Original UK 7" picture cover of 'Life on Mars?' from 1973,
and 28 years later the French CD release of same.
Is there life on Mars?
Well, we all knew that the French Post Office had their finger on the pulse when they chose to use 'Life On Mars?' in a recent advertising campaign, and now it seems their good taste has been endorsed by the UK's ultra-hip Xfm radio station with the publication of its annual X-list.
The X-List 2001 is a poll of around 15,000 Xfm listeners' three favourite tracks in attempt to determine the best 104 recordings of all time, and David Bowie's 'Life On Mars?' is in the top ten for the second year in a row.
Taken from the 'Hunky Dory' album, this classic Bowie track was first released as a single in the UK, complete with a beautiful picture sleeve (see above), during the Aladdin Sane tour in June 1973. Backed with 'The Man Who Sold The World', 'Life On Mars?' reached #3 on the UK singles chart just in time for Bowie to retire Ziggy at London's Hammersmith Odeon.
While the track has slipped from last year's position of two to number six in this year's list, David is still one of only three artists in the list that started recording during the 1960s, the others being The Beatles at number eight with 'Revolution', and Jimi Hendrix at 56 with 'All Along The Watchtower'. Just goes to prove the kids still have taste, and it's further confirmation of the popularity of 'Hunky Dory' to the youngsters who are just discovering the music of David Bowie.
See below for the artists that occupy the top ten positions this year, last year's positions are bracketed.
01. Nirvana - 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' (25)
02. Radiohead - 'Creep' (36)
03. Stone Roses - 'I Am The Resurrection' (4)
04. Clash - 'London Calling' (10)
05. Smiths - 'How Soon Is Now' (34)
06. David Bowie - 'Life On Mars' (2)
07. Blur - 'Song 2' (14)
08. Beatles - 'Revolution' (15)
09. Radiohead - 'Just' (1)
10. Strokes - 'The Modern Age' (New)
Thanx to Chris of Man of Music for the La Poste link and to BowieNetter Paul McFarlane for alerting me to a report about this story at dotmusic.com. Paul is a man even happier than I to see The Strokes straight in at number ten with their first single, 'The Modern Age', and I'm over the moon!