If you hadn’t guessed by now, we really do rather like David Bowie, and we’ve been on something of a Bowie binge in the lead-up to the release of The Next Day. In the process, we’ve ended up revisiting some material that we haven’t heard in quite some time — with such an extensive back catalog, it’s inevitable that some songs and records get neglected, so it’s been a pleasure to listen again to some of the more oft-forgotten corners of Bowie’s discography. We thought we’d share some of our favorites — do let us know what yours are! (And yes, we even revisited Tin Machine. Pray for us.)
“Letter to Hermione”
Bowie’s lyricism has been generally characterized by a certain obliqueness — his songs’ subject matter is rarely straightforward, his lyrics open to multiple interpretations. This early song, however, has as simple and heartfelt a lyric as you’ll ever hear: it really is a letter to Hermione, the Hermione in question being Bowie’s first serious girlfriend Hermione Farthingale, with whom he played in an early band called Turquoise and lived throughout late 1968. She left him in 1969, and he was heartbroken.