It was early December, 1995, a Saturday evening, and my parents had gone away on holiday, leaving me the sole occupier of the family home for a week. As a burgeoning rebellious teenager that meant only one thing: inviting the lads from sixth form round for a Saturday-night session of beers, smoke and music, specifically the stuff we’d recently been getting into: The Beatles, The Kinks, anything that had influenced the Britpop movement which had crested that summer with the Blur .v. Oasis chart showdown.
Little did we know there was another British artist who’d had a major influence on both those indie heavyweights: Oasis were to cover Heroes as a B-side two years later while Blur faced legal intervention the same year after their single M.O.R was found to bear more than a striking resemblance to Boys Keep Swinging (Eno & David later received a joint songwriting credit for the track).
Back in my hazy living room that evening we were all well aware of Bowie as a musician, although he hadn’t quite made it onto our session A-list. Only two years previously I’d bought my first single of his – Jump They Say – enamoured by its funked-up Nile Rodgers vibes, chorus guitar wail and jazzy trumpet solo, all contrasting the morbid lyrical content. As my teenage ears were more attuned to modern production values it was tracks like this, rather than Changes, Space Oddity etc, that floated my boat. Appreciation of the older stuff would surely follow, but for now it would all be kept in the back seat even longer by what we experienced that evening.