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MHP
(mortal with potential)
04/22/04 04:41 AM
SLIP AWAY  

I am so shocked that some people think that "Slip Away" from "Heathen" is one of his baddest songs (in the topic "Worst of David Bowie").
Nothing could be more wrong, it is one of his greatest songs ever recorded and the undoubted highlight of "Heathen" (my view).
It has everything that a classic Bowie song needs: It's strange, it's beautiful and it's dramatic, all at the same time!

I really consider "Slip Away" one of his all time greatest songs and when I saw Bowie perform it live in 2002, I almost cried, it was so perfect and wonderful!

If I should pick only one song from his period from the nineties onwards it would be:

"SLIP AWAY"!



Nature_Boy
(electric tomato)
04/22/04 04:47 AM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: MHP]  

My first listen of Heathen, this song absolutely jumped out at me. Great melody, great lyrics ("Watching all the world and war torn"). I too went "wooooooooo!!!!" when he played it at Manchester 2002.

Its about time I had a signature

AdamAdministrator
(acolyte)
04/22/04 04:54 AM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: MHP]  

My assessment is that it's a great song but is let down by the occasional poor lyric. A ballad as grand as that should be about world peace or something not a fricking childrens TV show.

Bowie in Australia 2004 | Join the Community

Frank_Solo
(electric tomato)
04/22/04 08:26 AM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: MHP]  

I think the verse on Slip Away is the best melody he's written in 20 years or something, and the lyrics are great too. But the chorus has trouble standing up against such a great verse, and becomes too much of a "filler". It's not a bad song. Absolutely one of my favorites among the later songs. But I really wish he'd spent more time on that chorus.

Amen!

th0mas
(acolyte)
04/22/04 12:27 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: MHP]  

i hate his voice on that song. i guess it is his idea to sound older and not singing one tiny bit correct but it does not make it sound better...

"Have you tried... not being a mutant?"

zigbot
(crash course raver)
04/22/04 12:41 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: MHP]  

I love Slip Away. It has a grandeur similar to that of Word On A Wing, Life On Mars? and Wild Is The Wind. The soaring sounds when he sings of "sailing over Coney Island" actually make me feel as though I am sailing up somewhere in the sky. His voice is lovely on this song, as well.

I've never heard it live, and am actually a bit psyched that he's been performing it recently backed by The Polyphonic Spree. Now THAT might be a way to make all them hippies actually USEFUL to a song! I hope he and the Spree do the song in Loveland. Three days to go. I'm both thrilled and already sad, as this will be my last A Reality Tour gig.

As for Adam's comment that a song as grand as Slip Away should be about something bigger than a children's show--dude, it IS! Although the lyric mentions Ooogie, Bones Boy and Uncle Floyd, I think the song transcends them and becomes a general balad about the passage of time, the lsoing of connections with people and events, and the nostalgia we all feel for the past--a nostalgia that often is skewed and viewed in hindsight with "rose coloured glasses." Nostalgia is weird that way. People can romanticize ANYTHING in their past when they feel there is little hope in their future. I think Slip Away is about that self-deceiving desperation that makes us want to reach back to the past and airbrush and glamourize it.

zigbot

diamondogz74
(stardust savant)
04/22/04 12:57 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: zigbot]  

Hi zigbot

I find you post very interesting, its how I myself actually read the song also. i think its a beautiful song with wonderful lyrics.

Sad and happy, the part in the song where he sings about 1982 being the joke we always knew, i take it thats something to do with that television show also ?

I hope you enjoy the show , im not that keen on the polyphonic spree still it might sound really good ? please let us know.

BTW all this talk of nostalgia reminds me of a brilliant autobiography i once read, by the French actress Simone Signoret, the title she got from a new york subway train, it was called "Nostalgia is'nt What it Used to Be"



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Tristan
(acolyte)
04/22/04 01:01 PM
Nostalgia. new [re: zigbot]  

The sound of waves in a pool of water,
I'm drowning in my sea of nostalgia. - David Sylvian



If you don't have anything nice to say, go to London and say it in front of 2000 people. NM.

zigbot
(crash course raver)
04/22/04 01:22 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: diamondogz74]  

Hi, Dogz, the reference to 1982 is, I think, a double entendre. I've heard that the Uncle Floyd show was cancelled around 1982, so that may be a reference to its "last hurrah" before cancellation. As for David personally, 1982 was the year before Let's Dance and the beginning of David's commercial overexposure and artistic decline. So, perhaps, as he looks back on the past with is rose coloured glasses, he sees 1982 as his last "pure" year--the year before the beginning of his own decline at that time. Just a thought, I could be wrong, but I kind of like this view.

Yeah, Tristan, nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

All this talk of nostalgia also reminds me of a great quote (which I don't recall word for word, and I can't even recall the source) about how David's work seems to have a bizarre sense of time-blending that often makes one feel a "nostalgia for the future." It may have been Nicholas Pegg who said this, but I've always loved the quote. I think it is the perfect oxymoron to describe David's simultaneous musical delving into the future and the past, and being somewhat dissatisfied with what he finds in either one. That dissatisfaction makes for some very fine songwriting, though, doesn't it?

zigbot

Jubany
(wild eyed peoploid)
04/22/04 01:31 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: Adam]  

I hat to say this, but I totally disagree with your point, Adam.

In reply to:

A ballad as grand as that should be about world peace or something



Looks like you're talking about Elton John or Bryan Adams! I mean, what's Life On Mars about, anyway? or Space Oddity? Of course, these are metaphorical songs, but so is Slip Away.
I fact, I believe that Bowie's most social-conscius moments are not among his best work.

I'll be a rocknrollin' bitch...

diamondogz74
(stardust savant)
04/22/04 02:08 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: zigbot]  

Thank you so very much.

You know that line about 1982 being the joke etc... well i did think it might be about how bad things got after 1982, but i thought my theory was bad so now I too can say that yes, hes definately singing about the joke being how chronic it all became.

I did'nt want to appear daft but it makes so much sense.

Loved the nostalgia quote lol.

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We scavenge up our clothes

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London Bye Ta-Ta...

AdamAdministrator
(acolyte)
04/22/04 02:12 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: Jubany]  

The overall meaning of Slip Away is completely sound as explained by zigbot. I don't have a problem with that. Rather, my problem is with individual lines. I am not suggesting Bowie should have written a song ABOUT world peace. Not at all. But I think when individual lines hint at larger issues or a concious beyond the pitiful actions of television shows characters, then that is good. Take for example: 'the workers have struck for fame, 'cause Lennon's on sale again' or even in Slip Away 'watching all the world and war torn'. They are great lines. What I don't get are lines about Oogie or Bones Boy or twinkle twinkle little star. Slip Away is almost there for me - almost a really great song - but not quite because of those reasons. It uses bad metaphorics.

Bowie in Australia 2004 | Join the Community

diamondogz74
(stardust savant)
04/22/04 02:44 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: Adam]  

It could be he uses bad metaphorics, simply because of that reason and that reason alone ?

Perhaps some of the memories were too painful to use less cryptically, as always the charm of Mr Bowie is figuring out his wonderful lyrics.

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Humming Rheingold
We scavenge up our clothes

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London Bye Ta-Ta...

zigbot
(crash course raver)
04/22/04 02:49 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: Adam]  

In reply to:

What I don't get are lines about Oogie or Bones Boy or twinkle twinkle little star. Slip Away is almost there for me - almost a really great song - but not quite because of those reasons. It uses bad metaphorics.


Nice Freudian slip, Adam. It's "twinkle, twinkle Uncle Floyd," but obviously the lyric mirrors "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." It also contains the line "how I wonder where you are." I don't think this is "bad metaphorics" at all.

These lines from childhood verse, coupled with references to children's TV characters and the maternal warning of "don't forget to keep your head warm," all paint a very rosy picture of youth and childhood. But I think Bowie's looks into both the past and the future often reveal disturbing scenes rather than peaceful ones. Many of his songs use bits of nursery rhymes and childhood verse, but they do so in a way that is rather melancholy--not a celebration of childhood, but a distorted longing for it by an adult whose future is so bleak that even his crap childhood now looks good to him on hindsight. I'm not saying this is Bowie's view of his OWN life, but I am saying that this is the "place" from which he writes a lot of his nostalgic lyrics.

Examples of Bowie's melancholy use of nursery rhymes and childhood ditties include:

1. The "Oh By Jingo" refrain in After All. Coupled with a musical backdrop that sounds like a song you'd hear when dizzily spinning on a merry-go-round, this childhood refrain is anything BUT comforting and happy. It is actually quite ominous.

2. The "My momma said, to get things done, you better not mess with Major Tom" line from Ashes to Ashes. This is a paraphrase, as Nicholas Pegg has pointed out, of a little ditty that goes "My mother said, I never should, play with the faeries in the wood" (or something like that). Delivered at the end of Ashes to Ashes, this little paraphrased ditty seems to be an anti-drug warning. Again, a ditty is used to impart decidedly un-ditty-like information.

3. The "I will be king, and you will be queen" part of "Heroes" is a paraphrase or quote from the Lavender Blue song, that goes something like "Lavender blue, dilly dilly, lavender green, dilly dilly, I will be king, you will be queen." Bowie even added this bit to live renditions of "Heroes," making his inspiration for those lines very transparent. But again, the lovers in "Heroes" are doomed. Yet he uses a ditty to tell us of their doom.

There are no doubt countless other examples of how Bowie takes the whimsy of fairy tales and childhood songs and layers the sadness of adulthood over them. In fact, I've always seen "When I'm Five" as David's own little childhood ditty. But it, too, is bleak. While the central character (the still four-year-old) longs to turn five as though it will solve all his problems, he is, in the back of his mind, acutely aware that it really WON'T solve his problems. "I wonder why my daddy cries," he thinks out loud, somehow realizing that adulthood isn't all it's cracked up to be, while all the while he begs a "photograph of Jesus" to make him five and cure all that is wrong in his life. Another pretty childhood song marred by the impending stains of adulthood.

It is from this tradition of Bowie's songwriting that we get "Slip Away." Seemingly a song about two loveable tv puppets, yet actually a song about so much more. Whimsical, yet dark, too.

zigbot

diamondogz74
(stardust savant)
04/22/04 03:13 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: zigbot]  

BRILLIANT

I read and re-read your posts many times over, they make so much sense.

Thank you.

______________________
Humming Rheingold
We scavenge up our clothes

______________________
London Bye Ta-Ta...

Emil
(stardust savant)
04/22/04 04:10 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: MHP]  

I don't know about lyrics but I have come to enjoy that song more and more, just like you MHP. I remember writing on these boards two years ago that "only Suede can get away with this type of pompous chorus" - I have changed my mind, Bowie got away with it as well, with grace.

-Midget! Crapper!

Claude
(big brother)
04/22/04 05:00 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: MHP]  

In reply to:

I really consider "Slip Away" one of his all time greatest songs and when I saw Bowie perform it live in 2002, I almost cried, it was so perfect and wonderful!


Yeah! I am totally with you!


___________________
Claude

SysiyoModerator
(thunder ocean)
04/22/04 05:13 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: MHP]  

It was great live, but on the album it's fucking dull. I've nothing against ballads, but Slip Away lacks that special something.

With that note, I shall leave you again. Expect me when you see me.

KArt // Project Michelangelo // LiveJournal

AdamAdministrator
(acolyte)
04/22/04 05:29 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: zigbot]  

I like Bowie's use of nursery rhyme in those other songs but in Slip Away I do not. I think it has something to do with the positioning of the lyric and the combination of the serious tone, piano ballad opening and the lead up to a huge chorus but then getting lyrically shafted for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I am also unsure about namechecking an odd character like 'Uncle Floyd' in the chorus. That sounds a bit like his Anthony Newley phase (which he may have been intending seeing the song was intended for Toy).

I agree with Sysiyo that it works better live.

Bowie in Australia 2004 | Join the Community

zigbot
(crash course raver)
04/22/04 05:35 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: Adam]  

Adam, you made me laugh on the bit about "namechecking an old character like Uncle Floyd." Made me wonder if the guy who played Uncle Floyd is still alive, and what he thinks of David's "namechecking."

I've not seen The Uncle Floyd Show, but the image of a smashed Bowie and Iggy laughing uproariously at something I believe must have been somewhat akin to "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" just cracks me up.

So who played Uncle Floyd, and is he alive? Anyone know? Anyone here actually see an episode of the show?

zigbot

pablopicasso
(crash course raver)
04/22/04 05:37 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: zigbot]  

Was just listening to Bowie and the Spree doing Slip Away and he said that Floyd had phoned him and told him he was still doing gigs.
Whether this is true or not though.......

I'm Pablo with an L not Pablo with an i.


Avatar Courtesy of Nature_boy

poorsoul
(acolyte)
04/22/04 10:11 PM
Compute new [re: MHP]  

It has a sytlophone and that makes it alright in my books.

I Will Crush You



ulfdub
(grinning soul)
04/23/04 04:19 AM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: zigbot]  

am i the only one that thinks that bones and oogie are similies for David (bones) and Iggy (Ooogie)?
Afterall, Bones and Ooogie were "on a silver screen". A silver Screen is a metaphor for film not TV, so a grander ambition is revealed in this line.
"Noone knew what they could do except for me (david) and you (Iggy). Remember that this took place in the late 70's when confidence in Iggy was not exactly riding high, but Bones knew what he (oogie) could do! (and backed him on tour). Also, the line "down in space, it's always 1982, the joke we always knew" reminds me of the period from 1980 to 1983, when Bowie was trying to shed his characters and leave them in space (the link between ashes to ashes and space oddity was plugged endlessly in video, live performance of both old (countdown '79)and new (russel harty plus '80)recordings of "Space oddity" and the introduction of Ashes to Ashes on Johnny Carson, The infamous "segued single of the two songs which continued in live performance in 1983 on the serious moonlight tour...culminating in david's emergence as himself (for the most part), rather than as characters.(per se).I think the song is as allegorical as the majority of David's work, and seen in that light is brilliant as usual.
wolf in a trap

Edited by ulfdub on 04/23/04 04:28 AM (server time).



AdamAdministrator
(acolyte)
04/23/04 04:55 AM
Bowie and Iggy on silver screen new [re: ulfdub]  

I like your similie a lot. 1982 could also be seen as the year before Bowie lost his artistic innocence, but moreover Iggy as well given that China Girl was converted into a global smash hit in 1983.

Speaking of 'space', it is perhaps notable that in Reality shows, Bowie almost always introduces Ashes to Ashes as going 'back to space'.

Bowie in Australia 2004 | Join the Community

EJSundayModerator
(acolyte)
04/23/04 05:27 AM
Mind Slip new [re: MHP]  

Slip Away is a majestic song. Most of you will know that Bowie links the lyrics to his time in the US when he used to hang out with Lennon and Iggy and those three used to get stoned and roll on the floor laughing while watching the Uncle Floyd Show. Though it is certainly not a biographical song as such this background makes the song even more glorious. And supported with wonderful visuals it certainly was one of the undoubted highlights of the Berlin show last year. Great song.

And I want to believe
In the madness that calls 'now'


BigFatDog
(mortal with potential)
04/23/04 05:32 AM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: MHP]  

I think it's either one of those songs you just cannot stand or love instantly.

On the same note, I find "I've Been Waiting For You" dark and incredibly sexy - Bowie's voice and the high pitched guitars really flick all the switches for me...But loads of people had it on their "Worst Of Bowie" albums!

That's the thing with Bowie, I think, his songs are open to so much interpretation that there will always been songs that some people like and some people despise



diamondogz74
(stardust savant)
04/23/04 05:49 AM
Re: Bowie and Iggy on silver screen new [re: Adam]  

Iggys "China Girl" brilliant.

Bowies "China Girl" chronic

I guess his use of the word Space, being another reminder of how it all began for him in 1969.

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We scavenge up our clothes

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London Bye Ta-Ta...

diamondogz74
(stardust savant)
04/23/04 05:52 AM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: pablopicasso]  

RE: Bowie and the spree "Slip Away"

Whats the quality like Pablo ? and is it any good as a performing version with that tribe, please.

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Humming Rheingold
We scavenge up our clothes

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stevetobias
(grinning soul)
04/23/04 09:14 AM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: Adam]  

Anyone who judges a song by the superficial value of its lyrics based on lame social constructs like "political content" doesn't belong here, they belong at MTV.com.



AdamAdministrator
(acolyte)
04/23/04 10:22 AM
True new [re: stevetobias]  

So off you go to MTV, steve.

Bowie in Australia 2004 | Join the Community

diamondogz74
(stardust savant)
04/23/04 12:22 PM
Re: True new [re: Adam]  

Purr

______________________
Humming Rheingold
We scavenge up our clothes

______________________
London Bye Ta-Ta...

pablopicasso
(crash course raver)
04/23/04 01:54 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: diamondogz74]  

I thought it was good, I was expecting something quite "out there" but it wasn't a great deal different IMO.

I'm Pablo with an L not Pablo with an i.


Avatar Courtesy of Nature_boy

zigbot
(crash course raver)
04/23/04 02:17 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: ulfdub]  

I agree, ulfdub, that Bones Boy and Oogie can also be seen as David and Iggy. In fact, I didn't know about The Uncle Floyd Show when I first heard Slip Away, and I instantly thought of David and Iggy as Bones Boy and Oogie. The song really does work well, both as a song about the TV puppets, and as a semi-autobiographical account of Bowie's Berlin period where he tried to excorcise some of his demons and addictions. And 1982 certainly was the last year of David's artistic innocence, as Adam put it. Lovely song. I've not heard it live yet, and am hoping to in Loveland THIS SUNDAY! Woohoo!

zigbot

diamondogz74
(stardust savant)
04/23/04 02:26 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: pablopicasso]  

Well if it passes your taste test, then its bound to sound good, but not that much different a tad disappointing really then.

BTW Pablo, did you record Bowie off Leno last night on FTN ? did'nt he look and sound just splendid

I swear that guy gets younger every year.

______________________
Humming Rheingold
We scavenge up our clothes

______________________
London Bye Ta-Ta...

pablopicasso
(crash course raver)
04/23/04 02:33 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: diamondogz74]  

No, sadly I didn't, not sure if I can get it to be honest.
Did I tell you I have a copy of the premiere of the GST in Rotterdam coming soon on Video.

I'm Pablo with an L not Pablo with an i.


Avatar Courtesy of Nature_boy

bowiefanpeter
(acolyte)
04/24/04 04:37 AM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: pablopicasso]  

Since the song is new and slow it usually gets strange loks when he does it live infront of the big crowds. I think it's a strong song that interesting, but nothing more. The subject matter is cooler than the song. The effect of the stylophone gives it a surreal feel, especially live.

I wrote a post about this show in the collectors forum sometime ago and found out that videos are available for $20 apiece. It was too much for me. Uncle Flyd is still alive, and David gave him a courtesy call just before the Heathen album came out.

For the Bowieholics on this page, and obscure bit of trivia on this song is that it was Lennon who turned DB onto this song in the late 70's when he was looking after Sean. After this there were a bunch of NY musicians who addictively watched the show for some reason. AFAIK, the above information is correct.

BFP



hangontoyourself
(kook)
04/24/04 04:44 AM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: MHP]  

I agree that's it's good, I love it too, but I think that Afraid is the highlight of Heathen.

If you think we're gonna make it...
http://groups.msn.com/keithism

poorsoul
(acolyte)
04/24/04 05:21 AM
Yatta new [re: BigFatDog]  

In reply to:

On the same note, I find "I've Been Waiting For You" dark and incredibly sexy - Bowie's voice and the high pitched guitars really flick all the switches for me...But loads of people had it on their "Worst Of Bowie" albums!



I don't understand that, either. It's one of the best songs on the album and better than most of Reality. The live version is the bestest, though.

I Will Crush You



EJSundayModerator
(acolyte)
04/24/04 05:27 AM
Slip Back new [re: zigbot]  

In reply to:

(...) as a semi-autobiographical account of Bowie's Berlin period where he tried to excorcise some of his demons and addictions.


As said in my above post: The idea for the song is based on Bowie's 70s stay in the US.

And I want to believe
In the madness that calls 'now'


diamondogz74
(stardust savant)
04/24/04 06:02 AM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: pablopicasso]  

RE: not sure if I can get it.

You mean you are not sure if you can recieve FTN, or the fact that you cannot get the video for it ?

You have Freeview, FTN is on that for sure, as a free channel sometimes they re-run the shows at the weekends.

GST in Rotterdam, nice one

______________________
Humming Rheingold
We scavenge up our clothes

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London Bye Ta-Ta...

pablopicasso
(crash course raver)
04/24/04 07:51 AM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: diamondogz74]  

Oh ok, i'll have to check the listings.

I'm Pablo with an L not Pablo with an i.


Avatar Courtesy of Nature_boy

diamondogz74
(stardust savant)
04/24/04 08:15 AM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: pablopicasso]  

It was a very good performance.

His voice was perfect, he shone like a true star.

______________________
Humming Rheingold
We scavenge up our clothes

______________________
London Bye Ta-Ta...

bowiefanpeter
(acolyte)
05/12/04 08:47 PM
Re: SLIP AWAY new [re: MHP]  

A "Best of Uncle Floyd Show" was released on DVD R1, May 11th 2004. About $20US.

BFP






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