Artists You Know Who Have Sampled David Bowie Songs

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I was kind of surprised last week at the number of people who told me that they couldn’t name a single David Bowie song. As I mentioned in my post about Bowie’s influence, I wouldn’t consider myself a HUGE fan in that I didn’t follow everything he did very closely, but I would consider myself a fan with more than a passing interest. My point there was that David Bowie’s influence extended so far that even if it wasn’t your thing or you didn’t know anything by him, he probably influenced artists you do know.

So with a few searches on, I thought I’d do a follow-up post of artists you know sampling David Bowie as an example of how far his reach extended.

Puff Daddy, Ma$e, and the Notorious B.I.G. – “Been Around the World”

The music at the beginning and throughout is sampled from “Let’s Dance


Lady Gaga – “Fancy Pants”

When the music kicks in, it’s a sample of “Fame

Also…. no comment.


James Brown – “Hot (I Need to Be Loved)”

Samples “Fame


Nine Inch Nails – “A Warm Place”

Samples “Crystal Japan


Neon Trees – “Everybody Talks”

Samples the beginning of “Let’s Dance” right before he starts singing the first line.


Lana Del Rey – “Terrence Loves You”

Around the 3:30 mark she starts to sample “Space Oddity


RuPaul – “Supermodel (Of the World)”

Yep. You heard me. This one samples “Fashion.” Turn to the left. Turn to right. (Sadly, Bowie can’t take credit for “Sashay Shante.”)


Bush – “Everything Zen”

Ok, this isn’t really a sample, but there is a nod to David Bowie and “Life on Mars” right at the beginning. When Gavin sings “Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow; Dave’s on sale again,” Dave is David Bowie, and Mickey Mouse comes from the “Life on Mars” lyric “It’s on America’s tortured brow/ That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow/ Now the workers have struck for fame/ ‘Cause Lennon’s on sale again.”



There are also some pretty interesting covers of Bowie songs out there. Some of them are more famous than others, obviously.

The Wallflowers – “Heroes”

There are tons of covers of this song, but this one saw a lot of mainstream success (though, in my opinion not nearly as good as the original). Plus, I think it’s more likely that people in my general age range will know this one.


Peter Gabriel – “Heroes”

This is an interesting and orchestral interpretation.


Tears for Fears – “Ashes to Ashes”

I’m happy. I hope you’re happy too.


Barbra Streisand – “Life on Mars”

Yeah, I didn’t see that one coming either. Weirder to me than when Jessica Lange sang this on American Horror Story: Freakshow.


Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Suffragette City”


Def Leppard – “Space Oddity”

I’ve been a big Def Leppard fan since like… 1991. That was probably kind of weird because most 9 year olds aren’t like “oh yeah, hair bands!” but I was, so…. whatev. This is interesting to me because I don’t think it sounds like Def Leppard.


Tegan and Sara – “Rebel Rebel”

This one came from an album called Spiders From Venus and it’s all women doing Bowie covers.


Simple Minds – “The Man Who Sold the World”

There is, of course, a more popular cover of “The Man Who Sold the World,” which I will get to in a moment, but this is a pretty interesting cover from the band who brought us this 80s gem.


Nirvana – “The Man Who Sold the World”

My first introduction to Bowie was in high school, but really it was probably when I was in late elementary school with this song and the summer a friend let me borrow her Nirvana Unplugged cassette tape and I just sat in my basement all the time listening to it over and over and over again when I was 11 or 12. I just didn’t know it was Bowie yet. This is like… the definitive Bowie cover. I’m just going to say it: I kind of think this is better than the original.


And the piece de resistance…

William Shatner – “Space Oddity”


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