Written by David Bowie and produced by Ken Scott, 'Life on Mars?' was released as part of his 'Hunky Dory' album in 1971, and then also as a single. Although not the lead single of the glam-rock album, it proved far more popular than 'Changes' at the time, rocketing to #3 in the UK charts and remained in the charts for thirteen weeks.
Bowie says the song is loosely based on a teenage girl's visit to the cinema after an arguement with parents, and her "dissapointment with reality," seen in the line "but the film is such a bore, for she's lived it ten times before." However, the lyrics are so abstract that it is unclear what the true meaning of the song is, and many critics have likened it to 'a sureal Salvador Dali painting.'
The video shows a heavily made-up David Bowie, featuring dyed bright red hair, blue eye-paint and a startling bright blue suit, swaying slightly and gesticulating at impotant points in the track. He displays some of the 'attitude' he was famed for at the time, with his haunting voice coming over the harsh keyboard of Rick Wakeman. 'Life On Mars?' made a revival in the 2000s due to the popularity of the BBC drama by the same name, in which the song was used.
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