Home Site











David Bowie
Albums

  • David Bowie (Deluxe),
  • Space Oddity,
  • The Man Who Sold
  • The World,
  • Hunky Dory,
  • Ziggy Stardust,
  • Alladin Sane,
  • Diamond Dogs,
  • Young Americans,
  • Station To Station,
  • Low,
  • Heroes,
  • Lodger,
  • Scary Monsters,
  • Let's Dance,
  • Tonight,
  • Never Let Me Down,
  • Tin Machine,
  • Tin Machine II,
  • Black Tie White Noise,
  • Outside,
  • Earthling,
  • Hours,
  • Heathen,
  • Reality,
  • The Next Day,
  • Blackstar,








  • Adrian's Album Reviews |

    David Bowie

    ziggy stardust diamond dogs hunky dory low outside

    David Bowie (Deluxe) 7 ( 1966, UK pos N/A )
    Uncle Arthur / Sell Me A Coat / Rubber Band / Love You Till Tuesday / There Is A Happy Land / We Are Hungry Men / When I Live My Dream / Little Bombardier / Silly Boy Blue / Come And Buy My Toys / Join The Gang / She's Got Medals / Maid Of Bond Street / Please Mr. Gravedigger

    Fifty-three tracks split over 2cd's, remastered and featuring plenty of outtakes as well as the original album in both stereo and mono forms. Much has been made of the fact Bowie wasn't obviously original at this stage, taking on numerous influences and I won't mention them here because these are often regurgitated influences passed down from father to son. I'm not family with everything David Bowie was influenced by and besides, we're now 44 years down the line. Shouldn't we be able to listen without predjudice? Well, the often discussed 'Laughing Gnome' is among the bonus tracks complete with Bowie/'Gnome' duet. This would become a song that would haunt the latterly 'cool' Bowie with a vengence, particularly among the likes of NME or Melody Maker critics. Still, I actually quite like the sound of the music, the bass and drums and very, very period sixties and seeing as the period was 1966, that's surely not too much of a bad thing? I also feel I spot something of a Kinks influence throughout the opening 'Uncle Arthur', it's a similar kind of story-telling observation. It's a good tune actually, no 'Ziggy Stardust' of course and although not a hit of course at the time, as much 1966 in a perculiar way as 'Ziggy Stardust' was 1972.

    There's a lack of identity though, no two songs are sung quite the same or in the same style and there's a lack of lyrical cohesion. The original fourteen track album is something of a confused grab of random ideas, albeit often wonderfully executed. This lack of a clear identity did Bowie's commercial chances in rather than the often repeated theory that, in fact, he wasn't very good. Although not many of these tunes display awful amounts of innovation or originality, Bowie could undoubtedly write a tune or four. You know, 'Rubber Band' contains the excellent lyric 'my moustache was thickly waxed and one foot long.' What more could you ask for?! More than 'Love You Til Tuesday' actually, which was released as a single. If the album lacks a central identity or style then 'Love You Til Tuesday' encapsulates this, it doesn't know what it's trying to do, it lacks a chorus as such, Bowie tries on several different accents and it just chugs along really not doing very much. Nice orchestration, though.

    I like 'Silly Boy Blue', it feels like a fully developed song and at the end has a brief burst of harmony vocal which is a nice touch. Moving onto 'Come And Buy My Toys' we dismay at the lightness of the vocal, as if Bowie can even take his own material seriously, yet the lyrics for all their apparent lack of deepness are actually wonderfully constructed. This song also in some ways predates his brief phase as a folkie where he'd play the same kind of festivals as Marc Bolan. 'Join The Gang' is surely a piss-take of something, with demented sitar and absurdity abounding. It sounds thrown together, it probably was yet again, I like the words chosen and the flow of the lyrics, if not the actual content as such.

    So, stolen melodies, borrowed ideas, a lack of identity yet something keeps you coming back. It's hard to say knowing what came later, I think it's just the sheer amount of styles and ideas touched upon, even if not fully developed. There's enough here, basically. I mean, closing with 'Please Mr Gravedigger', a semi-sung, semi-spoken Bowie and storm clouds rumbling. That's it, yet.... I've got it. It's intelligence. For all the occasional frivolity, you get the feeling of an intelligence underneath. The lyrics demonstrate this in the way they've been put together, even if the words chosen don't always seem to be the right ones. Sheer poetry, my boy, sheer poetry.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Sandy Norway
    Well, "David Bowie" (1967) is a fun, lighthearted album. In the 70's, 80's and the 90's, it was a bit of a curiosity, I can understand that. It's got nothing to do with the later 'cool' Bowie, as you say. But looking back on his career, in 2010, I must say I find this album rather more entertaining and quite more listenable on an everyday basis, than say, Never Let Me Down, Tonight, Hours..., The Buddha Of Suburbia and Tin Machine II, to name a few. Maybe it's not up there with anything at his creative peak in the 70's, but what is? We are talking, not only classics here, but influential records, important in pop music history. "David Bowie" is probably, well ceratainly not 'important', generally speaking. But I think Bowie should stand up for this record today, and be proud of it. For all his musical directions, this is the only 'tongue in cheek', humorous album he (at least so far) has managed to come up with. And therefore unique in its own way. And I think he ! sings just wonderful on this one. And I don't think it's any less cohesive in style, than the diverse "Hunky Dory" for instance (my favorite Bowie album). It's a young artist and his debut. A good humored David Bowie. Bowie has humor, but only in inteviews, rarely in his music after this period. 8/10 : )


    top of page
    Space Oddity( 1969, UK pos 17 )
    Space Oddity / Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed / Don't Sit Down / Letter To Hermione / Cygnet Committee / Janine / An Occasional Dream / Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloyd / God Knows I'm Good / Memory Of A Free Festival

    Bowie was growing at a rate of knots. Leaving behind his early generic material, he crafts some genuinely ambitious songs here. 'Cygnet Committee' runs for nine and a half minutes for example. The guitar presages later Bowie guitar sounds, the lyrics can have things read into them and appear to be deep, without any single definitive meaning being able to be pinned upon them. Elsewhere, 'Don't Sit Down' adds character to the album, being a frivilous 43 second long piece that ends with Dame Bowie laughing and breaking up. We've got the likes of 'Janine' that mix acoustic and electric guitars and show that Bowie has a fine way with a pop hook even as early as 1969. Well, his way with melody was a gift he'd been developing right since his mid sixites singles, singles that without fail flopped spectacularly, despite the best efforts of Bowie and his various managers to promote them. Bowie was the kind of guy very clever at self promotion. Very adept at mixing with the right people and appearing to have things in common with them. It's something, to fast forward 15 years, if you'll forgive me, that Johnny Marr of The Smiths was very good at. Forget to mention all the things you DON'T agree with somebody about, and just focus on the things you do. Present a single side of yourself. As such, Bowie is vaguely in folky, hippie singer-songwriter mode here, competing with the likes of Marc Bolan in the playing in a field with acoustic guitar singing lyrics that make little sense, but sound good, stakes. Marc was a touch ahead of Bowie at this stage though, Bolan was writing arguably the more consistent material and was having the greater commercial success. Despite the fact 'Space Oddity' managed to be a huge hit, that was seen very much as a one off. Bowie was being written off as a one hit wonder and wouldn't in fact have another hit for a good three years.

    About 'Space Oddity' then, the breakthrough single? Singing about space just as we get men on the moon for the first time. Opportunistic? Well, partly. Yes. But, it's a gorgeous, haunting song. A stone-cold classic, like it or not. One problem the album has is the fact nothing else here is even remotely as commercial. Nothing else here has anything in common with the title track at all. Indeed, the title track was something Bowie had only written for a video presentation of himself and his talents. The potential of the track was subsequently recognized and capitalised upon, but David Bowie had already moved on. The rest of the album is a mix of acoustic, electric and strings. Story-telling lyrics and a slight lack of variety. An album dominated by 'Cygnet Committee' and the closing song 'Memory Of A Free Festival', which is actually the finest thing here, title track excepted. Seven minutes of hippie bliss, it's a song that's been sampled by many dance acts of the nineties. The way the track closes reveals a Bowie debt to The Beatles of 'Hey Jude' but also to something beyond that. Bowie, and this is something he would continue to do, takes a few things from many different sources and binds them together. You could almost imagine The Rolling Stones in a particularly stoned mood, performing 'Memory Of A Free Festival'. Really, you could. As such, overall, 'Space Oddity' becomes a very charming and listenable album. It's no classic, it is very much of its time, yet it has a sense of being youthful and somewhat lovely in places.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Jane Jane_Weatherfield@yahoo.com
    I think with Space Oddity, you have to look at the whole album as a fantastic, farfetched journey into space. You say the rest of the album has nothing to do with the title track "Space Oddity" I disagree. Wether intended or not, while listening to the album I can't help but think of it as a giant concept album dealing with Tom's struggles in space, and eventually coming home to the future free festival.. Viewing it this way makes the whole album dramatic, riviting and extremely memorable.. A classic in my eyes.

    Joe joey_kaczmar@hotmail.com
    This happens to be one of my top three favourite bowie albums ever. The title track, Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed, and Janine are probably some of Bowie's most amazing cuts to ever be recorded. I reccomend this to any Bowie fan, however bare in mind, this is not the rock n' roll you've heard on Ziggy or Aladdin Sane, nor the Dance grooves on Let's Dance; It's the psychadelic folk that you'll soon appreciate.

    Davmicon W Sussex
    Having read the posted comments and that of the 2 invitees I tend to agree with Joe as I don't understand the 'foray into space ' comment of Jane. That's just 2 literal. Space Oddity the final cut had to be on it to make it sell. Buts that's the only reference. It is a much maligned first attempt to bridge the sixties and seventies movements in music. Although a heavy cadence of folkrock because of an infatuation with Dylanesque bankability I think it does frank the watermark of the David Bowie thread of musical currency. Janine is the portent of his love of rock which he had developed whilst in his several groups and would re-emerge in vocal style later on with Tin Machine. Much has been made of his Led Zep affectations which would progress onto his next albums with Freecloud in particular. But 'Memory...' is the standout track for me. I am lucky enough to have (part2 and part 3 ...sun machine etc )which is the electric version with messrs Visconti and Ronson making it for ! me in it's superior arrangement - the first Glam rock song ever as it was cut sandwiched between the two albums just before Man Who Sold the World. So it's clear David was thinking ahead of the game already and it wasn't as accidental as his sixties stuff when he just wanted to be 'acceptable' as a bankable Tommy the toreador Steele.


    top of page
    The Man Who Sold The World( 1970, UK pos 26 )
    The Width Of A Circle / All The Madmen / Black Country Rock / After All / Running Gun Blues / Saviour Machine / She Shook Me Cold / The Man Who Sold The World / The Supermen

    Musically, this album bears little to no resemblence to the album that came before it. There are reasons for this. David has the bulk of what would become the spiders from mars, backing him, here. Not only that, but they and producer Tony Visconti were given an awful lot of freedom. The reason for this was that David was reportedly too distracted with his then girlfriend to pay too much attention in the studio. Tony Visconti apparently doesn't have particularly happy memories regarding the recording of this album, because David left everything right to the last minute. Given that fact, the lyrics here are fantastic. The music is great in places, Mick Ronson creates some crushing and hugely enjoyable guitar riffs. Although David Bowie did write all of the songs, his input into the actual musical arrangements was neglible. Still, it gave him a new sound and a sound he'd work on and run with in the years after this album appeared. We've a few great examples actually of the freedom the band had. The opening song runs to eight minutes and includes a lot of group interplay and jamming. David is starting to get into his lyrical thing, Mick does a few great guitar solo's. It's hardly 'Space Oddity', however enjoyable 'The Width Of A Circle' actually is, all it did at the time was to intensely confuse what consisted of the David Bowie fan-base. Which, despite the hit single 'Space Oddity', was hardly huge at this stage.

    Still, the bulk of this album is indeed very solid. 'Running Gun Blues' includes more fascinating lyrics. It's a song built seemingly, or so it would seem, around a loose acoustic Bowie demo, then embellished and arranged heavily by dame bowie's studio band at the time. A song such as 'After All' more closely resembles the Bowie of the immediate past, it's a hippie acoustic guitar thing, with mellotron or some other strange keyboard device. It's rather rambling to be honest with you. 'She Shook Me Cold' is an example of a song where it might have been better had David actually taken more control in the studio. This is just pure aimless jamming. Very good jamming, but it serves little actual purpose. Still, highlights do appear. 'All The Madmen' is a personal lyric and a very effective band + bowie performance. The title song contains the best melody on the entire album, an enticing undulating musical refrain bolstered by utterly captivating lyrics.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    otis otiscass@shaw.ca
    Just had to mention that this is my favourite Bowie album!!...i just love every second of it...and plus it kicks ass!!...It always suprises folks when i put on "she shook me cold" and i tell them it is david bowie...lol..."all the madmen" is beautiful...the title track is a classic..."running gun blues" a rollickin' hoot...the opening song is epic in it's scope and quality...it is simply a very very underated album and a definate precursor to "punk"...a very important album! that deserves a much higher review number!

    Speedqueen57 Sydney
    An album which is enduring across all generations and never grows old. All the madmen is just so human amd the man who sold the world is just one of those tracks that stops you in your tracks, it hits a different nerve each time you hear it and the album never loses its shock value.

    Kenny Jupiter
    This wonderful LP deserves a higher rating.Some of Bowie's most personal songs are here. His brother, who sadly was cursed by mental illness, haunts All The Madmen and After All. Beautiful songs that deserve a wider audience.Bowie and the Spiders really rock on She Shook Me Cold and the superb Width Of A Circle. Bowies loving impersonation of his friend Marc Bolan on Black Country Rock is a blast. The title track being one of Bowie's best moments,this is an Album to check out... and fall in love with.

    EJ Minnesota
    Try this one! It's my favorite Bowie album. Featuring excellent production for 1970, the album is head-long dive into the great Spiders from Mars band. So many crunchy, satisfying guitar licks to satisfy anyone. Ethreal songs so powerful (Madmen, After All, Man Who Sold the World); Rockers so strong (Width, Black Country Rock, Running Gun, Shook Me Cold); Concepts so far out (Savior Machine, Superman). A golden time for Bowie, before everything became too much.


    top of page
    Hunky Dory 9 ( 1971, UK pos 3 )
    Changes / Oh! You Pretty Things / Eight Line Poem / Life On Mars? / Kooks / Quicksand / Fill Your Heart / Andy Warhol / Song For Bob Dylan / Queen Bitch / The Bewlay Brothers

    David was between labels, shall we say. He decided to become a song-writer for hire and ended up penning a hit for Peter Noone, the song 'Oh You Pretty Things' and also penned a song for fiery scottish shouter, 'Lulu'. Hence, on the strength of the songs he was writing and the fact he'd written a hit song for Peter Noone, Bowie signed to RCA. 'Hunky Dory' became another modest seller, yet marks the beginning of the classic Bowie period. David had an aggressive manager and a good team surrounding him. Mick Ronson came into his own for this 'Hunky Dory' album, proving himself an adept arranger for strings as well as a fine guitar player. Keyboard superstar and then top session man Rick Wakeman provided fine piano and keyboard flourishes and David, free from the burden of actually writing David Bowie songs ( as most of these songs were in fact written for other artists ) turned in the finest David Bowie album he'd yet produced. 'Hunky Dory' is in fact a huge quantum leap from his previous material, everything leaping forwards in quality. The songs themselves, classic material and future Bowie standards. The playing and production and arrangements were all assured and professional and the touches of Rick Wakeman and Mick Ronson, frequently gorgeous. 'Changes' was released as a single January of 1972, not to promote 'Hunky Dory' but rather to promote his then forthcoming 'Ziggy Stardust' project. Odious Radio One DJ Tony Blackburn made it his single of the week, or something like that. It was enough to prove that David did indeed have commercial potential. It would take a transformation into Ziggy to actually realise that potential. Yet, 'Hunky Dory', rather than 'Ziggy', is artistically the album that made the breakthrough for Bowie.

    'Changes' can be seen as a talismatic song for his entire career, 'Life On Mars?' was later a hit single for him and along with Ziggy's 'Starman' followed on from the themes first sketched out in 'Space Oddity'. 'Changes' and 'Life On Mars?' are both simply classic songs. 'Life On Mars?' in particular sends chills straight through me and tears start rolling.... the performance of the song is absolutely perfect. 'Hunky Dory' is an album with variety, classic pop mixes with kooky material such as, well, 'Kooks', 'Song For Bob Dylan' and 'Andy Warhol'. The later two songs were Bowie tributes of sorts. A song such as 'Eight Line Poem' musically revolves around a piano motif and is held together as a workable composition, lyrically and vocally. Indeed, Bowie proved himself once and for all as a fine vocalist all through this 'Hunky Dory' set of songs. Variety? Yeah, 'Queen Bitch' gets out the guitars and predicts exactly the sound the Ziggy Stardust album would use. In fact, it IS the sound of the 'Ziggy Stardust' album! And sat right in the middle of 'Hunky Dory' is a philosophical piece titled 'Quicksand'. Those music listeners who deeply try to interpret the meaning of lyrics may have a touch time with the 'holes in the plot' nature of the 'Quicksand' lyrics, yet 'Quicksand' is many a Bowie fans favourite. It's esoteric, the vocal and the emotion projected through the vocal, married to acoustic guitar plus beautiful piano and strings, really make this. Sometimes, works of art are better appreciated without deep analysis. It's like if you found out the 'Mona Lisa' was painted whilst Leonardo Da Vinci was squeezing out a dump and a painting done purely to relieve his frustrations! <

    Add A Comment?



    Eduardo I keesvanlieshout@home.nl
    Hunky Dory is one of my Bowie's favourites, and one of the albums I am more likely to hear several times in a row, together with "Ziggy". Still, I've always adored "The Bewlay Brothers". I might be weird in that particular aspect as a Bowie fan, but it's my all-around favourite song of him.

    Andrew andrewkylie@hotmail.com
    This is not Bowies best. His "Berlin trio" are his best ever. This is certainly his most accesible. My 13 yr old daughter plays it, over & over. She 1st heard "changes"on "Shrek 2"& wanted more, so I gave her this. My other littlies sing along on most tracks. Its a funny story for me. I think I'll give her "Lodger" now.

    otis otiscass@shaw.ca
    Hunky Dory is a wonderful album...brilliant actually, (bewlay brothers should be noted as the great song it is)...however i completely agree "quicksand" and even more so the acoustic 12 string guitar demo version included on the c.d. reissue, could very well be my all time favourite Bowie song (which is saying a hell of alot)...good on you for pointing to that track!

    Alicia ziitra@hotmail.com
    Hunky Dory is, in my opinion, one of Bowie's finest album. The music is ecxiting and the lyrics are groundbreaking, yet sometimes confusing. This was Bowie at his most brilliant in many ways. Your rating is very agreeable

    Noel nfc100@hotmail.com
    One of his top 5 albums. Though Changes is overplayed it's a very well crafted op song. 'Oh You Pretty Things' is so catchy - vaguey homosexual or Neitche? but was more portent to the Glitter Kids ' Dont ya know your driving your mamas and your mama and Papas insane' at the time. Kooks is just beautiful some lovely vocals and strings and Bowie sounding like a father..awww. Quicksand- beautiful build up accoustic guitar and brillant piano from Rickwakeman (well on all the album)fantastic string arrangements. Lyrics need years to be deciphered but its worth it.

    Gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    Been listening to this a lot lately . It just doesnt seem to age . As a collection of songs its so special and cohesive , bowie never really topped it in my opinion . I just love how british it sounds especially "kooks" and the despair of "quicksand". I cant think of one song on here thats duff but special mention to the syd barrettisms of "bewlay brothers" and the massed acoustics of "andy warhol " and oh... i give up !! Needless to say no record collection should be without one 10/10

    Carlos carlos1970@hotmail.co.uk
    10/10 This is not only Bowies finest album,but one of the best albums ever made.From Changes to The Bewley Brothers every song is a classic including the throw away Eight Line Poem and of course the sublime Queen Bitch.


    top of page
    The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars( 1972, UK pos 5 )
    Five Years / Soul Love / Moonage Daydream / Starman / It Ain't Easy / Lady Stardust / Star / Hang on to Yourself / Ziggy Stardust / Suffragette City / Rock 'n' Roll Suicide

    David Jones, professionally known as David Bowie, adopted the moniker Ziggy Stardust for the follow-up to 'Hunky Dory'. Using the same musicians, the 'Ziggy Stardust' album isn't so much a musical quantum leap as an artistic one on the level of performance, staging and image. Previous to an androgynous looking Ziggy ( Bowie ) draping an arm around the shoulders of Mick Ronson on 'Top Of The Pops', it was considered career suicide for any gay performer 'to come out'. Elton John for example didn't come out until the mid-seventies. At the time of Ziggy, it just wasn't done. So, such a simple gesture changed the rock scene forever, at least in England and Europe. It's hard to imagine such 80s acts as Boy George's Culture Club without the groundbreaking work David Bowie was doing in image terms, in the early seventies. Yet, this in itself wasn't even an entirely new idea for Bowie, the artwork for 'The Man Who Sold The World' featured a David Bowie looking extremely feminine and wearing a dress. The fact that David Bowie wasn't even gay, or perhaps even bi-sexual, seems to be besides the point. It was the gesture, the thrill the signals gave out to fans across the country. Within the twelve months of 1972, Bowie went from being a relative unknown to being the biggest selling act in the UK since The Beatles. It was all thanks to Ziggy. Ziggy was an alien rock star who reaches the height of fame just as the earth enters the last five years of it's existence. But of course, Bowie had different coloured eyes, a result of an accident suffered years earlier. The bright orange hair was certainly striking. He played the role of Ziggy perfectly.

    The album seems perfectly paced and structured. 'Five Years' works as introduction, the end in more ways than one arrives with 'Rock And Roll Suicide'. Hit single 'Starman' is a brilliant song, not a million miles away from the kind of material that appeared on 'Hunky Dory', only with a more prominent role guitar-wise for Mick Ronson. The strings combine with his crushing guitar riffs. Bowie re-visits his preoccupations with all things outer space. A classic song and a classic Bowie moment, no question. The entire Ziggy album creates and maintains a fantasy, yet there are references to the real world of rock music. The gorgeous 'Lady Stardust' is another song that could have fitted easily on 'Hunky Dory' and works as a kind of tribute to on/off Bowie friend/rival, Marc Bolan of T.Rex. The title song has an reference to Jimi Hendrix "he played it left hand". Still, Bowie had his own guitar god in the making with Mick Ronson. Songs such as 'Suffragette City' and 'Moonage Daydream' show how far Bowie and the spiders had progressed since the days of 'The Man Who Sold The World'. Songs such as these combine the classic song-writing structure of 'Hunky Dory' with the sound of the 'Man Who Sold The World' record. Whereas the latter album was sometimes rambling, both 'Suffragette City' and 'Moonage Daydream' are perfect rock/pop songs. The ronson solo during 'Moonage Daydream' in particular is a stellar moment.

    There is so much more to discover during the album. 'Soul Love' contains Bowie vocals that always sends chills beautifully all through my body. 'Hang Onto Yourself' is a guitar riff-monster. 'Star' is a perfect fantasy, the guitar and piano combine so well. I was once told by a friend at school that piano made for a lousy instrument in rock music. My friend wasn't very well musically educated, I guess. There isn't a weak moment on this album. It was christened the 'Sgt Peppers' of the seventies, and had sales ( at least in europe and the uk ) to match. Bowie became the superstar he was writing about. His 'Ziggy' character and album has lasted the years since - whatever Bowie is doing, people still talk of Ziggy in the background.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    kees van lieshout keesvanlieshout@home.nl
    perfect openers "Five years" and "Soul love". to perfect maybe, for me are they the hightlights. the story on FIVE YEARS is that the lyrics where fabrikated by the cut-up-technic as earlier used by the pop-poet william buroughs . a technic often should be used by popartists. it gives a depth that in reality isn't there. SOUL LOVE is nearly perfect, very cool saxophone. later on David's live album STAGE brought in a perfect way, i never heard it better.another classic is Starman and Star ( in the opening refering on Belfast). to me Bowie is not an album-man. i'am more into his singles. greetings from the Netherlands (europe)

    Rob robnicholl_acquiesce05@hotmail.co.uk
    I listened to this album for the first time on holiday two weeks ago and it is now my favourite album. more so than SGT Pepper and Definitely Maybe at the minute. spot on review as always. Ziggy Stardust was written about Hendrix right?? "he played it left hand.....straight down hair..." anyone great site. i always come here for recomendations when i feel like getting an album from an artist from the past.....being 16 now is boring all the great bands have been and gone!!! Thanks Adrian for all the reviews

    Joe joey_kaczmar@hotmail.com
    10 out of 10!!! A Bowie masterpiece! Now some may ignore this alubm because of his Ziggy image, but dont let that stop you from buying this! 'Moonage Daydream', 'Hang On To Yourself', 'Starman', 'Star', 'Ziggy Stardust', 'Suffragette City', and 'Rock N'Roll Suicide' all on one disc?! This might as well just be considered a Greatest Hits.

    GAZZA Edinburgh
    I used to think i didnt need this as i was so familiar with the main singles on a compilation album . How wrong i was . You need to hear "moonage daydream" with ronsons amazing playing before "starman" , you need to hear "5 years" and "soul love" at the start and the apocalyptic glory of "rock n roll suicide " at the end . In short you need to hear the whole thing to fully get what bowie was trying to do here . Taken as a seamless whole , its an amazing record 10/10


    top of page
    Alladin Sane( 1973, UK pos 1 )
    Watch That Man / Alladin Sane / Drive-In Saturday / Panic In Detroit / Cracked Actor / Time / The Prettiest Star / Let's Spend The Night Together / The Jean Genie / Lady Grinning Soul

    The Rolling Stones. Breaking America. Needing to break America and adopting a sound-mixing strategy from The Rolling Stones in order to try to to do this. Yeah, the loose concept for 'Alladin Sane' was Ziggy goes to America. The bulk of the material here was written by Bowie whilst on tour in the US and was the first Bowie album to be written from a position of fame. The 'Ziggy' album was about acheiving stardom, an album about stardom written by a person who wasn't at that point an actual star. Bowie had acheived one aim, 'Alladin Sane' set out to widen his appeal globally and also to push and challenge existing Bowie fans who might have preferred more of the same. True, with glam-rock still all the rage, there are a number of straight glam pieces here to please the multitude of Bowie worshippers back home. The most obvious of these is the stomping 'Jean Genie', a true glam single written very much to formula. Bowie's cover of The Rolling Stones 'Let's Spend The Night Together', whilst not quite as convincing as the original material here, is also pleasing enough. Oh, which leads me to the mixing. It's most obvious through the opening song here, but a few other songs also suffer from very low, almost inaudibly mixed Bowie vocals. The idea was apparently to take a leaf out of The Rolling Stones book and to use the vocal almost as another instrument. For example, 'Watch That Man' is still one of the finest rockier numbers here, yet could have been better with a more audible vocal.

    Of the more ambitious songs here, none rank more ambitious at stretching the Ziggy glam-formula than the 'Alladin Sane' title song. Mike Garson had joined the bowie-band, and his avant-garde jazz noodling is the central point of interest musically through the five minute plus title song. 'Time' also features Garson in a prominent role, 'Time' being a strange kind of vaudeville number. 'The Prettiest Star' and 'Drive In Saturday' round out the album highlights, both strong melodic pop songs, 'Drive In Saturday' being a particularly effective number. Oh, and add the guitar groove of 'Cracked Actor' to the list of highlights. It sounds good listened to loud! A pretty varied set of songs, actually, this album. That works as being both a good and bad thing, however, as 'Alladin Sane' loses out to 'Hunky Dory' and 'Ziggy Stardust' in terms of being a cohesive listening experience. It's still a more than fine album, though. There isn't really a single really weak song present out of the nine originals and one cover that 'Alladin Sane' presents us with.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Jayson jayson_colhoun@yahoo.co.uk
    I've always considered myself a David Bowie fan having been listening to the man for 23 years(I'm now 25) but it looks like i've been kidding myself. I seem to go for the tried and tested albums such as Hunky Dory and Diamond Dogs. Well last night I listened to Aladdin Sane and was quite impressed. Don't get me wrong I have heard pieces of this before but this is the first time I have ever really listened to it. Aladdin Sane is by far the most experimental song on this album with almost erratically structured (go with me on this one)piano riffs and a haunting chorus not dissimilar to something from "The man who sold the world". Time is exceptional, a song I would have struggled to name yesterday, while Drive in Saturday is written with the American teen public in mind but still manages to be an absolute gem of a song for the genre it portrays. 8 and a half is a fair review for this album. Great but not the best, but that's o.k as it is but one of a collection of masterpieces! by the single greatest solo songwriter ever. (Neil Young a close second).

    Noel-London nfc100@hotmail.com
    I do not know why you can not bring yuorself to giving Bowies albums form Hunky Dory to Aladdin Sane a 10 rating. And Low as well!. Bowie excelled himself during this period. His problem is that he made too mant grat albums that you have to compare and rate against each other. AS is a btter album than Ziggy. Very raw and immediate and innovative. he challenged himself and his fans on this one e.g. the title track, Time, Drive in Saturday. And you miss out the lyrics. Panic in Detroit is better than any Iggy or Lou song of the era. Bowie's versatlity and creativeness is eclipsed by 'Lady grinning Soul' a forgotten calssic.


    top of page
    Diamond Dogs 9 ( 1974, UK pos 1 )
    Future Legend / Diamond Dogs / Sweet Thing / Candidate / Sweet Thing / Rock N Roll With Me / We Are The Dead / 1984 / Big Brother / Chant Of The Evewr Circling Skeletal Family

    Garson is retained for piano duties. The entire 'spiders from mars' are not retained, so Bowie himself plays all the guitar on this album. Herbie Flowers and Ansyley Dunbar are the rhythm section. David Bowie moves further away from simplistic glam-rock for the bulk of this album, creating a myth, 'hunger city'. From being David Jones, to being David Bowie, to being Ziggy Stardust to Alladin Sane, to half human, half canine. Well, you would, wouldn't you?? The rhythm section are superb and as if to prove David himself was indeed the creative talent, the guitar lines are also excellent. We have material such as '1984' that come across more as movie/tv themes, rather than glam-rock songs. We've the extended 'Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing' suite, which lasts nine minutes or so and is the central piece of the album. Bowie sounds low, he sounds deep - this is a serious piece that extends the ambition, musically, of everything Bowie had done before. The piano of Garson is there, the guitar moves around, the rhythm section are solid. The spiders from mars, without Mick Ronson, who embarked on an ill-starred solo career, went their own way. Bowie moved forever forwards. 'Diamond Dogs', apart from the singles, continued to alienate the few glam fans who latched onto Bowie via 'Ziggy'. Bowie was growing increasingly bored with glam-rock and wanted to change and challenge his audience. 'Diamond Dogs' does this brilliantly.

    There isn't a weak song here, 'Diamond Dogs' is such a cohesive album. The original George Orwell '1984' concept for the album may well have fallen through, but that Bowie created his own concept despite this, speaks volumes. The title song and the hit song, 'Rebel Rebel' have guitar riffs to die for. Bowie played all the guitar on this album. Mick Ronson released the relatively badly received 'Slaughter On 10th Avenvue'. 'Rebel Rebel', with it's Rolling Stones apeing addictive riff, became another Bowie hit single. Suddenly, it was Bowie that was the artist, that was important. Despite his manager, despite his collaborators, despite the ridiculous financial situation he'd got himself into thanks to his manager - Bowie was so creative during this time. Yet, I said he was growing tired of glam? He was. His next release would reveal his musical sea-change quite spectactularly.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Ryan dude_lasers@hotmail.com
    Mate, you are one of the only people I know of to give this excellent album its due. This disc seems to be ciminally slept-on, and I don't know why.

    Donal de Blacam sgtblackpepper@hotmail.com
    In my opinion Bowies best work, the real highlight is sweet thing/candidate/sweet thing(reprise). thers not a bad song on the whole album

    donal donalm1@hotmail.com
    I agree with your rating. This is a beautiful album. I love 'Sweet Thing'. I can't understand why critics rate it so badly.

    Dave crawdave2001@yahoo.com
    "its safe in the city to love in a doorway" this is one of my fave headphone albums........love everthing about it.:ofcorse the time in life when it hit me ..........cant be ......SUffice to say GREAT DAVID BOWIE ALBUM WITH GREAT ARTWORK......BOWIE IS A HERO

    Will Petersfield
    Bowie's finest moment and yet Diamond Dogs never gets it's due. The dame provides an unrivalled narrative on an engrossing Buroughsian dystopia and music that creates a vivid, seedy, chilling yet enthralling atmosphere. Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (reprise), a sweeping mini opera with jaw dropping vocal is surely one of the greatest moments in pop! If only the world would listen more closely! 10/10

    Bill Michigan
    I give Diamond Dogs a 10 for originality. Bowies "dirty" guitar accentuates the whole theme of this album and it is the most coherent album/vision he has produced. This is the pinnacle for him. Yes, it never is appreciated - especially "We Are The Dead" and the DD/Candidate/Sweet Thing medley. It is Bowie's Abbey Road.

    Allan Schoenherr allanschoenherr@yahoo.co.uk
    This is a classic Bowie album and acts as a brilliant bridge between the Ziggy era and the more experimental albums yet to come. I would give it an 8.5 however as they criminally left the original Candidate demo off of the album. In a perfect world I would have it tacked somewhere on the 2nd side. Musically it is far removed from the version that makes up the eerie Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing run so no danger of too much repitition.


    top of page
    Young Americans 7 ( 1975, UK pos 2 )
    Young Americans / Win / Fascination / Right / Somebody Up There Likes Me / Across The Universe / Can You Hear Me / Fame

    John Lennon co-writes and plays on one song on this album. That fact alone endeared the previously un-endeareable, cos he was camp, David Bowie to America. Such is the hold of The Beatles over America. You know, some tramp in the street could have co-written a song with "A Beatle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and it would have gone done well. That was, and still is, America. Britain, the land of The Beatles, couldn't give a damn. We were happy with David Bowie as he was. Yes, 'Young Americans' is indeed David's American album. His American 'black' album, indeed. He used the right musicians, etc. He impressed said musicians with his vocal skills. Indeed, David's vocals are superb throughout this entire album. The songs are stretched out, mere sketches, stretched out. Backing vocals galore, huge stretches of songs that seemingly include no actual David Bowie involvement at all. David himself classified it as 'plastic soul'. You see, he was clever. He knew his level of reality in the entire scene. He never once claimed to be genuiune. or a genuine black American type of guy!! And, he quickly grew tired of this type of sound, realising its limitations. Still, the title song is cool, you know? David produced one of his trademark catchy melodies and married it to black funk playing. It works.

    Both 'Win' and 'Fascination are cool, mellow songs. David produces superlative vocal performances. Bolan's "sheep" vocals couldn't compete, which is why Bolan never cracked America, and Bowie did. Bowie shamelessly sold out. He did everything he possibly could, even working and co-writing a song with a Beatle, absolutely guarranteed to endear himself to America!! Amercia goes nuts about The Beatles. The one thing David realised was that. He did it. 'Fame' reached number one in America, a superb classic song. David himself moved on, having achieved what he wanted to.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    porcupine cupidandpsyche85@hotmail.com
    Along with Lodger, i think Young Americans is the weakest of all of Bowie's 70's albums. That's not to say i think they're poor: indeed, they're both way better than any of the Bowie records made after Scary Monsters. Young Americans just comes off as sounding a bit hollow, a bit half-hearted, a bit, as Bowie put it himself: 'plastic soul'. The title track is cool, and 'Fascination' is a funky bit of disco, but there's too much here that's so-so. That is, except for 'Win', which is abslolutely beautiful and very, very lush, and 'Fame', which is one of Bowie's best singles and funky to the core. After this, Bowie made a far, far better soul album in the form of Station to Station, which was superior mainly cos it wasn't mere pastiche.

    Joe joey_kaczmar@hotmail.com
    I am quite surprised to read the review on this album, I thought for sure it would've received at least a 8+ or a 9! Some of his classics are on here, however I can understand why many wouldn't pick this up, especially if they were hardcore fans of his 1967-1975 years. However I still would suggest this, as many bowie albums, but maybe not to your ziggy worshippers.

    Gerry Northern Ireland
    This album is the reason why Bowie took off in the US while Bolan's ' sheep ' vocals did'nt. What a load of rubbish. Apart from Win and the title track YA is rubbish; a watered down version of Bolan's pioneering rock/soul fusion classic, Zinc Alloy.


    top of page
    Station To Station( 1976, UK pos 5 )
    Station To Station / Golden Years / Word On A Wing / TVC 15 / Stay / Wild Is The Wind

    The opening sounds of mechanics and trains indicates perhaps David Bowie discovering Kraftwerk around about this time. The following years 'Low' album would more forcibly indicate such a fact. Anyway, the opening epic title track is something you really have to get your head around if you are to enjoy this album to any real extent. Apart from this title song only five other songs are present, and one of those is the inexcusably simplistic pub-rock of 'TVC15', easily the worst song here. Still, going back to the opening title track, a song that introduces one of Bowie's great character masks and creations - the thin white duke, we get a song that's played wonderfully well. It's a song that sounds magnificent, a song that has good lyrics. It's a song that didn't need to last as long as it does and its position right at the start of the album, rather than say the end, seems to be a poor decision as far as the sequencing for this album is concerned. A far better opener, as far as making a point, a knock-out punch to follow-up the hugely successful 'Young Americans' record, would have been 'Golden Years'. A classic Bowie single, 'Golden Years' rides upon a strong funk guitar groove and strong pop hooks throughout the chorus. Great Bowie vocal touches. A winner in our house, anyday of the week.

    Bowie was apparently so out of his head on cocaine that he can't remember even recording this album. Such a fact makes the sheer beauty of 'Word On A Wing' even more remarkable than it already is. Whatever Bowie actually was experiencing and feeling in his personal life, becoming ever more remote, the feeling present within the vocals in particular during 'Word On A Wing' is something to be treasured and marvelled. Luxurious backing vocals, provided by Bowie himself, also enhance the track, hugely. A relaxed feel, a romantic feel - present throughout the music. I've already mentioned 'TVC 15', a song i've never quite been able to enjoy for any prolonged period of time. It does have some merit, the introduction is nice and kooky. Sadly, the song rather descends as it goes along, the lyrics are uninteresting and there are no strong vocal hooks to enjoy. Still, it breaks up the album nicely, the following song is another wonderful track, a brilliant funk and soul track that could have come from the pen of Issac Hayes, circa 'Shaft'. Hugely wonderful musical track and the words/vocals aren't too shabby, either.

    A switch to a softer feel from such funk delights closes the record, "Love me, love me, love me - say you do" sings dame bowie. 'Wild Is The Wind' finishes the album on something of a downer, yet it's been an interesting ride. It's a confusing album for me, a record that seems to have considerable hidden depths, yet ultimately, these self-same hidden depths appear to be all cloak and daggers. David, despite a couple of stellar vocal performances, seems obviously disconnected to the musicians around him. These musicians do a fine job throughout, yet 'Station To Station' remains an album without quite enough soul. It's an album with plenty of heart, though. A brave sounding work, although i'm not quite sure why. A bridge to bigger and better things? Certainly.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    porcupine cupidandpsyche85@hotmail.com
    Okay, let's get things clear: the opening track to this album is AWESOME. This is David Bowie on his eighth album sounding as fresh and exhilarated as someone giving it their all on their first: ten minutes of absolute genius. The first five minutes are a hypnotic, repetitive swagger down totally new territories for Bowie. It's very exciting, very sleek, very on-the-ball. Then, around the halfway mark, the whole thing just explodes into this ecstatic whirlwind of searing funk and gripping rock. Station to Station is the best of Bowie's attempts to cross over to a mainstream audience whilst still keeping a strange, weird and unique sound that makes it a work of its own. This is helped by the fact that Bowie's astonishing arsenal of fellow musicians are really keeping up with him and providing jaw-dropping finesse and exciting vigour. Carlos Alomar and Earl Slick (on guitars), Roy Bittan (on piano), George Murray (on bass) and Dennis Davis (on drums) make this line up more tha! n just Bowie, it feels like Bowie's part of a super group, and the results are really fantastic. The title track's later half sounds like it would go down an absolute storm on a dancefloor, with those guitars hitting the spot about eight minutes in! Wow! This tune's unbeatable. It's so good it really does make you forget about Ziggy, Aladdin Sane, Halloween jack and plastic soul. This was what was great about 70's Bowie: each reinvention really did sound like a new beginning. As for 'Golden Years', well, what can I say: one of Bowie's coolest singles. Gorgeous guitars, funky rhythms and a fade out I just wish would last forever. 'Word on a Wing' is beautiful, over the top and all the better for it. 'Wild is the Wind' is very nice too, I love it. 'TVC15' is an absolute stormer, with delightful pianos and an irresistible beat that really takes off in its catchy chorus which I think is one of Bowie's most driving and fantastic moments. 'Stay' is appallingly underrated, a total! disco-funk classic that's one of Bowie's most commercial and ! immediat e songs. Station to Station was recorded in the midst of personal trauma and cocaine-fuelled horror: indeed, Bowie cannot even remember making it. Yet despite the pain in making it, the results are amazing. it's a transitional album, moving away from the plastic soul of Young Americans and towards the healing, cathartic sound of Bowie's Berlin years. It's also another Bowie masterpiece to add to an already wobbling list.

    Ricardo nunez101@hotmail.com
    I love Station to Station, and I think you'r review does justice to it, but, I think TVC15 is a really cool song, the lyrics are twisted and the song is very upbeat and catchy, the piano sounds really cool also; and I love the fact that it is followed by one of my favorite Bowie songs- "Stay".

    Noel-London nfc100@hotmail.com
    Stay is hardly mentioned in your review. Its bloody amazing. The fighting rock and funk guitars make it a highlight of the album. I ahev played this to people who HATE disco but this crosses the bridges like no other song I have ever heard. Disco for metal feaks.

    - 123@hotmail.com
    After reading the great reviews the customers left on www.amazon.ca, i was shocked to see this album get around the 7 area. Seriously? I recently bought it on vinyl, and its now probably my favourite album of him so far. I own 12 studio albums, this is the best. A MUST BUY

    John john.j.doyle@nuim.ie
    9/10 at the very least, maybe even a perfect 10. My favourite album from 1976 shows just how sharp and innovative Bowie is. A fucking genius, make no mistake! Not one filler track to be found.

    Bill Michigan
    I think this album is underrated - should be a 9 due to the strength of Station To Station, Stay and Golden Years. Bowie's voice has hit his prime and it shows on this album. This band may be his best and they are seamless and funky. Earl Slick make me forget Ronson. Listen to Stay on the "Beeb" in Youtube and you won't forget that song again. Slick and Bowie SCORCH the place. I agree 99% on your reviews, but not mentioning Stay was an oversight.

    Andreas G Huntington Beach
    I could quibble about half a point rating here and there on other Bowie albums, but I beg to seriously differ about "Station to Station", especially about "TVC15". I still find myself listening to this one a lot.


    top of page
    Low 9 ( 1977, UK pos 2 )
    Speed Of Life / Breaking Glass / What In The World / Sound And Vision / Always Crashing In The Same Car / Be My Wife / A New Career In A New Town / Warszawa / Art Decade / Weeping Wall / Subterraneans

    Firstly, no. This album isn't produced by Brian Eno, a common misconception - it's produced by Tony Visconti. Brian Eno was a key collaborator, however. He had his box of sonic tricks, but actully, Mr Visconti was responsible for the revolutionary drum sound, for example. Utilizing then new technology, he found a way to ensure the drums infinitely lowered in pitch, thus creating the strange drum sound present throughout 'Low', something alien, rather than stick and skin, if you will. Eno of course was very influential on the instrumentals that take up 'side two' of this LP, the side that had Bowie's record executives scratching their heads. In fact, side one had them scratching their heads as well, nothing had sounded like this before. Bowie, Eno and Visconti had created, in Berlin, Germany - a sound that was entirely new, from top to bottom. Even the structure of the songs, helped by the randomness encouraged by Eno, wasn't rooted in either Bowie's, or rock music's past. Bowie, by all accounts, was fed up of 'being fake'. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, 'Station To Station' and 'Young Americans' felt like, to even Bowie himself circa 1977, as fake, a sellout. He didn't believe anymore in the methods of writing he had then used. 'Low' wasn't about artistic compomise, it wasn't about worrying whether it would sell. Bowie was fed up of that particular pressure. Ironically, his new anti-commercial sound would provide him with a big hit single in 'Sound And Vision', a song with a lengthy instrumental introduction, but it's catchy, you know? It has a disctinctive sound, those drums, the synths and other assorted odd noise and other assorted odd sounding, slightly detached, vocals.

    We've many remarkable songs here, the kind of 'anti-pop' of side one actually providing more highlights than the more celebrated side two, which didn't even remotely approach being pop. Yes, the strange yet wonderful lyrics of 'Breaking Glass, the fantastic drum sound, the sheer brief, punk-like nature of the song. All very wonderful indeed. And yes indeed, Bowie survived Punk when many didn't, thanks to this album, and the two albums that followed. He'd moved so left field, that he escaped the critiscms that were heaped upon others. A highlight of the first side has to be the delicious 'Always Crashing In The Same Car', I can listen to this song all day, it just has some kind of effect, something magical about it. Bowie's vocal helps, resigned and weary sounding. The strange noises, of their time, ahead of their time, now behind their time - yet still sounding timeless - help. Bad punctuation helps (?!), bowie of course did keep in all the mistakes, even built entire songs around what you could perceive to be a mistake. 'Be My Wife' is another stunner, another brief song that doesn't follow any obvious rules of music, yet manages to be one of the catchiest things on earth. It leaves you begging for more. Of the instrumentals, the alien language created by Bowie on the utterly spooky 'Warszawa' proved influential, and is beautiful. 'Weeping Wall' sounds ahead of its time, even today. It has a minimalism, an Eno minimalism, that todays acts would do well to take notice of. There are spaces throughout 'Low', spaces that leave room for the imagination. The music that is here is wonderfully put together. So, yes sirs, 'Low' is indeed a winner in our house.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Matthew Byrd matthewbyrd@hotmail.com
    Yes, finally you review this album!! This is probably one of my favorite albums of all time.... one space right below Heroes. But these are kind of the exceptions in the David Bowie catalogue. Much credit goes to Eno, who was no doubt a HUGE part of the 'berlin trilogy'. These sound like nothing Bowie had done before.... or really anybody else. The instrumentals on this one are good but not as defined as in Heroes. Hereos also boasts one of the greatest songs of all time 'Heroes', there is not a song on Low that can compare with 'Heroes'. I give this one a 10/10. Now, when are you going to review 'Heroes'.

    Ricardo nunez101@hotmail.com
    I remember when I bought this CD and played it to my girlfriend, her first reaction was- "Is that David Bowie?". But she didn't mean it in a "that does't sound like Bowie" way, but in a "that is the most ground breaking and cutting edge rock album I've ever heard" way. That's pretty much what low is all about.

    Andrew andrewkylie@hotmail.com
    This album is a brilliant hybrid of music. I love it. I just feel its the perfect album. It blends smoothly together. Song to song, instrumental to instrumental. It always has me dancing on side 1, & head down, contemplating why I'm living, on side 2. It is a deep thoughful record. I, so love "New job" whilst on the way to work, its motivating. Best track though, is "Be my wife". Corny as it is, it embodies what all men really want from a woman, and the wearyiness of excess. When I 1st heard side 2, I snapped in digust. I couldn't believe they would start an album with 7 of the most beautifully unique pop sounds. And then finish it with , what I thought at the time was, cheesy atmospheric dribble. I used to only listen to Side 1 for weeks & weeks. But, I slowly continued to let the album play on through in my workshop, & after 3 or 4 listens,"Bang" it had me. Yes, Yes it works, & I feel like I cannot go through a week without at least 1 or 2 listens of ! "Low". It was the best of conversions.

    Joe joey_kaczmar@hotmail.com
    Having read all the great reviews on this album, I thought that me being a huge David Bowie fan, it would only be natural for me to pick this album up. I must admit, when I first threw this in, it sounded like nothing I've ever heard before! I couldn't believe it and hardly could appreciate it. However two months later, I throw it back in, and I do believe its some of his strongest work in his whole career. He broke new ground with this German Pop sound, and produced something that all hardcore bowie fans should own. And for people who think the way I used to, just remember, thats what David Bowie is; A man of constant change in genres and instruments. 10 out of 10 for sure.

    bbreathnach@gmail.com
    Totally underated obviously caused by it's lack of commercial appeal but is that not what the man is all about, Yasassin etc quite difficult for western ears but then again experimental, what would you expect from Bowie and Eno after several years together.

    GAZZA garyhess44@hotmail.com
    Bowies questing spirit shows him rather than bolan or elton to be the true heirs to the beatles , the way he moved through hippy folk,glam rock and soul to electronic pop in such a short space of time is nothing short of miraculous . "low" along with "hunky dory" and "ziggy" are probably the cornerstones of his music . Bowie had battled with addiction and relocated to berlin and along with eno came up with the mad beautiful music contained here . side 1 is a great collection of electronically textured pop songs with enigmatic lyrics that mirror bowies dislocation (be my wife practically invented blur) although the drums are maybe mixed a little too loud ?? but im nitpicking here. side 2 features atmospheric haunting electronic music that sounds like bowie painting with sound and improvising in the studio. In fact "another green world" by eno with its similar mixes of musics is probably its nearest comparison . A heady achievement nonetheless 9/10

    Will Petersfield
    Innovative art rock at it's best ever on side one, beautiful and evocative soundscapes on side two. Great sleeve too. Low would be almost a career high were it not for Diamond Dogs and perhaps Ziggy! 10/10

    carl sheridan England
    Both album and Eno hugely overrated ,I`d give it a reluctant 7 just for Davids vocal performance . Still I suppose David couldn`t stay in 1972 throughout the 70`s .


    top of page
    Heroes 8 ( 1978, UK pos 3 )
    Beauty And The Beast / Joe The Lion / Heroes / Sons Of The Silent Age / Blackout / V-2 Schenieder / Sense Of Doubt / Moss Garden / Neukoln / The Secret Life Of Arabia

    The studio experimentation present throughout these records built upon the work that had so successfully produced 'Low'. Mr Visconti for example used electronic 'gates' on the title track, trigged when David hit a certain volume. The reverb was partially natural, partially down to the studio effects. Saxophone is heard during the instrumentals on side two of 'Heroes', an embellishment over the instrumentals present during the 'Low' recordings. Yet, the title song apart, the increased sophistication of the studio team and the musicians present ( this time around including robert fripp on guitar duties ) masks the slightly inferior quality of the compositions themselves, at least when compared to the songs from 'Low'. Don't get me wrong, any album with a song as magnificent as 'Heroes' itself on it cannot possibly be bad, the surrounding material ably assists. We do indeed have another decent Bowie LP. So yes, we have the indeed heroic title song, the best bit of which is when Bowie does that "I, I will be king" section, etc. We also have the deeply strange pop songs of 'The Secret Life Of Arabia' and 'Joe The Lion'. Not quite such a delirious marriage of melody and experimentation as 'Low', yet still creating a noise that resembles something addictive, not quite of this earth. Which, is most appropriate for Bowie, all things considered.

    The instrumentals here are possibly even more spooked than the ones on 'Low', 'Sense Of Doubt' creating such an evocative, eerie atmosphere. 'V-2 Schieder' something akin to 'Speed Of Life' in thats its a futuristic poppy instrumental. 'Moss Garden' is swathed in synths and gentle mellowness whilst a tiny little melody pops up keeping you interested. The odd bird cheep, perhaps? The european theme is kept going thanks to 'Neukoln', amongst others. A twisted instrumental making good use of sax work in the middle of the overall sound bringing the entire piece back to the 1930's and 40's, if you will. So, that's 'Heroes', more or less. A good album in its own right, yet not as structured as 'Low', without the stronger melodies of 'Low', even without the vocal delights of 'Low', the title track from 'Heroes' excepted, of course. I nearly give this an 8.5, yet an '8' more accurately reflects the amount of times I actually have any desire to put this disc on my stereo. It's a colder album than 'Low' indeed, too cold in places.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Ricardo nunez101@hotmail.com
    Heroes, although an excellent record, is to me the weakest and least accessible of the berlin trilogy. It is a very dense and layerd recording with pretty good guitar playing (thanks to Robert Fripp of course). The instrumentals are a bit more elaborate than those on Low, but when it comes to the actual "rock" songs Low and Lodger are a bit more defined and appealing.


    top of page
    Lodger( 1979, UK pos 4 )
    Fantastic Voyage / African Night Flight / Move On / Yassassin / Red Sails / DJ / Look Back In Anger / Boys Keep Swinging / Repetition / Red Money

    Let's imagine that the initial creative rush between Eno and Bowie had run its course. That's the common perception of what happened all those years ago. Actually, what happened was a search for other ways of working, a brave attempt at experimentation that didn't always work. It was assumed the inspiration wasn't there as much as it was on the first two LPs of the 'berlin trilogy', yet actually, 'Lodger' is a fine piece of work. Nothing quite adds together and the album certainly lacks the fine moods of either of the two previous albums. Yet, there is superb guitar work. There is a bowie floating in and out of the songs and there is a tight rhythm section. Also, whilst each of the previous albums had a stand-out single, 'Lodger' lacks anything like 'Sound And Vision' or 'Heroes', perhaps explaining the reason why it didn't receive as much critical or commercial kudos. The guitar sounds are quite harsh, the majority of the songs lack any pleasing and mellow feels or sounds. It's a difficult record, yet a record that deserves more attention than it gets as the fag-end of the berlin trilogy.

    'Fantastic Voyage' kicks the album off in fine style. A superb vocal from Bowie and lyrics that capture the imagination in an evocative, intelligent way. In contrast, 'African Night Flight' is a step into song experimentation that may have dismaymed the more commercially minded Bowie fans, even more than the ambient instrumentals on the previous two albums. Why? Well, this has words and some sort of weird structure that those attuned to songs with words, eg, pop songs - simply wouldn't be able to grasp. As far as i'm concerned, the rush of lowly audible Bowie vocals and sci-fi funk guitar marks this out as a track that is wonderful listened to loud. Absolutely great, even if it isn't a toe-tapping chart favourite! And so, the album continues. In some eyes, an album lacking the startling out-there space nature of the previous two albums. In other eyes, an album lacking the same quota of commercial moments the previous two albums undoudebtly supplied surrounding the more out-there material. Yet, 'Lodger' combines eveything together. Every track is out-there, so much so, that it does indeed make a difficult listen. Yet, a listen that is somehow timeless and wonderfully brave.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Mick kraentz@ofir.dk
    "Lodger" is one of Bowie's most underrated albums. It is not an album with overall feel, but every song is a masterpiece in in it's own right. I love that album!

    Ricardo nunez101@hotmail.com
    Ok, I don't really know how to say this (it's not normal for me to say this to Bowie fans) but Lodger is actually my favorite Bowie album. Yes, you heard it. To me, this is what experimental rock should sound like; twisted, groovy, inteligent and catchy. And by the way, I agree with you, African Night Flights is out of this world, but my favorite is Red Sails. Repetition is also very good.

    Bill Michigan
    There is a fine line between his voice on Station to Station and this album: his voice on this sounds overdone. Too deep and SERIOUS - fake sounding. The songs like DJ and Boys Keep Swinging are shallow. Look Back in Anger and the rest of the album try to save it, but the damage was done. I could never get over the cheezy chorus to Boys Keep Swinging ("boys always work it out!). Poor lyrics, corney. Sorry, 7 rating.


    top of page
    Scary Monsters 8 ( 1980, UK pos 1 )
    It's No Game / Up The Hill Backwards / Scary Monsters / Ashes To Ashes / Fashion / Teenage Wildlife / Scream Like A Baby / Kingdom Come / Because You're Young / It's No Game pt2

    Bowie enters the 80s strongly with an album moving both forwards and backwards at the same time. The clever lyrical themes and self-referrential nods made during the classic 'Ashes To Ashes' provides the album with it's heart. The Robert Fripp fearsome guitar onslaughts lend the record a manic, urgent feel. Another new image(s) from Bowie graced the album sleeve, a classic new romantic character. Indeed, 'Scary Monsters' was the last Bowie album in which he donned/became a character, before his work became more honest/souless, delete as appropriate. 'Scary Monsters' is of course the album containing two of the last truly classic Bowie singles, 'Ashes To Ashes' revisiting Major Tom, 'Fashion' almost summing up the entire 1980s even though they'd barely begun. But oh, 'Ashes To Ashes', such a perfect song and lyric, the very first line setting us up, "Do you remember a guy that's been in such an early song". Another line referring to Major Tom/Bowie, "Time and again I tell myself I'll stay clean tonight". The wonderful reference that arrives shortly afterwards as Bowie tells us "I never done good things, I never done bad things, I never did anything out of the blue, woh-o-oh".... a line rather self-depreciating, actually, rather untrue. 'Fashion' is catchy and enriched no end by the man Mr Fripp on guitar, his guitar cutting through the middle of the track beautifully.

    Elsewhere, 'It's No Game' which bookends the album is rather ponderous, 'Up The Hill Backwards' a song I can dig everytime I hear it, a catchy piece ending with guitar lines which fade into the title track, a title track which hangs around the immense spiralling and scary guitar antics of Mr Fripp. 'Teenage Wildlife' is much softer in feel, great Bowie vocal for this one. The remaining songs are all decent enough, although cause the album to tail off after such a strong beginning was had throughout side 1. This tailing off was a feature of certain Bowie albums to come. In truth, without the two main attractions that were 'Ashes To Ashes' and 'Fashion', the remainder of the album ranges from merely average to good. Not quite the classic then that this album is sometimes painted to be, yet good enough to sit alongside much of David's output thus far and certainly better than much of the mans later 80s work.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    porcupine cupidandpsyche85@hotmail.com
    Total agreement! The last few tracks are perfectly fine, but hardly classic. 'Ashes to Ashes' sounds chilling and totally fresh, and the guitars on 'Scary Monsters' are out of this world, really exciting. 'Fashion' is superfunky too. There's filler on here, but it's fun filler: Scary Monsters is a very, very fine album.


    top of page
    Let's Dance( 1983, UK pos 1 )
    Modern Love / China Girl / Let's Dance / Without You / Ricochet / Criminal World / Cat People / Shake It

    Bowie teams up with Nile Rogers ex of Chic and creates one of the ultimate commercial albums of the entire 1980s. With ultra-contemporary and impressive production for the day, with Nile Rogers seemingly given a mission by the Bowie team to pack as many hooks into each song as he could. It's a shame that the album fails to maintain its momentum throughout, but with three massive blockbusters to open, that's hardly surprising. 'Modern Love', 'China Girl' and the title track all became worldwide bestsellers and 'Lets Dance' moved David Bowie firmly into rocks mainstream, a position that even with Ziggy, he'd never quite occupied before. Long-term fans bemoaned the lack of strangeness contained on 'Let's Dance' and wanted to keep Bowie out-there and obtuse. He won a legion of new fans. Many listeners were just pleased to have a decent entertaining album to listen to. 'Let's Dance' certainly doesn't really merit any deep analysis at any rate. It is what it is. Nile used classic arranging and production tricks when faced with a song such as 'China Girl'. Eg, you better make sure the music appropriately evokes the songs lryic and title. Similarly, with a song such as 'Let's Dance', you better make sure you can dance to it! Besides the music and contributions of musicians such as Stevie Ray Vaughan on stellar guitar, 'Let's Dance' contains some fine Bowie vocals throughout, his voice deeper than during his seventies days and really reaching fine heights during the fine and entertaining 'Cat People', for example. Still, back to those three stellar singles. 'China Girl' may well have been previously given by Bowie to Iggy Pop to record, yet this version adds all those shiny Nile Rodgers moments such as an utterly distinctive and suitably chinese sounding opening riff. 'Modern Love' has fabulous jerky and bendy sounding guitar to open before proceeding with pounding drums that continue pretty much throughout the song. Trumpets decorate the chorus, and there you are. Another hit!

    All of the singles from this album sported expensive and appropriately 80s videos which were almost as memorable as the songs themselves. The videos certainly helped sell songs such as the title track itself, the full seven minute version of which is of course contained herein. A masterpiece of production and a pop classic, says me. After such a strong start, the soft 'Without You', sweet as it is, comes across as something akin to a decent b-side and nothing more. I don't care at all for 'Ricochet' one of the moments here where you suspect that the production is trying too hard to overcome weak material. 'Shake It' and 'Crinimal People' again sound like b-sides and/or filler and besides the entertaining work of Stevie Ray Vaughan on both 'Crinimal World' and 'Cat People', the album certainly tails off badly towards the end. So overall, we have eight songs lasting 39 minutes, seven of which are the title track and at least one song wasn't even a new composition, having been recorded earlier by Iggy. We remember this album for the singles and for one fabulous summer in the 80s when it seemed wherever you went thats 'Let's Dance' was on the radio.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    porcupine cupidandpsyche85@hotmail.com
    'China Girl' is a peach, a great song, stands up well next to the original on Iggy Pop's Idiot album, and 'Criminal World' has a very tasty guitar solo halfway through. 'Let's Dance' has a brilliant tune, it's a quality single. Dunno about 'Modern Love', i think it's dated badly. 'Ricochet' is just bad, maybe an attempt to tell us he hadn't gone completely pop and that he could still experiment? Either way, a failed experiment. The last two songs are rubbish: 'Cat People' sounds a lot better in its original single version and 'Shake It' sounds like a future outtake from the Labyrinth soundtrack. I quite like 'Without You' though. It's a slight song, but it's beautifully sung and there's some cool guitar on it. Overall though, this is a tremendously disappointing album. 'Bowie-goes-pop' should have resulted in a twisted blend of great, radio-friendly tunes and wild, exciting abandon, something like the Associates incredible 1982 album Sulk, but all we got was a so-so work wit! h a couple of great singles. Pity.


    top of page
    Tonight 4 ( 1984. UK pos 1 )
    Loving The Alien / Don't Look Down / God Only Knows / Tonight / Neighbourhood Threat / Blue Jean / Tumble And Twirl / I Keep Forgettin / Dancing With The Big Boys

    Bowie ditched Nile Rodgers who had produced 'Lets Dance' and produced the biggest selling album of the bowie career by far. Yeah, he ditched him, just like that! And so out popped 'Tonight' after a troubled pregnancy that saw Bowie struggle on the songwriting front. We had a decent single with 'Blue Jean', you know, sterling guitar, sterling vocals. Baby born alive and well, a hit single to comfortably follow up those blockbusting hits from 'Lets Dance'. Bowie himself would claim that the demo to 'Loving The Alien' was "fantastic". Bowie would lay all the blame on the fact that the dog ate his homework, the producer wasn't attuned to his muse, etc, etc. True, 'Loving The Alien' makes for a decent album track. Seven minutes long, mellow, nice melodies. Nothing earth-shattering, but you know. You can't give birth to jesus christ every time out, can you? It's a nice album track. It made for a dubious shortened four minute long single, but what can you do? It joins 'Blue Jean' in being the only decent track on this album. 'Tonight' still sold respectably, but Bowie lost almost all of his credibility overnight. One of the worst offenders here is the Bowie version of the Brian Wilson classic, 'God Only Knows'. He sings it like a Las Vegas crooner. He sings it so smarmily and horribly and the music is so plastic and fake and like a cabbage patch doll as opposed to the glory of a real live baby, the blessed miracle!! You can see where i'm coming from? Oh yeah, and this version of 'God Only Knows' features horrible brass and is far slower that is required.

    The rest of the album? Well, 'I Keep Forgetting' is uptempo and not exactly horrible to listen to, although it's a million miles away in terms of quality from Bowie of the past. The title track is a slow and polished ballad that makes me wonder that Bowie was ever Ziggy, that he was ever 'Low', or out-there. It's so insipid, it beggars belief. Oh, 'Tumble And Twirl'? It has on the surface a modern 1984 production. It so lacks any innovative value arrangement wise, however. It lacks a strong melody, or lyric. Bowie was seemingly content to allow his advisors and producers to lead him. It didn't work out artistically and Bowie, having made lots of money, seemed to lose the desire to have to prove himself. I'm not sure he cared at all at this juncture. Perhaps he had more important things in his life, who knows?

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Luke Dolan Birmingham
    this album is not a classic and can't stand up to the greats. I do think how ever that 3/10 is a rather low mark for what i belive is a average album. There are no tracks that stand out aswell as lets dance or modern love but i believe the album has a good flow and the tracks although not amazing are certainly higher than 3/10!

    Ken Cummings New York City
    Thanks to Mr. Iggy Pop, I actually think this album has four of the greatest Bowie songs ever. Tonight, Neighborhood Threat, Don't Look Down & Tumble and Twirl. It took me twenty years to get past the "Bowie on Broadway" sound. Once I did, I heard the most brilliant commercial sell-out ever. I think these four songs deserve a second look and stand up to Bowie's best. This is some of the best and most ironic songwriting/production ever. And of course, the lyrics are nothing short of brilliant.

    Allan Schoenherr
    Whilst I initially dismissed this album as being devoid of any inspiration whatsoever and being nothing more than a cash cow I have viewed it with more sympathy in recent years. Loving the Alien and Blue jean are the stand-out catchy singles but tracks such as Neighbourhood Threat, Don't Look Down and Tumble and Twirl have grown on me. I would give this album a 5.


    top of page
    Never Let Me Down 3 ( 1987, UK pos 6 )
    Day In Day Out / Time Will Crawl / Beat Of Your Drum / Never Let Me Down / Zeroes / Glass Spider / Shining Star / New Yorks In Love / 97 And Cry / Too Dizzy / Bang Bang

    This record sounds exactly as you'd expect an 80s Bowie album to sound, only minus the hits. Replace the three worst songs here with three hits of the calibre of the ones that graced 'Lets Dance', for example - we'd have a completely different album and a very different general opinion of it. As it is, Bowie sounds divorced from the making of his own record, something that was becoming increasingly common for Bowie during the 80s. The production here is standard, glossy 80s complete with booming drums and sterile, although reasonably impressive, rock guitar solos. The sound of the record in general clearly takes its basis from the 'Lets Dance' album as an attempt to continue the appeal Bowie had in the US at the time. Still, whereas 'Lets Dance' sounded genuinely new, 'Never Let Me Down' sounds like the man Bowie treading water. Vocally, he does fine. If anybody cares to analyze the musical backing, it seems fine and proficient. The sound of the album is fairly cluttered, but it does strike a reasonably decent sonic punch. The songs themselves are deeply mediocre and the arrangements unimaginative. You know, 80s discos. Remember them? You'd wind up dancing to '99 Red Baloons' by Nena or 'This Ole House' by Shakin Stevens? You'd never ever find yourself dancing to a song from 'Never Let Me Down' and if one had happened to come on and you carried on dancing, it would likely have taken you a good while to even realise you were dancing and listening to David Bowie. That's how anonymous the vast majority of this record is. It's something you can listen to and enjoy a bit if you're in a good, forgiving mood. Otherwise, you'll likely switch it off halfway and put on 'Diamond Dogs' or 'Scary Monsters' or something, instead.

    'Glass Spider' for all its ambitious ideas, is let down in execution, 80s beats with wailing rock guitar solo punctuating them. No actual musical melody, at least, not a very interesting one. The bass does a repeating melodic refrain, Bowie sounds semi-involved but struggling to make more of what he's been given by the musicians and production team. The title track has nice harmonica through it and a good Bowie vocal melody, although again, an unmemorable musical backing track. Second song here, 'Time Will Crawl' is a highlight, a song that isn't irritating at all in any way. Bowie sounds engaged during the Iggy song, 'Bang Bang' and that's about it, really. Few of the other songs even merit a mention, really. Bowies star fell dramatically around about this time and as far as the singles charts are concerned at least, he's never really recovered.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Luke Dolan Birmingham
    this album is not a classic and can't stand up to the greats. I do think how ever that 3/10 is a rather low mark for what i belive is a average album. There are no tracks that stand out aswell as lets dance or modern love but i believe the album has a good flow and the tracks although not amazing are certainly higher than 3/10!

    Steven Baird Edinburgh
    Contrary to what Luke Dolan has said in the comment above, 3/10 is actually being kind. 2/10 or 1/10 would be more accurate. This album is just out right awful on all levels. Bowie stated that this album is the absolute nadar of his career. I have to agree and I'm a massive Bowie fan. At least Tonight had Blue Jean and Loving the Alien. This has nothing that comes close to being even ok.


    top of page
    Tin Machine 8 ( 1989, UK pos 3 )
    Heaven's In Here / Tin Machine / Prisoner Of Love / Crack City / I Can't Read / Under The God / Amazing / Working Class Hero / Bus Stop / Pretty Thing / Video Crime / Run / Sacrifice Yourself / Baby Can Dance

    Given the derision with which Bowie's Tin Machine project has been held for years and years now, listening to this 'project' some fifteen years later, as of course I am, i've been more than pleasently surprised. This is no less than the sound of Bowie totally reborn after diminishing returns throughout the eighties. Bowie had turned into a mainstream artist, and worse than that, an average mainstream artist. Even the NME magazine sitting on a Bowie exclusive circa 'Never Let Me Down' were forced to admit that it was nothing more than a 'holding operation'. That was putting it politely so as not to upset dame Bowie on the eve of their exclusive interview! Anyway, who exactly were Tin Machine? Well, Bowie hired the Iggy Pop rhythm section and married them to a guitarist by the name Reeves Gabriels. Bear in mind, a lot of the best Bowie work of the past saw him work with groups of musicians nearly always led by a guitarist of innovation and/or distinction. Think Mick Ronson, Robert Fripp, etc, etc. So, a proper band? Well, Bowie solo writing credits decorate a good third of the album, the rest being collaborations with Gabriels with a few being full band compositions. The idea of Tin Machine perhaps was just a way of Bowie side-stepping his celebrity status somewhat, Bowie trying to hide behind another name. He'd done it plenty of times before of course. The sound of Tin Machine is guitar led, no electronic thrills at all, justn guitar, bass and drums. You'd have to go all the way back to the likes of Diamond Dogs and Alladin Sane for such a Bowie album. Not that Tin Machine resembles Glam at all, of course. Bowie had been listening to bands such as The Pixies and other related bands that would evolve into the grunge movement a few years later. In short, he was excited about new bands again for the first time in years and wanted to express himself within such a field.

    For anybody doubting the strength of this record, just check out the song, 'I Can't Read'. It neatly sums up Bowies entire output since 'Scary Monsters' with lyrics seeming to admit to Bowies mid-eighties creative drought. He does this with affecting vocals, intelligent lyrics and music that neatly complements these. The sound of Tin Machine encapsulated follows this, the rocker 'Under The God' which is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. 'Crack City' is interesting, almost a throwback to Glam era Bowie. Almost, but not quite. John Lennon's 'Working Class Hero' gets a radical Tin Machine ROCK makeover. Well, it ends up sounding like everything else on the album, at least. Which is the main complaint when discussing this album, lack of variety over the albums 14 songs, fifty six minutes. Personally, I could do with a couple of songs being trimmed off. The eighties flavoured 'Video Crime' does nothing for me, 'Scarifice Yourself' sounds Tin Machine by numbers with much useless yet impressive guitar 'work' from Gabriels. The title track is pretty stellar though, the very Bowie-esque 'Pretty Thing' hangs on a single riff and is demented and fun. This is a pretty solid record without too much to complain about, actually. It's the kind of album you can throw on whilst doing something else. Turn it up loud and it really will provide you with an enjoyable hour or so of listening.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Ricardo nunez101@hotmail.com
    Finally someone gave this album a proper review. I never understood why people keep on puting this record down. Although formally considered a band on it's own right, Tin Machine (the band and the album) is a great David Bowie comeback project that is light years ahead of all the crap he came up with in the 80's. The rythm section (the Sales brothers) blew me away, not to mention the guitar works from Gabrels. And, of course, Bowies vocals are absolutely revived. This album ROCKS, literally (love the John Lennon cover for Working Class Hero) and though I have to agree with you that it does contain some fillers, I'd say 90% of the record is utterly enjoyable.

    Jack jmichalko@o2.pl
    For me this is Bowie going back to his roots. Listen to this in the same listening session as "the Man Who Sold the World". They're both basic Bowie with an edge. That's a very good thing.

    Ricardo nunez101@hotmail.com
    Why the hell "Prisoner of Love" wasn`t a big hit in UK is beyond me! Great track & overlooked lp IMO. Oh, Tin Machine! It`s hard rock married to Bowie`s nice looking suits :) It works! and it`s 9 for me, not kidding. Try them again.


    top of page
    Tin Machine 2( 1991, UK pos 23 )
    Heaven's In Here / Tin Machine / Prisoner Of Love / Crack City / I Can't Read / Under The God / Amazing / Working Class Hero / Bus Stop / Pretty Thing / Video Crime / Run / Sacrifice Yourself / Baby Can Dance

    The much maligned 'Tin Machine II' album is actually a pretty spiffing Bowie release. Well, the Bowie parts of it are, at least. A clutch of fine Bowie compositions surround co-compositions and surround compositions wherein Bowie played no part. Uh-huh. Still, the opening song at least is one of my very favourite Bowie numbers. It comes across as the Bowie tribute to The Pixies. Confused? Well, just check out the guitar break, pure Pixies. Elsewhere, the album proceeds from good to average to fairly poor. It remains a decent enough listen throughout and the lack of artistic progress from the first album to this one was inevitable enough. Following the release of a live Tin Machine album post "Tin Machine II" the project was over, naturally enough, as it had served its purpose. The guitarist Reeves Gabrels continued to work with Bowie throughout the nineties, his trusted side-kick. Much like Scooby Doo briefly had Scrappy Doo as a side-kick, you know? That kind of thing! Oh, the stadium rock of Tin Machine which had been presented in a daddy-rock-punk kind of way. Old singer, old rhythm section, guitarist with much to prove. This really is Reeves Gabriels album. He goes all over the place, covers much ground with his solos. If you like guitar music of the ROCK kind, this album is a pretty reasonable place to be, really. If you like Bowie, as in pure Bowie type stuff, this album is only fairly average in the grand scheme of Bowie things. We have highlights, of which 'Baby Universal' is the clearest highest of highlights by some margin, but still.

    Actually, having said that this is a reasonable album, I don't find anything interesting to say about any of the material. Lots of decent enough songs, 'Shopping For Girls' curiously enough sounding like an 80s Bowie song given a heavy guitar makeover, which I suppose it was. A few slower songs, the strangest of which is the strangled sounding mood piece, 'Sorry'. The singer sounds like he has strangled a cat that's been suffering quite a lot lately and really needs to be put down. As I said, a mood piece! 'Stateside' is fair excrement, 'Is There Something' opening in a great old ROCK N ROLL ( yay! ) fashion, and carrying on with being satisfying enough without ever being essential, or even memorable. Which is the problem the vast majority of the album suffers from, actually. It's not good, it's not bad. It just doesn't seem to matter at all. It has no emotional content and nothing to keep you coming back, although I can't possibly give it a bad grade. Because really, there is little actually BAD about it, as such. Confused? So was I.

    Share Your Views?


    top of page
    Black Tie White Noise 6 ( 1993, UK pos 1 )
    The Wedding / You've Been Around / I Feel Free / Black Tie White Noise / Jump They Say / Nite Flights / Pallas Athena / Miracle Goodnight / Don't Let Me Down And Down / Looking For Lester / I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday / The Wedding Song / Jump They Say Alternate / Lucy Can't Dance

    On the one hand, we have Nile Rodgers producing and trying to make another 'Let's Dance'. On the other hand, we have Mr Bowie covering Morrissey and Scott Walker and doing a couple of instrumentals. And, generally trying to sabotage the commercial nature of every single suggestion Nile Rodgers made. The ultimate result is a slightly confused product that pretended Tin Machine and the two previous solo Bowie efforts didn't exist. People wanted 'Let's Dance# #2, the result left people happy Bowie was 'back' but unhappy with what he came back with. Ah, but we have the combeback single, 'Jump They Say', pretty much perfect. It has energy, trumpets, top dog melody. You can't argue with it really. Shamefully, no other even slightly catchy or memorable single came from this LP. As I said, Bowie sabotage! Well, 'Tin Machine' had a classic with 'I Can't Read'. That was an album track. This record has almost nothing beyond obviously all out commercial sounds scribbled upon by Bowie, who should have left best alone. The stresses and strains between artist and producer resulted in a compromised product. That's it. You know, a five minute long plodding instrumental was perhaps not the best way to open up your 'comeback' lp!

    The general sound of this LP is dance plus dance plus occasional trumpet. It has dated very badly. At the time, with Bowie being Tin Machine, he needed to sell records. But, he objected to Nile Rodgers, who perhaps didn't understand the Bowie legacy, albums such as 'Low'. Bowie needed to cover all corners, credibility and commerciality. He failed, but at least set himself up for another few records where he could do more with his artistic freedom. Ah, let's take the title track here. Slow funk, with mucho drums and electronics and treated Bowie vocals. Who had that idea? It certainly wasn't Bowie. The album comes across as an 80s leftover, and although is more impressive, slightly, than the previous few Bowie SOLO LPs, has all the same faults.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    Maybe it just reminds me of happy days but i quite like the songs on this one . the prob is nile rodgers dreadful airbrushed production which smothers everything . imagine if brian eno had produced it ! You make little mention of how bowie turns in his best vocal performance in years here . dont let me down,jump they say,pallas athena , a scorching cover of morrissey . miracle goodnight is annoyingly catchy - and finally a mention for mick ronsons last appearance with bowie - shame its on a dreadful version of the cream song i feel free !! Its far from his best work but i think you could have listened a little more charitably .


    top of page
    Outside 1 9 ( 1995, UK pos 8 )
    Leon Takes Us Outside / Outside / The Hearts Filthy Lesson / A Small Plot Of Land / Segue / Hallo Spaceboy / The Hotel / I Have Not Been To Oxford Town / No Control / Segue / The Yoyeur Of Utter Destruction / Segue / Wishful Beginnings / We Prick You / Segue / I'm Deranged / Thru These Architects Eyes / Segue / Strangers When We Meet

    As well as Reeves Gabrels from the Tin Machine days, Bowie digs into his past here. So, joining him on 'music creating' duties are Eno, Mike Garson and Carlos Alomar. Garson was the one responsible for those wonderful piano lines on Alladin Sane, Alomar responsible for the likes of the lauded 'Young Americans' and Eno who of course, requires little introduction. Bowie apparently had hundreds of hours worth of material ready to be worked into a three album long concept, aka the Berlin Trilogy. Although, with an actual narrative weaving its way through. The concept involves a series of art murders. So, we meet Nathan Adler, runaway Baby Grace, various victims and suspects and a jewellery store owner by the name of Ramona A Stone. Bowie takes on all these roles through small spoken narrative sections here and there, which are best ignored. The music on this album is easily enough to stand up on its own. Indeed, we get some of the most brilliant and inventive music of the entire Bowie career. The music? Well, industrial rhythms are heavy, inspired by Nine Inch Nails. We get heavy rock, dance and techno. Bowie combines these sounds seamlessly into his own music, and together. His vocals are worth a mention, also covering many different schizophrenic forms. Some of the songs on the album are inherantly uncommercial and experimental, other songs sport very hummable tunes and melodies. We are used to Bowie changing his sound through the years. The majority of the content contained here is vastly different than anything Bowie had presented us with before. At the time, some critics were sceptical and fans were split down the middle. Ten years later, there is a growing respect for this work as heralding in a rejuvenated Bowie, as represented by more recent works such as 'Heathen' and 'Reality'.

    To be honest, I don't know where to begin in mentioning highlights, lowlights or inbetweens. The low-lights, if they can be called as such, are often the more experimental works ditching usual song-structures. These provide mood pieces and can be admired rather than actively enjoyed. Elsewhere, we've some storming songs proper. 'I Have Not Been To Oxford Town' is a song that could be fifteen minutes long and i'd still absolutely adore it. It's just got such a wonderful groove, and i'm not one to mention 'groove', usually. These lyrics are captivating, the vocals ride perfectly well. It's one hell of a tune. 'The Hearts Filthy Lesson' has grinding noises, twisted lyrics and sinister vocals/guitars. 'Hello Spaceboy' incorporates industrial rhythms, a hint of drums and bass, techno. It comes out as one of the most hard-hitting, thrillingly aggressive tracks Bowie has ever recorded. 'We Prick You' opens with drum and bass rhythms and a very attractive bowie vocal is present throughout. The closing 'Strangers When We Meet' resembles a normal song! It's pretty much the only such moment on the entire album. An album with a bewildering array of styles, a sound that's initially impenetrable. Ultimately, repeated listening does indeed reveal this as one of the very finest Bowie albums. Ah, I so adore 'Strangers When We Meet', the Bowie vocal is spine-chillingly beautiful. What else? Well, I wish the album was slightly shorter. We could have lost all the narrative sections, lost most of the more experimental linking tracks and come out with a concise masterpiece. As it is, well. It still is a masterpiece, albeit a challenging and generally underrated one. Dig in deep and wide, enjoy Bowie as his finest.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Ricardo nunez101@hotmail.com
    This album is something of beauty to behold. after all those dark years of awful records and unimaginative songs (aka the 80's) Bowie finally got his shit together and decided to rock with his old buddies... let me say that again: ROCK!! with his old buddies. This album gives us a rejuvenated David Bowie, not only because of this exelent set of songs, but because he sounds like it to. One would like to think of this as a return to those woderful Berlin days, but in reality, it's not; it's a totally different sound and objective. It fells much darker and twisted than anything we have heard from him before, and I would go as far to say that 10 years later this work of art is still ahead of our time, that is the reason why people did'nt quite get it back in 95 and are now getting the "hang" of it. My favorite songs are "A small plot of land", "I have not been to Oxford town" and "I'm deranged".

    paul spectorsound@aol.com
    i read your review of outside and remembered buying that cd the day it came out, getting it home, playing it and realising i had wasted 14 quid on another rubbish bowie album. i dug it out and played it again, and guess what? it's still shit.

    Brooke evenstar224@hotmail.com
    As a relatively recent Bowie convert my opinion is, admittedly, largely uninformed. But I knew _Outside_ was a winner. It took a while to get used to, certainly; you've got to hear it more than twice. But such is the fun! I'm still puzzling together my version of the story, and I'm sure that in years to come, I'll unearth new gems within it. Thanks for justice, a glad word for an album sandwiched in the middle of the so-so efforts of the 1990's.

    Noel nfc100@hotmail.com
    When i first heard this i though oh please no not another dire Bowie album. Of Course fatrer many litsening its one of my faves. Hello Spaceboy Thru these architect eyes strangers when we meet I'm dereanged A small Plot of land Hearts Filthy llesson def nono's Wishful beginniings The Motel and some of the segues but as its a pretty long album its def worth it. Way out there bit like Diamond Dogs with bits of Low/Heroes thrown in for good measure.


    top of page
    Earthling 7 ( 1997, UK pos 6 )
    Little Wonder / Looking For Satellites / Battle For Britain / Seven Years In Tibet / Dead Man Walking / Telling Lies / The Last Thing You Should Do / I'm Afraid Of Americans / Law ( Earthlings On Fire )

    The good, the bad and the ugly. Sometimes the ugly is good, sometimes the bad is made good by the superb wild distorted guitar sounds layered over the top. The good is good, although rarely excellent. So, after the daring experiments of the likes of 'Buddha Of Surburbia' and 'Outside 1', Bowie continues in much the same vein. Although, arguably attempts to produce a more concise and focused record. For concise and focused, read 'commercial'. 'Outside 1' had actually been the mans best-selling album in America for years and years, it made sense for Bowie to want to build upon that. Hence, although this album has been termed Bowie's techno or drum n bass record, it isn't really. Some songs lean more heavily towards techno than others, but this is still a rock album at heart. It's industrial rock, the same as much of 'Outside 1' was, actually. The production and general sound of 'Earthling' is certainly glossier than the dark hearted 'Outside', though Bowie still has interesting things to say lyrically. Released during the last great year of the mid-nineties Britpop genre, 'Little Wonder' sent Bowie back into the UK singles charts with the most obviously drum n bass influenced song from the entire album. A strong chorus and a few neat guitar parts gave comfort to many a more conservative middle-aged Bowie fan and 'Eartling' peaked at an impressive number six in the UK album charts. No other hits were forthcoming, although Bowies days as a consistent hit single maker were by now long behind him.

    'Looking For Satellites' is the most awkward sounding song from the album, certainly the least commercial and the most experimental. Sandwiched between 'Little Wonder' and the similarly poppy drum n bass workout 'Battle For Britain', 'Looking For Satellites' sounds somewhat out of place. The six minute long 'Seven Years In Tibet' is most impressive, a slow groove opens the track, the distorted industrial guitar arrives and eventually, Bowies vocals arrive. It's a song with a couple of sections to it, the noisier closing section being the more impressive. 'Dead Man Walking' is one of the most dance influenced tracks on the album, dance as opposed to drum n bass'. It's a good song although I get the feeling would have been even better without the dance beats which sometimes obscure the actually very decent melody the song posesses. The second half or so of 'Earthling' sadly descends in quality, three mediocre songs with only the lyrically intriguing 'I'm Afraid Of Amercians' standing out. Indeed, alongside 'Seven Years In Tibet' and 'Little Wonder', 'I'm Afraid Of Americans' is one of 'Earthlings' best tracks. It's got a good structure, noisy guitar, lots of other electronic noises that appear to aid the songs atmosphere, rather than being gratuitous. Funnily enough, with much having been made of Marilyn Manson being influenced by Bowie, 'I'm Afraid Of Americans' actually sounds a hell of a lot like a Marilyn Manson song. Contrary to popular belief, sounding like Marilyn Manson ( or was it the other way round?! ) is no bad thing to be.

    So, overall 'Earthling', despite containing only nine songs, is almost certainly less consistent than 'Outside' was and only slightly more consistent than 'Black Tie White Noise'. My rating reflects this, a few standout tracks, a couple of worthy tracks and three or four slices of mediocre filler. Bowie was still maintaining his 90s comeback though, 'Earthling' being streets ahead of either 'Tonight' or 'Never Let Me Down'.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Ricardo nunez101@hotmail.com
    Earthling is not a bad album, it, just like you stated, has it's good moments and it's fillers. But there is something that does not appeal to me in this record. While Outside resulted in a fresh, modern and even trendy sounding album, Earthling tries too hard to sound up to date. the "drum and bass influence" is way too obvious, to the point where it saturates you. Having said that, most of the songs don't really need all this "techno touch" because they are allready properly written (we all know that Bowie has allways possesed the abillity to write hip music no matter what the trends are) so I think they would've even sounded better had he cut down a little on all those electronic beats and textures. (Dead Man Walking, as you mentioned, is the perfect example). But there is no denying it does have it's good moments and that the album contains a high level of energy (PLUS A KICK ASS BAND TO BACK HIM UP).


    top of page
    Hours 4 ( 1999, UK pos 5 )
    Thursday's Child / Something In The Air / Survive / If I'm Dreaming My Life / Seven / What's Really Happening / The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell / New Angels Of Promise / Brilliant Adventure / The Dreamers

    David plays it straight this time around. When originally released, we had the usual hyperbole that has followed Bowie around throughout the years, eg, 'this is the best album since....' or 'this is a return to the sound of...', etc, etc. Unfortunately, all such claims can be taken with not only a pinch of salt, but enough salt to keep an entire industry going for decades to come. The sound of 'Hours' resembles mid to late 80s Bowie more than it resembles 'Hunky Dory' or 'Scary Monsters'. This is a return to mediocrity. Hence, Bowie ditches all the sonic experimentation that characterised the previous two albums. Fair enough, he can do that. But he also manages to pitch in with a drop in the song-writing department. His vocals also sound fairly strained, they sound old. That may seem a harsh comment, but fast-forwarding in time to 2003/2004, Bowie sounds a lot younger than he does here. My major problem isn't with the writing or the way Bowie is actually singing the songs, however. I dislike the way the record sounds, the way the music has been put together. It's all far too safe. When Bowie rocks out a little more during parts of the second side, the record actually fails more than the aor styled tracks from the first half. Which is a little strange but only emphasizes the fact of something here being wrong. It's difficult to put a finger on. I'll start by comparing 'Thursday's Child' to 'Buddha Of Surburbia', the single not the album. For a lead single, 'Thursday's Child' is fairly tame, coming across more as a 2nd or third single. Ok, so Bowie isn't about singles anymore. Apparently. Still, the Bowie of 'Suburbia' was putting across dynamic, powerful vocals and singing intriguing lyrics. Here, he's singing well enough but the lyrics aren't particularly captivating or artistic. These are simple pop lyrics. No bad thing, but I'm just using this comparison to highlight the fact that 'Thursdays Child' for a lead single, isn't what it should be. The fact it kicks off the entire album is also possibly a wrong/weak move to be making. Ah, forget even the lead track of 'Buddha Of Suburbia', let's compare 'Thursday's Child' to 'Loving The Alien' from one of the most derided Bowie albums of all, 'Tonight'. I'd take 'Loving The Alien' anyday of the week. Or month, or indeed, year. Don't get me wrong, 'Thursday's Child' isn't bad as such, it's just ok. Which is almost even worse, in a weird kind of way.

    Second song here, 'Something In The Air' features a Bowie that sounds like his voice is about to pack up altogether. It's a song featuring uninteresting bass lines, swathes of keyboards, sterile sounding drum patterns and very little else. Oh, the first two songs here last a total of approximately 11 minutes. The 4th song lasts seven minutes, a slow although strangely fascinating sound of Bowie in the gutter. A resigned and weary Bowie. It's a rather attractive piece. Although yes, it does last far too long. It definitely outstays its welcome. Moving onto the second half of the record, 'Pretty Things Are Going To Hell' is a very typical sounding Bowie song-title. The title alone raises hopes, only to for these same hopes to be sadly dashed once the song arrives and fails to be anything other than a mushy mix of instrumentation. Which brings me back to my earlier point, the way this album has been mixed and recorded. We've no clear separation of instruments. The parts the musicians are playing are generally pretty safe and uninteresting parts. Even with a decent enough song such as 'Pretty Things Are Going To Hell', although we have plenty of crushing guitar parts, these are rendered tame by the overwhelming and consistently dull thud of the bass lines. My favourite track on the album is 'Seven'. A song that opens with acoustic guitar, ditches the overbearing production and sounds a lot more natural for it. It's not all that much of a tune, but it joins 'Thursdays Child', 'If I'm Dreaming My Life' and 'Pretty Things Are Going To Hell' in at least being vaguely interesting to write or talk about. The rest of the album is almost entirely ordinary, shrouded in safe arrangements that bring to the fore the pleasant forgettable melodies. 'Hours' is the sound of Bowie sleep-walking.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Allan Schoenherr
    4? Are you kidding? OK, it might not match Outside or even Earthling but it was a brilliant taster of what was coming with Heathen and Reality, a return to traditional song structure and Bowie acing as social commentator of New York. Some brilliant tracks - Seven, Something in the Air, Survive, Pretty things are going to hell, Thursday Child. For me it is at least a 7!


    top of page
    Heathen( 2002, UK pos 5 )
    Sunday / Cactus / Slip Away / Slow Burn / Afraid / I've Been Waiting For You / I Would Be Your Slave / Gemini Spacecraft / 5.15 The Angels Have Gone / Everyone Says Hi / A Better Future

    Takes an age to get into, does 'Heathen'. I like it though, after so many characters David Bowie has played in the past, it's nice to have an honest and open David Bowie record that's also interesting. He's an old man now, and has an eloquent way of working into his songs references to writers block, fading away and everyday struggles for a man of his age. For those of you that don't like 'dance-bowie', 'Heathen' still contains a couple of dancey/techno moments. Yet, those are in the minority. Largely, Bowie and producer Toni Visconti use technology to enhance the overall sound, to enhance the essence of songs that are already 90% there. 90% there is more than many artists who dress bare, skeletal ideas in fancy dress production. 'Heathen' on the otherhand has a beating heart. It's not the heart of Ziggy or the Thin White Duke. It's not even the heart of David Bowie. Perhaps, we finally get to hear the heart of David ( Davey ) Jones. Thus, the striking, attractive atmosphere of 'Sunday' seagues into a Pixies cover, 'Cactus'. We get middle-aged man reflection leading into a man raging against the light. It's a stupendous cover of The Pixies classic too, technology to the fore yet never once getting in the way of what is actually a real rock band performance.

    There are some wonderful tunes on this album, actual tunes that any layers of production couldn't ruin. That's a reference to past Bowie album failures. For 'Heathen', the Visconti production only works to enhance the songs. The Bowie vocals chords don't sound as great as they once did, but this is used to the records advantage. He doesn't outreach himself. Still, where was I? Ah yes, great tunes. 'I Would Be Your Slave' and 'Slow Burn', two mid-tempo tunes that as far as mid-tempo tunes go, are absolutely captivating. The fun and dancey and oh so happy 'A Better Future' closes the record on an utterly appropriate note. Finally, '5.15 The Angels Have Gone', this albums masterpiece. You can hear David ( Davey ) Jones. The songs origins are right in front of you, yet the slow introduction leading upwards to some higher plane altogether, is thrilling. The song moves around benefiting from slight differences in tempo, the rhythm sections best performance of the album, incidently.. Often the rhythm section sound fairly lumpen during 'Heathen', although don't get in the way of the songs the album presents. Yet, an excellent set of songs it is. 'Heathen' isn't the most exciting album you'll ever hear, yet it does offer addictive, long-term listening. Any album we can confidently estimate will still be seen as an important work in 10, 20 years time is something to investigate and pay attention to. Don't dismiss the Bowie comeback! The day David Bowie dies, Ziggy fans will be crying into their beers. A lot of pop and rock lovers, will also be more than a little sad. 'Heathen' is a good album.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Michael Dallaway thedall@gmail.com
    I would like to contradict your statements on Bowie's voice in Heathen. 'Slip Away' and 'Slow Burn' are great examples of Bowie developing a clear, resonant, almost faultless tone and pitch- somewhat lacking in his 'glory' days when his voice was a little nasal, but always unique and mysterious.

    Will Petersfield
    A sepia tanged, world weary delight, sounds sombre post 9/11 but was recorded in Switzerland before. Sunday sets the tone for a deeply moving and at times experimental tour de force. Slip Away, Afraid, I Would Be Your Slave, 5.15 Angels, Everyone Says Hi must rank high in DB's canon. Class is permanent. 10/10

    Steve USA
    I became a fan of Bowie in 1972 with the Ziggy album and had the pleasure of seeing Ziggy in concert in California. He lost me by the mid 1980s, so when I picked up Heathen a few months ago (2010), I wasn't sure what to expect. This has rekindled my appreciation of Mr. Bowie as a great, soulful musical artist and it has sent me back to many earlier works (e.g., Diamond Dogs, Station to Station, Low, to mention three other great LPs). I think Heathen, though, has become my favorite. It is a mature, yearning, human record filled with love, loss, humility, pain, hope, agnosticism, and belief. At least, I hear all that. "Slip Away", I think is in the mold of the great "Life on Mars?"- it is certainly a song that makes me ponder the whole of my life. "Slow Burn" , "Sunday", and others are eerily attuned to the horror of 9/11, but they are not static, topical songs, at all. "I Would Be Your Slave" sounds almost Biblical as Bowie seems to wrestle with faith and God! . "Everyone Says Hi" is a great understated song of loss. Every song, including the covers, are wonderfully done and moving in their own way. Classic Bowie album- a 10!


    top of page
    Reality 8 ( 2003, UK pos 3 )
    New Killer Star / Pablo Picasso / Never Get Old / The Loneliest Guy / Looking for Water / She'll Drive the Big Car / Days / Fall Dog Bombs the Moon / Try Some, Buy Some / Reality / Bring Me the Disco King

    'Reality' was met with a huge sigh of relief, Bowie releasing two good albums in a row! Shocking, I know. 'Reality' follows the formula of 'Heathen' to the letter, although switches on the latent rocker in Bowie rather than the quiet elegance of 'Heathen'. So, Bowie is back to rock, throw in a couple of choice covers and a couple of those quiet elegant meditations and that's 'Reality', another strong album from the man. He works with Toni Visconti again and bar one or two pieces of filler, 'Reality' certainly delivers. Just reading back what i've written. Sounds like i'm writing a review, funnily enough. I don't like sounding too straight but 'Reality' doesn't really have a lot of weirdness or indeed anything really out there to discuss, it is what it is, eleven songs from one of our elder statesmen of rock. Now, i've listened to this album over a hundred times, so I can safely say I like it a lot. It's just such an easy album to listen to, but one track i'd not really picked up on before i've only just got into. It's one of the stranger tracks in a way, unsurprisingly perhaps, and that's the closer 'Bring Me The Disco King'. Running to nearly eight minutes, we get literate and clever lyrics, a soft brushed jazz atmosphere, hints of Scott Walker circa 'Plastic Palace People', lovely piano touches and this is really a rather fine track. It had previously completely escaped me, which is a weird thing. I guess i'd focused on the more obvious material such as the opening 'New Killer Star'. It's a fine, upbeat rock n roll opener, yet doesn't surprise at all and is really Bowie by numbers, albeit very fine numbers, if that makes sense?

    Of the two cover versions, George Harrison's 'Try Some Buy Some' falls somewhat flat, although Bowie certainly gives the song a finely tuned, respectful vocal. No, the real gem is 'Pablo Picasso' serving a similar purpose here to The Pixies 'Cactus' on 'Heathen'. If you wanted Bowie to rock convincingly, 'Pablo Picasso' certainly does the trick. You've got to love Bowie singing 'asshole' and going 'wow' and the wonderful guitar playing throughout the track. Well, I love it, at least. 'Days', 'The Loneliest Guy' and 'Never Get Old' all reflect on the past and present life of Bowie and vary from downright melancholy to upbeat, smart pop music. All three are strong compositions. 'Fall Dog Bombs The Moon' and 'She'll Drive The Big Car' are the lesser moments and we'd be talking an extra half a mark if it weren't for these tunes, not bad as such just slightly clumsy. So, that's 'Reality'. Tune in next time and see if Bowie can through this return to form away or release another 'Hours'. We wait with baited breath.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Will Petersfield
    I think Reality is lightweight, particularly following so soon after the grandeur of Heathen. With the exception of the oustanding lefty pop rocker New Killer Star, the downbeat Fall Dog and the pretty but plinky plonky Days everything from the Sleeve to the title track is too hastily conceived. Bowie's vocal sounds strained and desperate, desperate to cash in on the success of Heathen. 5/10

    Sandy Norway
    "Reality" is the last Bowie album to date. Released in 2003. That's 6 years at the time of writing this in 2009. And it worries me. Has Bowie retired? He retired Ziggy from the stage in 1973 and everybody thought it was Bowie himself. But now ... only silence, for 6 long years! Hmmmmm. Well, if so, I don't think "Reality" is a good record for the one and only David Bowie to end an amazing career. It's not a bad album, but it's kind of 'ordinary' and the title somewhat reminds me of reality-series on TV. So, come back Bowie and make more magic! You're not through yet! 7/10. : )


    top of page
    The Next Day 9 ( 2013, UK pos 1 )
    The Next Day / Dirty Boys / The Stars (Are Out Tonight) / Love Is Lost / Where Are We Now? / Valentine's Day / If You Can See Me / I'd Rather Be High / Boss of Me / Dancing Out in Space / How Does the Grass Grow? / (You Will) Set the World on Fire / You Feel So Lonely You Could Die / Heat

    Nineties internet pioneer David Bowie occasionally makes music, but back to his all important internet career for a moment. You could sign up for bowienet and have a Bowie credit card, badge, kitchen roll, Bowie chrome plated Kettle, Bowie bathroom scales. Ok, I made a couple of those up. Really, 'The Next Day' should come with some sort of health-warning. A white sticker says 'The Next Day' which has been plastered over the cover-art for 'Heroes' - yet 'The Next Day' has far more in common with 'Scary Monsters' than it does the Berlin trilogy. Lead single 'Where Are We Now?' for those rightly swooning over its majesty, may be disappointed to learn it's atypical of the set as a whole. It's a rare thing with a Bowie album where you can say 'This sounds like 'Scary Monsters', this sounds like 'Earthling', this sounds like Scott Walker circa 'Climate Of Hunter'. He's looking back to the past, but not in a bad way. It's a David Bowie album that sounds like a David Bowie album, which is a rare enough event, whilst also perhaps re-defining what we can reasonably expect from a post-eighties Bowie. 'Where Are We Now?' does seem to be some resigned look at old age, and yes, it's utterly brilliant, yet a lot of what else else on the record is lively and yes, actually swinging. David Bowie of 1979 would indeed be proud. A quick word for producer Tony Visconti - this album is superbly sequenced and i'm sure he had a say in this, as he has done with certain other memorable albums he's produced.

    The title track, 'Where Are We Now?' and 'The Stars Are Out Tonight' have all been released as singles in the UK. The middle song became his first top ten hit since 1993, the latter a hit but not a big one and the title track is only just coming out. It's unlikely to trouble the chart-makers, but does sound all the world like a 'Scary Monsters' era track, like a sequel. True, Bowie's vocal chords show signs of age during the high notes, but at least he goes for them - the song also moves along at a fair pace. 'Boss Of Me' and 'Dirty Boys' are some kind of weird pairings between Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits filtered through Bowie's english sensibility and as such, are the weakest two tracks here. Still, 'Valentines Day' sounds a bit 'Ziggy Stardust', albeit at a slower pace, 'If You Can See Me' like a cross between 'Earthling' and 'Outside 1' - providing a needed modern edge. 'You Will Set The World On Fire' and 'The Stars Are Out Tonight' are both very energetic and immediate, yet countered by 'How Does The Grass Grow' and 'You Feel So Lonely You Could Die' - both multi-layered, impressive compositions. I do realise i've run through pretty much the entire album in a breathless rush, which isn't quite what the album is - yet it is seamless and, the most consistent set of tunes Bowie has put out in longer than anybody can actually remember.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Porcupine Earth
    Welcome back, great to see some new reviews from you, they're always a great read! I have to say this new Bowie album isn't blowing my mind, it's good but not great to my ears. Loved the comeback single though, but overall the fact that you've given this a higher rating than Station to Station boggles my fragile little mind! Still, it's great to read other people's takes on Bowie! Keep up the excellent work!

    Desk22 England
    Bowie is back. Thats all i can say. Yes it may not have the majestic gorgeous quality of heathen but it has not been out of my player for the past 2 months. That is saying something. From the Stomping 'the next day' to the sad 'you feel so lonely you could die' this album shakes, rocks, and pops all the way. It is a worthy comeback that does not disapoint. I was worried that a new album may be dissapointing but it certainly has not been. After all these years Bowie is still the most intelligent and interesting song writer out there. It is funny how at 66 year old has blown the current dead music scene apart. Long Live the thin white duke. Great Album. Can't wait for more!

    Rijk ZandstraMaassluis, The Netherlands
    After a ten year hiatus Bowie surprised friend and foe by releasing a new single on his 66th birthday and by announcing a brand new album. And here it is! Is it any good? For a man in his sixties Bowie sounds as vital and powerful as ever. The music is strangely familiar. Very much Bowie. Sometimes melodic, sometimes rhythmic, the way only Bowie can make it sound. A bit like "Heroes" (except for the instrumentals), whose cover picture was the 'inspiration' for the cover of "The Next Day".

    Of course this album can never reach the legendary status of his seventies albums, but I still think it is a superb album. Especially when compared to contemporary artists. The songs on The Next Day all seem to refer to older songs. In lyrics, in melody, in certain rhythms, in the overall "feel". In particular the single "Were are we now?" refers to Bowie's Berlin period. Is that a bad thing? I think not. A man of Bowie's stature has the right to hail the old days. His back catalog is nothing to be ashamed of, so why shouldn't he brag about it? Some people write memoirs, Bowie has just written a musical memoir. If only all memoirs by anyone were this good.

    Hail to the king! I certainly hope this record will not turn out to be a one time event and that mr. Bowie won't be resting on his laurels for the rest of his days. A modern masterpiece.


    top of page
    Blackstar( 2016 )
    Blackstar / 'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore / Lazarus / Sue (Or in a Season of Crime) / Girl Loves Me / Dollar Days / I Can't Give Everything Away

    David Bowie releases a new album and the world listens, sometimes shrugs shoulders but in more recent years definitely pays attention. Releasing your twenty-fifth album when you turn 69 is a nice idea. Enlisting Saxophonist Donny McCaslin's jazz group is an even nicer idea - Bowie always was a good spotter of talent. A listen to McCaslin's 2015 release 'Fast Future' indicates where the overall musical sound of 'Blackstar' has come from then. Having said that, like 'The Next Day', 'Blackstar' feels very much a Bowie/Visconti work, there are echoes of past Bowie work littered throughout the album. Apart from Visconti contributing his production, engineering and skills with string arrangements, Bowie himself adds guitar, harmonica and his own mixing, arranging and production talents. Many can view Bowie as merely a singer, but it is often forgotten he was a multi-instrumentalist himself. The 'Blackstar' album demos by all accounts feature Bowie sketching out the Saxophone lines that McCaslin plays and enhances upon for the finished product.

    Make no mistake, 'Blackstar' features some of Bowie's finest ever lyrics, largely impenetrable as they are. His vocals and lyrics take heed from Scott Walker, a singer who faced a narrowing range as years went on - yet lyrically placed importance on puzzles. For those that say lyrically Bowie was obviously placing clues about his impending death - well, the critics said that about 'The Next Day' as well. Bowie was savvy enough to not make 'Blackstar' a death album, but should the inevitable have happened, contained enough lyrically to keep the intellectual idiots happy. The title track here really is two different songs melded together - around five minutes in the bass guitar does a melodic heart beat and Bowie sings of being a black star, then goes all the way back to Alladin Sane in sound, terms and feeling. 'Tis A Pity She Was A Whore' features a genuine Jazz band playing glam-infused rock and 'Lazarus' stretches eloquently out, a single, but never a single. It failed to chart during a rush of listeners picking up on 'Heroes' on Spotify. I love the bass-line here, it dominates and plays the main melody - not something you can always say about Bowie songs where the bass merely fills in. The 'Outside' album might be an exception to this.

    'Sue' with its skittering and jumping dance beats is acclaimed now, but would have been slanted come the mid-nineties. Fine way to start side B of a vinyl album though - absolutely full of vitality. Next up, the song that literally has been haunting my dreams and makes me imagine what being alive at the time of 'Low' coming out must have been. Deep, spooky bass lines and equally affecting vocals amid synth lines that simply float. Again the rhythm section impress, impeccable bass and drums of the like rarely heard these days. This entire song is about three notes and Bowie sounds impressively lost throughout.

    'Dollar Days' is absolutely lovely, sweet melodies and a pinched (nose) yet impressive Bowie vocal, and images painted lyrically that send you out to space, yet here he is speaking of English evergreens and countryside and falling down. It's nothing to see. It's fitting that Bowie's love of Jazz music gets a good going over on his final album release. And, my, Iíve struggled. How do you comment on something so soon after the creator's passing? As 'I Can't Give Everything Away' floats away, I am struck my how Bowie has managed his vocals on this record - range decreased and volume also, but he gives his heart. He clearly wanted this to be a 'good-un' and actually and remarkably, succeeded.

    Add A Comment?

    top of page
    this page last updated 29/02/16

    Full Archive - Sort by Decade - Sort by Genre


    Album Reviews | A-Z Artists | Beginners Guides | Blog (Facebook Group) | Blogs We Like |
    Channel Youtube | Contact Us | Find New Music | Features | Music & Web Apps | Ratings At A Glance
    Singles Bar | Top 100 Albums | Top 100 Songs |


    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

    Made In Devon.