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Author: Subject: Someone recommend me some Bowie

Zen Peach





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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 10:08 AM
After going through my cd racks, I finally discovered, I have no David Bowie.
He's got some great stuff, and some truly awful as well.

So, where should I start? I'd prefer the 70's I guess ...

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 10:15 AM
Ground control to Major Lonomon ... that 70's stuff is okay for ambisextrious face painters, but I prefer the album he did with Stevie Ray Vaughn!

 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 10:18 AM
quote:
Ground control to Major Lonomon ... that 70's stuff is okay for ambisextrious face painters, but I prefer the album he did with Stevie Ray Vaughn!



Now that's comedy

 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 10:43 AM
If you're gonna start in the 70's (by far Bowie's strongest era) I think I can help as I have most of his 70's work and saw him three times live in that time frame.

The first one you MUST pick up would be (I'll give the FULL title): "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars", which was Bowie's fourth record. In my opinion this is the most essential Bowie and you certainly would recognize the hit "Suffragette City". High powered glam rock at it's best, but what will really kill you here is the storytelling which Bowie incorporates into his writing. Every song tells an interesting, often emotional little tale. And it's hard to beat the power trio behind him that Bowie had at the time: Mick Ronson (guitar), Trevor Bolder (bass), Woody Woodmansey (drums). Bowie adds some very tasty acoustic rhythm guitar throughout. This record is a rock 'n' roll masterpiece.

My second pick for you would be "Hunky Dory", the record which preceded "Ziggy". Again, the songwriting is just STERLING throughout. From a pure songwriting standpoint in fact, Hunky Dory is every bit as strong as Ziggy. It's more of a storytelling record than a rock 'n' roll record, which Ziggy certainly is. There are several pop tunes, again, all tell an interesting tale, among them Bowie's personal perceptions of Bob Dylan and Andy Warhol. Rick Wakeman of YES is all over Hunky Dory with some very tasty, artful piano work. In fact I would have to say that instrumentally Wakeman dominates this record, and that is certainly not a bad thing! "Life on Mars" is one of the greatest songs Bowie has ever written, wondering of the meaning of life, and if the drudgery most of us go through on a weekly basis has some higher purpose. Of course you'll recognize the huge hit, "Changes".

After that, there are many more great ones to pick from. I like "Space Oddity", which precedes Hunky Dory. Of course you've heard the tremendous title cut. The rest is mostly Bowie as the acoustic troubadour, and there is some very tender, beautiful and mellow songwriting on this record. This was Bowie's second record.

"David Live" is another great record, a double live album recorded at the height of his popularity. Earl Slick (guitar) adds a mean hard rock sound, while Mike Garson (piano) and David Sanborn (alto sax, flute) throw a lot of jazz into the mix. Add a lot of percussion and a slew of backup singers, and you have what to me is one of the greatest rock live records ever made, although it doesn't get much mention anymore. Bowie draws on a variety of material, but more than anything from his fifth and sixth records, Aladdin Sane and Diamond Dogs. I actually prefer the performances of those songs here than I do on the studio Aladdin Sane or Diamond Dogs albums, probably because the band of this tour was so incredibly strong.

Those are my favorites, and although there are plenty more good ones, I think that is enough for a great starter package. Let me add that if you get Bowie's first record, "The Man Who Sold the World", be prepared. It's very dark, and VERY heavy, some really heavy guitar work on it. Not a happy record by any means, and not like any other Bowie record. "Width of a Circle", from this record, probably the most hard rock tune Bowie ever recorded, appears in excellent form on "David Live".

[Edited on 11/14/2007 by robslob]

[Edited on 11/14/2007 by robslob]

 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 11:03 AM
Seriously, Bowie's had some fine musicians on-board. He also writes some great tunes. I just never went for the glam-rock stuff. David Bowie is one of the artists that a "greatest hits" album would suffice for me. To each his own!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 11:08 AM
Some great suggestions from Rob. But "The Man Who Sold The World" is not really his first album. He had two before that. "David Bowie" and "Space Oddity" were both released before that. I would pass on the first and Space Oddity is uneven song writing but it does have the title track but that is also on many various "Greatest Hits packages.

Rob is correct about "The Man Who Sold The World" being a very dark and heavy album. The songs are obscure but I really like this album.

'Ziggy Stadust" is easily the strongest album from the early 70s as mentioned already. Complete album is awesome.

My second pick would be "Aladdin Sane" followed by "Diamond Dogs".

those are the picks from the Spiders from Mars era. This era rocked out 70s style. But Bowie has many stages to his career and each has a unique sound. His next stage involved a more R&B mix to the music.

Young Americans (1975) - Good album with a slightly new direction.
Station To Station (1976) - Strongest album from this era IMO.

The rest of the 70s albums are uneven as drugs affect Bowie and a more "industrial sound" and strange instrumental songs. I would only go after these if you are looking to have a complete collection. Some good songs but overall a little weak/weird.

For Live albums from the 70s.

Ziggy Stardust - The Motion Picture - Final show of the Spiders From Mars band/era. Mick Ronson tears it up and it touches on most albums up to that point. Very raw/aggressive sounding

David Live - Has that slicker R&B sound added.

Both are good albums.



 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 11:12 AM
quote:
After going through my cd racks, I finally discovered, I have no David Bowie.



Quit while you're still ahead!

I like the SRV stuff, China Girl, Let's Dance etc.

There are also available some tour rehearsals (been offered before in theTrades area) with SRV before he bailed just prior to the the tour starting.

 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 12:39 PM
I am huge Bowie fan, I have all his records and also some rare stuff.


From the early period with Mick Ronson as his foil and co-arranger I like "the man who sold the world"
best. Nirvana covered the title track, and there are a lot of great songs that have started to make it
back into the live shows.

Hunky Dory is also very good, with the hit "Changes" and Rick Wakeman on the keys and some
great arrangements from Ronson and Bowie.

Then you have the Glam period, with Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane , and Diamond Dogs.
all three of these records are wonderful, my favorite would be the Aladdin Sane record, Mick Ronson's
guitar is searing on this record, "The Prettiest Star" is some of Mick's best playing.
Of Course the Ziggy record is what put Bowie over the top as a major rock star.
On Diamond Dogs Mick has left the band and Bowie plays guitar on this record, The Rebel Rebel lick
he came up with is a rock classic. (there is a story that Bowie was staying in a hotel with tennis star John MacInroe staying down the hall and playing the riff incorrectly, Bowie went down the hall to straighten him
out)

The David Live record is a transistional phase, with Bowie Dropping the elaborate stage show of the Diamond
Dog shows for a more scaled down show. Earl Slick, and Mike Garson were kept but the rest of the band
were Philly Soul cats and the Incredible Dave Sanborn on Sax. This is one of the best live records from
the 70s. If you only have ONE. Bowie Record. THIS IS THE ONE TO GET.

He continued the soul journey with "Young Americans" which featured the Grammy winning song
"Fame" co written with John Lennon and Carlos Alomar (From James Brown's Band) JB accused
Carlos of stealing the Guitar lick, but it was really Carlos' lick that JB never gave him credit for.
Lennon also appears on the cover of his song "Across The Universe" This record has some
amazing vocal performances from Bowie, Probably his best vocals. Some folks were put back
by this record because of the change from Rock to Soul music, But if you can get past this genre change
the record is quite amazing, One of his best.

The one thing you can count on Bowie for is Change.

After "Station to Station" a move back more in the rock direction, Bowie teams up with Brian Eno
for the next three records. Eno made his name producing U2, and as a founder of Roxy Music.
WHich is one of the bands that influenced Bowie's Glam period. (The other being T-Rex)
They made 2 very good records "Low" and "Heroes" and one forgettable record. "Lodgers"
The approach to these were very experimental, WIth Bowie using charts to randomly pick
chord changes. Also a William Burrows cut and paste approach to lyrics.
Heroes has some guest appearances, King Crimson's Robert Fripp on the title track.

Their is a live album from this period Called "Stage" . with Adrian Belew on guitar who Bowie
hired away from the Talking Heads live band. Adrian would later joing Robert Fripp in
the reformed King Crimson. (and Previously worked with Frank Zappa)
This record is worthy for the Guitar madness of Belew

"Scary Monsters" was next, Eno gone now but Bowie still using those techniques. More Robert Fripp
on The title track, Pete Townsend also guests. A good record but not essential.


After that he Hires Stevie Ray Vaughn and records 'Let's Dance" a very good "POP" record with
SRV's burning guitar giving it the edge. the title and Iggy Pop's "China Girl" were hits. SRV only
did one live Gig with Bowie at the US festival before demanding more money and being let go.
(SRV later admits it was really about him wanting to get back to his own music) Earl Slick replaces him.

The rest of the Eighties brings a few forgettable records, Although the Glass Spider tour had
Peter Frampton on guitar, but Bowie was concentrating on his Acting Career and the music suffered
IMHO. Although the Title Track from the film "Absolute Beginners" (bowie had a supporting role) is fabulous.

Then Bowie gives up the solo artist gig and forms a Band "Tin Machine" with guitar wiz Reeves Gabriels
and Hunt and Tony Sales (Sons of comendian Soupy Sales). These records are much heavier than
what Bowie was doing as a solo artist. The Live record from Tin Machine is very good IMO.

Tin Machine breaks up and Bowie keeps Reeves and brings back Brian Eno and the result is "Outside"
which is a incredible record. Trent Reznor remixes the track "The Heart's filthy lesson" for the movie
"Seven" and that becomes a big hit for Bowie.

"Outside" is a great record, although Eno is displeased with the final mix.

The rest of the crew (sans Eno) continue with "Earthling" another very good record.

After that Reeves leaves to start a solo career, Earl Slick returns. The last 2 records
"Hours" and "Reality" are back to Pop. Some good songs and melodies but not essential Bowie IMO.

So that is my take on the Bowie Catalog.

Recommendations

from the early period I would say Get "The man who sold the world"

From the Glam ERA, I think "Aladdin Sane" is the best, yet most critics would put "Diamond dogs" and Ziggy
on their essential Bowie List.

I think "Young Americans" is Bowie's best record (and best selling). but if you don't dig soul music
you should give this a miss . if you like vocal music, The Performance here is amazing.

Of the Pop records "Let's Dance" would be my choice mainly for SRV.

Of the experiment stuff: "Outside" is a brillian record IMO. "Heroes" is worth having.

"David Live" is a great live record with a lot of Bowies best material. Get this one first.
"Stage" is a good live set also, with the early Eno material on it.

Of the collections the RKO 2 cd set, The singles 1969-1993 is the best of those.
The 2 RCA collections "Changes One" and "Changes Two" are also good.

peace
John







 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 12:55 PM
Knew I cam to the right place!
Got some nice die hards here.

Thanks for the info

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 01:08 PM
I can only tell you about what works for me...


Buy his Greatest Hits

 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 01:20 PM
RKO has been reissuing the Bowie Catalog, some of it on SACD or HDCD.
those reissues have a lot of good bonus material also

good luck

 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 01:41 PM
quote:
RKO has been reissuing the Bowie Catalog, some of it on SACD or HDCD.
those reissues have a lot of good bonus material also

good luck


Bang on. The reissues definitely come with some bonus material. I had to pass on them as I already have the vinyl and original CDs.

BigV mentions the greatest hits packages of which there are a few good ones but they will only give you the "hits". I personally think you will miss out on a lot of good music that way. Which is true with all artists I guess. But for me Bowie's best never hit the radio.

I assume from your original post that you are looking to dig a little deeper.

I'm with John on this. Aladdan Sane and Ziggy would be good starting places.

 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 01:43 PM
Hunky Dory, for sure! Ziggy Stardust definitely! Young Americans maybe. All of these are from the 70's. Those would be my recommendations.

 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 02:18 PM
sam bowie..Portland trailblazers//I love him because the Bulls took Michael Jordan with the next pick..

 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 02:54 PM
quote:


BigV mentions the greatest hits packages of which there are a few good ones but they will only give you the "hits". I personally think you will miss out on a lot of good music that way. Which is true with all artists I guess. But for me Bowie's best never hit the radio.


The RCA changesone and changestwo collections had some obscure stuff on it. Probably to get collectors
like micelf to buy them.

 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 03:12 PM
quote:

After that, there are many more great ones to pick from. I like "Space Oddity", which precedes Hunky Dory. Of course you've heard the tremendous title cut. The rest is mostly Bowie as the acoustic troubadour, and there is some very tender, beautiful and mellow songwriting on this record. This was Bowie's second record.



"Space Oddity" is actually Bowie's first RCA record and his third RCA record. It was originally released as
"Man of Music, Man of Words" and was a commercial flop. When the TV coverage of the Apollo missions
started to use "Space Oddity" it was put out as a single and then MOMMOW was re-released as Space Oddity.
Just before Hunky Dory.

"The Man who sold the World" was the second RCA release.

Before his RCA albums he released a bunch of singles on DERAM. There are some collections of that stuff
also, but are really only interesting to collectors. He also recorded under the name of "The Buzz" and
"The Lower Third" for DERAM.

 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 03:23 PM
I'd suggest to anyone who has not really checkout out his 1970s stuff to dig past the make-up and listen to the music. "Ziggy" is a desert-island disc for sure.

To all of the previous selections, I would add the live 1972 album, I think it is from the Santa Monica Civic Center?! It was a widely circulated bootleg for years but I think it got an official release relatively recently. While it is not amazing audio quality, WHAT AN AMAZING CONCERT! His band really tore it up, and Ronson kicks the studio versions up ten notches. I love this concert.

Despite Bowie's androgyny, the music kicks more ass than much of the "macho" stuff of the 1970s, for sure.

 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 03:27 PM
quote:
I'd suggest to anyone who has not really checkout out his 1970s stuff to dig past the make-up and listen to the music. "Ziggy" is a desert-island disc for sure.

To all of the previous selections, I would add the live 1972 album, I think it is from the Santa Monica Civic Center?! It was a widely circulated bootleg for years but I think it got an official release relatively recently. While it is not amazing audio quality, WHAT AN AMAZING CONCERT! His band really tore it up, and Ronson kicks the studio versions up ten notches. I love this concert.

Despite Bowie's androgyny, the music kicks more ass than much of the "macho" stuff of the 1970s, for sure.


THe Santa Monica concert was put out but on a very limited collectors item basis. You'd have better
luck finding the bootleg.



 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 04:08 PM
"Best of Bowie" (Original Recording Remastered) did it for me. 38 songs in 2 CDs. In DVD I love "A Reality Tour" (2004), 30 songs, stunning sound and picture.


Raul

 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 07:38 PM
Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars
 

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  posted on 11/14/2007 at 08:16 PM
If you want to scracth the service of an artist then buy a best of . I just don't like the track selections that comprise a best of compilation . If you want a brief overview it'a a good start :
My recommendations - 1) Ziggy Stardust (no best of includes "Moonage Daydream" , Rock 'n' Roll Suicide" "Hang Onto Yourself") 2) The Man Who Sold The World (no best of will include "Width Of A Circle", Saviour Machine" & "She Shook Me Cold" 3) Hunky Dory (no best of includes "The Belway Brothers" , "Queen Bitch" but might include "Life On Mars" 4) Station To Station (no best of includes the title track , Wild Is The Wind" & and the brillant "Stay" .
These are my top recommendations but there others in his collection that I'd recommend .

 

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  posted on 11/16/2007 at 04:09 AM
lutton20: You said it for me. Bowie is the LAST artist whom I'd want to see a newbie buy a greatest hits package and be done with it. Your listing of missed tracks (particularly off of Ziggy Stardust) says it all. Would anyone here tell a newbie to the Allman Brothers Band to buy Decade of Hits, and not bother hearing At The Fillmore or Eat a Peach all the way through?

 

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  posted on 11/16/2007 at 04:44 AM
Hunky Dory is my personal favorite that I have had since I first bought it on 8 track . I have a gold cd of it now which sounds great .

 

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  posted on 11/16/2007 at 08:11 AM
Yes, and I doubt anything other than Changes from Hunky Dory would be included in a greatest hits package.

 

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  posted on 11/16/2007 at 09:12 AM

I have this show and the performance is outstanding and the sound quality is quite good too. Thought about seeding a vine with this source. What are peoples thoughts regarding this? Does this need to be done off site so to speak? Don't want to do the wrong thing. You can pm me if need be.


David Bowie Santa Monica Civic Center, Santa Monica, CA
Date: 10/20/72
Year: 1972
Venue: Santa Monica Civic Center
City: Santa Monica
State: CA
(The Ode to Joy)
Hang onto Yourself
Ziggy Stardust
Changes
The Supermen
Life on Mars?
Five Years
Space Oddity
Andy Warhol
My Death
Width of a Circle
Queen Bitch
Moonage Daydream
John I'm Only Dancing
Waiting for the Man
The Jean Genie
Suffragette City
Rock n Roll Suicide

Personal: Mick Ronson (g), Mike Garson(k), Trevor Bolder (b), Mick Woodmansey (d),


 
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