Sunday, March 7, 2010

 

Album of the Day: David Bowie (3/7/75) 35 Years!

David Bowie’s 24-odd mainline albums evidence his unusual skill at adapting himself, his wardrobe and his music to changing times and genres. That’s why he frequently called “The Chameleon.” Bowie’s 9th studio album, Young Americans came out on March 7, 1975 and heralded a self-termed “plastic soul” phase in which he briefly embraced the sounds of 60s and 70s American R&B music.

The blue-eyed soul of Young Americans followed Bowie’s late-60s start as a pop and music hall performer, the hard rock of The Man Who Sold The World (1970) and the glam-rock of Ziggy Stardust in the early 70s. But plastic soul was short-lived. Within a year, Station to Station moved him to an avant-pop mode, and 1977’s Low transitioned further into an electronic, synth-pop sound.

Young Americans had a #1 single in “Fame” (co-written by John Lennon, who also provided backing vocals) and a lesser hit with the title track. The album itself made it into the Top 10 in both the U.S. and U.K. It’s available on Amazon and iTunes. Check the Playlist Vault for my interpretation of Bowie's 25 best songs.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

 

Album of the Day: David Bowie (1/6/67) 43 Years!

Two years and many moons before David Bowie stepped onto the world stage with his 1969 single “Space Oddity,” he released his eponymous debut album on Deram/Decca records on January 5, 1967. Long out of print as a vinyl record and available now in several expanded CDs (with multiple early Bowie bonus tracks), the album’s nothing like the David Bowie (aka “The Chameleon”) we came to know and love starting with “Space Oddity.” David Bowie is a mixed bag of vaudevillian stage songs (“Uncle Arthur”), tuba-based marching tunes (“Rubber Band”), slightly twisted MOR pop-rock tunes (“Love You Till Tuesday”), and a few memorable mid-60s psych-pop ditties (“Maid Of Bond Street”).

You needn’t listen carefully at all to hear Ziggy Stardust, Major Tom, Thin White Duke and other 70s/80s Bowie characters waiting for their time to come on David Bowie. If you’re a Bowie diehard, this album should be in your collection. If you’re just a casual Bowie fan, it’s worth a close listen.

For Dr. Rock's D.B. Top 25 playlist, click here. David Bowie is on Amazon (click here) as an expanded CD and on iTunes (click here) as individual downloads playable on iPods or mp3 players.

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