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David Bowie - Hunky Dory CD (album) cover

HUNKY DORY

David Bowie

 

Prog Related

4.18 | 273 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars IS THERE LIFE ON MARS ?

In 1971, the relation with Philips are at their lows and De Fries negotiated a three album contact with RCA. Just over two months later, "Hunky Dory" was released.

In some sort, it is a come back to a more folkish sound after the hard-rocking "The Man Who Sold The World". A much "lighter" album with delicate arrangements.

Do notice the very good piano work. From Mr. Rick Wakeman. He already played on David's second album. David said once that he would have liked to integrate Rick as a full-time member but Rick will opt for "Yes". I can't really imagine Rick on stage during the Ziggy tour. Might have been funny though.

There are some jewels on this album. Even if "Changes" won't be a huge commercial success as a single, the chorus has become very famous and sooooooo catchy. A song which might sound as innocent, is in fact again using the theme of a super race who will dominate the world (David already used these Nietzsche theme in "The Supermen" on "The Man.").

He also reflects this in the lyrics of "Quicksand": "I'm not a prophet or a stone age man. Just a mortal with the potential of a superman". Maybe a bit pretentious though.

But THE highlight is of course "Life On Mars?". A superb and melancholic rock ballad. Again, Rick is just great on the piano and the chorus part is probably the most melodic one David has ever written. A fantastic moment of music.

David is also writing three songs deeply inspired by an important source of inspiration: "Andy Warhol", "Song For Bob Dylan" and "Queen Bitch".

Even if the first one is a bit boring, the lyrics are rather premonitory of what will take place a little later (Ziggy). In respect with the second one, David is a great admirer of Bob Dylan and at the time the man was rather scarce on stage. Fans were urging for a come back and David decided to give it a push with this song. A nice homage actually:

"Oh, hear this Robert Zimmerman, I wrote a song for you. About a strange young man called Dylan. With a voice like sand and glue. His words of truthful vengeance. They could pin us to the floor".

"Queen Bitch" is of course dedicated to Lou Reed and his gloomy world. Great riff ("Sweet Jane" where are you?), approaching vocals at times and the mood which is so Lou Reed. Another highlight (the fourth or fifth one).

David is referring to his half-brother Terry (at least it is supposed so because he was never explicit about it). He did it already with "All The Mad Men". A touching acoustic song.

This album is completely different from "The Man.". More intimate, less rocking which might sound as a paradox since the whole Spiders gang is now in place (Bolder replaced Visconti in the band).

The legend is on its way. The explosion is near. Four stars.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |

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