Fire on the Rio Grande
January 8, 2020 6:11 PM   Subscribe

Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Lou Reed, Anthony Newley, Iggy Pop and Neil Young collaborate on a new track, "Fire on the Rio Grande" ... wait, no, it's all David Bowie.
posted by WCityMike (19 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow, that's delightful! He really nailed the Lou Reed and Iggy Pop impersonations (not that it's surprising considering how well he knew them).
posted by acidnova at 6:45 PM on January 8


Not being familiar with Anthony Newley, I assumed that Bowie was doing an exaggerated version of himself for the segment between Reed and Iggy.
posted by rodlymight at 6:52 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


To my ear, the Lou impression is really close – except in certain vowel sounds, like a breeze that carries a fleeting but unmistakeable Bowie aroma.

My ranking:

1. Lou
2. Iggy
3. Bob
4. Neil
5. Bruce
6. Tom Waits

* I don't know who Anthony Newley is either.
posted by Beardman at 7:12 PM on January 8


Thank you for this Bowiemas gift!
posted by Ruki at 7:23 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Yeah the Tom Waits is nowhere close, but I suppose doing an accurate imitation would damage his larynx irreperably?
posted by Meatbomb at 8:00 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


It's great listening to him really go hard for the R in "horse" when he's striving to Americanize the accent.
posted by pykrete jungle at 10:16 PM on January 8


* I don't know who Anthony Newley is either.

yeah, based on that sample, he's David Bowie.

although there is this ...
posted by philip-random at 10:31 PM on January 8


Bowie imitated Newley, especially in his early days. That's why his impersonation sounds so like himself.
posted by Leon at 12:34 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Waits can get litigious when he’s imitated, Bowie is just playing it safe.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:08 AM on January 9


Waits can get litigious when he’s imitated
Wonder if that's why Weird Al Yankovic never parodied him?
posted by JohnFromGR at 3:23 AM on January 9


Waits can get litigious when he’s imitated,

Here's the story.
posted by Paul Slade at 3:37 AM on January 9


Damn I miss him.
posted by chasles at 4:19 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


The Springsteen one, to my ear, is uncanny. :)
posted by WCityMike at 6:17 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Simon Reynolds' groovy book 'Shock and Awe' has a section that describes Anthony Newley's influence on young Bowie. Newley's bio is quite something (co-wrote 'Goldfinger', married to Joan Collins, etc..)
posted by ovvl at 6:57 AM on January 9


They're interesting imitations in that he doesn't seem to be even attempting to match the target's timbre or pitch, focusing instead on pronunciation, dynamics and rhythm. Kind of uncanny sounding.
posted by Ipsifendus at 9:34 AM on January 9


Yeah the Tom Waits is nowhere close, but I suppose doing an accurate imitation would damage his larynx irreperably?

Hm. We need to talk to David Rudman.
posted by WCityMike at 10:38 AM on January 9


Also worh noting: Fire on the Rio Grande doesn't exist. As far as I can tell Bowie just riffed it for the first Springsteen impression, based on the Absolute Beginners backing music.
posted by WCityMike at 10:41 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


It's Andy War-hol actually. "-hol", as in "hols"
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 5:04 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I'll just drop this deep cut Tom Waits impression here: Tom Waits does math
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:37 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


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