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DAVID BOWIE

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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David Bowie biography
David Robert Jones - Born 8 January 1947 (Brixton, London, UK) - 10 January 2016

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.

⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2016 ⭐

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...
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Glastonbury 2000 (2CD/DV)Glastonbury 2000 (2CD/DV)
Rhino Records 2018
$24.24
$28.07 (used)
The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (180 Gram Vinyl)The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (180 Gram Vinyl)
Limited Edition · Remastered
Rhino/Parlophone 2016
$16.28
$16.60 (used)
LegacyLegacy
Sony Legacy 2017
$29.66
$37.42 (used)
Glastonbury 2000 (3LP)Glastonbury 2000 (3LP)
Rhino Records 2018
$36.19
$55.63 (used)
Hunky Dory (180 Gram Vinyl)Hunky Dory (180 Gram Vinyl)
Limited Edition · Remastered
Rhino/Parlophone 2016
$16.69
$22.14 (used)
BlackstarBlackstar
Explicit Lyrics
Columbia 2016
$4.75
$2.55 (used)
Best of BowieBest of Bowie
Virgin / EMI 2006
$9.59
$2.68 (used)
Aladdin Sane (180 Gram Vinyl)Aladdin Sane (180 Gram Vinyl)
Rhino/Parlophone 2016
$20.53
$25.00 (used)
changesonebowie (180 Gram Vinyl)changesonebowie (180 Gram Vinyl)
Rhino/Parlophone 2016
$16.63
$15.51 (used)
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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)

2.47 | 137 ratings
David Bowie
1967
3.34 | 280 ratings
Space Oddity [Aka: David Bowie, Man Of Words/Man Of Music]
1969
4.03 | 351 ratings
The Man Who Sold The World
1970
4.15 | 471 ratings
Hunky Dory
1971
4.22 | 628 ratings
The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
1972
3.85 | 335 ratings
Aladdin Sane
1973
3.07 | 186 ratings
Pin Ups
1973
3.60 | 259 ratings
Diamond Dogs
1974
2.81 | 187 ratings
Young Americans
1975
3.97 | 299 ratings
Station to Station
1976
4.07 | 386 ratings
Low
1977
4.04 | 365 ratings
Heroes
1977
3.48 | 211 ratings
Lodger
1979
4.16 | 324 ratings
Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
1980
3.15 | 230 ratings
Let's Dance
1983
2.28 | 127 ratings
Tonight
1984
2.19 | 72 ratings
David Bowie & Trevor Jones: Labyrinth (OST)
1986
2.21 | 107 ratings
Never Let Me Down
1987
3.10 | 102 ratings
Black Tie White Noise
1993
3.35 | 72 ratings
The Buddha Of Suburbia (OST)
1993
3.62 | 152 ratings
1. Outside
1995
2.86 | 148 ratings
Earthling
1997
3.45 | 126 ratings
Hours...
1999
3.78 | 167 ratings
Heathen
2002
3.38 | 126 ratings
Reality
2003
3.90 | 187 ratings
The Next Day
2013
4.51 | 308 ratings
Blackstar
2016

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

2.86 | 59 ratings
David Live
1974
3.88 | 75 ratings
Stage
1978
3.94 | 27 ratings
Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars-The Motion Picture Soundtrack
1983
4.12 | 20 ratings
Santa Monica '72
1994
2.00 | 2 ratings
Rock'n'Roll Suicide
1995
3.85 | 26 ratings
Bowie at the Beeb
2000
3.48 | 23 ratings
Live in Santa Monica'72
2008
4.12 | 37 ratings
A Reality Tour
2010
4.83 | 5 ratings
Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles '74)
2017
0.00 | 0 ratings
Glastonbury 2000
2018

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

3.60 | 19 ratings
The Best of Bowie
2002
3.86 | 7 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
3.59 | 23 ratings
ChangesOneBowie
1976
3.95 | 18 ratings
Soundtrack Christiane F. - Wir Kinder Vom Bahnhof Zoo
1981
3.83 | 6 ratings
Changestwobowie
1981
2.05 | 3 ratings
Fame and Fashion (David Bowie's All Time Greatest Hits)
1984
3.34 | 10 ratings
Sounds + Visions
1989
4.60 | 10 ratings
Changesbowie
1990
3.53 | 23 ratings
The Singles Collection
1993
4.75 | 4 ratings
The Singles 1969 to 1993
1993
2.72 | 9 ratings
The Deram Anthology 1966-1968
1997
3.80 | 5 ratings
London Boy
1998
4.67 | 3 ratings
The Best of David Bowie 1969/1974
1998
4.60 | 5 ratings
The Best of David Bowie 1974/1979
1998
4.00 | 5 ratings
All Saints (Collected Instrumentals 1977 - 1999)
2001
3.38 | 30 ratings
Best of Bowie
2002
3.60 | 5 ratings
The Collection
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Platinum Collection
2005
4.00 | 9 ratings
The Best Of David Bowie 1980/1987 (CD + DVD)
2007
4.00 | 4 ratings
iSelect
2008
4.80 | 5 ratings
Nothing Has Changed
2014
5.00 | 3 ratings
Bowie Legacy
2016

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

4.72 | 6 ratings
Space Oddity / Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud
1969
3.22 | 9 ratings
Memory Of A Free Festival
1970
3.08 | 5 ratings
Starman / John, I'm Only Dancing
1972
3.78 | 4 ratings
Changes / Andy Warhol
1972
4.00 | 4 ratings
Time / The Prettiest star
1973
3.92 | 3 ratings
Rebel Rebel
1974
3.50 | 2 ratings
Young Americans / Suffragette City
1975
3.00 | 3 ratings
Sound and Vision / A New Career in a New Town
1977
3.67 | 3 ratings
Ashes To Ashes
1980
3.91 | 11 ratings
David Bowie In Bertolt Brecht's Baal
1982
3.25 | 4 ratings
Cat People (Putting Out Fire)
1982
2.22 | 4 ratings
Blue Jean
1984
3.73 | 6 ratings
1966 (Aka 'I Dig Everything: The 1966 Pye Singles)
1989
3.08 | 7 ratings
Jump They Say
1993
4.00 | 8 ratings
Where Are We Now?
2013
4.00 | 8 ratings
The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
2013
3.94 | 15 ratings
No Plan
2017

DAVID BOWIE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Space Oddity [Aka: David Bowie, Man Of Words/Man Of Music] by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.34 | 280 ratings

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Space Oddity [Aka: David Bowie, Man Of Words/Man Of Music]
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It took David Bowie quite a long time to rise to the top of the pop world. His naiive debut album from 1967 is rather outdated. This second album also was originally without a specific title, but due to the success of the song 'Space Oddity', it is nowadays known by that name. Even though the wonderful and at the time very topical song about astronaut Major Tom is among Bowie's best known and most beloved evergreens, the album as a whole doesn't enjoy the similar high status. Listener who expects to get more songs with such charm and commercial potential will probably be disappointed. But as the ratings prove, this album certainly has its strengths that place it firmly in the good middle league in Bowie's vast discography.

Some songs are frankly pretty forgettable (while I'm writing this without the album playing, and months since the last time I listened to it, I have very thin memories of e.g. 'Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Daze' or 'An Occasional Dream'). 'God Knows I'm Good' I do remember well, but only because it's so simple and repetitive, and therefor a weak effort. Brief 'Letter to Hermione' is a nice acoustic ballad, and 'Janine' is compared here to Bob Dylan's folk period. The 9½-minute 'Cygnet Committee' is undoubtedly a highlight from the prog listener's point of view, and also 'Memory of a Free Festival' has an interesting feel of an epic, even though the repetition of the line "Sun machine is coming out / and we're gonna have a party" lasts a bit too long in the end. But my favourite besides 'Space Oddity' (which I love!) is 'Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud', a masterful blend of fine vocals, moving lyrics and beautiful elegance of the orchestral arrangement.

This album shows Bowie in the early phases of his slow and gradual progress of becoming one of the leading singer-songwriters in pop/rock, but with at least one foot in the folk territory and some late-sixties' psychedelic scent still lingering in the air. It was followed by the relatively hard rocking The Man Who Sold the World (1970), which introduced Bowie's central collaborator Mick Ronson and is generally seen as the beginning of his classic era. However, I personally enjoy Space Oddity more. In some ways the folky charm and the arrangement excellence on certain highlights of this album point towars (and perhaps occasionally even beat) seminal Hunky Dory (1971) -- which of course is a clear winner when it comes to multi-style song-writing.

 Never Let Me Down by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1987
2.21 | 107 ratings

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Never Let Me Down
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Not even Bowie himself was keen on the original version of Never Let Me Down; as he explained it, he wasn't really feeling engaged at the time and didn't really pay that much attention to the production, with poor results - in particular, the drums from Erdal Kizilçay are entirely too intrusive. According to Reeves Gabriels, Bowie wanted a do- over on some of the songs almost as soon as the album had come out, but eventually decided that it was a bit too soon.

However, Bowie kept toying with the idea of revising the album, and completed a radically reworked version of Time Will Crawl as a taster for the project. He never got around to doing the rest of the songs before he died, but in early 2018 Gabriels assembled a team of Bowie collaborators to produce a brand-new version of the album which was a bit more worthy of the Thin White Duke's legacy, following the lead of the reworked TIme Will Crawl and what else was known about Bowie's intentions for the do-over.

Having emerged on the Loving the Alien boxed set, Never Let Me Down 2018 is pretty decent - we can certainly hope it will see a separate release soon, and it'd be a good thing if it displaced the original album altogether. In particular, that intrusive drum sound is toned down remarkably, allowing the intros to songs like Time Will Crawl to finally breathe. So, tack on an extra star and a half if you're looking at that version - but as far as the bungled original goes, avoid.

 Tonight by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.28 | 127 ratings

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Tonight
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is almost, but not quite, another covers album for Bowie - and also a bit of an uncredited collaboration with Iggy Pop. Of the five cover songs on this, three of these are of Iggy tracks - and sure, Tonight and Neighborhood Threat were originally cowritten by Pop and Bowie for the Lust For Life album, but Don't Look Down is from New Values, proving that Bowie had kept up with Iggy's career even after their careers had gone in different directions for a bit.

In addition, Pop co-writes Tumble and Twirl and Dancing With the Big Boys, the latter of which he guests on. On the whole, then, the album is a bit of a reunion, laying the groundwork for what would be Pop's most commercially successful (and most hook-laden) album of the 1980s, Blah Blah Blah.

However, it really doesn't sound that way - for better or worse, Bowie gives about as un-Iggy-ish a spin as he can to a lot of the material. Take, for instance, the reggae-inflected take on Tonight, or the torch song version of the Beach Boys' God Only Knows - or the epic album opener Loving the Alien, a brief glimmer of Bowie's old alien art rock stylings.

On the whole, it's a pleasant enough listen, but don't expect grand things of it: it's not quite one thing or another and as such is best approached as a collection of fun songs, not as a cohesive album.

 Hunky Dory by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.15 | 471 ratings

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Hunky Dory
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nş 206

'Hunky Dory' is the fourth studio album of David Bowie and was released in 1971. The album received critical acclaim and is regarded as one of Bowie's best works. It has been described as an album having a kaleidoscope of different genres of music, tied together by the very personal Bowie's sense of vision about the world and society, such as his ambiguous sexuality, kitsch and class. The album's cover was clearly influenced by a photo of Marlene Dietrich.

The line up on the album is David Bowie (vocals, guitar, alto and tenor saxophone and piano), Mick Ronson (vocals, guitar and mellotron), Trevor Bolder (bass guitar and trumpet) and Mick Woodmansey (drums). It's also remarkable the participation of Rick Wakeman on the album, playing piano as a guest musician in some tracks on the album.

'Hunky Dory' has eleven tracks. All songs were written by Bowie except 'Fill Your Heart' written by Biff Rose and Paul Williams. The first track 'Changes' is clearly a song chosen to be released as a single. It became in one of Bowie's best known songs and it's also one of them where its lyrics show better his chameleonic personality with the frequent reinventions of his musical style throughout his musical career. The second track 'Oh! You Pretty Things' is a song based on Wakeman's piano and Bowie's voice. This is a very simple song with a very catchy refrain which shows that a simple song can be a great song. The third track 'Eight Line Poem' is a song based on a sparse piano, a sparse guitar and Bowie's voice. This is another very simple song basically written around its lyrics. It isn't a bad song, but sincerely, I think it has less interest and quality than the other two previous songs. The fourth track 'Life On Mars?' is also clearly a song chosen to be released as a single, as happened with 'Changes'. It became also as one of Bowie's best known songs and it features a very beautiful piano work by Wakeman. This is, without any doubt, one of the greatest songs written by Bowie and that sounds like the precursor of his next studio album 'The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars', released in the following year. The fifth track 'Kooks' is a song that Bowie wrote to his newborn son Duncan Jones. This is also a very simple song, very beautiful, funny and humorous. Despite be a very light song, I always loved it because it sounds to me, as a very nice and warm song. The sixth track 'Quicksand' is a dark and depressing track where Bowie uses the concept of 'Superman' of Friedrich Nietzsche on its lyrics. Musically, it's a very beautiful song with multi tracked acoustic guitar and string arrangements by Ronson. The seventh track 'Fill Your Heart' is the only song on the album which wasn't written by Bowie. This is one of Bowie's happiest tracks, with very uplifting lyrics and with a nice use of strings and saxophone. It's a song in the same vein of 'Kooks', but probably is even better than that song is. The eighth track 'Andy Warhol' is, as its name indicates, a song about one of Bowie's greatest inspirations, the pop artist Andy Warhol. It's an acoustic song with a very distinctive flamenco riff on the acoustic guitar that continues throughout the song. This is an excellent folk rock song in the same vein of songs of their second studio album 'Space Oddity'. The ninth track 'Song For Bob Dylan' is also another homage song to one his greatest inspirations, but this time is Bob Dylan. It's interesting to note that the song is very similar to Dylan's songs and Bowie sings in the same style of Dylan. This is a very good song with some nice electric guitar work. The tenth track 'Queen Bitch' is another homage song on the album. Bowie was a great fan of Velvet Underground and he wrote this song as a tribute to the band and Lou Reed. This is a typical rock song with a strong electric guitar riff. It represents perfectly the very well known Bowie's glam rock style. The eleventh track 'The Bewlay Brothers' is a song written as a ballad and it's also, probably, one of Bowie's most dense and impenetrable songs. This is a very emotional song with some strange lyrics and is astoundingly performed. It has wonderful mellotron and nice acoustic guitar works. This is, in my humble opinion, one of the best songs of the album and one of the greatest Bowie's songs ever.

Conclusion: 'Hunky Dory' is another excellent album of Bowie. However and despite be released one year after his previous studio album 'The Man Who Sold The World', it's a completely different musical work. This is a more intimate album and a much less rocking album than its predecessor is. It seems to me a complete paradox and an album put out of the place, because it appears between the two rockiest, hardest and heavy rock albums made by Bowie, 'The Man Who Sold The World' and 'The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars'. But we are talking about Bowie, the chameleon artist. So, this isn't really a huge surprise. But, and despite I like very much of 'Hunky Dory' and considerer it one of the best and most fine albums of Bowie, it isn't one of my favourite albums from him. My favourite Bowie's studio albums are 'The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars', 'Low' and 'The Man Who Sold The World'. 'Hunky Dory' come in a second choice with albums like 'Station To Station' and 'Heroes'.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 The Man Who Sold The World by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.03 | 351 ratings

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The Man Who Sold The World
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nş 205

"The Man Who Sold The World" is the third studio album of David Bowie and was released in 1970. It was Bowie's first album with the nucleus of what would become the "Spiders From Mars", the band who would be famous due to his future fifth studio album "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars", released in 1972. "The Man Who Sold The World" has been claimed that this was the album that marked the beginning of the glam rock.

The line up on the album is David Bowie (vocals, guitars, stylophone, organ and saxophone), Mick Ronson (backing vocals and guitars), Tony Visconti (backing vocals, bass guitar, piano, guitar and recorder), Mick Woodmansey (drums and percussion) and Ralph Mace (Moog modular synthesizer).

"The Man Who Sold The World" has nine tracks. All songs were written by David Bowie. The first track "The Width Of A Circle" is a hard rock song with heavy metal overtones. The song is divided into two different parts and it has a very explicit sexual lyrics. It starts with a very nice riff and all over the song it turns in many musical directions. It became in one of the most favourite songs of his fans. The second track "All The Madmen" is a song that opens with acoustic guitar and recorder before transforming into a heavy rock song featuring a great electric guitar work by Ronson. This is another excellent track that provides a kind of an atmosphere of some insanity and dementia throughout the album. The third track "Black Country Rock" is a blues rock number that compared with the two previous songs on the album we can say that it's a kind of respite from the musical thematically heaviness of the beginning of it. This is another excellent song with great vocal work and an unusual and strange hard rock blues sound. The fourth track "After All" is another great song but that sounds very strange when we listen to it for the first time. It's a very unusual song because it was written in a context of a rock song in a waltz time that reminds us a surreal circus due to the instrumental break. This is a very melancholic song, very sinister and dark that transports us to a surrealistic nightmare of a child. The fifth track "Running Gun Blues" is a kind of a return of Bowie to his folk rock roots of the beginning of his musical career. It's a song with some violent lyrics that criticize the Vietnam War. This is another great song, where the extremely beautiful tune contrasts perfectly and magnificently with the violent criticism of its lyrics. The sixth track "Saviour Machine" is a return to the general hard rock tune of the album. It's clearly an epic song with great psychedelic musical influence and with a slightly touch of the symphonic music. This is another song with more provocative lyrics and a great musical ambience. It's a very powerful song, probably the most powerful song on the album. The seventh track "She Shook Me Cold" is the heaviest song on the album and is also probably the heaviest song on all Bowie's musical career. Ronson's guitar work is clearly influenced by the hard rock and heavy metal sound of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. It features, without any doubt, one of the best guitar performances by Ronson. The eighth track is the title track "The Man Who Sold The World". This is a classic Bowie's track, one of the best and one of the most known songs of him. This is probably the highlight of the album mostly because of its simple and extremely beautiful music and lyrics, instantly catching and attaching. It's a truly brilliant track and absolutely perfect with the effect, on me. I'm not able to stop listening to it constantly. Sincerely, I always loved this track. The ninth track "The Superman" is another great track. This is one more song on the album inspired by the literary works of Friedrich Nietzsche and H. P. Lovecraft. It's another dark song with great lyrics that curiously and instantly reminds me strongly Van Der Graaf Generator and Peter Hammill. This song represents the perfect way to close this incredible and admirable album.

Conclusion: "The Man Who Sold The World" wasn't one of my first contacts with the musical world of Bowie. My first contacts were "Space Oddity" and "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars" in the middle of the 70's. So, and despite my first contact with the album be only much later, it was soon love at the first sight. "The Man Who Sold The World" is a fantastic and an incredible album, and represents a great step forward from their previou studio album "Space Oddity" and a giant step from their eponymous debut studio album. In my humble opinion, it's one of the best Bowie's studio albums and t's also, for me, one of my favourite albums of Bowie, together with "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars" and "Low". "The Man Who Sold The World" is, without any doubt, the hardest and heaviest rock album made by Bowie and that became, in a certain way, the precursor of what would be his fifth studio album "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars". "The Man Who Sold The World" is one of the most interesting and cohesive hard rock albums I've ever heard and it represents his first great musical work. However and unfortunately, it's also probably the most underrated and overlooked album of Bowie.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Rebel Rebel by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1974
3.92 | 3 ratings

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Rebel Rebel
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars 1. Rebel Rebel ' 4:22

Around the year 1974 David Bowie had a certain connection with The Netherlands: the Diamond Dogs album cover was painted by Dutch artist Guy Peellaert, he did the final mix of Diamond Dogs with Tony Visconti in Hilversum, he attended a press reception and later the Edison Awards with his girlfriend Angie in Amsterdam and, last but not least, he performed his new single Rebel Rebel in the Dutch tv pop music program Toppop. How sensational, with his androgyn lookes, platform shoes, red hair and playbacking on a red Fender Stratocaster guitar. But the most remarkable was the eyepatch he was wearing, picked up in the studio (Bowie was also a genius in media attention), that video clip (with caleidoscope images) went all over the world!

On the Internet I read: 'Rebel Rebel was written for a never-realized Ziggy Stardust musical and reportedly inspired by New York transsexual and actor Wayne County, who was part of Bowie's entourage at the time.'

Wow, that guitar riff from Bowie himself (not Mick Ronson who left Bowie for a solo carreer in 1973), this one belongs in the category 'legendary', like the riffs in Paranoid by Black Sabbath, Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple and Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin. And by playing it over and over it turns into the heartbeat of the song, very pulsating and hypnotizing. And how about the tight rhythm-section, featuring the experienced Herbie Flowers (T-Rex, Sky) and Aynsley Dunbar (Zappa, Journey). All topped by David Bowie his distinctive vocals, singing about a girl who is testing the borders in a heavy way, perhaps a mirror Bowie is looking in, a metaphor for his own experiences and behaviour? Anyway, Rebel Rebel became an iconic glamrock song but one year later the musical chameleon Bowie presented the funky hit Fame, dressed like on the catwalk, goodbey rock and roll!

2. Queen Bitch ' 3:13

An inspired tribute to the Velvet Underground featuring an exciting blend of acoustic rhythm guitar and the 'dirty' electric guitar by the late and great Mick Ronson ('My own Jeff Beck' Bowie stated once), and strong vocals by Bowie. He easily evokes composer Lou Reed his unique voice, yes, what an outstanding musical chameleon David Bowie was! The US and Canadian version of this single had Lady Grinning Soul as the B-side, I presume due to the fact that the title Queen Bitch was too provocative for the Moral Majority.

 Starman / John, I'm Only Dancing by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1972
3.08 | 5 ratings

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Starman / John, I'm Only Dancing
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I feel this single deserves a favourable review, since the only rating so far is two (?!) stars. Why, 'Starman' is simply a lovely Bowie classic! It may be rather naiive, but in a charming way. I guess it's among his best known songs, so no need to get into details. A little minus comes for the "laa la-laa la-laa" part going on and on a bit too long in the end. The song appeared on Bowie's breakthrough album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

'John, I'm Only Dancing' (not on any album originally, if I'm not mistaken) was also made into a promotional video at the time, and it has been featured on several Bowie compilations. A nice average song, not among his best, but nor is it one of his least interesting hits either. 3½ stars, rounded down on a prog site.

 No Plan by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2017
3.94 | 15 ratings

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No Plan
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The "No Plan" EP was released on what would have been Bowie's 70th birthday. Just 18 minutes worth of music but well worth picking up if you enjoyed the "Blackstar" album. That album was my number one for 2016 so buying this EP was a bit of a no brainer considering the songs here could all have been on "Blackstar" as they all have that same vibe. Of course the opener "Lazarus" is on the studio album.

"Lazarus" is incredible for it's lyrics which could make your hair stand up. Love the droning horns and overall melancholic mood which was there in spades on "Blackstar" and throughout this EP. I mentioned the lyrics and here's a sample... "Look up here, I'm in heaven!" which is significant with him passing just after "Blackstar" was released. love the line later on... "By the time I got to New York, I was living like a king." Such emotion in the lines that follow as well. Some abrasive guitar expressions late.

"No Plan" is the only tune that I'm not big on. It's still a good song though. Heavy drums, keys and sax as laid back vocals join in almost quivering. Vocals stop after 2 1/2 minutes then the sax returns as it plays out to the end.

"Killing a Little Time" is my favourite of the new songs. A surprisingly powerful sound here with impressive drum work from American Jazz drummer Mark Guiliana. It settles back as vocals arrive quickly but the power will come and go. Some emotion in those vocals. What a song!

"When I Met You" opens with drums and atmosphere as the bass and keys join in, then vocals just after a minute. Catchy stuff. Great chorus too. I just want to keep singing "When I met you" over and over just like Bowie does.

Easily 4 stars and a great companion to "Blackstar".

 Stage  by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Live, 1978
3.88 | 75 ratings

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Stage
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a solid live recording from the Isolar II tour Bowie undertook in 1978, primarily showcasing material from Low and Heroes but with a few throwbacks - including an extended set of material from Ziggy Stardust. Bowie sounds more relaxed and comfortable than he has in a live context for a long while. On one level, this is reassuring - he was in a bad way just a few years prior - but it also means that the set, being a bit more relaxed, is also a bit less compelling. Compare it, say, to the dark energy of the 1976 Nassau concert (made available for the first time on the Who Can I Be Now? boxed set and later given a standalone release), or for that matter to the manic panic of the Cracked Actor live set from 1974 (recently released and putting David Live into the shade). Still, when the material at hand is this good and the band assembled is so professional, the show still ends up pretty good, though not quite essential.

Moreover, the chilly art rock experimentation of the Berlin era doesn't really suggest the warmth and spontaneity of live performance very much - so Bowie wisely doesn't try to recapture the sound of the most experimental parts of those albums onstage, instead giving the material an extensive reworking to make it more amenable for a live band, ("What In the World" may offer the most radical example of this). Taking on Adrian Belew as live guitarist lends a different but interestingly so sound to many of the songs, especially the Heroes material, which is rather transformed when you take Robert Fripp away and put Adrian Belew in his place.

(I have to wonder, in fact, whether Fripp had this album in mind when considering Belew for the 1980s King Crimson revival - after all, anyone who could reinterpret Fripp's approach in their own distinct style to this extent is surely a rare find.)

Earlier releases of the album hacked about the running order a lot, which rather shakes you out of the live context; more recent rereleases on CD restore missing songs and put the set list back how it's supposed to be. The best of these is the 2017 edition released on the A New Career In a New Town boxed set, which restores the final missing songs from the setlist (aside from Rebel Rebel, which was only occasionally performed on the tour as an encore), providing finally a complete Isolar II set for the listener's enjoyment. (I don't even miss the encore very much - the upbeat take on TVC 15 the album closes with is already a joyful enough farewell for my tastes.)

 Time / The Prettiest star by BOWIE, DAVID album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1973
4.00 | 4 ratings

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Time / The Prettiest star
David Bowie Prog Related

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This single contains two songs from David Bowie's follow-up to Ziggy Stardust breakthrough album, Aladdin Sane, and also circulates the album's cover picture. 'Time' is definitely among my all-time favourite Bowie songs. Mike Garson's very decorative and playful piano style graces the album's best tracks, which are in my opinion this one, 'Aladdin Sane' and 'Lady Grinning Soul'.

German cabaret music influences had been around in Bowie's music before, but 'Time' has such a strong Kurt Weill spirit that "if Lotte Lenya had popped in to duet, nobody would have been surprised at all", as Ned Raggett writes in All Music Guide. Strangely, I'm no fan of cabaret music at all, but somehow I'm fascinated by those charasteristics in this song. It begins effectively with only the piano and Bowie's distinctive vocals (featuring that notorious kinky line "falls wanking to the floor"), the rest of the band entering at around 40 seconds. The excellent melody is the real clue of the song, finished to perfection with the dynamics between echoing cabaret sections and the fuller band sound, without forgetting the fine vocal harmonies. The grandiose emotion is being milked to the last drop on the much-repeated "la-la-la" verse at the end of the album version. The single edition is approximately 1½ minutes shorter.

'The Prettiest Star', also from the Aladdin Sane album, is a light-hearted, fifties-spirited song that has never been among my Bowie favourites. It features Marc Bolan on electric guitar. I do like the melody, but the song is way too repetitive, lacking further inspiration musically and lyrically. [The Finnish singer-songwriter Hector recorded 'The Prettiest Star' on the 1977 "HEC" album along with another Bowie tune, 'TVC15'. Not very strong choices, I'd say.]

Four stars for the excellent A-side song that's not as well known as it would deserve to be.

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

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