New and never heard before: Bowie on a Victorian organ

New and never heard before: Bowie on a Victorian organ


norman lebrecht

January 12, 2016

kelvingrove organ

Chris Nickol, organist at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and an occasional soloist with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, offers an extraordinary tribute to the late musician.

Watch and marvel.

UPDATE: And here’s another account, slower and churchier, from the Organ Scholar at St Alban’s Cathedral:

Soon, they’ll be singing it to hymns on Sunday.


  • Julian Duplain says:

    Curiously, the organist at St Albans cathedral also played a version of Life On Mars on Monday.
    Is there somewhere a transcription in a 70s Pop Hits For Organ collection?
    Or does the song just naturally lend itself to organ performance?

    • norman lebrecht says:

      thanks, Julian!

    • Eddie Mars says:

      Chris Nickol has been a virtuous improviser since his college days (when I knew him). I doubt he would need anyone else’s transcription, as he will always produce something more unusual and wonderful himself :))

  • Alvaro says:

    AMAZING how everybody is so eager to capitalize the death of a man, to the point of exhaustion.

    Word says the Salsa community is also paying tribute…..

  • Danny says:

    There’s a clear distinction between ‘capitalising’ on the death of a man, as you say, Alvaro, and celebrating the life of a man, as most people I’ve encountered appear to be doing. There are those who, while not sharing the love of the artist’s creative output, empathise with those who do, an illustration of respect. Here, on the other hand, is an example of the former: