David Bowie – My Top 100 Favorite Songs: 79

79 be my wife david bowie top 100 songs vinyl junkies vj

I recently witnessed the biggest David Bowie fan I know count down his top 100 favorite songs. These were private posts, meant solely for his Facebook family and friends. Something really cool happened over those 100 days.

I’d like to share that countdown with you. Read along, embark upon Niall Colgan’s personal journey while he narrates some of the most intimate aspects of his life with his undying passion for the art of David Bowie. The vid below is a short intro, scroll directly beneath to read the countdown.

Number 79: Be My Wife

Taken From: Low (1977)

Sometimes you get so lonely…

 

And so begins the Berlin trilogy. By 1977, Bowie had tired of the rock n’ roll cliché and wanted to rock the boat. I believe this album initially started out as a ‘fuck you’ to the music industry and its trappings. Low was David’s attempt to rebuild. Every aspect of Bowie’s life would change with this new musical direction, including his business and his then customary image makeover.

 

Be My Wife was the second single released from Low, after Sound and Vision. It’s failure to break the UK charts perhaps serves to indicate just how far removed from conformity Bowie was willing to go. A rock song containing few lyrics released as a single, on an album of electronica and instrumentals. Was Low an act of rebellion against his own sound?

 

Even the song title “Be My Wife” seems an act of rebellion. Where one would expect to hear a love song, Bowie expresses the voice of a man disillusioned by life.

 

I’ve lived all over the world

I’ve left every place…

The odd combination of title and content reveal a few layers. While the words could be interpreted most clearly in a geographical sense, I believe he also refers to the litany of characters he’d left behind, as well as his inability to settle for any one person.

 

Of course “Wife” just as easily could be read as a plea. It’s a marriage proposal scraped through gritted teeth, obsessive and bitter in its delivery. During this period, his marriage to his first wife, Angie, was in tatters.  Bowie’s angry frustration is counterbalanced by his ever present fear of isolation. His costumes brought adulation, but the love was ultimately reserved for the character rather than the person playing them. His solution only brought more more isolation, through his realization that he’d ultimately failed to receive what he thought fame would bring him.  This led to a break which took him away from the madness of Los Angeles to the relative serenity of Switzerland, and then Berlin.  Every aspect of his life had taken damage, he needed a reset.

READ 100, 99, 9883, 82, 81, 80

Sometimes you get so lonely
Sometimes you get nowhere
I’ve lived all over the world
I’ve left every place
Please be mine
Share my life
Stay with me
Be my wife
Sometimes you get so lonely
Sometimes you get nowhere
I’ve lived all over the world
I’ve left every place
Sometimes you get so lonely