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“When I needed soul revival, I called your name…”
September 20, 2013 1:02 PM   Subscribe

On Wednesday, David Bowie's Facebook page posted an intriguing curio: a trio of videos ostensibly by an obscure '70s soul group known as Milky Edwards & The Chamberlings. The videos show needle-drops of tracks from Starman, a fabulous whole-cloth soul remake of Bowie's seminal 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The only trouble is, the album doesn't (appear to) actually exist. posted by mykescipark (60 comments total) 71 users marked this as a favorite

 
Damn....I would love to hear that whole album (if it really existed)
posted by Captain_Science at 1:07 PM on September 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Makes me think of the newly minted Black Simon & Garfunkle (aka Questlove and "Captain" Kirk Douglas of The Roots).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:10 PM on September 20, 2013


Starman! Waiting in the sky... He'd like to come and meet us, but he thinks he'd blow our minds...

This is awesome! The mysterious parallel universe it comes from must be a most funky place indeed.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:16 PM on September 20, 2013


Oh man, I would pay actual this-universe dollars for a decent-quality download of this, I guess it's too much to hope that it will show up on itunes.
posted by ghharr at 1:18 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow, that just left a stain on my pants in the shape of the white duke. Those are absolutely funktastic!
posted by furtive at 1:18 PM on September 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


A Rate Your Music user claims fake based on the font, if nothing else. The association with Diana Ross and the Supremes’ 1968 album, Reflections, is limited to the artist and title font, which isn't quite the same (The "Milky" font is too sharp, and there are a bunch of specific differences between the individual letters), and the track listing style.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:19 PM on September 20, 2013


Oh, those are all just delightful. I didn't think I could love those songs more. I would absolutely buy that album. Someone please take my money!
posted by mogget at 1:22 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


It sounds like 1972 songs done in the style of 1968 soul, which makes the whole thing even tastier.
posted by anazgnos at 1:24 PM on September 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is wonderful, but it's more Detroit Motown than LA Motown. I mean, it's transparently anachronistic (er, the opposite of anachronistic) as soul sounded like "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" when Ziggy came out in '72, as opposed to this which is much closer to "Get Ready" from '66.

God I wish there were more hoaxes like this. Please, more hoaxes like this.
posted by Luminiferous Ether at 1:25 PM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


This proves that I should quit my job and become a Borgesian rock critic, reviewing albums and bands that do not exist.
posted by thelonius at 1:25 PM on September 20, 2013 [15 favorites]


(er, the opposite of anachronistic)

Catachronistic?
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 1:28 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]




On the contrary! If Milky Edwards & The Chamberlings aren't real, then how is it that I saw Mingering Mike open for them back in '75?
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:31 PM on September 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


Sounds like Tom Jones.
posted by bongo_x at 1:37 PM on September 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


I would kill (a spider, although not a Martian spider) to hear the whole album done this way. Fan-fucking-tastic.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 1:42 PM on September 20, 2013


this is so northern its unreal - brilliant !
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:48 PM on September 20, 2013


Thelonius, that's what Dana Spiotta did in Stone Arabia. It's an amazing book.

I love the idea of retroactive 'pre-covers' as well.
posted by umbú at 1:53 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


it could be plan b though..............
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:55 PM on September 20, 2013


The children of the Langley School District sing Space Oddity. Recorded 1976-77.

Beware, it will creep you the fucking fuck out.
posted by sweet mister at 1:56 PM on September 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Damn this is nice - thanks
posted by From Bklyn at 1:58 PM on September 20, 2013


sweet mister: "The children of the Langley School District sing Space Oddity. Recorded 1976-77."

Then they grew up to become the Polyphonic Spree.
posted by symbioid at 2:01 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Count me in with the take my money camp. This is good stuff.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:01 PM on September 20, 2013


I approve.
posted by starman at 2:05 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Moonage Daydream sounds like a Tops number, I love it. I too would like to hear more.
posted by Jim Slade at 2:08 PM on September 20, 2013


Wow. Starman is fantastic. Haven't listened to the others yet.
posted by jclarkin at 2:13 PM on September 20, 2013


In real soul band covers Bowie news, you may never have heard Fat Larry's Band of Zoom fame cover Fascination from Bowie's Young Americans albloom. Except in this case it's a soul band covering a rockstar reinventing himself as a soul man. Meta-metafilter.
posted by merocet at 2:17 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm often a hater. People are just never as clever as they think they are, by half.

But this is so good! Oh, man they hit the nail right on the head. Well done!
posted by dirtdirt at 2:19 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


They need to do All the Young Dudes.
posted by grounded at 2:28 PM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is wonderful, but it's more Detroit Motown than LA Motown. I mean, it's transparently anachronistic (er, the opposite of anachronistic) as soul sounded like "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" when Ziggy came out in '72, as opposed to this which is much closer to "Get Ready" from '66.

The title font is also more consistent with soul albums c. 1966 than c. 1972.
posted by jonp72 at 2:34 PM on September 20, 2013


I'm tempted to sidetrack to mention R&B covers of other artists or other musical genres of offbeat Bowie covers.
posted by larrybob at 2:34 PM on September 20, 2013


Bowie exhibit coming to Toronto in a week or so. Yesssss.
posted by bonobothegreat at 2:35 PM on September 20, 2013


What makes this really intriguing is that someone uploaded the videos a year ago, but nobody in the wider world really noticed. Then whoever runs Bowie's Facebook page found the Milky website online and now they're a hit.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:43 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


These are so great. But yeah, the album is all kinds of fake - the crackle on the lead-in groove for each is ridiculously similar.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:11 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


It might be fake but at least it exists, and that is good.
posted by rtha at 3:19 PM on September 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


I like it better because it's fake. It increases the difficulty level of pulling it off enormously. And, yeah, they absolutely nailed it. The only thing I don't like is that the mastering is very clean and modern... it doesn't quite have the vinyl funk. There's a digital crispiness to the saturation. I'll bet dollars to donuts it wasn't recorded on tape.
posted by sweet mister at 3:39 PM on September 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yeah, it's an excellent fake to be sure. I can't stop listening.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:40 PM on September 20, 2013


This album, I would buy the shit out of it.
posted by rollbiz at 3:43 PM on September 20, 2013


Definitely joining the chorus that i wish there was some kind of not-youtube legit source to download this. It's going to be another one of those things that's totally lost to time when it disappears off youtube in a few years(i know there's still videos on there from 2007, but will they be on there in 2020?)

Way too much of the internet is getting completely lost to time, and i really fear a good portion of the links like this in old FPPs to truly great/interesting/high effort stuff will just go nowhere in a few years.
posted by emptythought at 3:48 PM on September 20, 2013


Is it just me, or does that singer - at least on the first two songs - sound a little bit like ... David Bowie?
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 4:31 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


The album cover, it taunts me with the suggestion of a funk/soul version of "Suffragette City".
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 4:40 PM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, totally fake. Totally fake and TOTALLY RAD. I want more of this!!!
posted by bluejayway at 4:41 PM on September 20, 2013


Am very taken with the "It's Bowie" idea, but I just can't hear it. Tom Jones, however, cannot be unheard. Yet with modern studio tech, who knows? And it was the David Bowie Facebook channel that kicked off the flap.Would that happen if they weren't in on the joke?

However, as the body of the kirk so strongly indicates, this is a fine, fine thing regardless of who, what, when or why (advertising campaign for $generic_evil_people excepted). I think it's recently created, but will not be drawn on whether it's 'original', 'fake', 'anachronistic' or 'Persil Automatic' - the item itself makes no claims on any of these points, so it is otiose attempting to apply them.


I have been doing my very best to be a viral vector since first hearing. Good God!
posted by Devonian at 4:56 PM on September 20, 2013


Is it just me, or does that singer - at least on the first two songs - sound a little bit like ... David Bowie?

I thought it was David Bowie doing a Tom Jones impression.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:07 PM on September 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sounds like Milky's an Edwin Starr fan.
posted by intendedeffect at 5:20 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a huge leap, admittedly, but it is not entirely impossible that Bowie heard about the music challenge and these are his entries. He was a Webby judge in 2001 when Plastic won its award, and generally speaking if you knew of Plastic back then, you knew of MeFi.
posted by Ardiril at 5:28 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love this so much. Bowie gets the internet better than anyone else.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:30 PM on September 20, 2013


Nevermind. I just saw the upload dates.

(I blame the kief.)
posted by Ardiril at 5:33 PM on September 20, 2013


Bowie was involved in the invention of the artist Nat Tate in the 1990's, so he has form!
posted by Middlemarch at 5:39 PM on September 20, 2013


Relevant: cortex's version of It Ain't Easy
posted by capricorn at 5:44 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's an e-mail link at the website. I just sent this note:
Aloha Mr. Edwards,

Just encountered your remarkable covers of David Bowie's songs and would love to hear more. If you have a mailing list or newsletter or what have you, sign me up for it. If you have a copy of your album available for digital download, please let me know where to access it and take my money!

Thanks,

Joey Michaels
Terrific work on these. All three are great.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:55 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, "Soul Love" is my favorite.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:57 PM on September 20, 2013


Yes, way more sixties soul than seventies funk, which I think just makes it cooler. I really like Moonage Daydream.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:24 PM on September 20, 2013


Relevant: ALL, I repeat ALL the submissions to the Metafilter Music David Bowie Ziggy Stardust album cover challenge.

These are your people, Metafilter, your homesite crew. As they used to say at the Apollo, show your love.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:32 PM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wonderful stuff!

I thought it was David Bowie doing a Tom Jones impression.

Yep, same here. Milky Edwards might not be Bowie, but he's definitely a bit Welsh.
posted by jack_mo at 11:30 PM on September 20, 2013


It sounds like Bowie finally found his way into the multiverse.
posted by sleeping bear at 11:32 PM on September 20, 2013


Oh man, that version of "Soul Love" is killing me with its awesome.
posted by Katemonkey at 12:58 AM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it just me, or does that singer - at least on the first two songs - sound a little bit like ... David Bowie?

Well, that would make me far more comfortable with the naming of the supposed group leader "Milky". That's a pretty...daring...name for a faker to use. Bowie, however, certainly is one of the "milkier" folks around.

Laying that little bit aside, though, these are chock-full-o-awesome.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:39 AM on September 21, 2013


Yeah!
posted by safetyfork at 7:30 AM on September 21, 2013


oh god so cool. Love Bowie, also love The Temptations, and to hear Bowie done like this!
posted by marienbad at 5:34 AM on September 22, 2013


I thought it was David Bowie doing a Tom Jones impression.

Sounds like it. I’m about 90% that it’s Bowie. There’s some mannerisms in the voice, even though it sounds very different.
posted by bongo_x at 10:15 AM on September 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


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