There only have been a handful of time in which David Bowie played a cover. The legendary artist has a very long list of hits and memorable numbers to be needing other people’s songs on his repertoire. However, there was an exception.
Back in 1991, four years after the release of the enormously successful Let’s Dance and the consequent 1987 Glass Spider Tour, Bowie was experiencing some trouble matching the high peaks of success triggered by a massive hit like “Let’s Dance”.
As Rolling Stone has reported, the following releases, Black Tie White Noise and Buddha Of Suburbia, didn’t reach the same clamor and attention from the public as the previous ones. Thus, Bowie decided to give an unexpected twist to his career and started a brand new band. After teaming up with guitarist Reeves Gabrels, bassist Tony Sales and drummer Hunt Sales,the noise-rock band Tin Machine came to life.
The group never denied its source of inspiration to lie on bands like Sonic Youth and The Pixies. Bowie, in particular, had always a fervent admirer of the Pixies, who once he defined as being “the most-compelling music outside of Sonic Youth in the entire 1980s”, according to Rolling Stone.
Their first, self-titled LP was released in 1991 and followed by a theater tour, which triggered mixed reactions from the fans, since the band made it clear quite soon that none of Bowie’s hits would’ve been part of the setlist. Bowie, however, made his comeback the following year with the Sound + Vision tour, in which disappointed fans had one last chance to hear all of the hits and classics.
Tin Machine, however, will always be remembered for covering the Pixies’ Debaser at a gig on November 2nd, 1991 in Wolverhampton, England. Check out the video below.