.
It would have been nice to have worked with him, but just talking with him would have been real cool. I always felt my weight in Europe, but not [in the US].
This was a man with the world at his finger tips, and he gave it all up". In , an electric guitar version appeared on Nirvana's Live and Loud video album, which was also released digitally and on vinyl in Vincent on guitar to perform the song at a charity event for The Art of Elysium 's annual Heaven gala. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. B-side label of the UK vinyl pressing of the "Life on Mars? I guess I wrote it because there was a part of myself that I was looking for … that song for me always exemplified kind of how you feel when you're young, when you know there's a piece of yourself that you haven't really put together yet — you have this great searching, this great need to find out who you really are.
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Archived from the original on 6 January Retrieved 3 November Archived from the original on 11 April Archived from the original on 10 November Far Out. Retrieved 24 July Archived from the original on 26 March Classic Rock History. The song contains a recorder part that creates an atmosphere, which Buckley describes as "childlike dementia". For " Black Country Rock ", Bowie had a small portion of the melody and four quickly-written lines that he gave to Ronson and Visconti, who expanded upon them to create the song.
The lyrics explore the concept of computers overtaking the human race;  Bowie's metallic-like vocal performance enhances the scenario. The album's title track has been described by multiple reviewers as "haunting".
The lyrics are cryptic and evocative, being inspired by numerous poems, including " Antigonish " by William Hughes Mearns.
Weller , featuring a cowboy in front of Cane Hill asylum. Drawing on pop art styles, he depicted a dreary main entrance block to the hospital with a damaged clock tower. For the design's foreground, Weller used a photograph of actor John Wayne to draw a cowboy figure wearing a ten-gallon hat and holding a rifle, which was meant to be an allusion to the song "Running Gun Blues".
Bowie was enthusiastic about the finished design, but soon reconsidered the idea and had the art department at Philips Records , a subsidiary of Mercury, enlist photographer Keith MacMillan to shoot an alternate cover.
The shoot took place in a "domestic environment" of the Haddon Hall living room, where Bowie reclined on a chaise longue in a cream and blue satin "man's dress", an early indication of his interest in exploiting his androgynous appearance. In , he said Weller's design was "horrible" but reappraised it in , saying he "actually thought the cartoon cover was really cool". While promoting The Man Who Sold the World in the US, Bowie wore the Fish dress in February on his first promotional tour and during interviews, despite the fact that the Americans had no knowledge of the then-unreleased UK cover.
The image remained the cover art on reissues until when the Rykodisc release reinstated the UK "dress" cover. The "dress" cover has appeared on subsequent reissues of the album.
In , when the Victoria and Albert Museum in London was putting together the list of Bowie artifacts for the David Bowie Is show, the curators asked for the dress to display, but found that the dress had gone missing from Bowie's collection. However, it was played on US radio stations frequently and the "heavy rock content" increased interest in Bowie. None of the songs from the album were released as singles at the time, although a promo version of "All the Madmen" was issued in the US in Mercury released "All the Madmen" as a single, with "Janine" from Space Oddity on the B-side , with the catalogue number Mercury , but withdrew it.
The Man Who Sold the World was initially a commercial failure. Pegg writes that by the end of June , the album had sold only 1, copies in the US.
For that alone it deserves some attention. Retrospectively, the album has been praised for the band's performance and the unsettling nature of its music and lyrics. In a review for AllMusic , Erlewine complimented its "tight, twisted heavy guitar rock that appears simple on the surface but sounds more gnarled upon each listen".
Bowie's armoury was being hastily assembled, though it was never deployed with such thrilling abandon again. Comparing The Man Who Sold the World to its predecessor, he praised the arrangements as tougher and "more effective", and complimented his artistic growth.
His contract with music publisher Essex had expired and Defries, his new manager, was facing prior contractual challenges. Ronson and Woodmansey also departed due to other personal conflicts with Bowie. The Man Who Sold the World has been retrospectively described by Bowie biographers and commentators as the beginning of Bowie's artistic growth, with many also agreeing that it was his first album where he began to find his sound.
Buckley has described the album as "the first Bowie album proper",  while NME critics Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray similarly stated, "this is where the story really starts". Club called the album his "career blueprint", writing that it musically was a forerunner to the "swaggering electric disorientation" of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane , but its greater importance on sequencing and atmosphere, as well as stonger songwriting, predated Hunky Dory.
The album has since been cited as inspiring the goth rock , dark wave and science fiction elements of work by artists such as Siouxsie and the Banshees , the Cure , Gary Numan , John Foxx and Nine Inch Nails. On 6 November , the album was reissued by Parlophone under its working title of Metrobolist to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The reissue featured an updated version of the original Weller artwork as its official cover.
For this release, Visconti remixed every song, except "After All", because he felt the original mix as remastered in was "perfect as is". A press notice stated that the collection, to be released on 28 May, will "feature non-album singles, a BBC In Concert session, music for a TV play and further Visconti remixes wrapping up Bowie's recordings from and revealing the first sonic steps toward Hunky Dory ".
All tracks are written by David Bowie. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. David Bowie. Hard rock blues rock folk rock. He was quite open to direction and in a way sort of carried out what I wanted done much more than most of the other drummers I have worked with. The sonic landscape was Visconti's. The band's contribution — how the drums and bass should work together with the guitar — was something [Ronson] got really involved in. In , the David Bowie official website, having earlier queried the previously accepted US release date, published evidence that the official UK release date was 8 April The A.
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