2016-12-04

rone: (brock)

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 last.fm 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.

January 2017

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