"Life on Mars" tells the rather simple story of a lonely girl with "mousy hair" and mean parents who goes to the movies to escape from her problems. The story is almost completely irrelevant, though. Backed by the Spiders From Mars, a string section and pianist Rick Wakeman, the song features some of the best vocals of Bowie's career. It's almost a mini opera inside of a four-minute single, building to a stirring climax. Bowie has performed it countless times over the years, and in 2005 he returned to the public eye by playing the song at Fashion Rocks. This was just a year after his heart attack, and he appeared to have a black eye and a cast on his arm.