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Thread: David Bowie

  1. #1
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    Default David Bowie

    Kinda surprised that there aren't a lot of comments (and no threads) devoted to the Thin White Duke out there. I realise that Bowie's one of those polarising artists - he's either loved or hated - not much middle ground - but wanted to hear some thoughts on him - especially by folks who have kept up with him into the current age. I don't even own a proper album by him myself, but being a fan of his radio hits in the '70s I own CHANGESONEBOWIE and CHANGESTWOBOWIE on vinyl and bought best of bowie (2 CD version) when it came out. Not being pleased by a: the non-inclusion of some CHANGESTWO cuts and b: radio edits, I have since downloaded the album versions and most of the missing tracks to create my own "expanded" best of bowie:

    Space Oddity 5:14
    The Man Who Sold the World 3:59
    Changes 3:35
    Oh! You Pretty Things 3:12
    Life on Mars? 3:53
    Moonage Daydream 4:40
    Starman 4:13
    Ziggy Stardust 3:15
    Suffragette City 3:27
    John I'm Only Dancing 3:00
    All the Young Dudes 4:13
    Aladdin Sane 5:06
    Panic in Detroit 4:28
    The Jean Genie 4:08
    Diamond Dogs 6:06
    Rebel Rebel 4:31
    1984 3:27
    Young Americans 5:11
    Fame 04:17

    Golden Years 4:00
    TVC 15 5:31
    Wild Is The Wind 6:00
    Sound and Vision 3:05
    Heroes 6:07
    DJ 4:00
    Boys Keep Swinging 3:19
    Up The Hill Backwards 3:17
    Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) 5:12
    Ashes to Ashes 4:25
    Fashion 4:49
    Under Pressure 3:57
    Modern Love 4:47
    China Girl 5:33
    Let's Dance 7:37
    Cat People (Putting Out Fire) 5:09

    Blue Jean 3:12
    Tonight 3:45
    This Is Not America 3:53
    Dancing in the Street 3:22
    Absolute Beginners [Single Version] 5:39
    Underground 5:57
    Day-In Day-Out 5:35
    Time Will Crawl 4:20
    Under the God 4:07
    Fame '90 3:40
    Jump They Say 4:22
    The Heart's Filthy Lesson 4:57
    Hallo Spaceboy 5:14
    I'm Afraid of Americans (V1) 5:00
    Thursday's Child 5:24
    Slow Burn 4:40
    Never Get Old 4:24

    I've had discs one and two for awhile, but had to wait to do disc three as some of the songs I needed weren't available on iTunes yet. I'm pretty pleased with the results, but I know there are some who will say "why that song?" and others will say "you're missing..." I probably should've referred to the international versions to fill in some of the blanks!

    Anyway, just want to hear from some of the Bowie fans on what full albums they recommend and also what the thoughts are of the '90s and '00s releases and how they stack up with the Bowie legacy (and any other thoughts on David Bowie).
    Last edited by billy007; 04.13.08 at 08:32 AM.

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    In 1981, the same guy (Roy Carr) responsible for "The Beatles: An Illustrated Record" released an equally impressive work devoted to Bowie, with the same title. Like it's predecessor, it was a large, coffee-table styled work. It took equal measures in criticizing as well as praising the artist, as it covered the era up until "Scary Monsters..." and Bowie's triumphant run on Broadway as Merrick in the "Elephant Man".

    The book was so damned good that almost every single suggestion offered by the authors for a rerelease of the David Bowie catalogue were carried out verbatum by the company Rykodisc, including the use of the original "man's-dress" cover of "The Man Who Sold The World" and the color photo for the cover of "Station To Station".

    The first Rykodisc offering was a 3CD/1Mini-disc collection called "Sound And Vision". In my opinion this surpasses every Bowie collection before or since. I remember buying "ChangesOneBowie" when it came out, and being disappointed that ChangesTwoBowie pretty much covered the exact same ground a scant few years later. Rycodisc avoided this redundancy by offering clear mixes, rare photos and inspired use of rarities, such as unearthing Bowie's cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Growin' Up" (with Ron Wood on guitar ) from the "Station To Station" sessions to include on the "Pin-Ups" release.

    I pretty much lost track of David Bowie after "Blue Jean". He soon after disappeared into "Tin Machine" (better off being called Noise Machine) and a sort of "art rock" style that commercially did him no good. His collaborations with others in the past decade have relied more upon their influences than his (Pat Metheny, Trent Reznor), and I honestly prefer the era collected on "Sound And Vision" to anything beyond it, including "Let's Dance".

    I highly recommend Roy Carr's book, if you can find it. It is humorous and quite informative, written with a biting wit and a sharp critical eye. As for holes in your compilation, the inclusion of some "Pin-Ups" era tunes is a huge oversight, as it is arguably the most "honest" album Bowie ever made. Yes, it is a collection of covers from the mid sixties, yet what an inspired compilation.

    And personally I find the German language version of "Heroes" ("Helden" on "Sound And Vision") to be superior and far more effective than the English version, as well as being quite moving. Another addition would be "Move On" from "The Lodger", which is actually "All The Young Dudes" played backward!
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    As for holes in your compilation, the inclusion of some "Pin-Ups" era tunes is a huge oversight, as it is arguably the most "honest" album Bowie ever made. Yes, it is a collection of covers from the mid sixties, yet what an inspired compilation.
    Actually, that should read as "the omission of".
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

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    I was a pretty big fan of David Bowie's up until the "Diamond Dogs" album. My two best friends and I were to Alexander's Department store and had heard about this new thing called "glitter rock." I pulled three albums from the shelf: Lou Reed's "Transformer", the first New York Dolls album and "Space Oddity" by David Bowie. We each agreed to buy one and then share our reviews. My choice was the Bowie album and thus the love affair was born. I was lucky enough to see the "Ziggy" tour, the "Diamond Dogs tour, and the "Young Americans" tour, all pivotal tours for the Bowie fan. As teenagers, the same friends and I also used to hang around the Mainman offices, where many of our friends from Max's Kansas City were employed. It was only much later that we found out some of the more sordid things that went on there.

    In later years, when I became a music publicist, I had a boss who was ten years my senior. She turned me on to the early David Bowie (the Decca/Deram years) before he morphed into Ziggy. These were gorgeous poetic lyrics about everyday people and thnigs. If you can possibly find "Can't Help Thinkng About Me" or "A Conversation Piece" these are prime examples of Bowie's roots. They both are among my favorite songs of all time. The "Space Oddity" album contains vestiges of this "ordinary man," almost folk song like writing -- "Letter To Hermione," "An Occasional Dream" and "God Knows I'm Good" in particular are wonderful. "In Memory Of A Free Festival," written about an event staged by a club he co-owned, is the first hint of what was to become. It's ending is reminiscent of the "Give me your hands cause you're wonderful" that was a potent ending to the Ziggy concerts.

    In no particular order I recommend:
    Hunky Dory - more Britpop than Ziggy, you already have the essential singles, you're missing "Kooks" (written for his baby son Zowie (now Joey), "Queen Bitch" (I've heard numerous versions about whom this was written), the Hoagy Carmichael inspired, "Fill Your Heart". Nevermind. just get the album

    Ziggy Stardust - what can I say. This is who Bowie became. To understand the person you must delve into this persona. It's the first rock of the Bowie albums.

    Space Oddity - as you can probably tell from the above description I think this is probably my favorite of the Bowie albums. But it's not a rock album. It's a dreamy walk through Bowie's London.

    Aladdin Sane - This is probably Bowie's most rock album and is special to me because I knew all the characters he wrote about. It's flawed and I'm not a fan of all the songs. You already have the two essentials. Add "Watch That Man" and, maybe, "Cracked Actor, and you may not have to buy this one.

    Diamond Dogs - This one was a disappointment to me after Bowies "1980 Floor Show" was featured on TV's "Midnight Special." The songs on Midnight Special were great. The songs on this album are flat. The only essential is the title song, which you have. That said, the tour for this was wild with Bowie singing from a massive spider web and traveling way over the crowd in a souped up cherry-picker. A bit of trivia -- Bowie had to change the cover, which depicted a half-dog, half-Bowie lying in repose. The censors didn't like the fact that the dog had a penis.

    I saw the Young Americans tour, but I didn't get into his Thin White Duke persona and my Bowie record buying days ended. Like you, I was enticed by many of the singles afterward but not enough to buy the records. I'll always admire him for keeping his ears open and embracing the music of the times. But it's just not like those heady earlier days.
    Mr. Horseradish courtesy of the International Horseradish Council and Brett.

  5. #5
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    I've always liked some of Bowie's stuff. Of coarse as a kid I didn't appreciate it as much. I couldn't quite get in to China Girl or Blue Jean which were pretty popular on MTV. Now later in life I can appreciate his music much more. Some of his tunes are just classics like Ziggy Stardust, Suffragette City and Rebel Rebel. As a matter of fact my 7 year old son loves Rebel Rebel. I had the chance a few years back to bring my stepfather who was a huge Bowie fan growing up in the 70's, to see Bowie at Mohegan Sun and from that point on I have listened to a lot more of his music. I have the 3 disc set that Billy007 listed and it is a great collection of Bowie's history.
    I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    ...He soon after disappeared into "Tin Machine" (better off being called Noise Machine) ....
    I know it was an unpopular move on Bowies part but I really liked the 1st Tin Machine album.

    As for the rest of his catalog, what I like (Suffragette City, Young Americans, Heroes, China Girl), I really like. However, there's alot that I can take or leave. I do like his voice though. As distinctive as any in Rock. I thought it was brilliant for David Gilmour to have him sing the "Roger Waters" verses of "Comfortably Numb" at the Royal Albert Hall concerts.

    Here is one of the cooler duets I've seen: Bowie and Bing Crosby.

  7. #7
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    That's another thing with Bowie, seems he's worked with quite a few other musicians/singers - and quite a list, too, including, but not limited to Mick Jagger, Queen, Bing Crosby, Pat Metheny, Trent Reznor, John Lennon, Brian Eno, Tina Turner, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    That's another thing with Bowie, seems he's worked with quite a few other musicians/singers - and quite a list, too, including, but not limited to Mick Jagger, Queen, Bing Crosby, Pat Metheny, Trent Reznor, John Lennon, Brian Eno, Tina Turner, etc.
    Very true. Being a big Eno fan, I really dig the stuff they did together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by looper_guy View Post
    ...I thought it was brilliant for David Gilmour to have him sing the "Roger Waters" verses of "Comfortably Numb" at the Royal Albert Hall concerts.
    Gilmour & Bowie - Comfortably Numb (8:40) Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2007)


    Here Bowie tackles Sid Barrett...
    David Gilmour & David Bowie - Arnold Lane (3:56)
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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    Quote Originally Posted by looper_guy View Post
    Very true. Being a big Eno fan, I really dig the stuff they did together.
    and I forgot to mention that some unknown (at the time) guitarist name of Vaughan (Stevie Ray) played on the Let's Dance album.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    and I forgot to mention that some unknown (at the time) guitarist name of Vaughan (Stevie Ray) played on the Let's Dance album.
    Yeah, yet Bowie offered him such little money to tour Stevie said "No thanks" and continued forward with Double Trouble.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    Yeah, yet Bowie offered him such little money to tour Stevie said "No thanks" and continued forward with Double Trouble.
    Then thank the Lord that Bowie was such a cheapskate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by looper_guy View Post
    Then thank the Lord that Bowie was such a cheapskate.
    And thank Jackson Brown for being just the opposite. Brown provided the 3-piece some rehearsal space and proximity to a tape deck to record some demos. The result turned out to be "Texas Flood", the band's debut album.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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