If anything good at all has come from the death of David Bowie, then it has been that I – and doubtless many others – have spent the last couple of months revisiting his material, or in the case of today’s post, discovering new stuff he did.
VH1 was a music channel which was supposed to act as an alternative to the more youth-orientated MTV (this was, of course, back in the days when MTV used to play nothing but music videos, rather than the never-ending stream of reality TV shows it splurges out these days).
And whilst MTV had their “Unplugged” show, VH1 had “Storytellers”. The concept was both similar and simple: established artists were invited to play some songs from their back catalogue in front of a live studio audience, and in between songs regale them with anecdotes about the song and how it came into being.
In 1999, it was Bowie’s turn, and the results can be found on the CD release that finally got released 10 years later. It’s fair to say that Bowie takes the story-telling aspect of the show rather seriously, as you can tell from the version of “Rebel Rebel” that he gives here, even if that does mean the actual performance of the song, well I wouldn’t say it suffers exactly…:
Still, cracking anecdote, eh?
You can watch the whole show, albeit broken down into clips of each song, here: