[My Gang] David Bowie - Jazzin' for Blue Jean : Reco of the Week 26 Jan 2010


Jan 26 2010, 0h24

Track: Blue Jean
Artist: David Bowie
Album: Tonight (1984)
Tags: , , , ,
Video: Click the pic...

YouTube, 20 mins, longform promo

Possibly the greatest longform video, and Janet Jackson agrees, is David Bowie's for Blue Jean.

Directed by Julien Temple, the promotional video clocks in at 21 minutes. Whilst the song is the focal point of the short film, it also attempts to break new ground by wrapping the song with dramatic narrative at the beginning and end, closing with the unusual twist of breaking the fourth wall. After Michael Jackson's full length video for Thriller, longform was the next big thing, and no one would do it better than Bowie, who went on to win his only Grammy to date, for Best Short Form Music Video.

I have added further reading links below, including a link to The Face magazine, 1984, when one of their writers covered the making of both the short film and the alternate live special filmed exclusively for MTV.

The surreal shadow-contour makeup Bowie wears as Screamin' Lord Byron was created by Phyllis Cohen, who painted his face as if there were a light shining on it from one side. It posed a problem for the cinematographer when it came to lighting the set. Oliver Stapleton had to improvise to find a workaround.

The song itself, whilst a modern classic and still uppermost on a lot of people's minds, came from a fairly weak album, released at one of Bowie's low points. In 1984, a lot of his fans felt he wasn't producing his best work, even accusing him of selling out. To stand firm and continue to push boundaries regardless is a testament to his work ethic. But that's not why I picked the song.

One day, I'm gonna write a poem in a letter
One day, I'm gonna get that faculty together

Look at David Bowie making his new year's resolutions. See what I did there? I'm seguing into part two of this journal, which is going to be a little bit self-help. If that doesn't interest you, you're free to move it along.

The north wind did blow
And we did have snow
And Cock Robin was roasted in Cyprus, poor thing.

Yes, it's nearly the end of the month, spring is only a couple of months away, it's time to make those resolutions, the ones we're serious about keeping. As promised earlier this month I'm going to write about a few tips that I have found beneficial.

I got these tips from a friend a long time ago, so I'm not sure where to credit them. If you recognise them and know where they're from, please do give me a link and I'll add it here.

This exercise will take an evening. You can do it quietly on your own, or with company and share your answers. It's entirely up to you. The point of the exercise is that it helps identify goals and focuses your mind. And because you'll be referring to it regularly over the course of the year, you'll be constantly reminded of your goals. Best of all, you find yourself crossing things off your list, having achieved your goals with what feels like hardly any effort.

You don't have to do it this weekend, but sometime in the first quarter of the year is best. I slipped one year and didn't get round to it till summer, and the benefits weren't nearly as good.

1 - Review the year gone by.
You can write about your accomplishments, disappointments, what you learnt, work out how you limit yourself and how you can stop, for example. Add "and because of that" at the end of each statement. Keep going till you feel you've finished.

2 - What is your most important focus for the next 12 months?

3 - What are your top 10 goals for the next 12 months?

4 - How can you achieve them?

5 - Work out your tasks for the day / week / month.
"Every day, I will..." / "Every week, I will..." / 'Every month, I will..."
For example, schedule tasks where you take care of yourself - exercise, hairdresser's, dentist, etc. Mundane but essential tasks such as paying bills and tracking your finances. Bigger tasks such as a major purchase or moving home.

6 - Wishlist.
The fun part. Put anything you like here. Things you want to do. Things you want to buy. Things you've been looking for for ages. Goals you think you might not be able to achieve but would be over the moon if you did.

You should have a fair few pages by now. Bind them or put them in a nice folder and put it somewhere handy. It doesn't have to be a chore, but from time to time, remember to look at it, see how you're doing, maybe daydream over your wishlist again. It doesn't matter. By looking at it, what you're doing is bringing all these notes to yourself uppermost in your mind again. When your goals are uppermost in your mind, you're more focused, so when opportunities arise where you might achieve them, you'll recognise them immediately. Even if you're not convinced, just working out your goals and how you might make them happen is an exercise in itself.

This time next year, you can look over these pages and review them, look at what you did right, work out what you could do better, and plan for the next 12 months.

There. That wasn't too new-agey, was it? I didn't get round to doing this exercise for a few years and I've really missed it, so I'll be doing it too this weekend. The ideal date, so they say, is 29 January, but it doesn't matter. Anytime between now and spring and you're set.

Further reading:


Babs My Gang

Reco of the Week archives

Disclaimer: mine, of course

Admin: Stats as of today:

Last.fm listeners of this track - 112,792
No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 342,529
Position in Last 7 Days: 32 / 1,740
Position in Last 6 Months: 34 / 21,690

Date Added: February 26, 2009
Views: 5,052, Ratings: 41, Comments: 36, Favourited: 128 times

Stats after 7 days:

Last.fm listeners of this track - 113,310
No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 344,235
Position in Last 7 Days: 36 / 1,668
Position in Last 6 Months: 33 / 22,389

Views: 5,174, Ratings: 42, Comments: 37, Favourited: 131 times

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  • rwitte

    Reminds me of the 'annual performance review' at work. Not my favourite Bowie track either. But, since you just loved a whole load of excellent Bowie tracks, I was able to harvest them from 'My friends loved' :)

    Jan 28 2010, 0h54
  • Babs_05

    It is kind of like a work review, hadn't thought of that. Much more fun though! I haven't finished loving all my Bowie tracks yet. Always meant to get round to that here in Last.fm. I adore him. Thanks very much for the comment.

    Jan 28 2010, 0h58
  • Orange_Anubis

    Funnily enough I saw this video for the first time a few months ago - love it. Especially the "two Bowies" element, and I get the impression he's probably much more like the cheeky lovable down to earth version in real life.

    Jan 28 2010, 20h08
  • Babs_05

    The Two Bowies is brilliant. So well done, but then it would be, what with the level of talent involved. If only they'd got Bryan Ferry like they wanted, how funny would that have been?! Thanks for the comment.

    Jan 28 2010, 22h13
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