Tuesday, August 10, 2010

David Bowie And Bing Crosby

I just came across one of the most random videos I’ve seen in a long time. It’s from Bing Crosby’s 1977 Christmas special and features David Bowie and Bing Crosby singing a modified version of the “The Little Drummer Boy” called “Peace on Earth.”

This unlikely duet almost didn’t happen when Bowie refused to sing “The Little Drummer Boy.” It seems that like I, he didn’t like the original and didn’t think it would fit his style. Fortunately, there were some talented composers on hand in the studio, who in 75 minutes retooled the song by adding in another melody and new lyrics. Bowie liked it, and after only an hour of rehearsal he and Bing nailed it for the cameras. Not bad for a few hours of work.

While I’ve never been a huge fan of Christmas carols, I am a huge fan of David Bowie and Bing Crosby and the banter between the two is definitely worth watching. It’s unfortunate that Crosby died a month after this was filmed of a heart attack. Regardless, the sheer oddity of having the two paired together for a Christmas carol is cause enough to watch this video.

On a side note, with Bowie's recent foray into sartorially perfect bespoke suits I often find myself forgetting how utterly terrifying he once was. I recently stumbled across some old pictures that glaringly reminded me of how strange some of his costumes and personas were. What's more jarring is the juxtaposition between the images below and the dapper Bowie crooning alongside Bing Crosby.

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