LTW louderthanwar

‘One flew east…one flew west…’

News has just reached our lofty office that international superstar Kanye West is to do an album of Bowie covers and that this has caused much hand wringing out there. There is even one of those online petitions against this happening.

Mr. West is no stranger to petitions – quarter of a million people signed one to stop him playing Glastonbury and that didn’t have much effect with his set being really well received.

These petitions are becoming the online equivalent of those letters retired colonels used to write to the Daily Telegraph in them olden times.

Now I’m sure Kanye West is not really a bundle of laughs and comes armed with an ego that could envelop planets – he is one of those pop superstars that is very good at what he does and the problem is that he knows it.

But then pop is full of people like him. Being nice and cuddly doesn’t make for great music.

An esoteric, out there lunatic pop star who acts like he is from another planet sounds very much par for this course and his covering what have become pop classics sounds perfect to us. We would much rather this lunatic idea with all its potential for car crash and genius at the same time than some polite hollering tribute from Coldplay.

We are sure that the great David Bowie would have loved the perversity of the idea as well. There are moments when Kanye West is actually as good as he thinks he is and even if the whole thing is a blathering, nightmare mess it is proof of the brilliance of Bowie that his music floats across these ‘boundaries’.

Bowie would have understood this and would have been tickled that his much vaunted stylistic changes are actually continuing after his death with his back catalogue doing his work for him…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. I take your point totally and I find these online petitions risible – just misplaced, righteous indignation given a voice for the horrid, self-entitled denizens of the world.

    Kanye does know what he is good at. And at that he’s better than most in a genre that disappears up it’s arse quite readily. But, crucially, that monstrous ego means he does not know what he is not good at – his attempts at murdering Bohemian Rhapsody should have informed him of his limits.

    And, again, that ego – that ridiculous vanity – that he thinks Bowie’s death was about Kanye…well it beggars belief. I await the inevitable car-crash with a mixture of goggle-eyed astonishment and trepidation!

  2. Theres only l David bowie but to pay tribute I dont mind kanya west doing but to low tone him NO he his a legend in the music industry and clever unique style wrote his own songs on our screens radio 40 odd years his style n songs will live on not to be copied unless they pay tribute mr kanya west :)

  3. I don’t think personally that Kanye West should do a cover of Bowie at all..
    Nirvana did a good job on their Unplugged In New York CD but I don’t think he’ll pull it off..He’ll take a masterpiece and put stupid whistle and bells on it..
    So “The kids” will be down with it..

  4. Bowie would most probably approve of it.He had an open mind and would have welcomed the sheer audacity of Mr West :0)


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