Bowie on Vinyl

Continuing the series on listening through my album collection on vinyl, we come to David Bowie. I don’t have a completist collection of Bowie, but there is a decent scan through his long career and ever so many releases.

First up, I listened to his self-titled album, David Bowie, which is a good listen, plus it gives us an anchor point from which to compare his future albums. Space Oddity is a song everyone knows and a great piece to launch a career—nothing quite like starting from the top. I also like the Chris Hadfield version because he is Canadian, he played it on the International Space Station, and because I like it. We jammed to this song at a men’s retreat many, many moons ago.

Hunky Dory, this album shows him maturing and starting to find his unique voice both literally through his lyrics and figuratively through his identities.

Aladin Sane, I bought this album in England as a souvenir. For some reason, this album doesn’t grab my attention the same way that some of his other albums do. I guess they can’t all be top ten hits.

Changesonebowie is an excellent compilation album that looks back on his early career. I immensely enjoyed listening to this slab of vinyl.

Scary Monsters is a good album that maintains a steady pace as a complete album instead of having many songs thrown together. I am particularly enamoured with such well-known songs as Ashes to Ashes and Teenage Wildlife. One reason I can relisten to this album some forty years later is the emotional connection between me and the album. Scary Monsters came out in 1980, part of my rapidly expanding album collection era. I don’t buy albums to pad my collection, I buy them to listen to, and I certainly did and continue to do so with Scary Monsters.

Lets Dance was released after Scary Monsters and continues to be one of my favourite Bowie albums and a strong album on its own accord. My only gripe about this album has nothing to do with the album. It is the video for Let’s Dance that irks me. I can’t watch Bowie and Mick Jagger faking dancing down a street while they lip-sync. To quote a friend of mine, urgh!

Young Americans. I got out of sync with the chronological order and jumped backwards from 1983 with Let’s Dance to 1975 and Young Americans. I find this to be an uneven album with some excellent material popping up occasionally. I like the song Fame but there are some less than stellar recordings, such as his cover of Across The Universe.

Station To Station feels more like an EP with six tracks than a full LP. It has some lengthy jams and bumps the album’s length up to a full-on LP time of roughly 17 minutes per side. Some nice grooves are going on, such as Golden Years, which gave me an earworm that instantly kicks in with something so innocuous as typing the song’s name. It happened again just now!

Tonight, this album very nearly missed this list. Tonight is an album regarded as one of Bowie’s weaker recordings, and I suppose that is why I so quickly forgot that I had even listened to it.

We have more Bowie on CD and a sealed copy of Blackstar on vinyl. The vinyl will stay sealed, and I will get to the CD collection after listening to all of our records.

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