Theme Song Thursday: Zissou’s Bowie Covers

Wes Anderson hit a home run with his movie “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,” and one of the striking elements of this production is the music. Brazilian singer/songwriter Seu Jorge covered several David Bowie hits in Portuguese.

Director Anderson is known for his meticulous shot composition, costumes and characters. The music added a reminiscent air to “Life Aquatic.” You recognize the songs, but they’re in Portuguese and you’re paying attention to the plot. Many people make parallels between this movie and literary works “Moby Dick” or “The Great Gatsy.” (I agree more with the former.) Anderson’s spin on a story you’re familiar with is mirrored in musician Jorge’s cover songs.

Bowie himself said:

“Had Seu Jorge not recorded my songs in Portuguese I would never have heard this new level of beauty which he has imbued them with.”


Anderson’s the writer/director of “Rushmore,” “The Royal Tennenbaums,” “The Darjeeling Limited” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” but “The Life Aquatic” is my by far my favorite, and Jorge’s take on David Bowie definitely doesn’t hinder my choice.

Here’s the song list for The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions Featuring Seu Jorge. All works were composed by Bowie except where noted. Click the links to listen and click here to watch a trailer for “Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.” (It’s worth watching!)

  1. “Rebel Rebel” – 2:46
  2. “Life on Mars” – 3:29
  3. “Astronauta de Mármore (Starman)” – 3:16 (arranged byNenhum de Nos)
  4. “Ziggy Stardust” – 3:41
  5. “Lady Stardust” – 3:31
  6. “Changes” – 3:40
  7. “Oh! You Pretty Things” – 3:32
  8. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” – 3:10
  9. “Suffragette City” – 3:10
  10. Five Years” – 3:59
  11. “Queen Bitch” – 3:42
  12. “When I Live My Dream” – 2:55
  13. “Quicksand” – 4:35
  14. “Team Zissou” – 2:32 (composed by Seu Jorge)
  15. “Space Oddity”– 5:40 (iTunes Bonus Track)

Theme Song Thursday is a weekly look back at memorable, not-so-influential, nostalgia-inducing theme songs by the Herald’s Melinda Lavine and Ryan Johnson. Click here to read earlier entries, and feel free to share!

1 Response

Comments are closed.