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DAVID BOWIE

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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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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BlackstarBlackstar
Explicit Lyrics
Columbia 2016
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Best of BowieBest of Bowie
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The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From MarsThe Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
Remastered
Rhino/Parlophone 2015
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Hunky Dory (180 Gram Vinyl)Hunky Dory (180 Gram Vinyl)
Rhino/Parlophone 2016
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Station to StationStation to Station
Remastered
Virgin 1999
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Diamond DogsDiamond Dogs
Remastered
Virgin 1999
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Young AmericansYoung Americans
Parlophone 1999
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Hunky DoryHunky Dory
Remastered
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Interscope 2001
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Scary MonstersScary Monsters
Import
Parlophone 1999
Audio CD$4.55
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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 | 106 ratings
David Bowie
1967
3.34 | 217 ratings
Space Oddity
1969
4.01 | 282 ratings
The Man Who Sold The World
1970
4.19 | 382 ratings
Hunky Dory
1971
4.20 | 521 ratings
The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
1972
3.86 | 272 ratings
Aladdin Sane
1973
3.07 | 144 ratings
Pin Ups
1973
3.61 | 204 ratings
Diamond Dogs
1974
2.63 | 147 ratings
Young Americans
1975
3.95 | 240 ratings
Station to Station
1976
4.05 | 309 ratings
Low
1977
4.03 | 287 ratings
"Heroes"
1977
3.42 | 165 ratings
Lodger
1979
4.19 | 252 ratings
Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
1980
2.97 | 182 ratings
Let's Dance
1983
2.19 | 100 ratings
Tonight
1984
2.14 | 54 ratings
Labyrinth - Original Soundtrack
1986
2.20 | 87 ratings
Never Let Me Down
1987
3.11 | 82 ratings
Black Tie White Noise
1993
3.39 | 52 ratings
The Buddha of Suburbia
1993
3.60 | 127 ratings
1. Outside
1995
2.82 | 120 ratings
Earthling
1997
3.47 | 104 ratings
'hours...'
1999
3.79 | 134 ratings
Heathen
2002
3.36 | 101 ratings
Reality
2003
3.91 | 148 ratings
The Next Day
2013
4.51 | 181 ratings
Blackstar
2016

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

2.70 | 43 ratings
David Live
1974
3.87 | 65 ratings
Stage
1978
3.86 | 17 ratings
Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars-The Motion Picture Soundtrack
1983
4.13 | 11 ratings
Santa Monica '72
1994
2.00 | 2 ratings
Rock'n'Roll Suicide
1995
3.86 | 21 ratings
Bowie at the Beeb
2000
3.43 | 16 ratings
Live in Santa Monica'72
2008
4.04 | 30 ratings
A Reality Tour
2010

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

3.64 | 18 ratings
The Best of Bowie
2002
4.40 | 5 ratings
Serious Moonlight, Live In Vancouver
2009

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
The World Of David Bowie
1970
3.53 | 19 ratings
ChangesOneBowie
1976
3.92 | 14 ratings
Soundtrack Christiane F. - Wir Kinder Vom Bahnhof Zoo
1981
3.67 | 3 ratings
Changestwobowie
1981
2.05 | 2 ratings
Fame and Fashion (David Bowie's All Time Greatest Hits)
1984
3.18 | 9 ratings
Sounds + Visions
1989
4.57 | 7 ratings
Changesbowie
1990
3.49 | 20 ratings
The Singles Collection
1993
2.72 | 9 ratings
The Deram Anthology 1966-1968
1997
3.67 | 3 ratings
London Boy
1998
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Best of David Bowie 1969/1974
1998
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Best of David Bowie 1974/1979
1998
5.00 | 1 ratings
All Saints (Collected Instrumentals 1977 - 1999)
2001
3.30 | 25 ratings
Best of Bowie
2002
3.50 | 4 ratings
The Collection
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Platinum Collection
2005
3.96 | 8 ratings
The Best Of David Bowie 1980/1987 (CD + DVD)
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
iSelect
2008
4.67 | 3 ratings
Nothing Has Changed
2014

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

5.00 | 1 ratings
Space Oddity / Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud
1969
3.00 | 5 ratings
Memory Of A Free Festival
1970
3.83 | 6 ratings
David Bowie In Bertolt Brecht's Baal
1982
2.00 | 1 ratings
Cat People (Putting Out Fire)
1982
3.64 | 5 ratings
1966 (Aka 'I Dig Everything: The 1966 Pye Singles)
1989
3.08 | 6 ratings
Jump They Say
1993
4.00 | 5 ratings
Where Are We Now?
2013
4.00 | 6 ratings
The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
2013

DAVID BOWIE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Diamond Dogs by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.61 | 204 ratings

BUY
Diamond Dogs
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Lewian

3 stars This is probably the first Bowie album that I can appreciate as a whole, not only the odd song. It has an interesting overall concept and gives the listener much variety and many ideas over its course. Still there is a considerable amount of material that is not to my taste. I don't insist that everything I like (or that I'd review positively here) has got to be "progressive", but there are some ways of being "unprog" that I don't appreciate, and Bowie has a talent of using (or in my view overusing) them. One of these is cliched Rolling Stones type rock'n roll as is Diamond Dogs and Rebel Rebel; Rock'n Roll With Me is a bit more muted and subtle but still not really my taste. Probably these are meant in a somewhat ironic fashion but still I can't help, they sound as they sound. We Are the Dead is fairly intense and haunting in some places but lacks substance in others. 1984 uses some disco rhythms that surely were very fresh at the time and to my surprise they are still and this is a fun piece that works quite well. My favourites are firstly the quite dynamic sequence of Sweet Thing - Candidate - Sweet Thing (reprise) on the first side, starting off as a ballad and then increasing in intensity, ending up in a quite unexpected dark, strong and driving instrumental part. Secondly, toward the end, Big Brother is another garbled pop composition of Bowie that throws some very catchy moments together with rather unexpected twists, and it leaves you with the hard and crazy Chart of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family, probably the most experimental thing to be found on a Bowie album up to that point, which is a welcome shake-up and I like it a lot. And... it's not your system that's at fault at the end. ;-)

I tend to not care for lyrics and will not therefore comment on them but if you're interested, there's something to be found here. I appreciate the concept in a musical way, it is possible to feel how it is all connected and follows some logic. This is overall pretty good and original despite a number of songs I could do without.

 Low by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.05 | 309 ratings

BUY
Low
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Lewian

2 stars There is no doubt that Low is a very original and special album. Many things on Low are done in a very unique way, or for the first time. It seems this album has influenced a lot of people, particularly in New Wave and Post Punk, and it has impressed even more; Pitchfork rated this as the best album of the seventies. Certainly Mr Bowie got the timing right for this!

I have made numerous attempts to get into Low and one time after another I failed. The rock oriented first side sounds thin to me, the special sounds and the mix are unorthodox and original but rather annoy than please me. The songs don't have a lot of appeal and are faded out all to quickly and impatiently.The mood is neither heavy nor romantic nor angry, rather emotionally understated and distant, and this doesn't attract me. Bowie was not in his best shape when he did this and one can hear this. It sounds like his attention span was rather short and this is expected of the listener, too, at least on side one.

I like the electronically dominated second side more, some sounds are beautiful and Warszawa is pretty impressive in its atmosphere, although none of these has much compositional substance, it's all about trying out and showcasing this exciting new style. Allusions to electronic Kraut artists are tastefully woven in; Weeping Wall sounds a bit like some of Irmin Schmidt's Soundtracks (most of which came later to be fair) and is rather interesting. Art Decade comes from a similar angle as Warszawa and works fairly well but doesn't have the haunting vocals that Warszawa and Subterraneans offer; the latter would be rather directionless though without the pretty short vocal part. This kind of stuff has been done much better by the proper electronic musicians, except, OK, they don't have Bowie's voice.

All in all side one and side two don't really fit very well together (it seems that nobody denies this but some seem to find this very cool); I can't get much out of side one and side two has its moments but isn't really consistent and mature (Mr Bowie's gotta be innovative for innovation's sake, and leave the place again all too soon).

Side one is a weak 2* and side two a good 3* and because they're not the best match and nobody has rated this low (!) up to now I round it down. Yeah, I see why it's special but still. Essential but not good.

 Blackstar by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.51 | 181 ratings

BUY
Blackstar
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Lewian

5 stars I am (was?) not a David Bowie fan at all. On previous albums I usually found (at most) one song I really liked, a number that I found "interesting" and the majority would deviate so strongly from how I appreciate music that I couldn't appreciate it at all. I always wondered whether the reason was that so much about Bowie was about being a charismatic star, fashion icon, role model and not about the music, which to me in many places seemed thin and cliched. Then, digging a bit deeper, I actually could see how special his music often was, how versatile in trying out lots of styles, ideas and modifications, but to me it seemed too often deeply flawed, subverting conventional structures in a manner that to me seemed counterintuitive and unmusical. Ultimately, his intuition about music didn't square with mine, I wouldn't get it. In a similar manner, I could appreciate his voice as a very individual and special one, except one that I didn't particularly like.

When he died, I heard the odd bit from Blackstar and became curious, I finally bought the album, and this changed everything. The title track, "Blackstar", is Bowie-style in that it garbles conventional song structures in counterintuitive ways, with surprising turns and very strange drumming, but this time the depth and emotional power grabbed me right from the beginning. I'm not sure to what extent the background knowledge and "Bowie sings about his own death" interpretation contributes to how this song moves me, in any case the song leaves me sucked into the emotional world opened up by its dark atmosphere. I have read that Bowie's voice was no longer at its best on this album, but I find it extremely expressive and I can follow him intuitively through every inflection, and, it seems, through his pain. "'tis a Pity That She Was a Whore" has driving, fast and straight drums and bass over a lot of free jazzy saxophone and piano. The singing again is a very emotional lament. Compositionally there is not much going on here but what is great is the intensity and how it rises. "Lazarus" is most directly about death, probably a goodbye to the world. It's a slow song by and large but recorded in a very dynamical way with a pretty interssting arrangement, again dominated by the emotional voice which conveys some depth that I could hardly find in any other music. "Sue" is the next of the faster drum driven tracks; these tracks on this album are sharper and more direct than anywhere else in Bowie's work. "Sue" is very nervous, dense and vibrating, with the voice raging against the power of the arrangement but always being in control. "Girl Loves Me" is my favourite track together with "Blackstar"; it comes with a punchy powerful mid-tempo rhythm supported by well chosen electronic sounds, a truly haunting voice (actually a number of voices piled up at times all sung by himself) and melody and two very intense moments in which the machinery almost grinds to a halt for then marching on with undiminished force. "Dollar Days" is a sad ballad and another song apparently about death. The chord change in the build up of the chorus makes it interesting and overall it is pretty tasteful and convincing. At the end, "I Can't Give Everything Away" tells the message that Bowie hasn't made peace with his death just yet, "I know something is very wrong" and the title phrase, repeated over and over through the song, yes, you've got to give everything away, sadly, but the clinging to it while powers to revolt are fading has been given a very fitting musical expression. This, again, is very moving and unforgettable, with some final warmth and commitment. Here, like always on this album, we get a proper end, burning out instead of fading away, as should be.

Extremely strong in emotional expression, atmospheric, intense, sharp and powerful, experimental in many details, with some remarkable instrumental contributions particularly on saxophone and drums and a very characteristic deep sound, this is an artistic triumph. For Bowie it is the end, rest in peace, but for me it is an initiation to his music, a starting point. After having got acquaintance with this, I am now in the process of exploring his earlier work more, and the view from the terminus, from Blackstar, helps me to appreciate at least some of his very rich musical world, although I'm pretty sure that this towers head and shoulders above the rest.

 Stage  by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Live, 1978
3.87 | 65 ratings

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Stage
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by VianaProghead

5 stars Review Nš 59

"Stage" is the second live album of David Bowie and was released in 1978. It was recorded on the "Isolar II ? The 1978 World Tour", more commonly known as "The Low/Heroes World Tour" or "The Stage Tour". The tour opened on 29 March 1978 at the San Diego Sports Arena, continuing through North America, Europe and Australia, before reaching a conclusion at the Nippon Budokan in Japan on 12 December 1978. The recordings were taken from concerts in Philadelphia, Providence and Boston, in USA. It primarily included material from the Bowie's three most recent studio works to that date, "Station To Station", released in 1976, "Low" and "Heroes", both released in 1977. However, in a true surprise show of nostalgia, it also featured five songs from his fifth studio album "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars", released in 1972.

The line up on the album beyond David Bowie (vocals and keyboards) and his usual core team Carlos Alomar (backing vocals and rhythm guitar), George Murray (backing vocals and bass) and Dennis Davis (drums and percussion), it's also formed by the then ex-Frank Zappa sideman Adrian Belew (backing vocals and lead guitar), Simon House (violin) from Hawkwind, Roger Powell (backing vocals, synthesizer and keyboards), best known for his work with Todd Rundgren in Utopia and Sean Mayes (backing vocals, piano and string ensemble).

Bowie's second official live album is an improvement on the first one, "David Live" released in 1974, even though most involved with it consider it a disappointment. Having not attended any of the supposedly excellent shows that this allegedly fails to properly capture, I don't have any such reservations about this album, and as such I can readily enjoy it. While "David Live" captured the Bowie's music in a traditional phase, from glam rock to soul, "Stage" was released in his Berlin phase, with the presence of Brian Eno, and so, it reflects more that musical phase. Anyway, it has also some songs from "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars" and from "Station to Station".

The original version of "Stage" has 17 songs. The songs appear in the chronological order of the original release of his studio albums, with 5 songs of "Ziggy Stardust", 3 songs of "Station To Station", 5 songs of "Low" and 4 songs of "Heroes". Despite I have both, the vinyl and the CD versions, the version of "Stage" that I'm reviewing here on Progarchives, is the 2005 CD reissue version, which is the best because it sequences the songs in the order that they were actually performed and it includes also three bonus tracks, "Alabama Song", "Be My Wife" and a version of "Stay", that may well be the best song on the whole album, despite all the songs on the album are great.

About the performance, the band pulls off the coldly majestic "Warszawa", an unusual choice for an album opener, extremely well, and there are plenty of other potential highlights here, plus the House's prominent violin adds an interesting new element that differentiates some of these songs from their studio counterparts. Disc one is comprised primarily of "Low" and "Heroes" tracks aside from "Fame", with "Heroes" the song unsurprisingly serving as the centrepiece and the high point of the set. Like most songs here it may not be as good as the original, but this version is still epic and wonderful in its own right. Disc two goes back in time for five straight "Ziggy Stardust" songs. "Art Decade" doesn't really fit here very well, and I prefer The Doors' version of "Alabama Song", but despite it, the album ends strongly with three "Station To Station" tracks, where Belew in particular shines, especially on the aforementioned extended version of "Stay". On the whole, this album doesn't really provide anything new other than to show that Bowie and company could pull these songs off in a live setting. Still, there's nothing wrong with that, and I for one enjoy listening to this album, and it represents undoubtedly an improvement to his debut live album.

Conclusion: "Stage" is, in my humble opinion and without any doubt, an excellent live album. I know it since it was released and I always loved it very much. It has an incredible set of songs, superiorly live performed, and that almost belong to some of the Bowie's best studio albums, and which are some of my favourite albums too. The repertoire chosen from those four studio albums is practically irreproachable. In relation to "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars", I've nothing to say because all the songs on the album are great and we are in presence of a conceptual album. Relatively to "Station To Station", "Low" and "Heroes", the selection is simply excellent. The only negative point, for me, is the non inclusion of "Subterraneans" of "Low". So, "Stage" is an excellent live document and a perfect illustration of the Bowie's musical period of that era, and is highly recommended for everyone. Anyway, Bowie is a highly visual artist so that aspect of his artistry can't be properly captured by only an audio CD.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars-The Motion Picture Soundtrack by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Live, 1983
3.86 | 17 ratings

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Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars-The Motion Picture Soundtrack
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The "Motion Picture Soundtrack" is a great live document of Bowie's glam rock era, and an excellent counterpart to the Santa Monica live show which, like this one, eventually got an official release after floating around on the bootleg market for years. Whereas the Santa Monica live album captures Bowie and Spiders in a raucous glam rock mode with more than a little mucking about on their part, this is a substantially more polished affair - made even more polished thanks to the careful remastering on the Five Years boxed set, if you fancy springing for that version - which finds the band on the peak of their form. The 15 minute version of Width of a Circle includes some amazingly intense improvised sections.

Of course, it also benefits from showcasing a concert which is not only high-quality in its own right but of massive historical importance to Bowie's career, for this is the point when he retired Ziggy, split up the Spiders, and set course for Hunger City and a rendezvous with the DIamond Dogs.

 Blackstar by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.51 | 181 ratings

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Blackstar
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Stricken with grief, it took me three weeks before I could bring myself to listen to this after hearing of Bowie's death. How is it possible to feel so sad about the death of someone you've never met or even spoken to?

What makes it all the more painful is that this is far better than any album he's released since 1995's 'Outside' with which 'Blackstar' holds many similarities. It's almost an extension of that recording without Brian Eno twiddling knobs and pushing buttons. After 5 listens I have to admit that 'Blackstar' is a masterpiece. Bowie's 'Abbey Road' if you like.

Being very excited towards the end of last year with the release of the bizarre 'Blackstar' video I couldn't wait for more of this experimental Bowie. Everything was just great - the bandaged face - the scarecrows - the quirky, odd and frankly downright weird tune left me desperate for more.

January 10th 2016... The the sky fell down...

A whole new perspective on those 2 videos hit me like a hammer blow. How couldn't I see the wardrobe door as a coffin?, Major Tom's skull? The lyrics should have been obvious enough. The real giveaway were the buttons on the eyes similar to coins on the eyes of the dead who crossed the river Styx with a payment to Charon, the ferryman of Hades, in order that their souls don't haunt the living.

This has made listening to 'Blackstar' a very difficult experience. In a year's time I'm sure I'll look back and say that it was the most brilliant artistic departure anyone has made in music. Art in death. Death in art. Right now it hurts.

'Blackstar' is like a hammered together collection of tunes that vary in sound and emotion. From the very upsetting yet superb opener we move on to 'Tis a Pity she was a Whore' - which could almost be a missing track from 'Let's Dance' When I heard there were saxophones on this album I shuddered. Thankfully they are used tastefully. Bowie's voice is in fine fettle considering he could barely speak during those last months. I guess it was recorded early last year.

'Lazarus' sounds like a missing track lifted from 'Heathen' which is no bad thing at all. The deeply grim lyrics are enough to make a grown man burst into tears. Like the previous two tracks there's very little connection in sound - almost as though they were recorded for different albums. Surprisingly it works really well.

Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime) really gets things going with a stomping, frantic beat and excellent vocals. Quite similar in fact to the vastly underrated 'Earthling' from '97. It gets louder than war itself the nearer it reaches the end.

The undoubted highlight for me is the underwhelmingly named 'Girl Loves me'. This sounds like it was recorded for the middle segment of 'Outside' from '95. The expletives are all the more unsettling in that he passed away on Sunday whilst singing 'Where the f*ck did Monday go. This tune is a million miles away from anything on 'The Next Day' which in hindsight just appears to be a clearing of the decks for what was to follow.

'Dollar Days' displays that pastoral green fields of England thing that Floyd did so well in the early 70's. It's a lovely tune with Bowie crooning away just like in the good old days.

There's a harmonica intro in 'I Can't Give Everything Away' that has been directly lifted from "A New Career in a New Town' in '77's 'Low'. It doesn't matter- the tune is beautiful. An almost perfect sendoff that could have been lifted from 'Black Tie White Noiise' but in a far more subtle manner.

Believe me - I don't give out 5 stars lightly. If an album deserves to be blown to pieces by a Howitzer, Im the man to do it. 'Blackstar' exceeded my expectations enormously. After the 'painting by numbers' 'The Next Day', this followup 'Blackstar' is just experimental enough to not alienate listeners. It's an album which displays an invention and creativity amidst a world of music that has come to bore me senseless during this decade. It's a thing of beauty that I just wish he'd recorded 20 years earlier.

 Live in Santa Monica'72 by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Live, 2008
3.43 | 16 ratings

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Live in Santa Monica'72
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Widely bootlegged before it finally got an official release in 2008, this album captures Bowie plus Spiders on the Ziggy Stardust tour of the US. Slipping in a preview of the next album in the form of Jean Genie, for the most part it's a fast- paced and energetic runthrough of the best of the preceding four albums from Bowie's 1969 self-titled release to Ziggy Stardust itself.

The band are in a rough and ready mood, giving the material a big injection of garage rock that really teases out the proto-punk attitude of the louder numbers and makes the renditions here contrast interestingly with the studio works. Perhaps the biggest deviation comes in the performance of Space Oddity, where wild vocal improvisations take the part of some of the instrumental sections (like the "liftoff" sound) that would have otherwise been tricky to reproduce on stage at the time.

The mix isn't always the best and the band do get sloppy here and there, but there's an undeniable energy to the performances which will win over all but the cloth-eared - and as Bowie notes on the back cover, Mick Ronson was absolutely on fire during this gig.

 Blackstar by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.51 | 181 ratings

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Blackstar
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars With David Bowie's passing the day after this album was released, one is tempted to let emotion rule, and raise the rating for sentimental reasons. However, I left this disc in my CD player, and after many spins, I feel I can step back and give it a less clouded review.

The album to me sounds unfinished. Every track sounds hollow. There is a rhythm track, with drums and bass, and Bowie's vocals. There are some guitars, keyboards and horns, but overall, the production is very empty. My gut tells me that the album was pushed out this way to get it out while the artist was still alive. I compare the sound to any other Bowie album, with rich, lush texturing, and I find it hard to believe that this album's bare sound was the intended result.

The songs themselves are good. Bowie's lyrics are about as dark as they can be (Do you blame him, given the circumstances?). The drums sound out of place, often much too frenetic for the music they are supporting. Again, it makes me feel that the wildness of the drums were meant to support some additional instrumentation that never was completed.

Bowie himself sounds weaker than usual, but had written his parts so that his failing voice could handle the task. And his moaning backing tracks add a lot of eeriness, helped along by splashes of dissonance by the horns, guitars, and string synths.

This is an interesting album. Not great, but not bad. Get it if you like Bowie, or if you just what to honor his memory.

 Best of Bowie by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2002
3.30 | 25 ratings

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Best of Bowie
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This 2016 has started with terrible news regarding music, the one that has affected me the most is David Bowie's death, because I consider him a genius, an artist like no one that changed a lot during his long career, and with all changes he demonstrated he could surprise us with positive and original works. He was always morphing into a new character, new music, new styles and new tendencies. It is difficult to say that a good artist has not been influenced directly or indirectly by David Bowie.

Of course, with his decease, people has been talking more about him and fortunately new generations or even old ones who did not dig his music before are starting to get into David's works, which is the only positive thing these sad news left. This is why I want to review this 2-CD compilation album, because I am a Bowie follower and I would like to suggest his music to you, my prog lovers' friends who visit this site.

Here you will find a chronological selection of representative tunes that offer a magnificent and unique mixture of styles: rock and roll, glam rock, space rock, pop, progressive rock and even electronic. This man managed to create new ways, to erase boundaries so in the end we only focus in one thing: music. Music without labels, David Bowie's music, that's it.

Of course, I've always said that it is better to start digging a band or artist with studio albums, that's undeniable a better way to start, however, with the huge fuzz about him nowadays, I think his legacy could enlighten young musicians and listeners who are willing to share something interesting to the world, so I think this compilation album might be a good place to start for them, and enjoy iconic songs such as "Space Oddity", "Life on Mars?", "Heroes", "Fame", "Fashion", "I'm Afraid of Americans", "Loving the Alien", "The Man Who Sold The World" and much more.

If you find this, don't hesitate and get it, you will not regret. Enjoy it!

 David Bowie by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1967
2.43 | 106 ratings

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David Bowie
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Chapter I: Trends of the Times

David Bowie. The man, the myth, the legend. A trendsetter. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist. An innovator. A legend of musical and visual reinvention. It seems the world has become a darker place since Bowie's death on January 10, and emotional recollections and tributes regarding his work surfaced all over the world in the wake of his passing. And why not? Of his 25-album career, at least a quarter of that work can safely be considered ground- breaking and legendary in the world of popular music. The Rise of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was a seminal piece of glam rock that gave birth to the iconic titular alter ego, Low and 'Heroes' saw Bowie bringing krautrock and ambient music to the masses, and now we've got his final effort Blackstar combining art rock with jazz in unique and fascinating ways. Why do I bring all of this up? Because it's interesting to think that such a trendsetter had such humble and derivative beginnings.

David Bowie's self-titled debut (not to be confused with his 1969 self-titled effort) is pretty much baroque pop with elements of folk rock and music hall. Right from the first track 'Uncle Arthur,' you can tell that Bowie was heavily influenced by artists such as The Beatles and Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys both musically and vocally around this time. The music hall influences are a lot more prominent here, however, and quite a few songs (most notably 'Rubber Band,' 'Little Bombardier,' and 'Maid of Bond Street') and have brass-based orchestration of some sort. There's an oddly bubbly and whimsical tone to the whole record, even during some of the darkest and most morbid subject matter; most songs sound quite innocent, like the sweetly upbeat and somewhat tongue-in-cheek 'Love You till Tuesday' or the tale of a land children inhabit apart from their elders in 'There Is a Happy Land,' but then there's a song like 'We Are Hungry Men' which talks about infanticide and abortion! Either way, the quirky tone of the album doesn't always mesh well in situations like these. Another problem is that the record sounds so inoffensive and boring during other parts that the songs run together after a while. There's not much variety; when you pick a song from this album, you usually get either of these: a quirky music hall song, a more subdued folk rock number, or a Beatles-influenced baroque pop tune. There's not much beyond that.

However, a few things stand out. First of all, the acoustic guitar playing tends to be fantastic on this album. 'Come and Buy My Toys' is a big highlight in this regard, frequently switching between whimsy and subdued melancholy with the very same instrument (the acoustic guitar is also the only instrument on this song other than the bass). There's also a fair amount of experimentation in a few songs, which would ultimately hint at Bowie's more innovative work. 'Join the Gang' combines a vintage piano sound with a sitar while its tempo creates a generally frantic and energetic atmosphere, and the closer 'Please Mr. Gravedigger' is an oddly somber and minimalistic a cappella number sung over the backdrop of a thunderstorm. If we had more of these songs to break up the general monotony of the cheerier pop/rock numbers, I think this would have been a more interesting and notable release in David Bowie's discography. However, aside from a larger emphasis on music hall elements, this is basically an average baroque pop record that does little beyond what many of Bowie's 60s peers were doing at the time. It's not really a bad record, just not the most interesting album compared to what Bowie could do in the future. Luckily, his next piece of work showcases a huge leap forward in both creativity and distinctiveness as an artist.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

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

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