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


David Bowie


Prog Related

4.00 | 338 ratings

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4 stars No other Bowie album has so much spontaneous creativity, rocking power and grooving fun as The Man Who Sold The World. Each song is an example of song writing excellence and some of them even look a bit progressive from a distance.

More importantly, the band sounds tight and passionate, not as confident and extravagant as the early prog masterpieces from those years, but still quite remarkable compared to most mainstream rock in 1971. Of exceptional note is Mick Ronson, Bowie's lead guitar player, a man with a great feel and passion in his playing. He never got more room to shine with Bowie then on this album.

The song writing sits somewhere inbetween Syd Barret influenced psychedelic rock (After All, Running Gun Blues) and early 70's blues rock. Somehow, early Jethro Tull even comes to mind. Songs like Black Country Rock and She Shook Me Cold sound very similar to the Benefit album, that is without the flute and with an entirely different type of vocalist obviously, but somehow this rock music has the same crunch. Bowie sounds particularly British here, quite funny.

If you're looking for Prog, I can't guarantee your satisfaction. There are certain psychedelic influences, and the arrangements go beyond the standard rock sound of bass, guitar and drum. But the songwriting is straightforward. The Width of a Circle may be 8 minutes long but it doesn't have the compositional fluency of Prog epics, it's more like a medley of different short songs really.

But all of these songs are consistently strong, charming and genuine. Too bad this only lasted for one album, as Bowie went on to pursue more commercially viable directions on the ensuing releases. 3.5 stars

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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