Watching (the US version of) Life on Mars;, I was surprised to hear Hoople’s ‘All the Way to Memphis’. I should not have been – it’s an iconic piece from the early 70’s – it’s just a little surprising that US TV producers thought to include a lesser-known track from what I would have thought they’d see as a very obscure band.
The band’s best-known track is of course today’s track. It was the (unintentional and inappropriate) anthem of the Glam Rock era, eclipsing even the writer’s own works.
The writer, of course, was David Bowie, who wrote the track for Hoople as an incentive for the commercially unsuccessful band to stay together and stick with it. Although the band would break up anyway eventually, the resulting album and single were smash hits.
About Bowie, of course, there is more to say.