Ashes to Ashes, one of those classic, iconic Bowie songs that somehow gets ingrained in you. This despite the fact that due to the high vocal range and maybe some deliberate mumbling, you can’t understand most of the lyrics, except for that telling chorus: “Ashes to Ashes, Funk to Funky, We know Major Tom’s a junkie…” and that refrain, “My Momma said to get things done. You’d better not mess with Major Tom.”
And that video — you almost can’t listen to the song without seeing its strange images in your mind, the heavily made-up characters and the confounding scenes of… insanity? hallucination? Unlike most of the videos from the 80s with disconnected, stylized props that showed up to accent the sax solos, this visual collection still seems deliberate, conceptual more than 30 years later. Not simply pieces of celluloid glued together made to look weird, it’s trying to say something — but I have no idea what.