Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits

Cat Power covers Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’

Looks like indie rock chanteuse Cat Power is the new go-to girl for commercial tunes. She recorded an exclusive cover of Cat Stevens’ How Can I Tell You for DeBeers Diamonds. (It’s not available anywhere but in the ad.)

Now she tackles David Bowie‘s Space Oddity for Lincoln. Check it out:

I like how it sounds, but I can’t say I’m happy about Cat Power (real name: Chan Marhsall) recording songs exclusively to sell products. Especially luxury products. That destroy the planet. Kinda lame.

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23 thoughts on “Cat Power covers Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’

  1. ced laposta on said:

    I WANT THIS SONG!!!! Charlyn “chan” Marshall has a definate voice to do cover tunes with, and this will be a BIG hit if she records it!!

  2. ginavivinetto on said:

    Dude, she did record it. For the commercial. Get it?

  3. ceterisparibus on said:

    After seeing her in concert and watching a couple video interviews I’m convinced that lady is one step away from Amy Winehouse which actually saddens me because I’ve always enjoyed You Are Free so much and the first Covers album isn’t bad.

    There definitely seems to be a push in the direction of licensing your music for commercials much much more quickly than in the previous couple decades. Flaming Lips, Wilco, the Go! Team, Sea Wolf, Band of Horses. And then there’s the Vincent Gallo/RZA Belvedere Vodka campaign which I will admit actually gets me to drink Belvedere Vodka (“Do you have Belvedere Vodka? No? OK that won’t do – Vincent Gallo and the RZA don’t endorse that one.” That’s a literal quote – I know I’m lame but I embrace it).

  4. ginavivinetto on said:

    I’ve seen her live, too, about eight years ago. She came onstage and started crying and saying how she just started her period. She couldn’t get through a song. It was – bizarre.

  5. oh chan, not you too? when i saw her last she chain smoked, but she did so tear-free. checkout the article below from Of Montreal’s lead singer. he talks about how he “gives goods and services in exchange for money, but doesn’t compromise his art”. *coughs* BULLSHIT! letting someone replace your lyrics with the words “lets go outback tonight”= selling out. you create something, someone wants to use it…ok, fine (maybe). creating something with the sole intention of using it to promote something else (lincolns), or letting a company take what you’ve created to rearrange it for the masses (to sell steaks)- not cool. geez. if you’re gonna sell yourself out, at least do it for veggie burgers and bicycles.

    Of Montreal Talk T-Mobile: “Selling Out Isn’t Possible”: http://stereogum.com/archives/commercial-appeal/of-montreal-art-brut-do-tmobile_007208.html

  6. Everybody compromises, it’s a part of growing up. It isn’t selling out, it’s about trying to hold on to the things that you enjoy while still making a decent living. The starving artist thing is cool for a couple months, then you figure out that you can use your talent to make some corporate coin. Good for her, about time.

    Selling out for veggie burgers and bicycles, yeah, that makes sense. Why sell yourself out for only a nickle when you can sell yourself out for a dollar? Poor people that whine do little to save the world, its the rich people that can put money up that make a difference.

  7. I’ve heard it, and I guess I love the original too much. This verson seems so bland, so vanilla, so… not existential.

  8. who_the on said:

    OK, so let me get this straight…

    Someone who is wonderfully talented yet troubled isn’t allowed to actually get paid for doing what she does so well?

    What kind of self-righteous exploitation is this?

    It’s OK if Chan belts out her emotions so you can LimeWire them around the Internet for free, but as soon as she gets an opportunity to get paid– and probably not as lavishly as you imagine — you throw up your indie-sellout-used-clothes bullshit?

    Give me a break.

    Cat Power has worked hard for what little they’ve extracted from the music business in their careers. They deserve what scratch they get for this, particularly how the Internet (and the music business) has raped artists for years.

    Why don’t all of you start returning your boss’s paychecks and working for free. C’mon, you sellouts.

    Unbelievable.

  9. Buddha on said:

    Hahahah!!! Goddamn…number 8 burned everyone above him/her

  10. Alan T. on said:

    Seriously. Now can she please record this so I can LimeWire it?

    However, I do feel that the Outback thing with Of Montreal was going a bit far…

    As long as she continues to produce art, her fans should appreciate her and it, regardless of whether she does something she gets paid for.

  11. word to the “who_the” comments…all of this bullshit sellout crap is so 90s anyway. these artists schlep around making no money for years and years, so what if they take a commercial here and there. i seriously doubt most people would turn down a few Gs to do a commercial…shit i’ve got a ton of student loans dying to be paid…the-things-i-would-do for money right now are much more appalling than this commercial. After college I worked for a company that I didn’t think was totally perfect, now i’m in grad school in a research group with “green” in the title, i’m so righteous and oh.so.poor does that make me a better person than you? anyway, people need money to live. it’s not chan marshall’s personal responsibility to suffer because it’s “wrong” to own a luxury car as if it makes a difference to those consumers, most peeps buying a lincoln don’t know cat power. the problems are SOOOO much bigger than this car anyway, trust me, i’m an expert. ha.

    also, last I hear Ms. Cat Power is still sober and is far from becoming an “Amy Winehouse.” It’s true she’s been know for erratic and terrible performances but she went to rehab and all of her performances that I’ve seen footage of for the last couple of years have been great. In fact she seems healthy and writes happy songs that lots of people seem to hate because they wanted her to stay depressed so that they could wallow with her in their feigned depression nevermind that the woman actually has a disease and was killing herself with alcohol…lots of these haters call her a sell out for her recovery and relatively together and happy songs/performances. The lovely and talented lady can’t seem to win.

  12. The Amazing Mr. Mephisto on said:

    You’re an idiot, and you’re clearly not an artist if you believe that it’s a sellout for real artists to put food on their table and warm their homes by creating art for commercial consumption. Why is it only “starving” artists have any integrity for you people? I’m a musician. I would dearly love an opportunity to highlight my art to a massive audience that wouldn’t otherwise become exposed to it, and I could make some ducats by doing it to boot? I was fortunate enough to be a fan of Cat Powers prior to the ad, but I must admit that many friends of mine had not heard of her until it was released. Now all kinds of people are searching her out to find her music. I applaud Powers for picking a decent product to plug, treating Bowie’s song with heartaching reverence, making some money for herself, and getting more exposure for her art.

  13. Mike McG on said:

    Never heard of her before. That commercial got me to listen to her. Nuff said.

  14. I still crush on Chan.

    I’ve seen her live, too, about eight years ago. She came onstage and started crying and saying how she just started her period. She couldn’t get through a song. It was – bizarre.

    Chan doesn’t do that, anymore. She used to come on stage high as shit. Her last two tours have had really tight bands. The live version of Cross Bones Style from the Greatest tour is amazing.

  15. in the words of tina fey, cat power can just “suck it”, as far as i’m concerned.
    at least pj harvey’s still keepin’ it real.

  16. “in the words of tina fey, cat power can just “suck it”, as far as i’m concerned.
    at least pj harvey’s still keepin’ it real.”

    Your an asshole for saying that. This is wayyyy better than David Bowie’s Space Oddity. I along with I’m sure thousands of other people are waiting for her to record this because its amazing

  17. selling out is dumb, but i don’t care, i want this song. how can the internet NOT have it?

  18. @Matt

    let’s not get carried away now. it is not way better than Bowie’s version. it’s damn good, imo, but the only ppl who say covers are better than classic originals, are the ones who heard the cover first never knowing it’s a cover to begin with.

  19. I find it funny that she rips David Bowie’s song and makes it for a commercial. Not only that she can’t even release a full version of it. She only sang one good song and it was on v for vendetta, which I don’t even remember the name of it.

    This remake had the potential to be another add on to your “good” song list, but she sold it out to a car company (lol). If you want to call that an artist then maybe painters should only finish 20% of their paintings and show it to the world. Also we might as well only listen to music through commercials and make each song thirty seconds long :).

  20. Yer Mom on said:

    First of all, this is not “way better” than Bowie’s version. It’s good, but just… no.

    Secondly, where do I find this damn song???

  21. I just want the full MP3 of this song, but can’t find it anywhere…..HELP please!!!

  22. wow…you guys are amazing! Love the intensity of this discussion. I found like from an auto link from my site. We recorded a couple versions of Space Oddity that are free to have – probably not as pro though.

  23. Hey guys. I just wanted to add something just to give you another insight on this subject of Chan “selling out”. I’m as anti-corporations as any of you can be, but from the outside, all the furious ramble you guys make complaining that it’s not good compromising artistic integrity, etc., just looks ridiculous. I’m sorry but it just does. The sight of somebody pretending to be isolated (as if that was good) and not helping corporations and concentrated powers… while living in the U.S., well, it makes everybody laugh down here.

    Again, don’t get me wrong, I find it very positive that there are people not so happy with the way things are with corporations over there. But if it wasn’t for Chan’s massification, for example, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to watch her live here in Buenos Aires. If she didn’t get widespread difussion in her country, we’d never would have seen her.

    So think about it. For some of us in other countries, it’s actually good when we see your great indie artists grow. It’s a good thing for a lot of people that they can break through their microcosm. And when they do so -or in order to do so- they have to deal with established powers, like enterprises, corporations, mass media, etc. A person’s growing is actually being able to do so successfully, and nobody should be angry when that person gets the chance to try.

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