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David Bowie - Hunky Dory CD (album) cover


David Bowie


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4.17 | 525 ratings

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4 stars As with many people, this is my first Bowie purchase and an excellent introduction to the man's chameleonic work. It delivers a few fantastic songs, as one might expect, but then surprises you with even more.

Hunky Dory sees David in a period of rising stardom, itself lending to his successes with the massive hit 'Changes', a catchy pop number driven by Rick Wakeman's piano (but more on him later). The album also yielded what is arguably one of Bowie's best songs, in fact, arguably one of pop music's best songs. I am of course referring to 'Life on Mars', the incredibly emotional dali-esque observation, containing enough super- chords to make one's eyes water; also accentuated by Rick's piano flurrying and the thick string arrangements of Mr Mick Ronson. But the music hidden beneath these mammoth singles survives on in a much more intimate way.

From rocky standards such as 'Song for Bob Dylan' and 'Queen Bitch', bluesy ballads like 'Eight Line Poem' and 'The Bewlay Brothers', and sing-along acoustic ditties such as 'Fill Your Heart', 'Andy Warhol' and 'Kooks', the album is varied but not what I would describe as diverse, because the instrumentation and vocals are very consistent. Consistently good! One of the highlights for me is 'Oh! You Pretty Things', with its odd piano verses and Beatlesy chorus. This song would have been as equally a successful single as 'Changes'. Another honourable mention must be paid to 'Quicksand', which is almost a less epic alternative to 'Life on Mars', clarifying David Bowie's talent at writing beautiful chord sequences.

All I can say about this gem is that, while its singles have received their due share of public adoration, its other tracks seem to have been overlooked by the masses (or perhaps by David himself). I am forcing myself to avoid the five-stars because of what will come, but Hunky Dory almost deserves five for 'Life on Mars' alone. Adhering to the Prog Archives descriptors though, this is an excellent addition to any collection. Not essential, but not to be missed; it's good!

thehallway | 4/5 |


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