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David Bowie - Diamond Dogs CD (album) cover


David Bowie


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3.60 | 274 ratings

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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.


arcane-beautiful | 4/5 |


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