Track of the Day: 'I Feel Free'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

A reader remembers David Bowie:

I’m a big 1960s-1970s rock fan. I was in a garage rock band in the 1970s in high school, and I can recall hours of fun playing the riff from “Rebel, Rebel” (Bowie created that riff himself). Some of my favorite songs of his are “Kooks,” “What in the World,” and “Absolute Beginners.”

As a punk rock fan of the Ramones, I always credited them for inventing the punk guitar sound, but last year, I realized that they stole their trademark buzzsaw sound off of a Bowie song!  Listen to “Hang On to Yourself” from Ziggy Stardust and then listen to songs from the Ramones first album; you will hear the same riff repeatedly.

A few years ago, I was watching Family Guy, and Peter Griffin stopped the cartoon for what he claimed was the “gayest” rock video ever: Bowie and Jagger doing “Dancing in the Streets.” It is rather gay, I would say (not that there is anything wrong with that), but also fun, energetic, and worth checking out.

A couple of months ago, my teenage son—who does not know much about classic rock—discovered a great Bowie album that I was not familiar with: Black Tie, White Noise. I have been dancing to that in my living room almost every day. Check out especially the title track and the cover of Cream’s “I Feel Free”—much better than the Cream version. Incredibly, every track on the album is great—no weaknesses.