Thread: Bowie

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  1. #1
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    Default Bowie

    Like a visitor from outer space, David Bowie has always been an object of fascination for me, and his music is no different. Although it may have been Bolan and T.rex who popularised Glam Rock, it was Bowie who took it to it’s creative peak with 1972’s “The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”. He used the finite thrills and prizes of fame to create a temporary character, and ironically assure himself longevity. By 1975 he had moved onto a whole new creative phase with his 'plastic soul' on "Young Americans" and later his marvellous 'Berlin trilogy' of albums.

    Without Bowie and Ziggy there would have been no Pistols, no Duran Duran, no Culture Club, no Suede, no Marilyn Manson, no Franz Ferdinand…at least not as we know any of them...the list could go on. His ‘70s legacy is enough for him to be hailed for, but 1980s “Scary monsters” LP and a smattering of decent singles mean the next decade wasn’t a complete dead loss, although the period 1984-87 was shamefully uninspired by Bowie standards.
    Through his guise as Ziggy, The Thin White Duke, ‘80s megastar and latter day cool idol phases, Bowie has never failed to grab my attention. Also, with albums like “Heathen” and “Reality” he can still make some remarkably inspiring music.

    What do you think of Bowie? Do you have a favourite album?
    Last edited by Carol Baynes; 25th Oct 2007 at 4:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Baynes View Post
    Like a visitor from outer space, David Bowie has always been an object of fascination for me, and his music is no different. Although it may have been Bolan and T.rex who popularised Glam Rock, it was Bowie who took it to it’s creative peak with 1972’s “The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”. He used the finite thrills and prizes of fame to create a temporary character, and ironically assure himself longevity.

    I totally agree.
    I've always loved Bowie's music since that famed first appearence on Top of The Pops in 1972 with Starman, surely one of the best singles to come from the Glam Rock era, and there were many.
    As for his albums, they inspired many as you so rightly say, and I do have my favourites, although it took me many years to appreciate the subtleties and nuances of Low and Heroes, but, to my shame, after all these years still haven't heard Lodger in its entirety.
    Even latter day albums such as Heathen and Reality, itself a staggering four years ago and no new album from Bowie, have their moments, Slow Burn I Took A Trip On A Gemini Spaceship, Never Get Old, Reality. But the man is still working, films, music, touring. Long may he continue.

    As for my favourite album, it has to be Hunky Dory, released just before stardom hit. An album showing an artist on the verge of superstardom, with some excellent tracks like Changes, Oh You Pretty Things, (a track that Peter Noone took to the charts in early '71, and what must be one of the earliest examples of a Bowie cover,) Kooks, Andy Warhol, Queen Bitch and The Bewlay Brothers which has to be one of Bowie's oddest songs, and which he has never let on what it's all about.

    It was around the time of Hunky Dory that Bowie announced his "bi-sexuality" an announcement that surprised the pop world, but something that sealed Bowie's grip on superstardom, with tales of romps with Mick Jagger it was an announcement that was bound to grab attention, and with the release of the Ziggy album Bowie was surely on the way to everlasting fame. And while on the way he even saved the career of Ian Hunter, for by giving Mott The Hoople one of his best songs he ensured that a struggling band had some glorious chart moments over the next two years.

  3. #3
    Wayne Guest

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    Yay! It's Carol's annual Bowie thread.

    I quite like some of Bowie's music. I'm not a 'fan' as such, as in i don't have any of his albums or anything. But i've heard quite a bit over the years, including a few albums here & there, But to be honest it's the famous ones that i remember best.
    Like Steve, i like 'Queen Bitch', & also 'Space Oddity', 'Rebel Rebel', 'Suffragette City' are favourites. I really should get them on MP3!
    Respect to Mick Ronson too. They came up with some good material bwtween them. :wayne
    Last edited by Wayne; 25th Oct 2007 at 6:19 PM.

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    I hated Bowie with a great deal of passion for years. That was simply based on a childhood dislike of Let's Dance.

    Then I was in bed with... well, someone pretty special at the time, and he playe dme Hunky Dory, figuring that being a bit of a Blur fan I'd probably like Hunky Dory. It was a revelation to me! I loved it instantly from the first chords of Changes. I don't know what I thought his back catalogue was going to be like, but I never expected it to be something I'd fall so much in love with.

    So ten years ago I heard that album and I haven't looked back. My friend guided me for the first few months, slowly introducing me to the key albums from the 70s, building up to the wonderful Diamond Dogs which remains my favourite to this day. I love the mix of Glam and Rock and theatre in it and the seedy, epic atmosphere of the album.

    I've slowed down since then and there are several albums I've never really heard properly and I know I really ought to get round to getting them sometime. I've even grown to like Let's Dance a bit!

    Steve introduced to some of the later stuff I'd ignored, #1: Outside and Earthling (which is far more fun than I'd imagined) and one of my best mates fell in love (and still is!) with a huge Bowie obssessive, so the later albums were filtered through that friendship.

    So yes, I think I could say I'm a Bowie fan now!

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

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    Like Wayne, I'm not enough of a fan to want to buy his albums, but I do like quite a few of his singles. Space Oddity, Starman, Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes are all great songs that I own in one form or another.

  6. #6
    Pip Madeley Guest

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    I'm with Paul and Wayne. My favourite Bowie song is definitely Life On Mars, his voice was arguably at its best at that time. I also like Let's Dance, China Girl, Buddha Of Suburbia, Sound And Vision, Space Oddity, Starman, The Jean Genie, Little Drummer Boy... didn't like Dancing In The Street though, that was a bag o'toss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    Yay! It's Carol's annual Bowie thread.
    Says Mr. Mention Hawkwind at least 50 times a month! Don't think there is a Bowie thread on PS, but this version of PS has only been here a year so maybe I am true to form after all.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pip Madeley View Post
    I'm with Paul and Wayne. My favourite Bowie song is definitely Life On Mars, his voice was arguably at its best at that time.
    Arguably!

    It is a great song though. Based on "My way" apparantly, but that's another story.

  8. #8
    Wayne Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Baynes View Post
    Says Mr. Mention Hawkwind at least 50 times a month!
    How many?

    Anyway, how could i forget those other songs that guys' mentioned, like 'Ashes to Ahes', 'Jean Genie', 'Starman' & 'Life On Mars', & then there's 'Ziggy Stardust' which i used to play years ago in a band. I even like 'Heroes'.
    It's surprsing how many Bowie songs you know when you get reminded of them. I'm not doing too badly for a 'non-fan'.

  9. #9

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    The first two records that really caught my attention in the mid 70s were Bowie's Space Oddity re-released in '75 and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. On hearing both for the first time I just felt they each had that wow factor!

    I bought lots of Bowie's albums about 82 and enjoyed many of them. Scary Monsters is one of my favourite albums. But I enjoy many of his tracks.

    Lesser known ones like "Wild is the Wind" and "Sound and Vision" are just amazing and I love all the favourites too. I didn't get into much beyond the 83Let's Dance album though.

  10. #10
    Captain Tancredi Guest

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    I can remember 'Dancing in the Street' coming out and wondering who this guy was who seemed to be famous but I hadn't heard of him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph View Post
    The first two records that really caught my attention in the mid 70s were Bowie's Space Oddity re-released in '75 and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. On hearing both for the first time I just felt they each had that wow factor!

    Indeed. Enduring memories of November and December of that year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Tancredi View Post
    I can remember 'Dancing in the Street' coming out and wondering who this guy was who seemed to be famous but I hadn't heard of him.
    I worry about some people.

    Bowie albums are 2 for a tenner in HMV at the moment. I recommend!

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    I can remember 'Dancing in the Street' coming out and wondering who this guy was who seemed to be famous but I hadn't heard of him
    Me too, Ian (sorry Carol). I felt the same when John Lennon was shot as well.

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    Not a huge fan either - odd songs I like (but that's true of many people).

    I think like a lot of musical icons you had to be there at the right time to hear them at their best to appreciate their genius in that sort of way.
    One of my pet hates is when these icons produce a new single / album etc and journos rave over them as though only nuggets of gold could ever drop from their backsides, when in fact some of their later work is really a bit shit.

    Maybe that's why I only like the older Bowie tunes too.
    Bazinga !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Masters View Post
    Not a huge fan either - odd songs I like (but that's true of many people).

    I think like a lot of musical icons you had to be there at the right time to hear them at their best to appreciate their genius in that sort of way.
    One of my pet hates is when these icons produce a new single / album etc and journos rave over them as though only nuggets of gold could ever drop from their backsides, when in fact some of their later work is really a bit shit.

    Maybe that's why I only like the older Bowie tunes too.

    Not perhaps usually the case with Bowie in later years, as his last two albums have been really good.
    But I would say my true introduction to Bowie came in the very early '90s, which was hardly a prolific period of creativity for him. But I recognised great stuff in his back catalogue, and got into him. The When is irelevant. The great influential work is always there. Plus he is very often referenced by later artists.

    Andrew and Ian are interesting, as my parents weren't particularly pop culture savvy, but I was still aware of a guy in a piorot costume (which would be 1980's "Ashes to ashes"). Maybe some children are protected from pop culture (presuming we're all a similar age, which I know Ian is) or have far poorer memories?

    By the way, I've reaquianted myself with the full length version of "Heroes" on the album of the same name, and it's beautiful- a great pop song. Incidentally, how dissapointing some of you see (hear?) "pop" as a derisory term. Sod it... some hard faced rock is pop in the sense it was originally meant...sexy, popular, gimmicky, emotive, of the moment...but beyond it.... I'm quoting Richard Hamilton a bit there. Look him up on Wikipedia! As far as 'pop' goes, how does someone like Kylie figure in comparison, for example??? (as much I can like her, but how does her music do to people what Bowie does. Elitist? hmmm..maybe, but some music changes lives and the course of music. Who will sell recordings in similar quantities in 30 years time and why?) We always need cheap, cheesy fun, but there's more to be heard. Bowie is what it can be. Brilliant....


    ..and "Heroes" is so romantic in a way that convinces.
    Last edited by Carol Baynes; 27th Oct 2007 at 9:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Masters View Post
    I think like a lot of musical icons you had to be there at the right time to hear them at their best to appreciate their genius in that sort of way.
    One of my pet hates is when these icons produce a new single / album etc and journos rave over them as though only nuggets of gold could ever drop from their backsides, when in fact some of their later work is really a bit shit.

    Maybe that's why I only like the older Bowie tunes too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Baines;
    Not perhaps usually the case with Bowie in later years, as his last two albums have been really good.

    Yes, I find Heathen and Reality as good as any of his seventies output, and they came with critical acclamation, and, although they didn't have the impact they deserved,Bowie has brought out some good singles from his latter day albums.

    Absolute Beginners 1988
    Jump They Say 1993
    Buddha of Suburbia 1993
    Miracle Goodnight 1993
    The Heart's Filthy Lesson 1995
    Little Wonder, 1997
    Thursday's Child 1999
    Survive, 1999
    SlowBurn, 2004
    Rebel Never Gets Old, an excellent re-working of Rebel Rebel from 2004
    Arnold Layne 2006

    So, although seemingly not as prolific as his seventies hey-day, Bowie has continued working with varied success, but the work is still critically received. Shame though about his work with Tin Machine, which received mixed reviews, but listen to the two albums they recorded, sift through them, there's some good stuff to be heard, I Can't Read to name just one.

  17. #17
    Wayne Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Morgan View Post
    Absolute Beginners 1988
    Jump They Say 1993
    Buddha of Suburbia 1993
    Miracle Goodnight 1993
    The Heart's Filthy Lesson 1995
    Little Wonder, 1997
    Thursday's Child 1999
    Survive, 1999
    SlowBurn, 2004
    Rebel Never Gets Old, an excellent re-working of Rebel Rebel from 2004
    Arnold Layne 2006
    Like Jon, it's the earlier stuff that's most memorable to me. I remember hearing 'Let's Dance', & i thought: "Right, That's Bowie down the tubes, then".
    The last Bowie that i heard in terms of his chronological output, was 'Absolute Beginners'. It just sounded really bog average to me. It didn't stand out compared to his classic stuff. I've not heard any of his stuff since 1988. But i'm sure if you're a fan of his music there's a still a lot to enjoy in it. I guess that's part of being a fan. Just as i can enjoy music of artists that i like, even if it's not what's generally considered to be their best material.

  18. #18
    Pip Madeley Guest

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    The really important question is, how do you pronounce his name? "Bough-ie" or "Bow-ie?"

  19. #19
    Wayne Guest

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    "Bow-ie" here.

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    "Absolute beginners" was 1986, just to set that right. It wa shis last truly huge hit single as well, making no. 2. I really like it actually. Very romantic and slightly epic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Baynes View Post
    "Absolute beginners" was 1986, just to set that right. It wa shis last truly huge hit single as well, making no. 2. I really like it actually. Very romantic and slightly epic.
    Yes, it was, slip of the finger there, I typed that last post in works canteen early this morning.

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    Bowie' early/mid 70s stuff is my favourite. Albums such as The Man Who Fell To Earth, Ziggy Stardust and Diamond Dogs (among others) have always rated among my all-time favourites, but bar a few exceptions I'm not keen on his 80s stuff and beyond. I should maybe give his recent stuff a chance though, 1989's Day In, Day Out is the most recent thing that I ever bought!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacNimon View Post
    ... 1989's Day In, Day Out is the most recent thing that I ever bought!
    1987! Shocking memories on this thread!

    His 2000s work is very good in my opinion (and many other peoples).

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