I’m not a video game guy, so I never played Omikron: The Nomad Soul, which David Bowie and Reeves Gabrels wrote the music for in 1999. I thought I might try playing it now — cause why not? — but 24 years later, it is still a PC-only game, so that’s not going to happen. It’s probably just as well. Part of the reason I’m not a video game guy is that I get obsessed; after losing a couple of nights to Sim City many years ago, I put a stop to the whole thing.
“New Angels of Promise” was originally written for Omikron, as the lyrics make clear enough:
You didn’t feel us coming in this lonely crowd
But when David repurposed it for hours…, he changed “Omikron” to “suspicious minds,” in an apparent nod to his role model and co-birthdayist Elvis Presley.
Of course, Elvis didn’t write “Suspicious Minds” — that was Mark James, also the author of “Always on My Mind” and “Hooked on a Feeling.” Truth be told, Elvis didn’t write much of anything; in one way of looking at it, he was a hollow person without a lot to say. (Honestly I think Elvis’s influence on David was less musical than in the a realm of presentation. Ziggy Stardust is really just Elvis the Pelvis turned up to 11.)
“New Angels” also references Other Bowies; it’s a direct descendent of “Sons of the Silent Age.”
This reminds me that Patti Smith called “Heroes” “a cryptic product of a high order of intelligence.” I’ve always wished someone would say that about something of mine.
It is perhaps obvious by now that I don’t really have any strong opinions about “New Angels of Promise.” I don’t love it or hate it; it’s another hours… song that sounds good on its own but tends to get lost in the context of the album. Let’s not belabor the topic any further.
There are two songs left on hours…, but since one is the short instrumental “Brilliant Adventure,” I’m going to write one more post, then we’ll move on to whatever’s next. Have a great weekend of relaxation, recreation, and remembrance, it whatever order and whatever ratio suits you.
Lovely post. A cryptic product of a high order of intelligence. Also I like ziggy = Elvis but this Elvis goes to 11….
I find “The Bill Gestalt” to be a cryptic product of a high order of intelligence.
“Sons of the Silent Age” is one of the greatest “deep cuts” in Bowie’s canon. I think about it often.
Sons of the silent age
Pick up in bars and cry only once
Sons of the silent age
Make love only once but dream and dream
They don’t walk, they just glide in and out of life
They never die, they just go to sleep one day
Also by this man:
If our love song
Could fly over mountains
Sail over heartaches
Just like the films
If there’s reason
To feel all the hard times
To lay down the hard lines
It’s absolutely true
Talk about containing multitudes. It hits me every so often and I am overcome with awe and wonder. And gratitude for his existence and art.
Some interesting comments about Sons of the Silent Age on this page:
Do you think Sam Therapy and King Dice are one band or two?