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Music

David Bowie once picked "the best band around"

It was a difficult decade for David Bowie in the 1990s, a time in which he was deemed out of favour in an ever-changing music landscape. Fortunately, after the turn of the century, he resurrected his career and finally gained the respect upon his name that he deserved. By 2003, he had rightly reached legend status, and there was one group he hailed as “the best band around”.

Throughout his career, Bowie always kept a keen eye on the future, and this is what made him so mercurial. While it would have been easy for him to play it safe, he instead relentlessly decided to move with the times and refused to lazily stick in his comfort zone. Admittedly, Bowie didn’t always get it right, but he can never be accused of taking the easy option and being courageous every step of the way.

Unsurprisingly, Bowie was intrigued by others who also took risks and challenged themselves artistically when it came to listening to other artists. Speaking to Rolling Stone in 2003 about his current favourite musicians: “Beck is tremendous, the chances he takes. And I feel that when [Trent] Reznor produces his next piece, it will be really magnificent.”

He added: “The Dandy Warhols — they’ve got to be the funniest band around. Courtney [Taylor] has me in a fit from the moment he opens his mouth. When he walks into the room, I just want to put my beads on, you know?”

Radiohead were another act that ‘The Starman’ instantly gravitated towards. However, they didn’t get his full seal of approval until he saw them live, and they passed his test with flying colours. In fact, Bowie concluded they were the “best band around” after witnessing them put on a spectacle in New York.

He revealed: “This year, I saw Radiohead at the Beacon Theatre [in New York]. I had a shrewd suspicion that they were the best band around, and that convinced me.”

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke revealed ahead of the 2009 Grammy Awards the impact of stumbling across Bowie’s ‘Ashes To Ashes’. “I remember sitting on a climbing frame on a local play park after I’d just seen the video for ‘Ashes To Ashes’ by David Bowie, and it was the craziest thing that I’d ever seen. All the other kids were saying it was too weird, and I just thought, ‘I want to do that for a living’.”

It was a lightbulb moment in Yorke’s head as a youngster, but little did he know that he’d one day achieve his dreams. Furthermore, he’d even have his childhood hero queue to see him and declare his group the “best band around”.

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