Noel Gallagher on His Five Favorite David Bowie Songs - Rolling Stone
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Noel Gallagher on His Five Favorite David Bowie Songs

Former Oasis guitarist on a lifetime as a Bowie fan, from ‘Heroes’ to ‘Blackstar’ and more

Noel Gallagher; My List; 2016

Noel Gallagher picks his five favorite David Bowie songs.

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Noel Gallagher awoke to bad news on January 10th. "My wife burst into the bedroom crying, and I thought one of the children had died," he says. "She said, 'David Bowie's dead.' I was like, 'Fuckin' hell.'" The former Oasis songwriter-guitarist (and Bowie mega-fan), whose latest U.S. tour begins in July, called a few days after Bowie's death to tell us about his five favorite songs by the Starman. "Let's celebrate his life more than mourn his passing," Gallagher says. "All things must pass, and all that."

Gallagher took the opportunity to reflect on the way Bowie's music has inspired over the years. "He was quite fearless, which is one of the things that I will remember him for – taking his art, always moving it forward," he says. "For instance: You get up on the day that 'Where Are We Now?' hits the airwaves [in January 2013], and you’re like, 'Oh, it’s another weird David Bowie song. I like it though, it’s great.' Then the album [The Next Day] comes out, and it’s fucking stadium rock! And you’re like, 'What the fuck? Wow, amazing.' Then you hear he's made another album [], and you think 'Well, are we gonna get two fucking accessible albums in a row?' But we got a weird, dark album. And then of course he dies, and you go back and listen to it and think, 'Wow. Fuckin’ hell, man. This is amazing.'"

Noel Gallagher; My List; 2016

“Heroes”

This is the first song that I ever heard by David Bowie. It was in 1981, I think, and I was sat in somebody's flat late at night, and there used to be these things on British television called "Five-Minute Profile." In between two crushingly boring programs about fucking farming and another one about politics would be a five-minute profile. This one happened to be on David Bowie, and it was a quick synopsis of his career. I'd never heard "Heroes" before, and there was the video of him, looking clearly coked out of his fucking mind, singing this song with the light behind him. It totally fucking blew me away. I went down to my local second-hand record shop a couple of days later and got Best of Bowie and never looked back.

And for all my talk of, "Well, what are his songs about? We don't really know what they're about," I think "Heroes" is quite straightforward. The sentiment is amazing: We can be heroes, if only for one day. We all can't make it in life, but we can feel like we make it, for one day at a time. That's why it's my favorite, today anyway.

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