David Bowie was a serial collaborator with other artists, from his ’70s work with Lou Reed and Iggy Pop to his more recent spate of surprising guest appearances on music by the likes of TV On the Radio, Arcade Fire and Placebo.
But it’s emerged that there was one occasion when the late star had to draw the line: when Coldplay asked him to sing on one of their songs.
“It’s not a very good song is it?” was Bowie’s blunt response to Chris Martin’s letter, asking him to provide vocals in a three-part harmony.
Coldplay drummer Will Champion recalled the story in an interview with the NME:
“We once submitted a song to him because it had this three-part thing that had a sort of David Bowie-type character and I think Chris wrote him a letter saying ‘Please will you sing on it?’ and he came back and said: ‘It’s not a very good song is it’.”
But Champion understands that a star like Bowie wasn’t just going to say yes to any band, even if that band were one of the biggest in the world:
“He was very discerning – he wouldn’t just put his name to anything. I’ll give him credit for that!”
When Bowie returned from his hiatus in 2013 with the surprise single ‘Where Are We Now?’, it made Martin feel insecure.
“When [the song] came out I was staggered, and also annoyed. Like, ‘Come on, it’s not fair.’ He’s already got all these amazing songs and then this instant classic.”
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