rone: (brock)
[personal profile] rone

For this kid, who grew up in Ecuador in the `80s, David Bowie was "Let's Dance", "Modern Love", and "Blue Jean".  I didn't hear anything else of his until i caught some of his `70s hits on classic rock radio in the mid `90s.  Some time in 1997, an acquaintance gave me Diamond Dogs on cassette, but i didn't care for it.  I didn't revisit Bowie until the next millennium.

In 2002, Amazon previewed "Slow Burn" (featuring Pete Townshend on guitar) on their site and that hooked me in, so i acquired Heathen and found it quite enjoyable (and later discovered while listening to the Pixies' Surfer Rosa that Bowie had covered "Cactus").  During that time i was well into my peak King Crimson phase, so i picked up "Heroes" given that Fripp played on it, but i found it uneven and certainly overrated.  I didn't try again until 10 years later (at his point i am verifying this via my listening data), when i listened on Spotify to another of the vaunted Berlin trio, Lodger, because i'd heard "African Night Flight" on Pandora and liked it, but the album was a mess.

Then everyone was stunned when he released The Next Day.  I thought it was excellent, and i bought it; after that, i decided to listen to the albums that were released near Heathen, and that yielded better results, and i picked up Black Tie White Noise.  Things were quiescent on the Bowie front for me until the news came out, and, well, we know what happened after its release.

After his death, i resolved to listen to his entire œuvre.  Most of the pre-Berlin stuff is good but not gripping; Low is as good as advertised; the two albums after Let's Dance are as bad as people say they are; Tin Machine does not deserve the mockery it gets; and everything from then on is really quite good but nobody seems to hold it in as high regard as his other stuff.  So maybe it's just me.

One side effect of my romp through the Bowie discography was catching more of the references that peppered The Venture Bros., including this gem.

Of course, i came down with GBS two weeks after his death, so maybe i needed him more than i could possibly have understood.  Writing this up was one of the many things i thought about during the times i was lying there, unable to communicate.  So now here it finally is.

Date: 2016-12-04 11:16 pm (UTC)
kodi: (melencolia)
From: [personal profile] kodi
I really enjoyed the Tin Machine; I had tickets to go to a Tin Machine concert, but we got in a wreck and missed it. I've listened to Hunky Dory dozens of times a year as long as I can remember, so I'm sure the fact that it's my favorite Bowie album has more to do with the fact that it so informed my idea of what an album is than its actual quality. I tried listening to all the Bowie ever this year, but I kept getting distracted and listening to Hunky Dory again.

Date: 2016-12-05 04:37 am (UTC)
ext_86356: (human dalek)
From: [identity profile]
Hunky Dory is a quintessential album. It is possibly the most nearly perfect album I have ever heard. I didn't listen through it until my twenties, and all I could think was "how can it be that I have never heard this before?" It is hard for me to imagine anyone ever improving on Hunky Dory.

My son expressed an interest last year, at 17, in hearing more classic rock and pop. One day in the car I put on Hunky Dory. After about half an hour he said something like, "I've never heard any of these songs but every single one of these is incredible." Yup.

Date: 2016-12-05 01:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good old Bowie. He quite scared me as a small child - his eyes, and his non-binary appearance. I had to listen and not look, which, when it comes to music, is actually a good thing.

Date: 2016-12-05 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like ALL of the Bowie material with Reeves Gabrels on guitar, including Tin Machine. I'll never understand why _Outside_ isn't hyped more, I think it is outstanding.

I agree that _Low_ is head and shoulders above the other 2 Berlin albums. There is a lovely 33-1/3rd book about it, also, if you're into that sort of writing.

I have a lot of other thoughts but they are jumbled. I am still not over his passing. The last two albums were so strong, so *present*. We don't often get to see an artist age and preserve that immediacy in their work.

Date: 2016-12-06 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Excellent post. I agree with you that Tin Machine doesn't deserve the mockery. I think that a good deal of that mockery came from the hype surrounding the debut of the band; it was the U2-appearing-on-your-iDevice level hype of its day.

Date: 2016-12-06 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was one of the few people willing to admit to liking Tin Machine when it came out, and I stand by it. Apparently part of the whole "concept" was that Bowie wasn't allowed to do second drafts on the lyrics, which...explains a lot. But holy hell Gabrels + the Sales brothers were an amazing backing band, and it kinda prefigured grunge albeit filtered through a lot of Bowieosity.

And yeah: his later-day output was seriously underrated.


Date: 2016-12-11 01:18 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
hey i am shreya i like music i am 16 years old so for me chainsmoker is best singer

Date: 2016-12-11 11:00 pm (UTC)
ext_8707: Taken in front of Carnegie Hall (drowning cat)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, a young Tom Waits fan.

Date: 2016-12-19 01:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's good to see you posting again.

I always liked the Tin Machine album. Reeves Gabrels is a wizard with that headless Steinberger.

Date: 2016-12-19 08:20 pm (UTC)
ext_8707: Taken in front of Carnegie Hall (sleep)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks, doc. Have you ever seen GBS in your official capacity?

Date: 2016-12-29 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, dozens of times. I did let Paul know I'd be happy to be available to you or Kim for questions.

Date: 2016-12-30 12:24 am (UTC)
ext_8707: Taken in front of Carnegie Hall (sleep)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, that guy. Thank you kindly. We're just playing the waiting game now.


rone: (Default)
entombed in the shrine of zeroes and ones

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