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Bowie's Greatest: Scott Heim on 'Warszawa'


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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