Music Critic Aimee Sargeant Reviews David Bowie’s posthumously released covers of Bob Dylan’s Tryin’ To Get To Heaven and John Lennon’s Mother, praising the tenderness within each song

Written by Aimee Sargeant
Second-year Music Editor
Last updated
Images by Korng Sok

For the celebration of what would have been David Bowie’s 74th birthday on the 8th of January, two unreleased covers were released. A cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Tryin’ To Get To Heaven’ and John Lennon’s ‘Mother’. Both of these recordings have been released on a 7” vinyl with limited edition numbers. 

When I heard the news that these two singles were being released, I was excited to say the least as a fan of David Bowie. 2021 marks 5 years since Bowie died, making these tracks even more moving to fans. Both tracks had been recorded in 1997-98. As they are recorded with Bowieesque vocals and backings, you immediately recognise his unique voice and style. With his being one of the most recognisable styles in the world, to hear him cover two other major artists’ work is a moment of true artistic greatness. 

A moment of true artistic greatness

‘Tryin’ To Get To Heaven’ was released on Bob Dylan’s album Time Out of Mind in 1997. Bowie constructed this track with the upmost respect for the original, and there is a clear similarity between the two tracks. However, he definitely adds his own artistic stamp on it with the sonorous lower range of his voice that has a distinctive quality. ‘Mother’ was released by John Lennon in 1970. This sounds very Lennonish and can be noted for its starkness. It is a characteristically different choice for Bowie to have chosen to record this, where he appears to move towards his soft-rock mellowness. Indeed, this shows a different side to Bowie’s artistry and is a fulfilling tribute to Lennon. 

Both songs are beautifully recorded, and they sound like they were made for Bowie to sing. Both are completely different approaches, but he keeps tenderness and his distinctive artistry within both. From both sides of these singles, there is a great singer and artist. It is no surprise that I will be giving this a top review; the range that Bowie has is something that will be greatly missed in this world.

Rating: 10/10

‘Tryin’ To Get To Heaven’ and ‘Mother’ are available now via Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC

You Might Also Like:

Redbrick’s Albums of 2020

A Beginner’s Guide To: Lausse the Cat

A Tribute to MF Doom

Album Review: Dorian Electra – My Agenda