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David Bowie - Hunky Dory CD (album) cover

HUNKY DORY

David Bowie

 

Prog Related

4.18 | 264 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Warthur
Prog Reviewer
5 stars The birth of Bowie's glam era sees all the different strands of his past efforts coming together to finally create an album which would mould and shape fashions to come rather than reflecting the fashions of the time. A pitch-perfect compromise between the rock and roll bravado of The Man Who Sold the World with the gentler folk and psych-influenced work from the first two albums, it's the most confident and self-assured of Bowie's pre-Ziggy album releases.

Just about every idea developed on the previous three albums is revisited here and perfected, in performances that blow Bowie's previous efforts away completely. The debut album, for example, never quite managed to include any quirky novelty songs even remotely as charming as Kooks, which wins me over every time despite being the silliest song on the album. (And despite having a "couple of kooks" for parents, Duncan Jones - previously known as Zowie Bowie - seems to have done pretty well for himself as an imaginative and critically acclaimed director.) Quicksand is a better slice of mystical New Age folk than anything on Space Oddity. And The Supermen and The Wild-Eyed Boy From Freecloud seem to have their successors in the subjects of Oh You Pretty Things.

As well as some iconic, top-notch rock songs - including opening track Changes, and the triumphant Velvet Underground tribute Queen Bitch - the album includes just enough of an art rock vibe to remain interesting to prog fans. As well as the prog folkish Quicksand, there's the gorgeous Life On Mars, which includes tasteful string arrangements and a slice of Mellotron from the enormously talented Mick Ronson and a breathtakingly beautiful piano performance from Rick Wakeman, who would turn down an invitation to be a Spider From Mars after this album in order to take on his much-celebrated first tour of duty in Yes.

It's not full-on prog, of course... but then again, if it were it would be in one of the prog categories, and not "prog-related". By the standards of this field, it's an absolute gem, and Bowie's first five-star masterpiece.

Warthur | 5/5 |

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