It’s a tall task to cover one of David Bowie’s songs, ever more clear now as tributes continue to pour out (even Lady Gaga was called out by Bowie’s son for an overwrought performance during the Grammy Awards). After all, how can we ever approximate the towering spectre of the Starman’s legacy? Yet it’s the flamboyant and over-the-top rock band The Flaming Lips that, perhaps unexpectedly, manages to deliver a sincere and authentic version of Bowie’s “Space Oddity”.
Introducing a droning bass-heavy electric beat, while reprising their trademark guitar twangs as well as their usual laser beam-filled visual showcase, the band remains strictly faithful to Bowie’s vocals and lyrics, delivering a straight-from-the-heart homage for their own space rock lineage-sized debt to him, by neither falling into the pitfalls of performing a poor facsimile of his song nor overextending themselves in reinventing the track.
Watch the eclectic and larger-than-life frontman Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips sing his heart out amidst a sea of other-worldly cosmic rays, and be sure to check out his Chewbacca-riding antics on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert as he performs the cover live.