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David Bowie RIP


Conrad

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Seems a very long time ago now but I saw him in concert in the early 70s, I think, from memory, it was at the Victoria Hall, around the time Jean Genie was out.

 

He wasn't my favourite artist either but as you say very influential. I think he played north staffs a few times in the seventies.

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Saddened more than I have ever been by the passing of a famous person - not just the most influential performer ever, but one of the greatest people of the 20th century, and not just as a singer.

 

Respectfully posted from the period when I went to his concerts, at Epsom, the Festival Hall with Lou Reed, Birmingham, Romford, Croydon,Hanley Victoria Hall, Imperial College, the Roundhouse, the Astoria Rainbow where Roxy Music supported Bowie, Manchester Apollo Iggy Pop concert where Bowie played piano and never took the iimelight and a few others including a magical special appearance at the Marquee club in London for those who had been early fans, who spent a great deal of time talking to fans.

 

Mostly 1972-73, and this moving link from the last Ziggy concert at Hammersmith Odeon -

 

RIP - no one else will ever come close to your genius.

 

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Those who appreciate the talent of Bowie might find this interesting as a way of remembering his prolific output -

 

http://www.mojo4music.com/22833/farewell-david-bowie-his-100-greatest-songs/

 

 

My own favourite music from Bowie actually came from before his main fame arrived - the albums Hunky Dory and The Man Who Sold The World and Ziggy Stardust (he wasn't famous when recording it). I feel these 3 albums are beyond astonishing, but after 2 good but not exceptional albums in Aladdin Sane and Diamond Dogs, then he was corrupted by the US and the drugs in LA, and his 'plastic soul' period was horrible (I cant listen to Station to Station) and nearly killed him.

 

Perhaps one of his most powerful achievements was to pull himself out of that cesspit and get clean in Berlin - where he gave away virtually all his possessions and had a basic flat in the Schoneberg area (very arty and a bit like earlier Notting Hill in London as it was in the 70s) and produced the magnificent Low and Heroes albums, also amongst my favourites.

 

Lodger was ok but not special, but Bowie went into top gear and found his best form again on Scary Monsters with classics like Fashion, Ashes to Ashes and more.

 

Then sadly, to get sales, the ultra-commercial and low point Lets Dance, which he said later was his lowest creative output and made just for the US market in its simple minded and simplest form. Very well done, because it was Bowie, but Bowie is/was at heart a European, a British, an English, a London, a Brixton artist - and that is why his earlier work, his Berlin albums and his finals works are his best.

 

Thankfully he binned the U|S influences again and went in a completely opposite direction with the challenging and uncommercial Tin Machine albums, then gave us the Next Day with its Berlin revisited influences, and the new album Blackstar, which I have yet to listen to in detail.

 

Conrad, not being picky (opening post) but David passed away at his Soho (New York) apartment, not in LA.

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There will in fact be a private ceremony, those interested can read abut it from this reliable source

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-35310890

 

I hope this thread will not be turned into a disrespectful bickering contest by anyone who has already posted they were not a fan of this great man. RIP should mean Rest in Peace.

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I thought you were a bit uncharitable about Let's Dance. Nile Rodgers, man.

 

Some of the stuff after that was a bit pants though.

 

 

Let's Dance is beautifully crafted but in my opinion (and we all have different taste) it is too effortless for Bowie. He is so far in his comfort zone, and not stretching himself at all - he said pretty much the same himself, and whilst he acknowledged the welcome financial boost, was not proud of the music.

 

I do like Nile Rodgers as a musician, and he also seems very affable when interviewed. But for me, Bowie was better working with people like Fripp and Eno, and I never liked funky music compared to the very English sounding rock of the Man Who Sold The World and the Ziggy Stardust albums, or the cold harsh Euro sounds on Low and Heroes. Again, others may like the opposite.

 

Hunky Dory is a sublime creation, totally unaffected and an unknown artist (save for what everyone thought was a one-off hit in Space Oddity) producing an album that is totally uncompromising, yet full of charm, wit, and cosiness (Kooks, the song about David and Angie's new born baby).

 

Yet the album is outrageous, original (Queen Bitch glimpsed a world few even knew existed at the time) and darkly impenetrably mystic and even frightening at times (Quicksand and the Bewlay Brothers have had fans arguing over the meaning of their lyrics for decades).

 

Is there anyone who does not think Life On Mars is a masterpiece either ? Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep and Agadoo are available for those who don't like the Hunky Dory album.

 

I didn't really invest much time in the Tin Machine stuff, nor Earthling, but admire the fact that he still wanted to explore different sounds and styles.

 

We are really lucky that Bowie left us with so much to enjoy.

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Let's Dance is just another side to him - I like a bit of unashamed pop music, and in the early 80s it reached its zenith. I've heard people call it post-Disco.

 

Hunky Dory is amazing - so many really huge Bowie songs on there. Reading the 1-11 on the sleeve is a bit like finding an old Liverpool teamsheet from the late 70s or something.

 

Interestingly, Low came out on this day 39 years ago. I like the idea of it all being written and recorded it all in the wake of the summer of 76, with punk and all that happening in the background. Not the strongest album in terms of songwriting but the textures were sublime and influenced a lot of people over a period of time.

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