David Bowie’s covers of John Lennon’s “Mother” and Bob Dylan’s “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven” have been released to celebrate what would have been the Starman’s 74th birthday.
The music icon’s slightly grittier reimagination of Lennon’s “Mother” was reinforced by a stellar ensemble of backing musicians including The Cure’s Reeves Gabrels on guitar and Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess on piano. The cover was produced in 1998 by Bowie’s longtime producer Tony Visconti, and was set to appear on a Lennon tribute collection that ultimately failed to come together.
Bowie’s version of Dylan’s “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven” was also recorded in 1998 while he worked on the live album LiveAndWell.com that was put out the following year. The song originally appeared on Dylan’s Time Out Of Mind, which won a Grammy for Album of the Year in 1997.
This single is the latest in a slew of posthumous releases since Bowie’s death in 2016, and follows the April 2020 release of ChangesNowBowie, a mostly acoustic session recorded for the BBC in 1997.
Bowie’s covers were released on his birthday of January 8 on Parlophone/ISO Records as limited edition 7-inch vinyl, with only 8,147 copies available worldwide.
On January 9, the Thin White Duke’s legacy was also honored with an all-star tribute livestream concert. A Bowie Celebration: Just For One Day! featured acts such as Trent Reznor, Adam Lambert and Duran Duran.
Stream the Lennon and Dylan covers here: