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Bowie's Greatest: Scott Heim on 'Warszawa'

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Why the author feels hypnotized ever time he hears the funereal song

(Low, 1977)

"Warszawa" is David Bowie's eeriest, iciest, and most funereal song. It's from my all-time favorite album, Low, the first of the Berlin Trilogy he did with Brian Eno. The song has no decipherable lyrics -- just Bowie moaning and keening during its finale -- and it, along with the other three lyric-free songs from side two of Low, move and inspire me so much that I often play them on a continuous loop while I work. During the late '70s, Bowie used to begin his concerts with "Warszawa," supposedly to work the crowd into some kind of trance. I figure this probably worked, because I still feel hypnotized every time I hear it.

Scott Heim is the author ofMysterious Skinand editor of The First Time I Heard David Bowie.

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