Header

THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD

David Bowie

Prog Related


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

David Bowie The Man Who Sold The World album cover
4.01 | 192 ratings | 20 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection


Write a review
Buy DAVID BOWIE Music
from Progarchives.com partners
Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Width of a Circle - 8:05
2. All the Madmen - 5:38
3. Black Country Rock - 3:32
4. After All - 3:51
5. Running Gun Blues - 3:11
6. Saviour Machine - 4:25
7. She Shook Me Cold - 4:13
8. The Man Who Sold the World - 3:55
9. The Supermen - 3:38



Lyrics

Search DAVID BOWIE The Man Who Sold The World lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search DAVID BOWIE The Man Who Sold The World tabs

Line-up / Musicians


* David Bowie - vocals, guitar, Stylophone
* Mick Ronson - guitar, vocals
* Tony Visconti - bass, piano, guitar
* Mick Woodmansey - drums, percussion
* Ralph Mace - Moog synthesizer

Releases information

The Man Who Sold the World was first released on CD by RCA in 1984. The German (RCA PD84654, for the European Market) and Japanese (RCA PCD1-4816, for the U.S. market) masters were sourced from different tapes and are not identical for each region.

The album was reissued by Rykodisc (RCD 10132) / EMI (CDP 79 1837 2) on January 30, 1990 with an extended track listing including a 1972 rerecording of Holy Holy, incorrectly described in the liner notes as the original 1970 single version. Bowie vetoed inclusion of the earlier recording, which is available only on the bootleg album Changesthreeandahalf. Rykodisc later released this album in the AU20 series (RCD 80132) with 20-bit digitally remastered sound.

Thanks to micky for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
Edit this entry

DAVID BOWIE MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s
No MP3/Stream available for this artist.
Collaborate with Progarchives.com, learn how to submit new MP3s.

Buy DAVID BOWIE The Man Who Sold The World Music


Best of David BowieBest of David Bowie
Parlophone 2006
Audio CD$6.49
$3.28 (used)
Ziggy StardustZiggy Stardust
Parlophone 1999
Audio CD$3.23
$2.11 (used)
Moulin Rouge! Music from Baz Luhrmann's FilmMoulin Rouge! Music from Baz Luhrmann's Film
Soundtrack
Interscope Records 2001
Audio CD$1.97
$0.01 (used)
The Next Day (Deluxe Edition)The Next Day (Deluxe Edition)
Columbia 2013
Audio CD$5.86
$4.29 (used)
Hunky DoryHunky Dory
Parlophone 2008
Audio CD$6.99
$5.00 (used)
LowLow
Parlophone 1999
Audio CD$7.20
$5.00 (used)
Station to StationStation to Station
Parlophone 1999
Audio CD$7.22
$4.29 (used)
HeroesHeroes
Parlophone 1999
Audio CD$3.40
$2.56 (used)
Aladdin SaneAladdin Sane
Parlophone 1999
Audio CD$8.24
$3.01 (used)
Labyrinth: From The Original Soundtrack Of The Jim Henson FilmLabyrinth: From The Original Soundtrack Of The Jim Henson Film
Soundtrack
Parlophone 2007
Audio CD$4.31
$2.23 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
David Bowie - 3 Record Collection - Blue Jean / Cat People / Tonight US $11.95 Buy It Now 34m 40s
David Bowie - Fame 90 (Cassette Maxi Single, 1990) 5-Track, NEW US $5.99 [0 bids]
34m 47s
Right - Fame David Bowie RCA Victor PB 10320 US $2.97 [0 bids]
US $3.87 Buy It Now
39m 7s
David Bowie Self-titled Stereo LP Deram mint first album "cut-out" US $190.00 [0 bids]
US $350.00 Buy It Now
39m 14s
David Bowie - London Boy - 1995 UK CD US $6.50 Buy It Now 40m 13s
Duran Duran RARE YELLOW VINYL 7in "Boys Keep Swinging" David Bowie cover US $20.00 [0 bids]
46m 49s
Vintage1984 David Bowie Blue Jean Colored 7"Vinyl EMI Promo LP not for sale rare US $9.99 [0 bids]
47m 11s
DAVID BOWIE - HEATHEN (IMPORT) (BLU-SPEC) NEW CD US $43.56 Buy It Now 51m 33s
DAVID BOWIE- CRYSTAL JAPAN PROMO SLEEVE 45 S&P8USD GREAT CONDTION US $159.99 [0 bids]
52m 37s
David Bowie - Space Oddity/The Man Who Sold The World - US Picture Sleeve PS 7" US $15.60 Buy It Now 54m 49s
David Bowie - Christiane F. - USA OST CD US $5.00 Buy It Now 54m 49s
DAVID BOWIE, TONIGHT - LP RECORD US $8.00 Buy It Now 54m 55s
The Best Of David Bowie 1974/1979 CD US $9.37 Buy It Now 59m 1s
DAVID BOWIE - DIAMOND DOGS NEW CD US $19.34 Buy It Now 1h
David Bowie Stage Japan White Label Vinyl 2 LP Glam US $89.99 Buy It Now 1h
DAVID BOWIE Starting Point 1977 Original No Barcode STILL FACTORY SEALED MINTY US $6.99 [0 bids]
1h 13m
David Bowie Space Oddity 1972 Stereo LP VG++ US $15.99 [0 bids]
1h 15m
David Bowie Diamond Dogs Stereo LP VG++ US $13.99 [0 bids]
1h 15m
DAVID BOWIE LETS DANCE LP RECORD ON EMI/RCA MUSIC SERVICE #R 153730 US $4.99 [0 bids]
1h 17m
DAVID BOWIE CHANGESBOWIE CD RYKODISC RCD 20171 US $1.00 [0 bids]
1h 20m
* TIN MACHINE - TIN MACHINE CD Self-Titled DAVID BOWIE!! SWEET! US $1.99 [0 bids]
1h 26m
1980 David Bowie EP Promo Record w/ Stamps Up the Hill Backwards - Vintage Vinyl US $24.99 Buy It Now 1h 26m
David Bowie-Blue Jean-45 RPM,1984,EMI America-7" Single-Rock/Pop Rock [VG+] US $0.99 [0 bids]
US $2.55 Buy It Now
1h 34m
DAVID BOWIE - LOWDOWN NEW CD US $20.11 Buy It Now 1h 35m
rock & roll hall of fame 1996 induction david bowie pink floyd the shirelles US $84.99 Buy It Now 1h 39m
TV Heroes CD Nada Surf DAVID BOWIE Bob Dylan IGGY POP Shenkar WENDY US $9.99 Buy It Now 1h 40m
DAVID BOWIE - Diamond Dogs original 1st issue US 8-TR tape cartridge US $4.00 [0 bids]
1h 40m
DAVID BOWIE - CHRISTIANE F - SOUNDTRACK NEW CD US $17.44 Buy It Now 1h 42m
David Bowie Mug With - Bowie:the Singles 69-93 (1993) - Used - Compact Disc US $2.99 [1 bids]
1h 43m
DAVID BOWIE-Golden Years*RCA Records US $4.59 [0 bids]
1h 44m
David Bowie -Dream Of The Moonage Jeanie MiniLP combo set US $19.99 [0 bids]
1h 47m
David Bowie, the Singles 1969-1993 2 disks US $16.00 [0 bids]
US $25.64 Buy It Now
1h 48m
David Bowie - Golden Years AFL1-4792 NM-/NM Compilation Remastered **SHRINK** US $11.99 Buy It Now 1h 52m
DAVID BOWIE Pretty Things Going To Hell remixes 1999 US $19.99 Buy It Now 1h 52m
DAVID BOWIE - BOWIE IN BERLIN NEW DVD US $25.89 Buy It Now 1h 55m
DAVID BOWIE - Aladdin Sane:T-shirt NEW - MEDIUM ONLY US $28.11 Buy It Now 1h 58m
DAVID BOWIE @@ FAME AND FASHION @@ MEGA RARE ITALY WHITE LABEL PROMO US $49.99 Buy It Now 1h 59m
DAVID BOWIE - DAVID LIVE NEW CD US $27.42 Buy It Now 2h 10m
DAVID BOWIE "PINUPS" 12 tracks Japan CD Mini-LP Sleeve New, Sealed, Authentic US $29.95 Buy It Now 2h 11m
David Bowie SCARY MONSTERS AND SUPER CREEPS Japan Mini LP CD NEW SEALED OOP US $39.95 Buy It Now 2h 12m
DAVID BOWIE Station To Station 1976 1st CANADA issue 8-TR STILL SEALED! US $12.95 [1 bids]
2h 15m
David Bowie - "Tonight" US 12-Inch Promo Single US $1.49 [0 bids]
US $3.00 Buy It Now
2h 20m
DAVID BOWIE. LOW. VINYL LPCPL1-2030 US $19.99 [0 bids]
2h 24m
David Bowie Rarest One Bowie CD British Pressing OOP RARE Recalled US $8.00 [0 bids]
US $12.00 Buy It Now
2h 25m
David Bowie-Young Americans vinyl LP US $9.99 [0 bids]
2h 29m
DAVID BOWIE-CHANGES ONE BOWIE ALBUM 1976 VINYL LP EX RCA US $2.50 [0 bids]
2h 29m
DAVID BOWIE SONY PROMO EMPTY BOX for mini lp cd NEW US $49.99 Buy It Now 2h 30m
David Bowie Tonight EMI America SJ-17138 Stereo US $2.99 [1 bids]
2h 32m
Audiophile MFSL LP : David Bowie ~ The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust US $80.00 [0 bids]
2h 33m
David Bowie And The Hype The Prettiest Star Rare unofficial release 7" Vinyl US $25.00 [0 bids]
US $33.00 Buy It Now
2h 37m
DAVID BOWIE TONIGHT COVER IN EXCELLENT CONDITION VINYL IN NEAR MINT CONDITION WI US $1.99 [0 bids]
2h 44m
David Bowie And I Say To Myself/Good Morning Girl unofficial release 7" Vinyl US $45.00 [0 bids]
US $65.00 Buy It Now
2h 54m
DAVID BOWIE @@ BOYS KEEP SWINGING/FANTASTIC VOYAGE @@ RARE GERMAN PRESS ONLY US $39.99 Buy It Now 2h 55m
David Bowie-The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars- LP Israel US $40.00 Buy It Now 2h 56m
David Bowie - Heroes - LP (AFL1-2522) Israel Pressing - lyrics on back of cover US $35.00 Buy It Now 2h 56m
CMJ - New Music CD Vol. 46 1997 David Bowie - Cheap Trick - Supergrass - Bis US $6.00 [0 bids]
2h 59m
CMJ - New Music CD Vol. 75 1999 Beck - David Bowie - The Clash - Incubus US $6.00 [0 bids]
3h
DAVID BOWIE @@ FAME/RIGHT @@ MEGA RARE GERMAN PRESS 1975 US $49.99 Buy It Now 3h 6m
DAVID BOWIE @@ KNOCK ON WOOD/PANIC IN DETROIT @@ RARE GERMAN PRESS 1974 US $29.99 Buy It Now 3h 19m
David Bowie/ Black Tie White Noise... US $9.99 Buy It Now 3h 21m
THE BEST OF DAVID BOWIE US $9.99 Buy It Now 3h 22m
RARE ALTERNATE COVER LP The Man Who Sold The World DAVID BOWIE Mercury SR 61325 US $10.50 [2 bids]
3h 29m
DAVID BOWIE @@ SORROW/AMSTERDAM @@ RARE GERMAN PRESS (RE-RELEASE) US $29.99 Buy It Now 3h 33m
SUNFLY GOLD KARAOKE DISC GD-055 DAVID BOWIE MARC BOLAN T REX CD+G SEALED 15 TRKS US $15.00 Buy It Now 3h 36m
David Bowie Original Vinyl Record LP David Live 1974 Glam Rock CPL2-0771 US $27.89 Buy It Now 3h 39m
DAVID BOWIE @@ ASHES TO ASHES/MOVE ON @@ RARE GERMAN PRESS 1980 US $49.99 Buy It Now 3h 39m
DAVID BOWIE / LET'S TALK interview Picture disc US $19.99 Buy It Now 3h 46m
DAVID BOWIE @@ SORROW/AMSTERDAM @@ RARE GERMAN PRESS 1973 US $29.99 Buy It Now 3h 46m
DAVID BOWIE @@ FASHION/SCREAM LIKE A BABY @@ RARE GERMAN PRESS 1980 US $49.99 Buy It Now 3h 48m
Philip Glass: "Low" Symphony (From the Music of David Bowie & Brian Eno) CD US $5.20 Buy It Now 3h 50m
DAVID BOWIE @@ ALABAMA SONG/SPACE ODDITY @@ RARE GERMAN PRESS 1980 US $49.99 Buy It Now 3h 52m
DAVID BOWIE @@ SCARY MONSTERS/BECAUSE YOU'RE YOUNG @@ RARE UK PRESS 1981 US $39.99 Buy It Now 4h
RARE PUNK ROCK LP Stowaway D.O.A. IGGY POP DAVID BOWIE Not TMOQ LIVE EX/M- US $9.99 [1 bids]
4h 7m
DAVID BOWIE @@ ALABAMA SONG/SPACE ODDITY @@ RARE UK PRESS 1980 US $49.99 Buy It Now 4h 9m
DAVID BOWIE ZIGGY STARDUST CD RARE OOP RYKO RYKODISC ISSUE (NOT GOLD DISC!!!) US $21.45 Buy It Now 4h 17m
David Bowie Little Wonder Remixes Cd Junior Vasquez US $2.49 [0 bids]
4h 18m
DAVID BOWIE @@ FASHION/SCREAM LIKE A BABY @@ RARE 12" GERMAN PRESS 1980 US $49.99 Buy It Now 4h 21m
Aladdin Sane David Bowie vinyl LP album record UK EMC3579 EMI 1990 US $57.93 Buy It Now 4h 30m
David Bowie Best Deluxe + Poster / EX 2-LP vinyl record (Double Album) JPN US $681.30 Buy It Now 4h 30m
DAVID BOWIE The Sun Machine Is Coming Down LP Vinyl US $24.99 [0 bids]
4h 33m
DAVID BOWIE / LET'S DANCE 1983 JAPAN LP w/ OBI US $19.99 Buy It Now 4h 50m
DAVID BOWIE TONIGHT EMI AMERICA SL-17138 VINYL LP 1984 ORIG PRESS VG+!! US $6.99 Buy It Now 5h
David Bowie Ziggy Stardust Music Cassette EMI Label US $13.63 Buy It Now 5h 29m
OST Mr.Deeds JAPAN CD w/OBI SEALED LIT TRAVIS U2 WEEZER YES DAVID BOWIE j228 US $9.99 Buy It Now 5h 33m
DAVID BOWIE - LOVE IS LOST, ORG 2013 EU LIMITED WHITE vinyl 12", NEW - SEALED! US $15.99 Buy It Now 5h 43m
Diamond Dogs - David Bowie New & Sealed CD Free Shipping US $17.03 Buy It Now 5h 50m
CD/Japan- TIN MACHINE Tin Machine II w/OBI RARE ORIGINAL 1991 - DAVID BOWIE US $13.59 Buy It Now 5h 57m
*SEALED* David Bowie "Ziggy STARDUST Motion Picture" 2 LP RCA 4862SP CLEAR Vinyl US $74.99 Buy It Now 6h 13m
DAVID BOWIE:LOW:LP:CPL1-2030:RCA RECORDS US $25.77 [0 bids]
6h 18m
DAVID BOWIE-PETER AND WOLF-JAPAN ONLY MINI LP BLU-SPEC CD2 Ltd/ Ed E51 US $25.50 Buy It Now 6h 30m
DAVID BOWIE:ALADIN SANE:LP ONLY:LSP-4852:RCA RECORDS US $10.31 [0 bids]
US $15.46 Buy It Now
6h 33m
DAVID BOWIE:DAVID LIVE:DBLP:CPL2-0771:RCA RECORDS US $10.31 [0 bids]
6h 33m
DAVID BOWIE ~ Ziggy Stardust ~ GATEFOLD VINYL LP US $81.89 Buy It Now 6h 55m
DAVID BOWIE - Low - Vinyl LP + INSERT US $43.67 Buy It Now 6h 55m
David Bowie - Let's Dance 12" - EMI America - US $6.48 [0 bids]
7h
VARIOUS starman: versions of 18 classic david bowie songs (uncut 2003 03) US $10.15 Buy It Now 7h 8m
David Bowie Soundtrack from Christiane F. RPL-8130 RCA 1982 Import Japan US $35.00 Buy It Now 7h 11m
DAVID BOWIE+ MICK JAGGER "DANCING IN THE STREETS" ORIGINAL GREEK 7" + P/S , 1985 US $12.99 Buy It Now 7h 26m
David Bowie Space Oddity (Space Oddity 40th Anniversary Edition) CD US $20.46 Buy It Now 7h 28m
FREE Shipping!! David Bowie Let's Dance White Label LP Japan Promo Obi NM US $17.99 [0 bids]
7h 32m

More places to buy DAVID BOWIE music online Buy DAVID BOWIE & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for DAVID BOWIE DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

DAVID BOWIE The Man Who Sold The World ratings distribution


4.01
(192 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(26%)
26%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(49%)
49%
Good, but non-essential (22%)
22%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

DAVID BOWIE The Man Who Sold The World reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars YOU'RE FACE, TO FACE, WITH THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD

Needless to say that 1970 is the year of "In Rock" and Led Zep was peaking everywhere in the charts. "The Man Who Sold The World" will be the hardest album that David will ever release. The Spiders gang is almost there: David, and both Mick's (Ronson & Woodmansey) recorded the first important Bowie album.

The cover of the album is rather controversial and will be the first opportunity for David to play with his androgynous look. He will regularly confirm / negate this. Being opportunist he took advantage of a situation he totally created. It is also rather contradictory with the content of the album: David dressed up in a "men's dress" showing a gentle and sweet character while the album is the harder he will ever record!

David is going to get married to Angie, and needed to have his financial situation (which is far from brilliant) settled. Visconti organized a meeting with one of his acquaintances: the lawyer Tony De Fries. Another MAJOR meeting. He will soon be David's manager. For five years.

While I discovered Bowie (in 1973), I bought his back catalogue and was quite amazed with this album. It is one of his darkest works in term of lyrics. Full of schizophrenia and craziness. The absolute highlight is the huge opening song: "The Width Of A Circle". A mix of schizo frenzy and obvious homosexual references.

Ronson's work on this track (but not only) is just incredible. Of course, he listened to both Jimi and Jimmy. There is even a moment during which a riff comes rather close to the one from "The Jean Genie". One of the most guitar oriented Bowie track (together with "Station To Station"). The wild instrumental middle part is a great tribute to the guitar heroes. I am found of it. THE highlight.

Craziness is again the central point of "All The Madmen. David refers to his half-brother Terry who was confined in a mental hospital. Again lyrics are very explicit: "Here I stand, foot in hand, talking to my wall I'm not quite right at all. Dont set me free, Im as helpless as can be My libidos split on me. Gimme some good old lobotomy".

The other side of this album is related to some sort of apocalyptical analysis of how the world is ruled (and the ones who govern it). From "Saviour Machine" and its related "2001 A Space Odyssey" story to "She Shook Me Cold" and its serial killer character. "Ill slash them cold, Ill kill them dead Ill break them gooks, Ill crack their heads Ill slice them till theyre running red But now Ive got the running gun blues".

This album holds several good to very good songs but might well be difficult to bear if you are not into some sort of hard-rocking mood. But not all the album is full of these hard sounds; these are frequently combined with some acoustic parts. The overall atmosphere is oppressive, gloomy and not really the kind to listen to if you are a bit depressive. Hammill is at hand, lyrically.

"The Man Who Sold The World" is a very dark (but alas accurate) report of our society. Power, influence, violence and death: a daily business. I hope that one day, David will release an album called "The Man Who Saved The World".

Seven out of ten. But I'll give it an upgrade to four thanks to the lyrics.

"Who knows, not me, I never lost control, You're face, to face, With the man who sold the world".

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#174853) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, June 22, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars Oh, by jingo!

The Man Who Sold The World has always been my favourite David Bowie album. It is probably also the most progressive one he ever did (depending on your definition of 'progressive' I suppose) and certainly the hardest rocking one he ever did. The opening song, The Width Of A Circle, is over eight minutes in lenght and rocks quite hard. The bass guitar is surpisingly loud in the mix (which I like!) and well played. The bass guitar is credited to famous producer Tony Visconti who worked with many Prog and Prog related bands and artists in the 70's.

I love the lyrics of this album, in my opinion among the best lyrics Bowie ever wrote. Some themes that are explored: madness, the divine, humour, the human condition, violence, war, etc. Typical Prog themes in a way, but original and they make you think. And as opposed to many later Bowie albums, everything here is written by Bowie himself and there are no covers.

Bowie himself is credited with vocals, guitar and stylophone. Mick Ronson is here on guitars, of course, Woody Woodmansey on drums and a Ralph Mace on Moog Synthesiser. I keep hearing other keyboard instruments as well, plus possibly some woodwinds, but these (if they are really there) remain uncredited.

My favourite songs are probably The Width Of A Circle, All The Madmen, After All, Saviour Machine and The Supermen, which is the bulk of the album.

Recommended!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#177363) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 19, 2008

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When listening to this album today as opposed to say 30 years ago in particular the opener The Width Of A Circle you can immediately pick up on how progressive it sounds, the conceptual direction of the album, the leftfield composition of the songs, reference All the Madmen. IMO the earliest form of Crossover/Art rock, purely subjective of course! It must have been a privelige to have seen acts like Bowie and The Floyd at The Marquee all those years ago...

Tony Visconti plays some awesome bass riffs on this album, check out ' Black Country Rock'. The albums has a distinctly psychedlic edge too and sorry but the Floyd similarities seem now so obvious. One wonders how Syd Barrett's direction would have taken had he not chosen another destination, similar to David Bowie? Anyhow digressing from this album The Man Who Sold The World is an excellent album and is a must for any Bowie enthusiast.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#179230) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, August 09, 2008

Review by 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.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to js (Easy Money) (BETA) | Report this review (#179469) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Review by Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If ever I was forced with the horrible task of choosing just one David Bowie album to accompany me to that storied desert island, it's likely that 1972's THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD would make the boat. Granted, it would be very difficult to leave the other main contender for my affections, the Mick Ronson (guitar, Mott The Hoople) era companion piece ZIGGY STARDUST, behind. Track for track ZIGGY is arguably the more unified whole, but there are simply too many outstanding tracks on this one which I couldn't do without on my coconut-strewn sand spit.

My bitter exile would be sweetened by the rocking lead, driving bass and sweeping acoustic strains of the epic opener "Width of a Circle," the absolutely essential "All the Madmen," the infectious, joyous "Black Country Rock" and the psycho-anthemic "Running Gun Blues." Meanwhile, my sun-seared cerebellum could seek succor in the lullaby-like "After All," while the driving, cautionary sci-fi themed rocker "Savior Machine" might lead me to less lament the technological world I'd left behind. Thundering bass and great lead guitar aside, the erotic verses of "She Shook Me Cold" might lead to a fevered -- but ultimately unfulfilling -- undertaking: that of constructing a buxom coconut-breasted "girl Friday" from a washed-up Wilson soccer ball, palm frond skirt, sundry swatches of my discarded threadbare clothing, and some of those countless plastic water and detergent bottles which always end up in the sea. (Yes, much like Tom Hanks in Castaway -- but this time without the unhinged, hopelessly dependent, disquietingly homoerotic relationship with a gory piece of underinflated sports equipment). On second thought, it might be best to avoid that track... The words of the title song would doubtlessly speak volumes to me in such a situation ("You're face to face with the man who sold the world..."), and that wonderful Ronson lead motif could provide me with the just the hook I'd need to catch some protein and omega 3-rich fish -- must keep my strength up for raft building! Finally, album closer "The Supermen" could inspire the raising of a private army of coconut shell- armoured warriors to annex the next islet over, as the track's pounding, tribal drums give the signal to advance! (Or maybe to just caper in ash-painted delirium around the signal fire..)

Eccentric reviewing techniques and belaboured metaphors aside, THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD is a fabulous, essential early Bowie album. Crank it up -- it's not as if there are any neighbours to disturb!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Peter (BETA) | Report this review (#279786) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2010

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 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

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#280807) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 07, 2010

Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is often regarded as the first "real" David Bowie album, and maybe there's some truth to that, but I don't think it's that great. My understanding is that, for various reasons, Bowie had a relatively small amount to do with the music on this album that bears his name; the songs are all based on elements he came up with, sure, but new guitarist Mick Ronson and producer Tony Visconti ended up fleshing out the majority of the ideas he threw out. Bowie's impact primarily comes in the lyrics, the vocals, the atmosphere, and the "shocking" album cover with him in a dress. If those aspects are important to you, chances are you'll like this album more than I do; if they aren't, you probably won't.

So anyway, this being largely the work of his new guitarist and his producer, this largely ends up as a messy hard rock album that often borders on heavy metal. Of course, Bowie's voice doesn't really work with this approach; he sounds far too weak and wimpy here to live up to the riffs and sounds that often dominate. Still, there's at least one classic here in the metal area of things, courtesy of the opening "The Width of a Circle." I kinda hated it at first because it was so loose in structure and without any especially strong riffs, but the guitar work is energetic and varied enough that it won me over, and the "heavenly" section with the "oh oh oh ..." vocals is rather nice. Unfortunately neither "Saviour Machine" (which has some weird annoying synth sound on top of the main guitar riff), "She Shook Me Cold" (interestingly ugly at first, but turns into a boring jam) or "The Supermen" ultimately satisfy me on the heavy rock side of things. They're dark and moody and twisted, I get it, but I just don't find them interesting enough for me to care, and that's a good chunk of the album down the drain right there.

Of the remaining five tracks, the infamous title track is easily my favorite. I know it was slightly overexposed in the early 90's thanks to Nirvana covering it, but so sue me, I like the riff, I like the "Oh no, not me ..." counter-melody, I kinda like the lyrical subject matter, and I just think it's clearly the best song by pretty much any measure. The other four aren't fantastic, but they're good enough: "All the Madmen" is a good mid-tempo heavy stomper (though the carnival sounds, as much as they may match the subject matter, annoy me a bit) about a world where the only sane people left are in asylums; "Black Country Rock" is another decent mid-tempo rocker that's at its best when the guitar parts harmonize; "After All" is a nice low-key acoustic number on an album that badly needs a nice low-key acoustic number; and "Running Gun Blues" is an okayish acoustic-to-electric song with "controversial" lyrics and a terrible vocal delivery. Namechecking, wooo.

The thing is, there are some elements that make me want to talk myself into liking the album more. I mean, the atmosphere and the lyrics do work together in a pretty intriguing way on the whole, and it definitely has some strong standout tracks. It would probably help if the album had more strong material in the second half (aside from the title track, the second half is kind of a wasteland) and it left a stronger impression on me at the end. As is, there are plenty of Bowie albums I'd rather listen to than this one.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#288660) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars I've been a huge David Bowie fan ever since my early teens, back in the late '90s, where I had a constant access to pretty much all of his '70s records. Having said that, it still took me a while to get around to experiencing The Man Who Sold The World, an album that I heard for the first time somewhere around 2003.

I remember vividly that Hunky Dory was my first complete David Bowie experience and I've pretty much went through all of his albums from there on, leaving The Man Who Sold The World far behind. This was of course completely unfair on my part since this release has some of his best material that he has ever recorded. The downside is that this great material is mixed together with a few lesser tunes but the final result still manages to be great in the end.

The material featured on The Man Who Sold The World never really feels in balance like it does on Bowie's next few records and instead jumps sporadically all over the place. There are a few excellent numbers like the album opening 8-minute track The Width Of A Circle, forgettable tunes like Black Country Rock and She Shook Me Cold, but most importantly, the masterpieces like All The Madmen, Saviour Machine and the infamous title track! I think that the explanation behind such a weird mix of compositions has to do with Bowie's uncertainty towards the direction he wanted to take his music and this eventually resulted in him giving Mick Ronson much more room than what he usually gets. The result is a much heavier album that fans of Ziggy Stardust might be accustomed to, but I personally love it!

The Man Who Sold The World is a very unique piece of David Bowie history that certainly deserves a place in any music collection, even though I wouldn't recommended it as an introduction album to Bowie, since this release sounds a bit different from what we've come to expect from him later on in his career.

***** star songs: All The Madmen (5:39) After All (3:52) Saviour Machine (4:26) The Man Who Sold The World (3:57)

**** star songs: The Width Of A Circle (8:06) The Supermen (3:40)

*** star songs: Black Country Rock (3:34) Running Gun Blues (3:12) She Shook Me Cold (4:15)

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#306584) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 25, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Like Bowie's previous album (Space Oddity), this one has a title track in a mildly different style from the other songs on here which completely steals the show. Unlike Space Oddity, the other songs don't fall much short of the title track's high standards! With Mick Ronson promoted to Bowie's full-time musical collaborator and Bowie distracted during the recording process by his wedding, this album sees Ronson stamping a more hard rock direction on most of the songs - another stylistic shift, though Bowie is more than up to rising to the challenge, proving that he can belt out a rock number just as his previous albums had him crooning to Anthony Newley-styled pop or singing in a psych-folk style.

Musically and lyrically, the album builds on what has gone before, adding a mildly progressive edge on the instrumental side whilst Bowie's songs develop his preoccupation with sci-fi messiahs and other strange topics. It wouldn't be until his next album that Bowie would hit on the glam style which would take him through Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Pinups and Diamond Dogs, but the heavy proto-glam on display here is an intriguing experiment which most Bowie fans will want to savour at some point, and which Bowie neophytes will probably be able to enjoy too.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#461983) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RPI
4 stars 'The Man Who Sold The World' was where I came in with David Bowie although I only remember the version with the black and white cover and its picture of Ziggy Stardust, guitar in hand, impersonating a can-can dancer, rather than the one with the effete man-dress sleeve. You really have to marvel at Bowie for his serial reinvention and for always being at the cutting edge; thanks to his perpetually modulating personae his image has probably taken more of a pounding than a well-torpedoed hull.

On this album he cast himself against type by turning to Americanised guitar-oriented heavy rock, albeit with a hoofing great dose of prog. And the lyrics had a decidedly dark and intellectual posture. Here Bowie's words talk: about supernatural sex, about insanity, about Nietzchian philosophy, about war. The end result of this marriage of roots rock and arty-farty texts is an almost perfect storm of futuristic hard rock.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to seventhsojourn (BETA) | Report this review (#540535) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 02, 2011

Review by Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars It must have been a shock to the system for fans of Bowie's Space Oddity release to hear something like this as his follow-up. Embracing the harder edged rock scene burgeoning in Britain, this album is as much about Mick Ronson's heavy guitarwork as it is Bowie's songwriting and lyrics, which are dark and rife with a paranoid atmosphere. Fitting for the year 1970. It's pretty much the furthest Bowie would embrace hard rock, although much of the credit should be given to the producer, who had a large hand in this release as Bowie had his new wife on his mind much of the time during the recording and didn't completely oversee the album's construction. The results, nevertheless, are a gas.

Growing up in the US, I never saw the original UK cover of Bowie in that man-dress back in the day, but instead the black and white Ziggy sleeve was how I remember this effort. Funny how it was considered that the US wouldn't go for the original UK cover. I suppose the US fought a war against Britain a couple of hundred years ago to be spared that sort of thing. Well, he did interviews in that sort of getup in the US, so tough luck on that!

"The Width of a Circle" opens things with some feedback before launching into an energetic groove with a space rock aura at times. It's long, but moves and shifts often enough to feel like a much shorter tune. "All the Madmen" is another beast with proggy elements and a non- formulaic song structure. Great stuff. Mick puts on a showcase during many of these songs, particularly concerning the opening track and the latter half of "She Shook Me Cold" where his soloing sounds like a hybrid of the solos in "Voodoo Chile" and "Dazed And Confused".

Despite the overall loud volume, there is plenty of variety and mellower tunes to complement the straight up rockers, such as "After All" which is a nice bit of respite from the aggression. The title track, which unfortunately is considered by some as "that Nirvana song", is a well deserved classic, not a full on rocker but has a non-poppish attitude while being incredibly catchy with a killer guitar hook.

The album ends with a song that has an H.P. Lovecraft vibe (the writer, not the band) and Bowie seriously gets into the lyrics. It's dark and more than a bit odd and it's sung with such an exaggerated accent that VdGG's frontman must have thought "Is that dude making fun of me?"

Despite not being an iconic album to the extent that a few of his other works achieved, it's one of his most thrilling and entertaining. It may not be the first album to get when discovering the man's work, but maybe after checking a couple of his widely heralded releases, don't pass this up.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Prog Sothoth (BETA) | Report this review (#574911) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 25, 2011

Latest members reviews

4 stars After the slight flop of Space Oddity, Bowie decided, in his anger at the music industry to make a slightly more angrier and hard rock album. And with Bowie's art pop approach to music, he scanned the area and saw what was popular. So with Hard Rock coming from the States, and the Prog Rock sc ... (read more)

Report this review (#1009468) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Thursday, August 01, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Rating: 8.5/10 Great 2nd album for Bowie. Although it always suffered, unfairly of course, some kind of resistance by a part of the audience and critics. Part of this is indeed because it remains today as one of Bowie's most unaccessible records. So it is possible that a lot of them di ... (read more)

Report this review (#459197) | Posted by Mattiias | Saturday, June 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of the most interesting hard rock albums out there! Bowie's career is so diversified in terms of music and quality, and this is really his first great album, and probably most underrated and overlooked. The guitar playing here is phenomenal, as is the bass playing, played respectively, b ... (read more)

Report this review (#456695) | Posted by Buh | Friday, June 03, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "The Man Who Sold The World" is a classic beyond doubt. It has a certain dark, brooding, menacing feel to it. The opener "Width of a circle" sets the tone well with its hard-rock edge. It was paraticularly "heavy" for its time, just like the early Black Sabbath albums were. As for the guitar work, ... (read more)

Report this review (#432669) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Wednesday, April 13, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars As with many of the other reviewers here, this is probably my favourite David Bowie album. I'm generally quite a big Bowie fan, so that also makes it amongst my favourite rock albums, full stop. It's an album that is quite hard to pin down, but it does manage to fall into a host of different pi ... (read more)

Report this review (#305210) | Posted by Chris2210 | Monday, October 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In my opinion, this is the most progressive Bowie album he has ever released, for one reason; THE WIDTH OF A CIRCLE, the Toud De Force that opens this classic Bowie album, 8 minutes of quite arty progressive music, oh but thats not the only song that rules on this album as some standout tracks in ... (read more)

Report this review (#283108) | Posted by FarBeyondProg | Saturday, May 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Man who Sold the World is one of Bowie's best releases. The one thing that makes this record standing apart from Bowie's later albums is it's underground hardrock sounding full of psychedelic findings. This album is not so different sounding than the Space Oddity, but the songs are better writte ... (read more)

Report this review (#185554) | Posted by the philosopher | Tuesday, October 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I accidentally came across this album and was pleasantly surprised. The title song is well known and is very good, but what's more important, most of the album is even better; what a surprise! I've never expected experiencing Bowie as a hard rocker, this is, at many moments, on pair with Black S ... (read more)

Report this review (#180645) | Posted by Mlaen | Saturday, August 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Here it is, the first of three albums in a row by Bowie that tower over anything else that he has written. In this album David Bowie takes a hairpin bend away from the light folk rock of his first two albums to create what could indeed be the first true example of a progressive metal album (but ... (read more)

Report this review (#174923) | Posted by burtonrulez | Monday, June 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of DAVID BOWIE "The Man Who Sold The World"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.59 seconds