Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Daily Bowie #65 - "Up the Hill Backwards"


The Daily Bowie #65 - "Up the Hill Backwards"

This is a fitting song today as I head into exam week.

Down and dirty today without a lot of preamble.

"More idols than realities"

DAVID BOWIE

"UP THE HILL BACKWARDS"

SCARY MONSTERS (AND SUPER CREEPS)

FROM PUSHING AHEAD OF THE DAME: "UP THE HILL BACKWARDS"

“Up the Hill Backwards” is a cryptic anti-self-help manual (Bowie mocks the quintessential ’70s life guide I’m OK,  You’re OK in the lyric), its central message suggesting a late Dylan line: I was born here and I’ll die here/against my will. Accept that you have no control, that the course that life takes has little, if anything, to do with you, and gain some hard comfort. Whatever you believe, the earth keeps on turning, the witnesses of its endless cycles keep dying off.

That’s what the four verses suggest; the refrain denies them. “Up the hill backwards—it’ll be alright” seems like a booster—keep on keeping on—but it’s a dark form of encouragement. There’s a poem for children that begins, “He walked up the hill backwards/So as not to see how high it was.” That’s how we make do, stumbling blindly towards a future that we can’t (or won’t) imagine, our eyes trained on the ground that we’ve already crossed. Up the hill backwards! A pep talk that tells us to blind ourselves.

The lyric is chanted/sung by Bowie, Tony Visconti and Lynn Maitland, Bowie’s voice submerged in the collective. It’s the first time in his recorded life that Bowie’s truly shared the vocal spotlight; his voice is a flavor, rather than dominating the mix (the vocal sound is close to the David Byrne-Tina Weymouth chorus in the Talking Heads’ “The Good Thing”). Bowie said he intended “Backwards” to be “very MOR voiced,” so as to sound like the “epitome of indifference,” and never more so than in its first verse:

The vacuum created by the arrival of freedom
And the possibilities it seems to offer,
It’s got nothing to do with you, if one can grasp it.



"Up the Hill Backwards" - SCARY MONSTERS (and Super Creeps) - 1980




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"Up The Hill Backwards"

The vacuum created 
by the arrival of freedom
And the possibilities it seems to offer
It's got nothing to do with you,
if one can grasp it 
It's got nothing to do with you, 
if one can grasp it

A series of shocks - sneakers fall apart
Earth keeps on rolling 
witnesses falling
It's got nothing to do with you,
if one can grasp it
It's got nothing to do with you,
if one can grasp it

Yeah, yeah, yeah 
up the hill backwards
It'll be alright ooo-ooo

While we sleep they go to work
We're legally crippled
it's the death of love
It's got nothing to do with you,
if one can grasp it
It's got nothing to do with you, 
if one can grasp it

More idols than realities
I'm OK, you're so-so

Yeah, yeah, yeah - up the hill backwards
It'll be alright ooo-ooo

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THE DAILY BOWIE LIST
1601.20 - The Daily Bowie #0 - "Space Oddity" - SPACE ODDITY - 1969
1601.21 - The Daily Bowie #1 - "Ashes to Ashes" - SCARY MONSTERS - 1980
1601.22 - The Daily Bowie #2 - "Cat People" - LET'S DANCE - 1983
1601.23 - The Daily Bowie #3 - "Sons of the Silent Age" - HEROES - 1977
1601.24 - The Daily Bowie #4 - "Running Gun Blues" - THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD - 1970
1601.25 - The Daily Bowie #5 - "Sound and Vision" - LOW - 1977
1601.26 - The Daily Bowie #6 - "Fill Your Heart" - HUNKY DORY - 1971
1601.27 - The Daily Bowie #7 - "We Are The Dead" - DIAMOND DOGS - 1974
1601.28 - The Daily Bowie #8 - "Yassassin" - LODGER - 1979
1601.29 - The Daily Bowie #9 - "Time" - ALADDIN SANE - 1973
1601.30 - The Daily Bowie #10 - "Where Are We Now?" - THE NEXT DAY -2013
1601.31 - The Daily Bowie #11 - "Sunday" - HEATHEN - 2002
1602.01 - The Daily Bowie #12 - "Loving the Alien" - TONIGHT - 1984
1602.02 - The Daily Bowie #13 - "The Loneliest Guy" - REALITY - 2003
1602.03 - The Daily Bowie #14 - "Young Americans" - YOUNG AMERICANS - 1975
1602.04 - The Daily Bowie #15 - "Thursday's Child" - 'HOURS...' - 1999
1602.05 - The Daily Bowie #16 - "Buddha of Suburbia" - THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA - 1993
1602.06 - The Daily Bowie #17 - "Please Mr. Gravedigger" - DAVID BOWIE - 1967
1602.07 - The Daily Bowie #18 - "Sorrow" - PINUPS - 1973
1602.08 - The Daily Bowie #19 - "Golden Years" - STATION TO STATION - 1976
1602.09 - The Daily Bowie #20 - "I'm Afraid of Americans" - EARTHLING - 1997
1602.10 - The Daily Bowie #21 - "Pallas Athena" - BLACK TIE WHITE NOISE - 1993
1602.11 - The Daily Bowie #22 - "Glass Spider" - NEVER LET ME DOWN - 1987
1602.12 - The Daily Bowie #23 - "The Heart's Filthy Lesson" - OUTSIDE - 1995
1602.13 - The Daily Bowie #24 - "Rock 'N' Roll Suicide" - THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS - 1972
1602.14 - The Daily Bowie #25 - "Lazarus" - BLACKSTAR - 2016
1602.15 - The Daily Bowie #26 - "Tin Machine" - TIN MACHINE - 1989
1602.16 - The Daily Bowie #27 - "Baby Universal" - TIN MACHINE II - 1991
1602.17 - The Daily Bowie #28 - "Changes" - DAVID LIVE - 1974
1602.18 - The Daily Bowie #29 - "Fame" - STAGE - 1978
1602.19 - The Daily Bowie #30 - "SENSE OF DOUBT" - HEROES - 1977
1602.20 - The Daily Bowie #31 - "John, I'm Only Dancing" - CHANGESONEBOWIE - 1990
1602.21 - The Daily Bowie #32 - "London Bye Ta Ta" - BOWIE AT THE BEEB - 2000
1602.22 - The Daily Bowie #33 - "Real Cool World" - BLACK TIE WHITE NOISE - LIMITED ED - 2003
1602.23 - The Daily Bowie #34 - "Five Years" - THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS - 1972
1602.24 - The Daily Bowie #35 - "Speed of Life" - LOW - 1977
1602.25 - The Daily Bowie #36 - "I'm Deranged" - OUTSIDE - 1995
1602.26 - The Daily Bowie #37 - "Fall Dog Bombs the Moon" - REALITY - 2003
1602.27 - The Daily Bowie #38 - "I Can't Give Everything Away" - BLACKSTAR - 2016
1602.28 - The Daily Bowie #39 - "Diamond Dogs" - DIAMOND DOGS - 1974
1602.29 - The Daily Bowie #40 - "The Laughing Gnome" - THE DERAM ANTHOLOGY 1966-1968 (r.1997)
1603.01 - The Daily Bowie #41 - "Fascination" - YOUNG AMERICANS - 1975
1603.02 - The Daily Bowie #42 - "Panic in Detroit" - ALADDIN SANE - 1973
1603.03 - The Daily Bowie #43 - "Modern Love" - LET'S DANCE - 1983
1603.04 - The Daily Bowie #44 - "Fashion" - SCARY MONSTERS - Deluxe - 1980
1603.05 - The Daily Bowie #45 - "Life On Mars" - HUNKY DORY - 1971
1603.06 - The Daily Bowie #46 - "London Boys" - THE DERAM ANTHOLOGY 1966-1968 (r.1997)
1603.07 - The Daily Bowie #47 - "Fantastic Voyage" - LODGER - 1979
1603.08 - The Daily Bowie #48 - "The Man Who Sold the World" - THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD - 1970
1603.09 - The Daily Bowie #49 - "Stay" - STATION TO STATION - 1976
1603.10 - The Daily Bowie #50 - "Starman" - THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS - 1972
1603.11 - The Daily Bowie #51 - "Crystal Japan" - SCARY MONSTERS - Deluxe - 1980
1603.12 - The Daily Bowie #52 - "An Occasional dream" - SPACE ODDITY - 1969
- FOUR DAY BREAK
1603.17 - The Daily Bowie #53 - "Miracle Goodnight" - BLACK TIE WHITE NOISE - 1993
- TWO DAY BREAK
1603.20 - The Daily Bowie #54 - "5:15 The Angels Have Gone" - HEATHEN - 2002
1603.22 - The Daily Bowie #55 - "Queen Bitch" - HUNKY DORY - 1971
- SEVEN DAY BREAK
1603.29 - The Daily Bowie #56 - "Criminal World" - LET'S DANCE - 1983
- ONE DAY BREAK
1603.31 - The Daily Bowie #57 - "Move On" - LODGER - 1979
1604.01 - The Daily Bowie #58 - "Rebel Rebel" - DIAMOND DOGS - 1974
- TEN DAY BREAK
1604.11 - The Daily Bowie #59 - "Telling Lies" - EARTHLING - 1997
1604.12 - The Daily Bowie #60 - "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" - THE NEXT DAY -2013
- THREE DAY BREAK
1604.15 - The Daily Bowie #61 - "Jean Genie" - ALADDIN SANE -1973
- SEVEN DAY BREAK
1604.22 - The Daily Bowie #62 - "The Dreamers" - HOURS - 1999
1604.23 - The Daily Bowie #63 - "Breaking Glass" - LOW - 1977 - and STAGE - 1978
1604.24 - The Daily Bowie #64 - "Tonight" - TONIGHT - 1984
1604.25 - The Daily Bowie #65 - "Up the Hill Backwards" - SCARY MONSTERS - 1980

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Rest in peace, David. We miss you.

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1604.25 - time

NOTE ON WHY THE DAILY BOWIE IS NO LONGER DAILY: For 53 days, I completed daily Bowie posts. My schedule is too demanding to make a post every day, so this will now be a feature that is called The Daily Bowie, but it will not be daily. I will post as I can. I will post often. But if I miss a day, I will skip it. Otherwise, I get in the position of making five Bowie posts all in one day, and that's a lot of Bowie for people to swallow all at once... (yeah, leaving that badly phrased, innuendo packed statement. I bet Bowie would have laughed at it).


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