Song of the Day #2,866: ‘Changes’ – David Bowie

bowie_hunky_doryBowie followed up The Man Who Sold the World with the very different Hunky Dory. Where the former was a hard rock exercise, all grungy guitars, the latter is filled with delicate piano pop.

Hunky Dory is one of two Bowie albums I already owned. I bought it for the three hits — ‘Changes,’ ‘Queen Bitch’ and ‘Life on Mars?’ — but never gave the rest of the tracks a very careful listen.

Turns out there is a host of great material on the album, from tributes to Bob Dylan and Andy Warhol to twee tracks nodding back to the Summer of Love to epic closer ‘The Bewlay Brothers,’ possibly an ode to Bowie’s schizophrenic brother.

As for those hits, they are three of the best tracks Bowie ever recorded. ‘Changes,’ which kicks off the album, is a bona fide classic, one I first encountered through the verse quoted at the beginning of The Breakfast Club: “And these children that you spit on / As they try to change their worlds / Are immune to your consultations / They’re quite aware of what they’re going through.”

‘Queen Bitch’ is a brilliant Velvet Underground tribute that echoes ‘Sweet Jane’ but with a pissier, more insistent guitar riff.

And ‘Life on Mars?’ is my favorite Bowie track ever. I could listen to that soaring chorus on repeat.

[Verse 1]
I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

[Chorus]
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-Changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-Changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

[Verse 2]
I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

[Chorus]
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-Changes
Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace time

[Bridge]
Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace I’m going through

[Chorus]
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Oh, look out you rock ‘n rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time

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One thought on “Song of the Day #2,866: ‘Changes’ – David Bowie

  1. Dana says:

    This is, indeed, a classic. I too am not familiar with the rest of the album beyond the hits, but I’m sure I would enjoy them.

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