There were many fine tributes paid to David Bowie a few weeks back on the first anniversary of his death and/or what would have been his 70th birthday. Some of the best could be found within the pages of the blogs listed over on the right hand side and knowing this would be the case I decided to hold off paying my own small tribute until now.

Many of the tributes rightly focussed on the incredibly diverse styles adopted by Bowie throughout his stellar career and it was fascinating to read so many lovingly crafted words paying homage to a fan’s favourite song or album. I don’t ever expect to see a David Bowie ICA in the long-running series as it genuinely is impossible to narrow things down to ten tracks to make up the perfect sounding LP. I was tempted to have a go myself and wait with interest what the likes of The Robster and Echorich (among others) would say in response, but in the end I came to my senses.

Instead, I thought I’d settle for posting a song that I’m rather fond of along with a reasonably rare cover version taken straight from my vinyl copy (albeit I’m willing to admit it is far removed from being one of the essential Tindersticks recordings).

mp3 : David Bowie – Kooks
mp3 : Tindersticks – Kooks

The well-known story behind its composition back in 1971 is that Bowie wanted to write a song especially for his new-born son, one which would capture his feelings of excitement and nervousness about becoming a dad. It seemingly ended up being a pastiche of the sort of songs Neil Young was writing and recording at that time for the simple reason that Bowie was listening to the great Canadian when he learned his son had been born. Now I appreciate that very few folk would say that Kooks is one of his greatest compositions in the grand scheme of things but there’s just something very touching about the lyric that over the years must have put smiles on the faces of many new sets of parents.


6 thoughts on “DELIBERATELY LATE

  1. He kind of did a follow up later in everyone says hi about the parent having to let go.
    Danny Wilson did a pretty good cover of kooks as well

  2. You aren’t alone in finding something special in Kooks…I’ve always heard a bit of Bacharach/David in Kooks. That comes out quite a lot in Danny WIlson’s version, which like FORW I whole heartedly recommend.
    Now as for the Tindersticks version…I have to say I really love it. Stu Staples got the opportunity to channel, Bowie, Ferry and Cohen all in one song – heavy on the Cohen.
    There is a very folky version by Elizabeth Banks who used to sing with Lisa Loeb and has collaborated with Jon Langford. And Madness did the song proud at Glastonbury last year.

  3. The thought of trying to assemble a Bowie ICA crossed my mind too, but what a task! To attempt to do it justice, the rule book would have to go out the window – it would have to be a multi-volume affair for a start.
    I too like Tindersticks’ version of ‘Kooks’ and I also really enjoyed the performance of the song given by Madness at Glastonbury. I was unaware of that until just now, so thanks for bringing it to my attention Echorich.

  4. Kooks has long been a bit of a secret fan fave over the years. By that I mean a lot of fans would include Kooks on a homemade comp or mixtape rather than plump for one of the hits.

    I hate it when people write songs about their kids. They are usually a huge vat of corn with a ton of cheese mixed in. I may be biased, but Bowie seemed to avoid all the usual pitfalls and cliches with Kooks. You’re right, it’ll never go down as one of the greatest songs he ever wrote, but the fact people still listen to it with affection more than 45 years on must stand for something.

  5. The message that you’re one of us and we’re going to have a good time together is pretty timeless. Don’t see this tune ever getting dated.

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