The year 2016 has been a rough one when it comes to our heroes passing. For me, I lost two out of three of my favorite performers, but thankfully all three have new collections out for the holidays. Meet me after the jump for my 2016 Holiday Gift Guide suggestions involving David Bowie, Prince, and Kate Bush.
David Bowie: Legacy
When David Bowie passed in January, I was crushed, as were many of us here at Biff Bam Pop!, and really who wasn’t? A good gift for any of us who love the man, but maybe don’t know as much about him as they could, is a new compilation that came out in November—Legacy. This 40-song collection includes almost all remastered versions and a good cross-section of Bowie’s career over five decades. Many of these are radio and single edits however, which makes this a good start for novice Bowie listeners before they dive into albums and deeper cuts. Legacy also collects several of Bowie’s movie songs and duets in one place as well, along with a few tracks from Blackstar, and a new mix of “Life on Mars.” A good introduction for folks not all that familiar with Bowie past the hits.
If the death of Bowie crushed me, the passing of Prince destroyed me. The record companies that later in life became Prince’s bane have released a similar compilation of his music, 4Ever, another 40-song collection, this one covering the purple one’s career from 1978-1993, theoretically his hit era, although as a fan, I’d be one of the first to refute that assumption. This one does have a few things to offer over the Bowie collection above. Also composed largely of single versions, 4Ever is the first collection by Prince to include “Batdance,” a Prince performance of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” and also features a “new” song from the 1999 recording sessions officially released for the first time, “Moonbeam Levels.”
Kate Bush: Before the Dawn
Kate Bush is my lady. If my top three includes Bowie and Prince, the other piece of the trinity is Kate, and I am so glad she’s still with us. Living in semi-retirement, she recently came out of the shadows in 2014 for a month-long residency at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, performing a huge stage show for the first time since 1979. This multimedia performance was praised by critics and loved by fans. Tickets sold out in minutes (or I would have been there). The tracks on the album were recorded over a number of nights and represent the entire show. This was my number one want for the holidays and I got it early, so I’m happy. Hopefully a video collection of the show will soon follow. If you like Kate, you will love this.
And what holiday post regarding David Bowie would be complete without this gem, which… I’m so old, I saw when it originally aired, and have loved it ever since.