Try Some, Buy Some


Try Some, Buy Some (Ronnie Spector, 1971).
Try Some, Buy Some (George Harrison, 1973).
Try Some, Buy Some (Bowie).
Try Some, Buy Some (Bowie, live, 2003).
Try Some, Buy Some (Bowie, live, 2003).

Promoting Reality in 2003, Bowie took pains to say that one of his cover recordings, “Try Some, Buy Some,” was only an inadvertent homage to its composer, the recently-deceased George Harrison. “For me it was a Ronnie Spector song,” he said. “It never really occurred to me that I was actually covering a George Harrison song…it’s rather fitting and quite lovely that it is an unwitting tribute to George.”

Harrison died in November 2001, the capstone to a dreadful year. Having fought off throat cancer in 1997, he was subsequently beaten and stabbed by a psychotic housebreaker. Friends like Keith Richards blamed the attack (which was close to fatal: Harrison had five stab wounds, one of which punctured his lung) for leaving Harrison weakened against a renewed bout of lung and brain cancer, which swiftly killed him. So, essentially, half of the members of the 20th Century’s biggest pop group were murdered at their homes by obsessed fans.

Harrison was the Beatles’ house moralist (to use a Philip Roth line, he was their “unchaste monk”). His was the voice interrupting the party to say: you’re really only very small and life goes on within you and without you. A lifetime is so short: a new one can’t be bought. Try thinking more, if just for your own sake. The farther one travels, the less one knows. And the last-ever recorded Beatles track, a waltz on egoism: Even those tears/I me MINE I me MINE I me MINE.

A bus driver’s son from working-class Liverpool, Harrison was a pop emperor by 21. In the late Sixties, he tried to ground his wealth and fame in some working philosophical system, a sort of Hare Krishna stoicism. By middle age he was more interested in his gardening than making records (it showed), and of all the Beatles, he treated the band’s legend with the least reverence: The Rutles is in part snarky secret autobiography. The three Beatles songwriter voices were autobiographer (Lennon), novelist (McCartney) and, with Harrison, sermonizer. Had they been a medieval troupe, Harrison would have been the friar who lectured on Hell in breaks between the acrobats and hurdy-gurdy acts. And then pulled a toad out of his sleeve.

For [Harrison], there is a belief in some kind of system,” Bowie told Paul du Noyer in 2003 (Harrison had chanted ‘Hare Krishna’ at his attacker that night, though mainly to distract him). “But I really find that hard. Not on a day to day basis,because there are habits of life that have convinced me there is something solid to believe in. But when I become philosophical, in those ‘long, lonely hours’ it’s the source of all my frustrations, hammering away at the same questions I’ve had since I was 19. Nothing has really changed for me.”

Beatles fans could find Harrison’s spiritualism trying, too—my father tended to skip the needle over “Within You Without You” when he played Sgt. Pepper‘s second side. And yes, there’s something grating about a millionaire (one of whose best songs griped about the marginal tax rate of Harold Wilson’s Britain) banging on about the illusory nature of material life while living in a mansion, or decrying the false wisdom of drugs after having spent years of his life tripping.

But as the Beatles finally become installed in the past (I imagine we’ve one more commemorative decade ahead of us), Harrison seems their most fundamentally sound member, the band’s reality principle, and, at his best, their most profound writer (see “Long Long Long,” a torch song for God). From his earliest to last songs, he kept at the same home truths. Life is brief, we spend the great part of it worrying over pointless things, we lie to ourselves and each other too much, everything we love will die, and we ultimately know nothing about existence. So why not try to make peace with your god, or at least spend your days gardening?


Harrison wrote “Try Some, Buy Some” during the All Things Must Pass sessions of 1970. It was one of his songs about maya, the Hindu/Krishna concept that much of the perceived world is illusory and that reality is only found at the spiritual level. Maya is ever-changing, and as such the cause of human unhappiness and sorrow. Or, to ground “Try Some” in provincial terms, material life is a funfair. You go for a visit, overeat, go on the rides, buy some trinkets. But one day you have to go home. So in “Try Some,” the verses look back to the Sixties—the drugs, the sex, meeting “big fry”–while the refrains turn to the future, a humbled reconciliation with God. The last refrain finds Harrison back at the funfair, but in an evangelist’s booth: “try some” spirituality on for size.

The song was a platonic ideal of Harrison’s compositions, his labored style marked by clockwork chord progressions in which he used “chord changes as expressive, rather than functional, devices” (Ian MacDonald). His songs seemed like orreries, moving in slow, weighty orbits. “The extreme example of Harrison’s circular melodic style, [“Try Some” seems] to snake through an unending series of harmonic steps,” as Simon Leng wrote. Composed on piano and organ (rare for Harrison, who had Klaus Voormann play the bass keys), which Harrison said inspired all the “weird chords,” its vertebrae was a descending chromatic bassline, hitting every semitone from E to B, and an another descending harmonic sequence in which Harrison starts on A minor and corkscrews down to D major (Am-Ab-G-F#-E-A-D).

As if aiming to make the song more ungainly, Harrison gave it a seesawing top melody and set it an unforgiving 3/4 time and in a key that Ronnie Spector, for whom it was intended, found uncomfortable to sing in.* “I know you can hit those notes,” her husband and producer Phil Spector told her, while vetoing her suggestion of using vibrato (“Vibrato is Sixties. This is 1971.“).

Ronnie, who flew into London to record what was supposed to be the lead-off single for her debut solo LP, said she first thought Harrison’s song was a joke, like the B-side jam “Tandoori Chicken” (the studio’s takeaway order). She didn’t understand a word of the lyric (nor did he, its composer reportedly said) and found it hard to sing, but she was a trooper, mastering the song’s jarring rhythms and hitting all of the high notes (throwing in her trademark “Be My Baby” hook at 1:23).

“Try Some” was a colossal flop, only hitting #77 in the US and not even charting in Britain (some DJs favored “Tandoori Chicken”). Its disastrous performance killed Ronnie’s solo album, with her husband, who believed he’d recorded a spiritual masterpiece unappreciated by Philistines, falling deeper into alcoholism and paranoia. Some of Ronnie’s supporters found the choice of debut single ridiculous, a clunky Harrison downer that would’ve sunk anyone forced to sing it, and blamed Phil for sabotaging her comeback. (Ronnie, who’d been kept a virtual prisoner by Phil in the late Sixties, escaped his mansion on foot soon after “Try Some” was issued).

One of the few who bought “Try Some” at the time was a Beckenham songwriter with a taste for obscurities. “I got [the single] because I was totally ga-ga over Ronnie Spector,” Bowie recalled in 2003. “I always thought she was absolutely fantastic.”**


Bowie had wanted to cover “Try Some, Buy Some” for years, and he’d been taken with Ronnie Spector’s sound as far back as “Teenage Wildlife.” “We were pretty true to the original arrangement but the overall atmosphere is somewhat different. It’s a dense piece,” he said of his version.

He meant to free the song from Spector’s over-arrangement and let it have its say in a more subtle, forgiving setting. Unfortunately this wound up being a cheap-sounding Korg Trinity backing track that possibly survived from the demo stages. There are some nice touches—Bowie’s baritone saxophone leading the march to the basement, and a new two-note guitar hook, which seems an attempt to distract the ear from all the harmonic grinding going on underneath—but the piece comes off both chintzy and too much in the shadow of the original recording. It attempts grandeur on the cheap. Bowie doesn’t try to out-sing Spector (he couldn’t, at this point) and he takes the song in a comfortable range, where Harrison had strained at the top of his range, giving his version a desperate quality—Harrison doesn’t quite believe in what he’s selling. There’s little yearning in Bowie’s version, but far more sadness. It’s a man recounting a lost battle.

So we’ve reached the last studio-recorded Bowie cover of this survey. This blog has been unforgiving to many of his covers—“Friday On My Mind,” “Across the Universe,” “Kingdom Come,” “God Only Knows,” “If There Is Something,” to pick a few. And it’s fair to say that few Bowie fans approach a new album with the hope of “maybe there’ll be a lot of covers on this one!”

What drove him to do so many? Bowie’s always been a pop fan, and his covers were often fan tributes (fan fictions, even)—a key to understanding Pin Ups is that Bowie’s pantomiming all of these butch Sixties singers as well as playing the gawky fans dancing along to the records at home, typically in the same performance. There’s a common thread of tastelessness in Bowie covers, and it’s in part owed to this—Bowie gets so wrapped up in how much he loves these songs that he doesn’t care what he sounds like, and he’s too much in love to change the songs to suit his strengths.

Some of it was lab work—Bowie picking apart other songwriters to see how they’d done it, and absconding with their best bits (so he did a Kinks cover on Pin Ups and then used various Ray Davies tricks on The Idiot and Low). His decades’ worth of covering “Waiting for the Man” and “White Light/White Heat” suggested he was trying to hypnotize himself into writing like Lou Reed. “Nite Flights” is an offering to a household saint.

By the early 2000s, Bowie was ticking off things he’d meant to tribute years before, which gives the last round of Heathen and Reality covers poignancy and looseness. “Pablo Picasso” and “Cactus” are hoots, with Bowie grandly refusing to act his age; “Gemini Spaceship” and “I’ve Been Waiting for You” tip the hat to long-standing, multi-generational influences.

And “Try Some, Buy Some”? Bowie’s favorite Beatle, or at least the Beatle who’d most governed him, had been his friend John Lennon (Bowie never had much time for McCartney, except stealing a few tricks for songs like “Oh! You Pretty Things” and “Right On Mother”). But in Harrison, a songwriter who, like Bowie, had a long public apprenticeship (see “You Like Me Too Much”), Bowie also found affinities. Reaching his mid-fifties, Bowie found Harrison’s spirituality alluring, even if he could never bring himself to become a believer (or even a gardener).

So “Try Some, Buy Some,” an oddball’s tribute to a forgotten single, sits there near the end of Reality, taking up space on an already-overlong album, and slightly spoiling the mood. Harrison would have approved: the song was never meant to go down easy.

Recorded: (rhythm tracks, vocals) January-February 2003, (lead guitars, lead and backing vocals, overdubs) March-May 2003, Looking Glass Studios, New York.

* Harrison also wrote for Spector “You,” which was catchy and well-suited to her voice. She recorded a version in 1971 but it was never released (Harrison used the backing track for his version). Looking back in 1999, Ronnie said “Try Some” had become one of her favorite singles. It “was done to make me happy, and it did. It might not have been made for the right reasons, but it’s a good record.”

** Not merely as a singer. “She’s a terrific looking woman,” Bowie said.

Top: Ara Oshagan, from “Traces of Identity: An Insider’s View of the LA Armenian Community, 2000-2004.”

Hype notice: There’s now a “Book” section of the blog (see top, next to “About”). This page will serve as a place for pre-order links, readings, notices about any possible interviews, that sort of thing.

44 Responses to Try Some, Buy Some

  1. stuartgardner says:

    “The three Beatles songwriter voices were autobiographer (Lennon), novelist (McCartney) and, with Harrison, sermonizer.” Excellent.
    And thanks for adding “orrery” to my vocabulary.
    Your essay has me appreciating the track somewhat, at least, where I never before saw much of worth in it, but for me it remains a blotch on the album and on Bowie’s catalog.

  2. Jubany says:

    This article is great, as always, and it features the fab four, so I suppose you can say it’s beatles-great.
    But on the subject of Bowie cover versions… I was thinking the other day that we (bowie fans, writers, etc) are approaching a kind of consensus in which Bowie is a bad versionist, forgetting that quite impressive list that goes from Amsterdam to The Drowned Girl, through My Death, Wild Is The Wind and Alabama Song (songs that he almost got to own, in my opinion). Thinking again about this after reading this article, I realized that, unlike those other, very much maligned covers, these that I mentioned weren’t originally rock tunes.

    • col1234 says:

      I think that’s a very good point: Bowie’s always been good at “stage” songs, for lack of a better word

    • Sky-POssessing Spider says:

      I don’t know if many on here would agree, but for me, one of the great and overlooked Bowie covers is “Let’s Spend The Night Together”, where Ronno takes the Stones rather limp, mid-paced shuffle, ties three dozen sky-rockets to its’ tail, and shoots it into outer space.
      That bit at the end where Bowie slows it down to a whisper, then pronounces “DO IT!!” over several crunching Ronson chords is sheer genius too.

      • Sky-POssessing Spider says:

        Footnote: Mike Garson’s part in this song shouldn’t be overlooked either.

      • col1234 says:

        i warmed up a bit to that one in the revision. was too harsh in the blog entry

      • Dave L says:

        “That bit at the end where Bowie slows it down to a whisper, then pronounces “DO IT!!” over several crunching Ronson chords is sheer genius too.”

        Yes I would even say those chords are phallic, as much as a guitar chord can be. A bit of raunchy humor, I think.

  3. SoooTrypticon says:

    Lovely write up closing off the covers, for now.

    Do you think he already tried a stab at this once before, in his original version of “Uncle Floyd?”

    The instrumentation on that is very similar to to the Spector version.

  4. Mr Tagomi says:

    George has been my favourite Beatle for many a year, so I’ve been looking forward to reaching this particular track.

    Surprising that DB covered it. I wish he’d mutated it the way he did some other cover versions. It’s too much of a facsimile of the original versions to be that interesting, especially given that the 1970s versions were both ambitious productions.

    I find myself wondering what kind of a fist he’d make of the song that follows Try Some Buy Some on that album, The Day the World Gets Round. Seems to me it would suit him much better.

    George’s version is powerfully suggestive of someone being out on an emotional/spiritual limb. All the things that ought not work – the awkward rhythm, the jarring harmonic stuff going on, the fact that he can barely manage to sing his own song at all – somehow do work, in an expressionist sort of way.

    I suppose Ronnie’s version is the best really. She is in command of the song.

  5. StevenE says:

    I never had this down as a weak spot on the album, but then I’d never heard Ronnie’s version until this all came out in the comments a few weeks back. It’s perfect and I tweeted about it.

    So sad that we’ve had perhaps the first, or at least most significant so far, of this blog’s closing-out pieces. My internet will genuinely be that much worse when all this goes (not that I plan to keep reading once we get passed She Can (Do That)).

    Title for Zero’s Bowiesongs volume V has to be ‘He Can (Do That)’ tbh.

    • col1234 says:

      “He (Did That)”

      • Mr Tagomi says:

        In the interests of supporting a physical bookstore, I am going to wait for the book to be released in Ireland, which I hope will not involve a delay. The table of contents and first page have me a bit excited about getting my copy.

        On the subject of McCartney and Bowie, you may have come across this story before, but I read a long time ago that Bowie had Lennon and McCartney over for dinner around the time Young Americans came out. He played Young Americans while they ate, presumably seeking the Beatle seal of approval, and then when it finished he put it back the start and played it again. At some point McCartney asked him if he had any other records, and Bowie left the room in tears.

        I don’t know whether to believe it or not, but that would have been during his half-crazy-on-cocaine era.

  6. Sky-POssessing Spider says:

    Well, I’ve listened to both version’s now thanks to the link above, and it seemed, as you say, that Ronnie must have found it difficult to sing, because she never seems to really tie the vocal down very convincingly. I’d have to disagree with your assertion that Bowie at this stage of his career could never match her vocal.
    Of the three versions his is easily the most assured take on a “difficult” song, which doesn’t have “hit” written over it (as it’s no.77chart placing reflects.)
    Poor old George sounds even more uncomfortable reaching for the notes than Ronnie. So much so in fact, that it doesn’t even sound like George to me, his voice is completely unrecognisable.

  7. Sky-POssessing Spider says:

    I don’t think Bowie and Paul McCartney like each other very much personally, as you say Chris. Firstly, there’s Mr. Tagomi’s story above, which I’ve heard too, as well as the famously revolting McCartney painting titled “David Bowie spewing”, in all its’ technicolour glory. Perhaps the famous photo of the pair shaping up like boxers has more unconscious truth to it than just a couple of mega rock stars goofing around for the camera.
    However, having said that, I think Bowie took more from McCartney than just a few tricks like “Oh! You Pretty Things” and “Right On Mother”. In the early part of his career, Bowie spent a long time trying to replicate the big audience singalong part which McCartney had mastered in “Hey Jude”. I once heard an early demo version of “Janine” where Bowie literally tacked the ending of said Beatles song to his own composition in the most brazen steal since the Venus In Furs section on his own “Little Toy Soldier”. (Have you heard this very rare demo Chris?)
    He had another go at the big rousing audience singalong with his “Sun machine is coming down” finale to “Memory Of A Free Festival”. Unfortunately, like many of his early singles, the song failed to ignite.

    • col1234 says:

      i have heard that one, Peter, & reference it in the book a bit. I’d say this was more DB being a bit crafty/desperate—“Hey Jude” was such a colossal hit in ’68 that stealing the big rave-out chorus was a pretty obvious move for a still-maturing songwriter looking for a big bang to end his song. You’re right about “Free Festival,” but note DB also sings “here comes the sun!” at one point!

      • Sky-Possessing Spider says:

        Just to clarify my comments about “Free Festival”, I meant that the single failed to ignite with the public. It’s actually a very fine song in itself, although the singalong bit is probably too “out there” to connect with an audience in a simple call-and-response manner.
        Being an old fart, I actually remember first hand what a colossal hit “Hey Jude” was in ’68. I was 7 at the time, and clearly remember watching it on Top Of The Pops (and loving it), at my Aunties house in Coventry, the year before we left England for Oz.

    • s.t. says:

      Yeah, I think people downplay Bowie’s McCartney connections. He has the cynicism of John, for sure, but the sincere rocker thing was just a skin Bowie’d try on once in a while. Paul was the most experimental, the most mannered, the most vaudevillian of the Four. Plus, I hear “You Gotta Carry That Weight” in “All the Young Dudes.”

  8. sunray jahchild says:

    I remember Bowie playing the Spector version on radio one when he was promoting Lodger. He dj’d for a couple of hours, and the show, faithfully recorded onto a C90 and listened to for years, was a joy. Plenty of weird shit, of course, plus Roxy, THeads, PGlass, Danny Kaye and many more goodies. Somewhere out there, I seem to recall seeing a playlist from that show. Wish I still had the tape.
    On a tangent, a happen to think Across the Universe is a fantastic cover version, so what do I know?

  9. crayontocrayon says:

    Sunray you can find the playlist if you google ‘bowie star special’ the transcript of the show is there.

    Reality doesn’t really have room for this and Disco King as slower, more ‘serious’ songs. It’s a jarring drudge compared to the rest of the album.

    My favourite is the Harrison version, I like how the song is too heavy for him to carry. Bowie’s version is ok but it’s a pretty on-the-nose replication of Spectors. This falls somewhere in the middle of the extremes of Bowie cover versions.

  10. Da says:

    Harrison turned out to be my favorite Beatle yet I still skip that song.

  11. Patrick says:

    Don’t think I’d agree that “Taxman” was one of GH’s “best” songs, even if well known if not infamous, it grates in more ways than one. Paul Weller later borrowed the riff.
    He did give us the sublime “Something”, even if , assuming the account I read was true, Sinatra used to introduce it in his live sets from some of his “favourite songwriters Lennon & McCartney” , before later correcting the credit.

    • Mr Tagomi says:

      For some reason, George leads into his song Far East Man by inviting Sinatra to perform it “at Caesar’s Palace on your next live album”.

      George proved himself to be a dab hand at soul stylings in the mid-70s.

    • Patrick, the story I heard is that Sinatra introduced Something as “The greatest love song by Lennon and McCartney”, which, if true, probably didn’t please Lennon, MacCartney, nor Harrison!

  12. gnomemansland says:

    What makes the Bowie version work is that he teases out the essential Everyone who had a heart – ness of the track and gets the key right. For whatever reason Ronnie misses several of the notes – was it Phil’s backing? Similar things happen on Born to be with you – the Dion LP that Spector produced in 1975. There are tracks on there in which Dion seems to be struggling to reach the note – it is not that it is out of range but that the backing is throwing him off.

  13. MC says:

    I must say that I rather like this rendition. Where Pablo Picasso just sort of sits there, Try Some, Buy Some works for me in much the way DB’s version of Kingdom Come does: its very awkwardness gets the meaning across, and gives the song a new dimension.

    Excellent piece, doubly poignant for marking a milestone in the blog itself(DB’s last recorded cover to date) and for saying what many of us Beatlemaniacs have been feeling for a while: that the Fab Four are receding into history.

  14. Maj says:

    Oh Georgie, my Georgie. The favourite member of my favourite band.

    I wasn’t even born when Lennon was killed, so I don’t know how I’d react in that situation. But I definitely remember when I heard the news about George. Just pure, undiluted sadness. And loads of tears.

    I can’t say I’m exceptionally well versed in his solo career. I have all of the albums but I don’t love every song he ever wrote. Though I do think he was the best lyricist in the Beatles, and pretty much every of the songs he released with the band (or shortly after leaving it) is if not all-out excellent, than at least it had some cool lyrics.

    Try Some though…I actually didn’t know at all sung by Ronnie, I only heard her version a few years ago. I knew it sung by George and later Bowie’s version – which I always felt was an improvement on George’s original, to be honest.
    I think Bowie’s vocal probably sounds best on this song out of the 3 versions. And not just the vocal. It’s the best version of it. Period.

    I quite like gardening.

  15. spanghew says:

    Must say that I have never warmed to Bowie’s version of “Let’s Spend the Night Together”: far too unsubtle, and I just don’t buy Bowie as thrusty, hairy rock dude. And the track doesn’t read as ironic in any way, either.

    • s.t. says:

      Hmm…I think it more as lusty fairy frock ‘tude. Punk with spunk!

    • AB says:

      Particularly as the Bowie song it ‘inspired’ is far superior.

      It pains me to think we could have had a Spiders version of ‘Let Me Sleep Beside You’.

  16. Momus says:

    1. The Spector wall of sound has mandolins in it. On the cover, Ronnie looks really weird and ambivalent. She’s black, but her hair is straightened, her face whitened with a mortuary shade of pan. Her eyebrows are broken, as if plucked through the tears which have also apparently smudged her make-up. She’s wearing a blue-collared shirt and braces, like a man, or a clown in dungarees.

    2. It’s tempting to imagine Bowie seeing this image and being drawn to its gender ambivalence, and the pierrot qualities so evident in it. When he became “the gouster” he would also wear braces, adding racial ambivalence to his gender ambivalence. Yet, just as Ronnie’s manliness (she even has a man’s name!) ends up emphasising her female vulnerability, so Bowie’s ambivalence has always made him, somehow, more thrustingly male.

    3. Was there ever anyone more macho than Bowie in a mini-skirt? Isn’t that why there were, famously, so many brick-layers and van-drivers into Glam Rock?

    4. But back to those mandolins, which can’t help reminding us of Wild is the Wind. And that big diminished passing chord! And the descending bassline! So many Bowie trademarks in a song written by someone else! How could he not cover it?

    5. His cover is just okay. The crunching snare makes the wall of sound seem small. And the pathos needed to make this song work emotionally just isn’t there in Bowie’s voice. It’s a song full of emotional masochism, a “without you I’m nothing” song, and its power comes from the fact that we know that someone who depends entirely on the love of another always — but always — loses it, and therefore loses everything.

    6. For me, it’s a song about drugs, and specifically about heroin. What do you buy, and try, when you’ve vested everything in love, and love has gone? Why, junk. The only thing that fits a hole that big. “I’ve seen big fry, seen them die to get high…”

    7. Here we have to talk about persona. Bowie is a master of persona, of masks, but the most successful mask is one we find credible as a real face. And Bowie can’t be Billie Holiday or Bessie Smith or Nina Simone. He can’t seem to have had a tragic life, and risked everything for love, and then imploded when love upped and left. He’s hardly ever played victims, even in his movie roles. He apparently did heroin at one point only: when Hermione left him.

    8. What we hear in this cover is very like what we hear in the Star Special show: an enthusiast playing a song back for us, telling us he likes to listen to it when he’s alone. Telling us that Ronnie is his type of woman. Telling us that he took quite a lot from the Beatles songbook when he started writing songs.

    9. Perhaps if he’d covered this on Pin-Ups, it would contain enough of the Hermione hurt (as Sorrow did) to work on an emotional level. But thirty years later it’s just a play-back. And this is the kind of song that — without the anchor of genuine tragedy — risks fleeing into overblown schmaltz.

    10. Ironically, the very next thing that would happen in the Bowie chronology would be a piece of genuine tragedy at least as weighty as the Hermione break-up. The opiates this time would be medical.

  17. roobin101 says:

    Wikipedia-based poking around suggests the upcoming tour will have a few covers on it. As much as I love both Bowie and Blur I can’t see how covering Song 2 is going to work out well. Is the blog going to take the songs individually or as a bunch?

    • col1234 says:

      roobin, this baffled me for a moment as I thought you were talking about some Bowie/Blur tour in 2015 that just got announced.

      there’ll just be one catch-all entry for the Reality Tour.

  18. jamfree says:

    In that grandiose rising chord sequence I am reminded of the similar device just before the chorus in “Loving the Alien.” For me the live Bowie “Try Some” is successful; it’s so much more emotive than his studio version.

    The skin-lightening makeup on Ronnie is indeed unexpectedly Pierrot-ish … The look on her face makes me happy she fled Castle Spector soon after.

  19. Dr Z says:

    ….. but she was a trooper, mastering the song’s jarring rhythms and hitting all of the high notes….

    Unless she was moonlighting from the military, her skills make her a “trouper”.

    Back to marking…..

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