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David Bowie - The Man Who Sold The World CD (album) cover

THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD

David Bowie

 

Prog Related

4.01 | 192 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars For anyone still looking for that ever elusive classic progressive rock album by David Bowie, you have found it here. The Man Who Sold the World combines Bowie's usually smart, and sometimes smart-assed, art rock with the longer more progressive song structures that were very popular during the early 70s when this album came out. Bowie is one of those artists that is so good that he has more than one best album, so along with Low and Black Tie White Noise, this is also Bowie's best album.

Bowie's influences on this album include early Gabriel led Genesis, Arthur Brown, Syd Barret, but most importantly Peter Hammill and Van der Graaf Generator. In some ways this album could be seen as one of the better VdGG albums that VdGG never put out. One of the hallmarks of early 70s progressive rock was the dramatic repeating chorus often backed by a Mellotron or real vocal choir. This album has dramatic repeating choruses in spades, and they all sound great. The lyrics on most of these songs are vague but interesting and seem to deal with themes like madness, alienation and an uncertain future. The lyrics on Saviour Machine tell the story of a future Messiah who denounces himself and preaches that true salvation will only come from ignoring him.

Another interesting feature on this album, and one that I have never heard on any other Bowie album, are these frequent break-out jams in which Ronson, Visconti and Woodmansey play heavy rock improvs grounded in moving bass lines in a style similar to Cream, Mountain or Black Sabbath. These jam sessions sound great and I'm surprised Bowie never returned to that style on later albums. This album's combination of heaviness and 'artsiness' must have been a big influence on Nirvana, not only did they cover the song that bears the album title, but Bowie's She Shook Me Cold sounds like it could have been the inspiration to several songs off of Nevermind.

This album is highly recommended for people who love early 70s progressive rock, but especially recommended for all those folks who think Bowie only played glam rock, or younger people who's main familiarity with Bowie is that awful Let's Dance album. The songwriting on here is excellent and is definitely equal to any other classic early 70s album.

js (Easy Money) | 5/5 |

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