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David Bowie - Diamond Dogs CD (album) cover

DIAMOND DOGS

David Bowie

 

Prog Related

3.59 | 272 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars THIS AIN'T ROCK AND ROLL, THIS IS GENOCIDE !

Bowie's frenzy is huge. Six months after "Pin-Ups", here he goes again with a new album.

1973 was an exceptional year for David. He was elected best UK singer by both the NME as well as the Melody Maker's readers. He sold more than one million albums, one million singles. He has never been as rich as he is now (I mean then).

But De Fries is making serious mistakes which will put an end to their partnership (Wayne County, Mick Ronson, Dana Gillepsie). Bowie is more depressed than ever and the concept of "Diamond Dogs" is even darker than "The Man.". David is also starting his addiction to heavy drugs (cocaine) which will have a disastrous effect.

The original sleeve designed by the Belgian Guy Peelaerts was just a superb weirdness, showing David as one of these mutant diamond dogs. It featured the lyrics of the intro "Future Legend". An ocean of horror, darker than the darkest description of a post nuclear New York. Frightening, disturbing, sickening, disgusting, apocalyptical.grandiose. This one minute piece of theater is phenomenal:

"Fleas the size of rats sucked on rats the size of cats. And ten thousand peoploids split into small tribes. Coverting the highest of the sterile skyscrapers. Like packs of dogs assaulting the glass fronts of Love- Me Avenue. Ripping and rewrapping mink and shiny silver fox, now legwarmers. Family badge of sapphire and cracked emerald. Any day now. The Year of the Diamond Dogs".

Ziggy has died, but now it is the turn of Halloween Jack to be in the spot light. "Diamond Dogs" is some sort of a logical follow-up of "A Lad Insane". Some of the tracks do have the rock'n'roll feeling of it. The title track for instance is another Stones oriented song. It was chosen to be a single but failed to chart significantly (only 21st in the UK).

Still, it is a very good song with weird lyrics. But the whole of this album soaks in this gloomy atmosphere: "The diamond dogs are poachers and they hide behind trees. Hunt you to the ground they will, mannequins with kill appeal".

THE highlight of this album is of course "Rebel Rebel". Another homage to Richards and his performing guitar riffs. It peaked at the fifth position of the charts. It instantly entered into my vein and never left me.

Side two of the vinyl album is dedicated to a theme that Bowie has already covered. Totalitarianism, dictatorship, terror. The pivotal song from this concept album is "We Are The Dead". Based on some words from the "1984" novel written by Georges Orwell, our friend Jack turns into Winston Smith (one of the main character from "1984").

The last two songs are of course fully Orwell oriented. While "1984" has this soul mood which will be the main musical source of inspiration for David's next album ("Young Americans"). "Big Brother" is a very pessimist track. Our hero (now Winston Smith) failed in fighting the dictator and will be converted as one of his followers. We will hear them, as if they were lobotomized, in the closing "Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family" repeating constantly: "Brother. Ooh-ooh. Shake it up, shake it up. Move it up, move it up" as a sign of submission to the Authority.

It will peak at the first spot of the UK charts (this is the third album in a row to do so in just a year.). It is also his biggest hit in the US so far (Nr. 5).

Four stars in my range. A very good album.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |

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