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David Bowie biography
David BOWIE is born David Robert Jones on January 8 1947.
He started making music in the late fifties (saxophone) and eventually played in a number of blues/rock bands, releasing his first single Liza Jane with The King Bees in 1964, he also changed his stage name to David BOWIE to avoid confusion with Davy Jones from THE MONKEES. BOWIE demonstrates several traits that single him out as a song-writer of interest to followers of Progressive music: narrative story-telling & characterisation, non-standard song structures, musical eclecticism and a variety of singing styles that have a wide vocal range and mixture of different tones & timbres to suit individual songs and stage personas.

Formative years. The Deram Years and Beckenham Art Labs

From 1966 until 1968 David BOWIE was under contract with Decca's Deram label. In 1967 he released his first album, a psychedelic pop album with music hall/cabaret overtones that show manager Ken Pitt's desire to form BOWIE into an 'all-round entertainer' like Tommy Steele and Anthony Newley when BOWIE's own aims were more Jacques Brel, Bertolt Brecht and Bob Dylan. The album and singles weren't much of a success, but reveal BOWIE's ability to craft simplistic sounding songs that were anything but the whimsical pop they first appear to be, rarely following pop or rock conventions many of these songs are mini-concepts or narratives with dark, subversive, dystopian and 'taboo' themes that he would develop in his later career. Marred by the uninspired addition of superfluous string arrangements the music of this early period has been captured by the Deram Anthology released in 1997 which also contains a number of previously unreleased tracks.

At the start of 1969 David was at a low point in his career. Together with some friends he decided to organise a Folk Club at the Three Tuns. It was an immediate success and soon developed into an Arts Laboratory - attracting talent from all over London and the south east. Musicians who played at the Arts Lab included Peter Frampton, Steve Harley, Dave Cousins and the Strawbs, Rick Wakeman, Tony Visconti and Mick Ronson. There was a lot more than music at the Beckenham Arts Lab. Visual artists created original works, poets gave readings, there were light shows, street theatre, dance - and Brian Moore's unforgettable puppets. Between 1969 and 1973 The Beckenham Arts Lab was a crucible for artistic talent and the launch pad for David Bowie's rise to stardom. Yet suc...
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Five Years 1969-1973 (12CD Boxed Set)Five Years 1969-1973 (12CD Boxed Set)
Box set
Rhino/Parlophone 2015
Audio CD$92.95
$131.91 (used)
Best of BowieBest of Bowie
Virgin / EMI 2006
Audio CD$6.53
$2.98 (used)
Space Oddity (7Space Oddity (7" Picture Disc)
Rhino/Parlophone 2015
$78.00 (used)
Labyrinth: From The Original Soundtrack Of The Jim Henson FilmLabyrinth: From The Original Soundtrack Of The Jim Henson Film
Parlophone 2007
Audio CD$4.34
$1.20 (used)
Moulin Rouge! Music from Baz Luhrmann's FilmMoulin Rouge! Music from Baz Luhrmann's Film
Interscope 2001
Audio CD$1.93
$0.01 (used)
Hunky DoryHunky Dory
Rhino/Parlophone 2015
Audio CD$5.06
$5.33 (used)
Nothing Has Changed - 3CDNothing Has Changed - 3CD
Legacy 2014
Audio CD$16.65
$14.99 (used)
Ziggy StardustZiggy Stardust
Parlophone 1999
Audio CD$6.47
$4.09 (used)
Young AmericansYoung Americans
Parlophone 1999
Audio CD$4.71
$3.35 (used)
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3h 11m
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3h 49m
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DAVID BOWIE shows & tickets

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DAVID BOWIE discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DAVID BOWIE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.43 | 89 ratings
David Bowie
3.32 | 182 ratings
Space Oddity
3.97 | 228 ratings
The Man Who Sold The World
4.18 | 309 ratings
Hunky Dory
4.17 | 437 ratings
The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
3.85 | 224 ratings
Aladdin Sane
2.85 | 119 ratings
Pin Ups
3.58 | 164 ratings
Diamond Dogs
2.55 | 122 ratings
Young Americans
3.89 | 194 ratings
Station to Station
3.99 | 251 ratings
3.95 | 233 ratings
3.33 | 124 ratings
4.11 | 205 ratings
Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
2.90 | 147 ratings
Let's Dance
2.14 | 81 ratings
2.09 | 46 ratings
Labyrinth - Original Soundtrack
2.21 | 75 ratings
Never Let Me Down
3.06 | 68 ratings
Black Tie White Noise
3.40 | 39 ratings
The Buddha of Suburbia
3.53 | 104 ratings
1. Outside
2.70 | 95 ratings
3.47 | 87 ratings
3.74 | 107 ratings
3.30 | 85 ratings
3.91 | 108 ratings
The Next Day

DAVID BOWIE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.69 | 39 ratings
David Live
3.81 | 54 ratings
3.42 | 14 ratings
Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars-The Motion Picture Soundtrack
4.14 | 10 ratings
Santa Monica '72
2.00 | 1 ratings
Rock'n'Roll Suicide
3.89 | 18 ratings
Bowie at the Beeb
3.19 | 12 ratings
Live in Santa Monica'72
4.00 | 24 ratings
A Reality Tour

DAVID BOWIE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.59 | 13 ratings
The Best of Bowie
4.33 | 3 ratings
Serious Moonlight, Live In Vancouver

DAVID BOWIE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
The World Of David Bowie
3.51 | 16 ratings
3.94 | 13 ratings
Soundtrack Christiane F. - Wir Kinder Vom Bahnhof Zoo
0.00 | 0 ratings
2.00 | 1 ratings
Fame and Fashion (David Bowie's All Time Greatest Hits)
3.15 | 8 ratings
Sounds + Visions
5.00 | 2 ratings
3.46 | 17 ratings
The Singles Collection
2.72 | 9 ratings
The Deram Anthology 1966-1968
3.67 | 3 ratings
London Boy
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of David Bowie 1969/1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of David Bowie 1974/1979
3.34 | 19 ratings
Best of Bowie
3.50 | 4 ratings
The Collection
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Platinum Collection
3.96 | 8 ratings
The Best Of David Bowie 1980/1987 (CD + DVD)
0.00 | 0 ratings
0.00 | 0 ratings
Nothing Has Changed

DAVID BOWIE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 5 ratings
Memory Of A Free Festival
3.83 | 6 ratings
David Bowie In Bertolt Brecht's Baal
3.77 | 4 ratings
1966 (Aka 'I Dig Everything: The 1966 Pye Singles)
3.08 | 6 ratings
Jump They Say
4.00 | 5 ratings
Where Are We Now?
4.00 | 6 ratings
The Stars (Are Out Tonight)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Low by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.99 | 251 ratings

David Bowie Prog Related

Review by A_Flower

4 stars While "Station to Station" shows Bowie at his Thin White Duke persona, struggling with alchaholism, "Low" Bowie tries to be more artistic and teams up with Brian Eno for his first album of the Berlin Trilogy. Low stands as one of Bowies best albums. The two sides completely differ, the first, being more fun, the second, being more serious.

The album starts with one of Bowie's best tracks. The instermental "Speed of Life". It starts with guitar coming in and kicks into a beutiful piece of music. I love how the song has so much to it yet so little.

The second song is a funny one called "Breaking Glass." After one a verse is a funny synth melody, which is what makes this a cool song.

Then we get another cool one called "What in the World." This has a cool sound in the back as Bowie sings a short love song. It's another highlight. "I'm just a little bit afraid of you" is a nice line.

The next song is well known as one of his most popular. "Sound and Vision." The guitar is cool, and then you get what sounds like ice getting thrown into fire in the beat. After a synth melody, Bowie sings "Ahh." It is a very good song, the lyrics have Bowie switching off to a higher and lower octive.

The next song is a little longer and has a funny title. "Always Crashing in the Same Car," which is actually about heroin. I used to love this one. It's still very strong and has great drumming. I should mention right now that the first side sort of sounds like a suite, but still in different songs. Still they are all about 2 minutes each making it really cool.

"Be My Wife" starts with guitar and insane piano. What's great about it is the wicked piano riff that plays after and before every line. It also has a good guitar solo and good lyrics.

The first side ends with the instermental "A New Career in Town." The beat at the beginning is ahead of it's time. It also has a great use of harmonica in the song. The synths are played by Eno. It is a great ending to the first side, which was fun for everyone! But that will change in side two...

Side two may be more proggier and Eno-dominated, but, to be honest, side one is better. "Warsawaza" starts side two. It isn't too bad. It, obviously, had much German influence. Bowie also sings, but I don't think it is about anything in specific (it might be in German). Watch on YouTube the animated video of Bowie and Eno making this song. It's pretty funny.

"Art Decade" is my personal favorite off the second side. By the title and the sound, I always picture a majestic and strange art gallery. The melodies are amazing and beutiful. As a track, it is an amazing prog rock song.

"Weeping Wall" is heavy on xylophones. As for the title, this is probably making reference to the Berlin Wall. It's a pretty good song, but cannot compete with Art Decade. Oh, did I mention a choir sings?

The album ends with Subteraenians, which is lame in my opinion. It just drags on, the sax is good, and so is the bass, but I feel it's some sort of a reprise of Warsawaza.

So, overall, Low stands as one of Bowie's masterpiece album.

Ranking of Songs:

1. Speed of Life 2. Art Decade 3. Sound and Vision 4. A New Career in Town 5. Always Crashing in the Same Car 6. Be My Wife 7. Warsawaza 8. What in the World 9. Breaking Glass 10. Weeping Wall 11. Subteraenians

Favorite quote from the album - "Your such a wonderful person...but you've got problems" -From "Breaking Glass"


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 The Next Day by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 108 ratings

The Next Day
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by uduwudu

5 stars This is a fantastic album. Alive with detail, variety and interest. Every song flows easily to the next but a few listens informs me of the detail.

First I heard the standard edition. I thought lost of great material but I didn't really get that album hit I expected. Heat is a fine number but not an album closer not for me anyway.

I really do recommend the deluxe edition. There's a couple of remixes that add to the album experience but mostly it is the rest of album - it's really a 3 LP set akin to Shut Up An' Play yer Guitar or Yessongs. 2 /3 of either are fine but the final 1/3... well you can work that one out.

Performances exemplary, every song worked out so well. Nothing questionable Bowie is far too smart and mature to have not have weeded out anything that may not have fitted in with this album.

The roots and orientation of this album references back to the Berlin trilogy and a few ironic sounds from Scary Monsters rears their head. Ignoring the '80s (thank you DB) the music continues on from his 1993 to 2002 area but sticks manly to rock rather than electronica dance sounds - no good nor bad thing, it's just what it is. As it is with Gail Ann Dorsey and Tony Levin supplying bass grooves there is no shortage of groove that can hit head and feet. Rock but ultra modern.

Four stars for the standard edition, more for the Japanese edition or the one with 3 extra tracks - 4 on the Japanese edition. Masterpiece level for the deluxe edition. There you get a DVD (not seen yet - videos for 4 tracks) plus all the interesting bits that get included in box sets. You get the lyrics, separate sleeves, a photo essay all marked Frame, Tracks, Extra, in black on white stark outline. The most puzzling in a book of 20 sides of blank paper marked "You." At least I don't have to put up with the worst thing - that edited Heroes cover. Sorry DB thought that was the worst cover idea since P Tree changing Stupid Dream to look like a promo for a music company. Or that Aphex Twin cover...

So like I say, this is like a 3 LP set and no wonder it took a while to write, record and produce this. Heroes. Low and Lodger took a while, no wonder really (plus some touring).

There are no real obvious hit songs (no Sound And Vision or Heroes) but you may beg to differ. Excellent. If this is the worse that can be said about a superb piece of modern music craftsmanship the bar is set very high indeed.


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 Young Americans by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.55 | 122 ratings

Young Americans
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by GKR

2 stars I'll never understand how Bowie could managed to get from his extraordinary world, full of aliens, glitter and apocaliptyc worlds to a R&B pop "Young American". The last album was a good one, with pop hits and artistic seriousness.

This is such a weak album, that all music sound kinda the same and bury all his past work - even with a promissing "Across the Universe"!. Luckly will have "Heroes" after a while, but this album is absolutely avoidable.

The only hit is "Fame" and lets face it: its the 80's wrapped 5 years before he actually gets here. Five years... five years...

2 stars, nothing special or remarcable here.


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 Studio Album, 1977
3.95 | 233 ratings

David Bowie Prog Related

Review by LinusW
Special Collaborator Italian Prog Specialist

4 stars The second album of the notorious Berlin trilogy, Heroes continues and expands upon the working formula of Low in an album divided into two very distinct parts. One for the poppier, rockier tracks and one reserved for the more ambient and mood-driven compositions, with the exception of the last track that sneakily puts the album back in more grounded territory.

Make no mistake, the album's first half is a very strong set of driven, pumping and groovy rockers with loads of energy and excitement in their slightly spastic, slightly detached, slightly deranged, but ultimately unfathomably cool little ways. If you don't get the tense, icy swagger of Bowie's music, it's hard to properly explain. But believe me - it's there.

Propulsive rhythms carry expressive, jagged and relatively meaty songs into slick evolutionary trajectories. In comparison to Low it's all a bit more rootsy, chunky, dirty and less controlled, while retaining the beautiful and generous sprinklings of electronic quirkiness and textures alongside some mechanically mangled and screechy guitar angularity. You see, on Heroes there's just a more direct connection to the electric mainline: a fresh, jolting sense of urgent release as well as a stronger affinity for (albeit strangely lopsided and odd) hooks and catchy motifs, without the need to present everything with such cold calculation and precision as on Low. I love both approaches, but this one is definitely more welcoming, giving us more of the man and less of the machine.

You also find the pseudo-Motorik structure of the massive hit song (and album namesake). It floats on a combination of simple groove, rising, falling and floaty keys and leisurely plaintive and melodic anchoring. Hovering above it all is a beautifully piercing, sustained guitar. It's full of little oscillating synth waterfalls and an inviting hissy haze. Not for nothing, it has that same incidental breeziness and laid-back trance you sometimes find with Neu!, but with the added bonus of Bowie's more gregarious, obvious and emotive vocals. There's a reason why this is a classic. Pop-Kraut, if I ever heard it. Sons of the Silent Age also stands out in its slower, more deliberate and spacious arrangement. Evocative saxophone and a mysteriously downplayed keyboard and guitar backing generates a darker feel to this track. It tentatively worms between the cheesy, choir-laden and surprisingly lackadaisical verses. Feels like it's trying to catch up to itself without ever really succeeding. Unfortunately, it unsuccessfully aims to be an hybrid with past musical ventures, but even so it's definitely not without its merits.

Coming up to the instrumental side, it's just as good (if not better), and is able to cram so many moods and colours into so few minutes. V-2 Schneider has some sparse vocals, but is predominantly a relatively sunny and propulsive groove excursion with driving and simple bass-lines and percussion. On top of it you find some some sturdy synth backing, feisty saxophone and distinct flecks of guitar notes (with occasional droning chords and a lick or two). Sense of Doubt has a completely different use of space, where clear, cold and searching synth rays shoot out into a cavernous void where they mingle and echo in the company of an oppressively falling piano cascade. Distant hissing and weak scratches only further serve to make this a rather ominous, hesitant and dark piece. Moss Garden follows, and starts off with a crackling, recurring and deep electronic pulse that makes me think of distant aeroplanes taking off, but is soon joined by beautiful silken strands of pure synth that sway and change in colour and intensity in the background of a wonderfully pure, dry and clear koto. Gently it falls, like perfect droplets of water. The contrast is transformational, mysterious and strangely spiritual, generating images of pristine Oriental temple grounds in the grey morning light. Neuköln has a strangely underwater and bubbling narrative when it starts, obscure and abstract, but evolves into a frosty background organ as the stage for a despondent reciprocity between mournful and fateful guitar and urgent, but more freely wailing saxophone. Haunting, to say the least.

So what can I say? I couldn't care less if Bowie was a trailblazer or a trend vampire - poseur or provocateur. Probably a bit of everything. In the end that's not important. Low, and in this case, Heroes, remain the most successful crossovers and cross-fertilizations between the more mainstream and art-oriented European music of the time. And this while maintaining a strong identity of their own, something indefinably Bowie. None of them is a a proper masterpiece on their own, but together they're simply amazing.

Another example of four shining stars, without the necessary perfection for a fifth. Strangely, I think I like it even more like that, dirty little flaws included.

4 stars.



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 Lodger by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.33 | 124 ratings

David Bowie Prog Related

Review by arcane-beautiful

4 stars The cover of this album always confused me. I get it, it looks like a postcard, but why is Bowie doing a weird pose on the front of it.

Being the last album in the Berlin Trilogy, Bowie and Eno have slowly moved away from each other. Apparently, during the making of this album, the two creative geniuses started to move apart. Not personally or anything, but creatively both just kind of moved apart. And musically you can tell, especially with the sounds on this being very similar to some of the sounds heard on "Scary Monsters".

Lyrically, the album is very much like the cover...it's a postcard. Bowie seems to be talking about a lot of the places he's visited and the sights he's seen, with an obvious Bowie take on all of it. I think at this point he was slightly off drugs.

Musically the album is really heightened by the absolutely insane guitar work of Adrian Belew, who apparently did most of the guitar work improvised. Now, it does verge away from the very experimental sounds on "Low" and "Heroes", but that doesn't mean they aren't still there. In fact there's a few sounds and musical moments on this album that are some of the oddest things that I may have heard. Typical Bowie it seems.

The opener "Fantastic Voyage" is a song that really surprised me. In my opinion one of Bowie's most interesting openers, with some absolutely astounding vocals.

One of the album's most insane songs has to be "African Night Flight."With an almost rap delivery from Bowie and a crazy fast pace flow, the song is just insane, and probably is the perfect description of a crazy night in Africa.

One of the album's most known songs "D.J." is a song that reminds me of one of Bowie's latest hits "Fashion." With a weird mixture of noise and jumpy rock beats, it is a pretty catchy song.

One of my personal favourites on the album has to be "Look Back In Anger." A very soulful vocal performance from Bowie and with a rather Beatley chorus, the song really is a very underlooked Bowie classic.

In conclusion, I really think this album doesn't get enough attention that it deserves. Now, this isn't Bowie's best album, and wouldn't even be my personal favourite Bowie album, but having heard some of his almost critically acclaimed albums, I would happily take this album over certain nuggets in Bowie's vast discography.



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 The Next Day by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 108 ratings

The Next Day
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

3 stars Ok, now it's diggested. EVERYBODY from magazines to all the independent websites have elected Bowie and The NExt Day (2013) in their Top10 lists... Oh that big beautiful hype! This is a very good record? Yes, it is a very good record, and it's good enough as a comeback for Bowie, but best of the year.... well, this is another story.

Will not even mention comparisons to his 70's period (especially because of the cover).... because this is ridiculous!!

Talking about the cover, is worty saying that this artwork is... shameful. I know the intention was to have exactly this feeling, maybe delete himself, who knows. For me he have lost the opportunity to create an unique artwork with this silly Heroes (1977) thing.

Another thing is the drummer of the album, Zachary Alford, that looks like AC/DC drummer, all the songs are EXACTLY the same on the drums. One thing is to keep it simple to make the song work, the other is just being simplist and ruin good songs.

The album itself has some amazing songs, really interesesting like 'The Next Day', the great riff on 'The Stars (Are Out Tonight)', 'If You Can See Me' and 'The Boss Of Me'. The rest feels pretty much like ok fillers. Specially the Space Control kind of feeling in 'The Heat'.

When it comes to Bowie's music I was expecting something more daring. Good, but not quite there.


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 Diamond Dogs by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.58 | 164 ratings

Diamond Dogs
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by arcane-beautiful

4 stars The Spiders have been disbanded. The cover album has been made. Bowie now had the world at his feet, begging for more. What was Bowie going to do...pretty much anything he wanted.

The original idea behind this album was to make a concept stage show of the book '1984' by George Orwell. At the time, Bowie's record label was not interested in the idea, so Bowie decided to discard most of the material and keep titbits for this album. So because of this, Bowie created a concept album about a futuristic dystopia with glam rock backgrounds. As with Ziggy, the concept can be rather faded and muted at times, but lyrically the concept can at time be more visual than story based. In fact, one of the reasons this album is so confusing and vague is because a lot of the material came from a lot of different places. From the failed Ziggy and 1984 musical productions to left over tracks from The Spiders From Mars, the album's musical focus shifts a lot, mainly due to Bowie's musical projects shifting around on him.

One of the most impressive feats of the album is the guitar work, which is pretty much all done by Bowie. Having let Mick Ronson go, Bowie pretty much had to do the work for himself, and he pulled it off very well. Bowie was never really known for his guitar playing, but some of the stuff on this album is pretty impressive.

The opener 'Future Legend' is pretty much a concept album intro. With some spoken word to set the scene and some rather vivid and stark imagery, it drags you into the world that Bowie is creating with this album.

The title track is one of the more light hearted moments on the album. With a rather Roxy Music vibe, it pretty much harkens to Bowie's future flirtations with soul and art rock.

'Sweet Thing' has to be Bowie's most diverse vocal performance. Before lowering his voice, Bowie shows of some great low ranges of his tenor, but also some incredibly high notes. The reprisal, along with the track 'Candidate' flows into each other perfectly and has some great twists and turns throughout.

'We Are The Dead' is one of the more abstract songs on the album. With art rock touches and experimental phrasing, the song pretty much is a poem with a musical accompaniment.

The songs taken from the failed 1984 musical ('1984' and 'Big Brother') are pretty great as well. I can see some sort of theatrical backing behind them, but as glam rock tunes with soul tinges, they work good enough by themselves.

The final track 'Chant Of The Ever Circling Skeletal Family' is a brilliant ending. With a sing along nature and odd experimental edges, it really is a great way to end the album.

In conclusion, I am slightly debatable with this album. In a way I prefer it to the Ziggy stuff, but in many other ways I also prefer his earlier endeavours. While this is a more focused concept album, it does have some flaws and jagged edges. This may be due to the drugs or not, but the music is still there and it remains a very enjoyable album, but by far not Bowie's best.



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 The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.17 | 437 ratings

The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Isa
Prog Reviewer

2 stars |D| Should have been left behind in the early 70s.

It doesn't take too long listening through this album that this was definitely an album made in the early seventies, definitely one made with an overtly "edgy" experimental sort of quality to it, and most of all, one that hasn't aged well in the slightest. To be fair, many aspects of the music sound like a legitimate attempt at making something creative. However, as a guy in his early twenties and one of the proud bearers of the prog-rock fan-base torch looking for some timeless music, there are far too many parts that have a stench of dated 70s stoner-ish super- lame later hippy era dribble that can be found in much of the music on the charts at the time. This was further confirmed after asking some people who were around during that time about the album. As much as I appreciate the occasional use orchestral and jazz instruments, the sometimes-nice arrangement of parts is so often covered up by the jarring and jagged rock composition around it that it looses its charm, at least for me. One of the other main problems that I have about the album is the sense of complete whimsical thoughtlessness that the music often conveys, as if the composer did not take his art seriously in the slightest, or evidently anything else for that matter. What we have here is nothing more than a direct manifestation of the "social liberation" "cutting-edge" "anti-establishment" ideology of the times, which today conjures images of those old washed-up hippy types with whom we southern Californians are all too familiar. This is an album that already hasn't stood the test of time, and likely no one will have even heard of it with the passing of the next few generations, save as a historical music footnote, not unlike the more superficial operas from the early-mid 19th century. I'll give an extra star for Bowie's attempt at breaking out of the mold of one- dimensional pop music, but that's hardly enough to consider it an album for the ages, as is the opinion of this young person.


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 The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.17 | 437 ratings

The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Xonty

5 stars I'm really not a fan of David Bowie, or the glam rock scene in generally, but the "Ziggy Stardust" album is a huge exception. It would probably reach my all-time top 10, because every track is so perfect in what was required for it to do. The album has a very live and on-its-feet feel, apparently due to the fact that no more than 3 or 4 takes were taken, making it very energetic and happening. Quite a lot of progressive elements here and there (time signatures, chord progressions, and effects), keeping a progressive fan like myself interested in the song, whilst also managing to appeal to a pop generation more focused on the wonderful lyrics and stage presence of David Bowie (and the Spiders From Mars). All of the musicians on here have such a great chemistry and tone in their instruments (the 2 Mick's and the recently-departed Trevor Bolder), and I should also commend Tony Visconti's fantastic recording in this - so important to the lively feel I mentioned. Anyway, on with the review!

"Five Years" is very apocalyptically themed for a pop song - like a more widely accessible "Crime Of The Century". David's lyrics and vocal delivery are just tremendous, and build to an increasing crescendo towards the end of how much he realises he will miss, and how closely the time is drawing near. A very good format and chord progressions that aren't too adventurous as to take over the vocals, with a great technique of end as it starting; with Woodmansey's drums leading you into the next track "Soul Love". Again, very empathetic singing by himself, and ever-building emotional climaxes. Teamed with an odd time signature throughout the verses, and a beautiful inclusion of the sax solo, produces a very fresh song essential to the album.

"Moonage Daydream" shows the other more primal and sexual side to David's voice, as with Mick Ronson's basic yet very effective guitar solos, and smoothly distorted tone. The melodies and saxophone solos are extremely catchy. Brilliant effects used throughout, and a brilliant overall feel which is quite unlike anything else really. Very well structured, and a nice introduction of the sci-fi theme to lead into the next track. The classic Bowie hit "Starman" then enters to contrast the rawness of the previous piece, with some delicious chords to open it and interesting progressions too. Teamed with some fantastic melodies, and a likewise phased piano sound, creates another fabulous track. Already incredibly consistent.

"It Ain't Easy" is a much slower tempo, with great guitars that produce an excellent timbre with Bowie's vocals. Although more of a rock track, includes some gospel singers to head the music into a brighter direction, with some quite religious/philosophical lyrics too. The chord changes fit these lyrics extremely well, and another great addition. "Lady Stardust" is again a relatively laid-back piece with very flowing and meaningful lyrics. The chords are, like most of the album, pretty basic but occasionally break out into more audacious territory, but doing so in a very subtle manner. Great double-tracking for the vocals, and some powerful melodies - it all comes together excellently once again for the band!

"Star" is much more up-tempo and very well sequenced in the album, with great pounding pianos and occasional outbursting guitar chords all complementing each other excellently. The lyrics and vocal delivery are still so outstanding, plus some new harmonies added into the mix, giving it a new flavour. Great resolves throughout to let you down for just long enough, and another exceptional track to a flawless album. "Hang On To Yourself" then follows, probably one of my favourite Bowie songs altogether. I love the feel he conveys throughout the guitar strums, the drums, and the almost meaningless lyrics, that all sounds so marvellous as one. Also quite catchy, and very fun to play along to on the guitar! Another highlight to the album for me.

"Ziggy Stardust", the title track, comes in too close to the end for me. It being the 3rd to last track and introduces the main character is a bit odd in my opinion. The album is very short in length so they could have added another could of songs between this and the next. But I distress, another great track with quite exciting chord progressions and techniques employed consistently throughout. The lyrics are definite and descriptive whilst I think that Bowie's delivery could have been a little stronger. Still, the band works very well together and obviously essential to the album. "Suffragette City", then, is my absolute favourite song on the album and in Bowie's repertoire altogether. Everything is sublime - the chord progressions, the harmonies, the story, lyrics, and sexuality every rock song should have behind. Extremely bold and rocks along at a steady pace without going off on a tangent, or even slowing down as you race towards the city. Undeniably an astounding work of art by any means and a great high-octane way to enter the acoustic, essentially-suicidal closer.

"Rock N' Roll Suicide" fits beautifully on the album, and a great contrast to the previous fastest track on the album. It tells the story of the Ziggy Stardust character becoming so adored and famous that he ends up being devoured of his essence by his fans. In a sense, quite true to David's world but the fame of this album affected him much more mentally than physically, as he became schizophrenic with the explicit Ziggy character. The song anyway is one of the best closing songs I can think of. The classic trick of bringing down the album towards the end is used to great effect, unlike many which just leave you low-down but not really emotionally changed. The lyrics and overall delivery is so powerful, and the guitar, which builds into a collection of various stringed instruments, outlines the magnificent chord progressions so unbelievably compelling and makes you feel surreal amounts of empathy for a fictional concept. The album might not be entirely progressive, but it's all there and David Bowie's finest half-hour for me by a long shot.

A+: A landmark of 70s music and culture and a timeless masterpiece.

Five Years: ***** Soul Love: ***** Moonage Daydream: ***** Starman: ***** It Ain't Easy: ***** Lady Stardust: ***** Star: ***** Hang On To Yourself: ***** Ziggy Stardust: ***** Suffragette City: ***** Rock N' Roll Suicide: *****


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 The Next Day by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 108 ratings

The Next Day
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars A new David Bowie album is almost irresistible, if only to check out what the old master is up to now, 10 years since his last studio effort. The album cover is tantalising, with the large white square blocking Bowie's visage, taken directly from the infamous "Heroes" album cover.

At first glance one may be mistaken for thinking "The Next Day" was a bootleg with such a cover but it is apparent, as the album gets going, that this is the new Bowie. The first song chugs with an industrial rhythm and Bowie's vocals still hold their own. The title track is not classic though and there is no prog in sight.

'Dirty Boys' is funky with some great sax and a jaunty rhythm. One of the better tracks on offer and very odd wah wah guitar like a throwback to the funk of the 70s. 'The Stars (Are Out Tonight)' has a bright tempo and some nice harmonies from Bowie with a strong drum beat and some great guitar melodies.

'Love Is Lost' utilises 80s soundalike synth pads and pounding drums on an offbeat. Bowie sounds cool as he sings of the darkest hour, your countries new, your friends are new, your house, but your fears are as old as the world. 'Where Are We Now?' is very slow and melancholy, Bowie sounds old and lonely as he croons about memories, a man lost in time, walking the dead."

'Valentine's Day' is a simple pop song with a repetitive hook and certainly one of the lowlights for me. 'If You Can See Me' has a wild raucous musical structure, a ton of drum patterns and quirky vocals. 'I'd Rather Be High' is another pop standard and 'Boss of Me' is notable for the amazing sax playing. 'Dancing Out in Space' is a dancey thing with a strong drum cadence and double layered vox. It sounds similar to 'Modern Love' but not as catchy. 'How Does the Grass Grow?' has a cool groove and forceful vocals, with an anti-war theme. I could have done without the ya-ya-ya's; it sounds a bit dated and kitsch. '(You Will) Set the World On Fire' is a fast paced rocker followed by slow cruising 'You Feel So Lonely You Could Die', another highlight on the album.

'Heat' closes it with a droning synth and wonderful bassline, Bowie is very downbeat and sings with an odd timbre in his voice. I like this a lot too and it is perhaps the best song, certainly the most progressive, even featuring spacey synth and dark atmospherics. The distorted guitar crashes are terrific, and overall soundscape is doomy, especially the drones overlayed on an acoustic and creepy violins; haunting and powerful.

Bonus Track 'So She' has a nice chiming guitar, but 'Plan' is fantastic and definitely one that should have made it to the actual album as it is a catchy instrumental. 'I'll take You There' is the heaviest song and it is a bonus! It is far better than most of the material on the album. the fast paced lyrics are great, Bowie sounds fresh and exciting, and those guitar are crashing with gleeful distortion.

I love a lot of Bowie albums, namely "Ziggy Stardust", "Aladdin Sane", "Heroes", "Scary Monsters" and side 2 of "Low", but this new album does not really hit the mark for me. Apart from 'Heat', there is too much pop and dance stuff, and not enough innovation and edgy material, or even Bowie's trademark guitar riffs and keyboard workouts. I am not saying that Bowie should give the game away, I actually admire his desire to keep creating music as it his passion, but this is a very safe effort, and a major disappointment for an artist I have admired for so many years.


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Thanks to micky for the artist addition. and to Rune2000 for the last updates

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