I hated the Moulin Rouge Movie. I mean H.A.T.E.D it. It was a fucking car crash of style over content. It had everything I despise about Theatre People and nothing I loved about performers right at it’s very core. Lousy stinking sore of a film. A pox upon it.
And I say that as a Baz Luhrmann fan. Really I do.
But let us not dwell on the negatives! Even from a dead horse glue can be made. Beck’s cover version on that soundtrack album of Zavid’s Diamond Dogs gets it right. A reworking that understands the original but doesn’t slavishly copy it.
Over chill out funk Beck turns the original lyrics into an even slower version of his nonsense rap style he perfected on Mellow Gold and has refined ever since.
“As they pulled you out of the oxygen tent, you asked for the latest party” is one of my favourite Bowie lyrics. You can tell Beck is relishing it too.
The crunk and funk and blips and bleeps do the robot into that chorus. The twist on the frame of the original tune gets the furthest from home it dare go. But Bowie is still clearly the creator at work behind the whole thing. It feels like Beck is doing Bowie’s work for him, with his blessing.
It’s a highpoint for Beck this cover. And it’s the only saving grace for that dogs dinner of a movie.