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David Bowie
Allmusic Biography : The cliché about David Bowie is that he was a musical chameleon, adapting himself according to fashion and trends. While such a criticism is too glib, theres no denying that Bowie demonstrated a remarkable skill for perceiving musical trends at his peak in the 70s. After spending several years in the late 60s as a mod and as an all-around music hall entertainer, Bowie reinvented himself as a hippie singer/songwriter. Prior to his breakthrough in 1972, he recorded a proto-metal record and a pop/rock album, eventually redefining glam rock with his ambiguously sexy Ziggy Stardust persona. Ziggy made Bowie an international star, but he wasnt content to continue to churn out glitter rock. By the mid-70s, hed developed an effete, sophisticated version of Philly soul that he dubbed "plastic soul," which eventually morphed into the eerie avant-pop of 1976s Station to Station. Shortly afterward, he relocated to Berlin, where he recorded three experimental electronic albums with Brian Eno. At the dawn of the 80s, Bowie was still at the height of his powers, yet following his blockbuster dance-pop album Lets Dance in 1983, he slowly sank into mediocrity before salvaging his career in the early 90s. Even when he was out of fashion in the 80s and 90s, it was clear that Bowie was one of the most influential musicians in rock, for better and for worse. Each one of his phases in the 70s sparked a number of subgenres, including punk, new wave, goth rock, the new romantics, and electronica. Few rockers have ever had such lasting impact.

David Jones began performing music when he was 13 years old, learning the saxophone while he was at Bromley Technical High School; another pivotal event happened at the school, when his left pupil became permanently dilated in a schoolyard fight. Following his graduation at 16, he worked as a commercial artist while playing saxophone in a number of mod bands, including the King Bees, the Manish Boys (which also featured Jimmy Page as a session man), and Davey Jones & the Lower Third. All three of those bands released singles, which were generally ignored, yet he continued performing, changing his name to David Bowie in 1966 after the Monkees Davy Jones became an international star. Over the course of 1966, he released three mod singles on Pye Records, which were all ignored. The following year, he signed with Deram, releasing the music hall, Anthony Newley-styled David Bowie that year. Upon completing the record, he spent several weeks in a Scottish Buddhist monastery. Once he left the monastery, he studied with Lindsay Kemps mime troupe, forming his own mime company, the Feathers, in 1969. The Feathers were short-lived, and he formed the experimental art group Beckenham Arts Lab in 1969.

Bowie needed to finance the Arts Lab, so he signed with Mercury Records that year and released Man of Words, Man of Music, a trippy singer/songwriter album featuring "Space Oddity." The song was released as a single and became a major hit in the U.K., convincing Bowie to concentrate on music. Hooking up with his old friend Marc Bolan, he began miming at some of Bolans T. Rex concerts, eventually touring with Bolan, bassist/producer Tony Visconti, guitarist Mick Ronson, and drummer Cambridge as Hype. The band quickly fell apart, yet Bowie and Ronson remained close, working on the material that formed Bowies next album, The Man Who Sold the World, as well as recruiting Michael "Woody" Woodmansey as their drummer. Produced by Tony Visconti, who also played bass, The Man Who Sold the World was a heavy guitar rock album that failed to gain much attention. Bowie followed the album in late 1971 with the pop/rock Hunky Dory, an album that featured Ronson and keyboardist Rick Wakeman.

Following its release, Bowie began to develop his most famous incarnation, Ziggy Stardust: an androgynous, bisexual rock star from another planet. Before he unveiled Ziggy, Bowie claimed in a January 1972 interview with Melody Maker that he was gay, helping to stir interest in his forthcoming album. Taking cues from Bolans stylish glam rock, Bowie dyed his hair orange and began wearing womens clothing. He called himself Ziggy Stardust, and his backing band -- Ronson, Woodmansey, and bassist Trevor Bolder -- were the Spiders from Mars. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was released with much fanfare in England in late 1972. The album and its lavish, theatrical concerts became a sensation throughout England, and helped him become the only glam rocker to carve out a niche in America. Ziggy Stardust became a word-of-mouth hit in the U.S., and the re-released "Space Oddity" -- which was now also the title of the re-released Man of Words, Man of Music -- reached the American Top 20. Bowie quickly followed Ziggy with Aladdin Sane later in 1973. Not only did he record a new album that year, he also produced Lou Reeds Transformer, the Stooges Raw Power, and Mott the Hooples comeback All the Young Dudes, for which he also wrote the title track.

Given the amount of work Bowie packed into 1972 and 1973, it wasnt surprising that his relentless schedule began to catch up with him. After recording the all-covers Pin-Ups with the Spiders from Mars, he unexpectedly announced the bands breakup, as well as his retirement from live performances, during the groups final show that year. He retreated from the spotlight to work on a musical adaptation of George Orwells 1984, but once he was denied the rights to the novel, he transformed the work into Diamond Dogs. The album was released to generally poor reviews in 1974, yet it generated the hit single "Rebel Rebel," and he supported the album with an elaborate and expensive American tour. As the tour progressed, Bowie became fascinated with soul music, eventually redesigning the entire show to reflect his new "plastic soul." Hiring guitarist Carlos Alomar as the bands leader, Bowie refashioned his group into a Philly soul band and recostumed himself in sophisticated, stylish fashions. The change took fans by surprise, as did the double-album David Live, which featured material recorded on the 1974 tour.

Young Americans, released in 1975, was the culmination of Bowies soul obsession, and it became his first major crossover hit, peaking in the American Top Ten and generating his first U.S. number one hit in "Fame," a song he co-wrote with John Lennon and Alomar. Bowie relocated to Los Angeles, where he earned his first movie role in Nicolas Roegs The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). While in L.A., he recorded Station to Station, which took the plastic soul of Young Americans into darker, avant-garde-tinged directions, but it was also a huge hit, generating the Top Ten single "Golden Years." The album inaugurated Bowies persona of the elegant "Thin White Duke," and it reflected Bowies growing cocaine-fueled paranoia. Soon, he decided Los Angeles was too boring and returned to England; shortly after arriving back in London, he gave the awaiting crowd a Nazi salute, a signal of his growing, drug-addled detachment from reality. The incident caused enormous controversy, and Bowie left the country to settle in Berlin, where he lived and worked with Brian Eno.

Once in Berlin, Bowie sobered up and began painting, as well as studying art. He also developed a fascination with German electronic music, which Eno helped him fulfill on their first album together, Low. Released early in 1977, Low was a startling mixture of electronics, pop, and avant-garde technique. While it was greeted with mixed reviews at the time, it proved to be one of the most influential albums of the late 70s, as did its follow-up, Heroes, which followed that year. Not only did Bowie record two solo albums in 1977, but he also helmed Iggy Pops comeback records The Idiot and Lust for Life, and toured anonymously as Pops keyboardist. He resumed his acting career in 1977, appearing in Just a Gigolo with Marlene Dietrich and Kim Novak, as well as narrating Eugene Ormandys version of Peter and the Wolf. Bowie returned to the stage in 1978, launching an international tour that was captured on the double-album Stage. In 1979, Bowie and Eno recorded Lodger in New York, Switzerland, and Berlin, releasing the album at the end of the year. Lodger was supported with several innovative videos, as was 1980s Scary Monsters, and these videos -- "DJ," "Fashion," "Ashes to Ashes" -- became staples on early MTV.

Scary Monsters was Bowies last album for RCA, and it wrapped up his most innovative, productive period. Later in 1980, he performed the title role in the stage production of The Elephant Man, including several shows on Broadway. Over the next two years, he took an extended break from recording, appearing in Christiane F (1981) and the vampire movie The Hunger (1982), returning to the studio only for his 1981 collaboration with Queen, "Under Pressure," and the theme for Paul Schraders remake of Cat People. In 1983, he signed an expensive contract with EMI Records and released Lets Dance. Bowie had recruited Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers to produce the album, giving the record a sleek, funky foundation, and hired the unknown Stevie Ray Vaughan as lead guitarist. Lets Dance became his most successful record, thanks to its stylish, innovative videos for "Lets Dance" and "China Girl," which turned both songs into Top Ten hits. Bowie supported the record with the sold-out arena tour Serious Moonlight.

Greeted with massive success for the first time, Bowie wasnt quite sure how to react, and he eventually decided to replicate Lets Dance with 1984s Tonight. While the album sold well, producing the Top Ten hit "Blue Jean," it received poor reviews and was ultimately a commercial disappointment. He stalled in 1985, recording a duet of Martha & the Vandellas "Dancing in the Street" with Mick Jagger for Live Aid. He also spent more time jet-setting, appearing at celebrity events across the globe, and appeared in several movies -- Into the Night (1985), Absolute Beginners (1986), Labyrinth (1986) -- that turned out to be bombs. Bowie returned to recording in 1987 with the widely panned Never Let Me Down, supporting the album with the Glass Spider tour, which also received poor reviews. In 1989, he remastered his RCA catalog with Rykodisc for CD release, kicking off the series with the three-disc box Sound + Vision. Bowie supported the discs with an accompanying tour of the same name, claiming that he was retiring all of his older characters from performance following the tour. Sound + Vision was successful, and Ziggy Stardust re-charted amidst the hoopla.

Sound + Vision may have been a success, but Bowies next project was perhaps his most unsuccessful. Picking up on the abrasive, dissonant rock of Sonic Youth and the Pixies, Bowie formed his own guitar rock combo, Tin Machine, with guitarist Reeves Gabrels, bassist Hunt Sales, and Hunts brother, drummer Tony, who had previously worked on Iggy Pops Lust for Life with Bowie. Tin Machine released an eponymous album to poor reviews that summer and supported it with a club tour, which was only moderately successful. Despite the poor reviews, Tin Machine released a second album, the appropriately titled Tin Machine II, in 1991, and it was completely ignored.

Bowie returned to a solo career in 1993 with the sophisticated, soulful Black Tie White Noise, recording the album with Nile Rodgers and his by-then-permanent collaborator, Reeves Gabrels. The album was released on Savage, a subsidiary of RCA, and received positive reviews, but his new label went bankrupt shortly after its release, and the album disappeared. Black Tie White Noise was the first indication that Bowie was trying hard to resuscitate his career, as was the largely instrumental 1994 soundtrack The Buddha of Suburbia. In 1995, he reunited with Brian Eno for the industrial rock-tinged 1. Outside. Several critics hailed the album as a comeback, and Bowie supported it with a co-headlining tour with Nine Inch Nails in order to snag a younger, alternative audience, but his gambit failed; audiences left before Bowies performance and 1. Outside disappeared. He quickly returned to the studio in 1996, recording Earthling, an album heavily influenced by techno and drumnbass. Upon its early 1997 release, Earthling received generally positive reviews, yet the album failed to gain an audience, and many techno purists criticized Bowie for allegedly exploiting their subculture. hours... followed in 1999. In 2002, Bowie reunited with producer Toni Visconti and released Heathen to very positive reviews. He continued on with Visconti for Reality in 2003, which was once again warmly received.

Bowie supported Reality with a lengthy tour but it came to a halt in the summer of 2004 when he received an emergency angioplasty while in Hamburg, Germany. Following this health scare, Bowie quietly retreated from the public eye. Over the next few years, he popped up at the occasional charity concert or gala event and he sometimes sang in the studio for other artists (notably, he appeared on Scarlett Johanssons Tom Waits tribute Anywhere I Lay My Head in 2008). Archival releases appeared but no new recordings did until he suddenly ended his unofficial retirement on his 66th birthday on January 8, 2013, releasing a new single called "Where Are We Now?" and announcing the arrival of a new album. Entitled The Next Day and once again produced by Visconti, the album was released in March of 2013. Greeted with generally positive reviews, The Next Day debuted at either number one or two throughout the world, earning gold certifications in many countries.

The following year, Bowie released a new compilation called Nothing Has Changed, which featured the new song "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)." This song turned out to be the cornerstone of Bowies next project, Blackstar. Arriving on January 8, 2016, the album found Bowie re-teaming with Tony Visconti and exploring adventurous territory, as signaled by its lead single, "Blackstar." Just two days after its release, it was announced that David Bowie had died from liver cancer. In a Facebook post, Tony Visconti revealed that Bowie knew of his illness for at least 18 months and created Blackstar as "his parting gift." It topped several national charts -- including the Billboard 200, which made it his first number one album in the U.S. By the autumn of 2016, posthumous projects began to surface, including Who Can I Be Now? -- a collection of his mid-70s albums that functioned as a sequel to the previous years box set Five Years -- and the release of the cast recording to Lazarus, the Broadway musical he completed in his final years. On January 8, 2017 -- the year anniversary of the release of Blackstar -- the No Plan EP, containing Bowies versions of songs heard in the Lazarus musical, was released. A New Career in a New Town -- the third volume of retrospective box sets, this installment focusing on his recordings of the late 70s -- appeared in September 2017. The following year, the fourth retrospective box -- Loving the Alien -- was released and featured albums issued between the years 1983 and 1988. Included was Bowies biggest-selling 80s album, Lets Dance -- alongside a selection of live releases -- as well as a 2018 production of his 1987 album Never Let Me Down, featuring string arrangements by Nico Muhly and production from Mario McNulty.
david_bowie Album: 1 of 40
Title:  David Bowie
Released:  1969-11-04
Tracks:  24
Duration:  1:49:52
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Review Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Space Oddity  (05:15)
2   Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed  (06:53)
3   Letter to Hermione  (02:36)
4   Cygnet Committee  (09:36)
5   Janine  (03:25)
6   An Occasional Dream  (03:01)
7   Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud  (04:51)
8   God Knows I’m Good  (03:21)
9   Memory of a Free Festival  (07:11)
1   Space Oddity (demo)  (05:14)
2   An Occasional Dream (demo)  (02:53)
3   Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud  (04:58)
4   Let Me Sleep Beside You (BBC radio session)  (04:49)
5   Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed (BBC radio session)  (04:04)
6   Janine (BBC radio session)  (03:05)
7   London, Bye, Ta‐Ta (stereo version)  (02:37)
8   The Prettiest Star  (03:14)
9   Conversation Piece (stereo version)  (03:08)
10  Memory of a Free Festival, Part 1  (04:01)
11  Memory of a Free Festival, Part 2  (03:31)
12  Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (alternate album mix)  (04:48)
13  Memory of a Free Festival (alternate album mix)  (09:25)
14  London, Bye, Ta‐Ta (alternate stereo mix)  (02:37)
15  Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola (full length stereo version)  (05:16)
David Bowie : Allmusic album Review : When David Bowies second album appeared in late 1969, he was riding high. His first ever hit single, the super-topical "Space Oddity," had scored on the back of the moon landing that summer, and so distinctive an air did it possess that, for a moment, its maker really did seem capable of soaring as high as Major Tom. Sadly, it was not to be. "Space Oddity" aside, Bowie possessed very little in the way of commercial songs, and the ensuing album (his second) emerged as a dense, even rambling, excursion through the folky strains that were the last glimmering of British psychedelia. Indeed, the albums most crucial cut, the lengthy "Cygnet Committee," was nothing less than a discourse on the death of hippiness, shot through with such bitterness and bile that it remains one of Bowies all-time most important numbers -- not to mention his most prescient. The verse that unknowingly name-checks both the Sex Pistols ("the guns of love") and the Damned is nothing if not a distillation of everything that brought punk to its knees a full nine years later. The remainder of the album struggles to match the sheer vivacity of "Cygnet Committee," although "Unwashed and Slightly Dazed" comes close to packing a disheveled rock punch, all the more so as it bleeds into a half minute or so of Bowie wailing "Dont Sit Down" -- an element that, mystifyingly, was hacked from the 1972 reissue of the album. "Janine" and "An Occasional Dream" are pure 60s balladry, and "God Knows Im Good" takes a well-meant but somewhat clumsy stab at social comment. Two final tracks, however, can be said to pinpoint elements of Bowies own future. The folk epic "Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud" (substantially reworked from the B-side of the hit) would remain in Bowies live set until as late as 1973, while a re-recorded version of the mantric "Memory of a Free Festival" would become a single the following year, and marked Bowies first studio collaboration with guitarist Mick Ronson. The album itself however, proved another dead end in a career that was gradually piling up an awful lot of such things.
the_world_of_david_bowie Album: 2 of 40
Title:  The World of David Bowie
Released:  1970
Tracks:  14
Duration:  42:25
Info:  Allmusic Wikipedia Musicbrainz

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1   Uncle Arthur  (02:13)
2   Love You Till Tuesday  (03:13)
3   There Is a Happy Land  (03:16)
4   Little Bombardier  (03:29)
5   Sell Me a Coat  (03:01)
6   Silly Boy Blue  (03:54)
7   The London Boys  (03:22)
8   Karma Man  (03:05)
9   Rubber Band  (02:20)
10  Let Me Sleep Beside You (mono single master)  (03:27)
11  Come and Buy My Toys  (02:07)
12  She’s Got Medals  (02:28)
13  In the Heart of the Morning  (03:03)
14  When I Live My Dream  (03:23)
The World of David Bowie : Allmusic album Review : When David Bowie became a superstar in the early 70s, some of the fans who were converted by Hunky Dory or Ziggy Stardust decided to check out collections of his pre-Space Oddity output of the 60s. One of those collections was The World of David Bowie, a 14-song LP that Decca released in the U.K. These 1966-67 recordings had their share of detractors, who were unnecessarily harsh in their criticism. Yes, its true that Bowie was still finding his way in 1966-67, and he had yet to evolve into the visionary giant who gave us Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, but to call this material embarrassing is way off base -- in fact, much of it is decent. The LPs standout song is "The London Boys," a poignant tale of a down-and-out youth who tries to find happiness by joining a gang of other down-and-out youths. Also noteworthy are the charming, folk-like "Come and Buy My Toys," the quirky "Uncle Arthur" and the Beatlesque "Karma Man." Is this collection in a class with Young Americans? Absolutely not. Is it historically important and often enjoyable? Certainly.
the_man_who_sold_the_world Album: 3 of 40
Title:  The Man Who Sold the World
Released:  1970-11-04
Tracks:  9
Duration:  41:01
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   The Width of a Circle  (08:08)
2   All the Madmen  (05:40)
3   Black Country Rock  (03:36)
4   After All  (03:55)
5   Running Gun Blues  (03:15)
6   Saviour Machine  (04:28)
7   She Shook Me Cold  (04:16)
8   The Man Who Sold the World  (03:58)
9   The Supermen  (03:42)
The Man Who Sold the World : Allmusic album Review : Even though it contained no hits, The Man Who Sold the World, for most intents and purposes, was the beginning of David Bowies classic period. Working with guitarist Mick Ronson and producer Tony Visconti for the second time Bowie developed a tight, twisted heavy guitar rock that appears simple on the surface but sounds more gnarled upon each listen. The mix is off-center, with the fuzz-bass dominating the compressed, razor-thin guitars and Bowies strangled, affected voice. The sound of The Man Who Sold the World is odd, but the music itself is bizarre, with Bowies weird, paranoid futuristic tales melded to Ronsons riffing and the bands relentless attack. Musically, there isnt much innovation on The Man Who Sold the World -- it is almost all hard blues-rock or psychedelic folk-rock -- but theres an unsettling edge to the bands performance, which makes the record one of Bowies best albums.
hunky_dory Album: 4 of 40
Title:  Hunky Dory
Released:  1971-12-17
Tracks:  15
Duration:  57:05
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Review Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Changes  (03:35)
2   Oh! You Pretty Things  (03:12)
3   Eight Line Poem  (02:55)
4   Life on Mars?  (03:51)
5   Kooks  (02:53)
6   Quicksand  (05:06)
7   Fill Your Heart  (03:07)
8   Andy Warhol  (03:56)
9   Song for Bob Dylan  (04:12)
10  Queen Bitch  (03:18)
11  The Bewlay Brothers  (05:24)
12  Bombers  (02:41)
13  The Supermen (alternate version)  (02:43)
14  Quicksand (demo version)  (04:46)
15  The Bewlay Brothers (alternate mix)  (05:20)
Hunky Dory : Allmusic album Review : After the freakish hard rock of The Man Who Sold the World, David Bowie returned to singer/songwriter territory on Hunky Dory. Not only did the album boast more folky songs ("Song for Bob Dylan," "The Bewlay Brothers"), but he again flirted with Anthony Newley-esque dancehall music ("Kooks," "Fill Your Heart"), seemingly leaving heavy metal behind. As a result, Hunky Dory is a kaleidoscopic array of pop styles, tied together only by Bowies sense of vision: a sweeping, cinematic mélange of high and low art, ambiguous sexuality, kitsch, and class. Mick Ronsons guitar is pushed to the back, leaving Rick Wakemans cabaret piano to dominate the sound of the album. The subdued support accentuates the depth of Bowies material, whether its the revamped Tin Pan Alley of "Changes," the Neil Young homage "Quicksand," the soaring "Life on Mars?," the rolling, vaguely homosexual anthem "Oh! You Pretty Things," or the dark acoustic rocker "Andy Warhol." On the surface, such a wide range of styles and sounds would make an album incoherent, but Bowies improved songwriting and determined sense of style instead made Hunky Dory a touchstone for reinterpreting pops traditions into fresh, postmodern pop music.
the_rise_and_fall_of_ziggy_stardust_and_the_spiders_from_mars Album: 5 of 40
Title:  The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
Released:  1972-06-06
Tracks:  11
Duration:  38:32
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Review Review2 Review3 Musicbrainz
  
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1   Five Years  (04:42)
2   Soul Love  (03:33)
3   Moonage Daydream  (04:39)
4   Starman  (04:14)
5   It Ain’t Easy  (02:57)
6   Lady Stardust  (03:21)
7   Star  (02:47)
8   Hang On to Yourself  (02:38)
9   Ziggy Stardust  (03:13)
10  Suffragette City  (03:25)
11  Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide  (03:00)
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars : Allmusic album Review : Borrowing heavily from Marc Bolans glam rock and the future shock of A Clockwork Orange, David Bowie reached back to the heavy rock of The Man Who Sold the World for The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Constructed as a loose concept album about an androgynous alien rock star named Ziggy Stardust, the story falls apart quickly, yet Bowies fractured, paranoid lyrics are evocative of a decadent, decaying future, and the music echoes an apocalyptic, nuclear dread. Fleshing out the off-kilter metallic mix with fatter guitars, genuine pop songs, string sections, keyboards, and a cinematic flourish, Ziggy Stardust is a glitzy array of riffs, hooks, melodrama, and style and the logical culmination of glam. Mick Ronson plays with a maverick flair that invigorates rockers like "Suffragette City," "Moonage Daydream," and "Hang Onto Yourself," while "Lady Stardust," "Five Years," and "Rock n Roll Suicide" have a grand sense of staged drama previously unheard of in rock & roll. And that self-conscious sense of theater is part of the reason why Ziggy Stardust sounds so foreign. Bowie succeeds not in spite of his pretensions but because of them, and Ziggy Stardust -- familiar in structure, but alien in performance -- is the first time his vision and execution met in such a grand, sweeping fashion.
images_1966_1967 Album: 6 of 40
Title:  Images 1966–1967
Released:  1973
Tracks:  21
Duration:  59:58
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Musicbrainz

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1   Rubber Band  (02:20)
2   Maid of Bond Street  (01:46)
3   Sell Me a Coat  (03:02)
4   Love You Till Tuesday  (03:13)
5   There Is a Happy Land  (03:16)
6   The Laughing Gnome  (03:01)
7   The Gospel According to Tony Day  (02:48)
8   Did You Ever Have a Dream  (02:08)
9   Uncle Arthur  (02:06)
10  We Are Hungry Men  (03:00)
11  When I Live My Dream  (03:25)
12  Join the Gang  (02:21)
13  Little Bombardier  (03:24)
14  Come and Buy My Toys  (02:11)
15  Silly Boy Blue  (03:54)
16  She’s Got Medals  (02:28)
17  Please Mr. Gravedigger  (02:36)
18  The London Boys  (03:22)
19  Karma Man  (03:05)
20  Let Me Sleep Beside You (mono single master)  (03:27)
21  In the Heat of the Morning (stereo mix)  (02:58)
Images 1966–1967 : Allmusic album Review : This double album is becoming hard to find, which is unfortunate, as its easily the most comprehensive collection of Bowies 1966-1967 work for Deram. The 21 tracks include the entirety of his 1967 debut album, plus seven stray songs from singles and sessions that were unreleased at the time. Possibly because it wasnt heard by many listeners until it was reissued in the early 70s during Bowies ascent to stardom, this material has been unfairly maligned. Critics and fans of Ziggy Stardust were shocked to discover an all-around entertainer seemingly bent upon becoming the new Anthony Newley. Indeed, much of his work from this era was overbearingly cloying and saccharine, both in the West End matinee aspirations of the lyrics and the unabashedly theatrical orchestration, which bore hardly any resemblance to good old rock & roll whatsoever. One of these, "Laughing Gnome" (featuring Chipmunk-like backup vocals), would cause Bowie considerable embarrassment when it was reissued -- and became a hit -- in Britain in 1973. The less-idiotically cheerful efforts, though, show definite signs of an idiosyncratic talent: the odd character sketches, the fleeting references to transvestites and mysticism, even the occasional London swinging pop number ("Let Me Sleep Beside You"). The best track, "London Boys" (a 1966 single), is a neglected classic look at the downer side of the mod experience, and is the best of his many obscure pre-Space Oddity recordings.
aladdin_sane Album: 7 of 40
Title:  Aladdin Sane
Released:  1973-04-13
Tracks:  10
Duration:  41:34
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Review Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Watch That Man  (04:30)
2   Aladdin Sane (1913–1938–197?)  (05:08)
3   Drive‐In Saturday  (04:31)
4   Panic in Detroit  (04:27)
5   Cracked Actor  (03:01)
6   Time  (05:14)
7   The Prettiest Star  (03:31)
8   Let’s Spend the Night Together  (03:10)
9   The Jean Genie  (04:07)
10  Lady Grinning Soul  (03:53)
Aladdin Sane : Allmusic album Review : Ziggy Stardust wrote the blueprint for David Bowies hard-rocking glam, and Aladdin Sane essentially follows the pattern, for both better and worse. A lighter affair than Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane is actually a stranger album than its predecessor, buoyed by bizarre lounge-jazz flourishes from pianist Mick Garson and a handful of winding, vaguely experimental songs. Bowie abandons his futuristic obsessions to concentrate on the detached cool of New York and London hipsters, as on the compressed rockers "Watch That Man," "Cracked Actor," and "The Jean Genie." Bowie follows the hard stuff with the jazzy, dissonant sprawls of "Lady Grinning Soul," "Aladdin Sane," and "Time," all of which manage to be both campy and avant-garde simultaneously, while the sweepingly cinematic "Drive-In Saturday" is a soaring fusion of sci-fi doo wop and melodramatic teenage glam. He lets his paranoia slip through in the clenched rhythms of "Panic in Detroit," as well as on his oddly clueless cover of "Lets Spend the Night Together." For all the pleasures on Aladdin Sane, theres no distinctive sound or theme to make the album cohesive; its Bowie riding the wake of Ziggy Stardust, which means theres a wealth of classic material here, but not enough focus to make the album itself a classic.
pin_ups Album: 8 of 40
Title:  Pin Ups
Released:  1973-10-19
Tracks:  12
Duration:  33:56
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Wikipedia Musicbrainz

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1   Rosalyn  (02:21)
2   Here Comes the Night  (03:09)
3   I Wish You Would  (02:47)
4   See Emily Play  (04:12)
5   Everything’s Alright  (02:27)
6   I Can’t Explain  (02:13)
7   Friday on My Mind  (02:55)
8   Sorrow  (02:53)
9   Don’t Bring Me Down  (02:06)
10  Shapes of Things  (02:53)
11  Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere  (03:11)
12  Where Have All the Good Times Gone  (02:44)
Pin Ups : Allmusic album Review : Pin Ups fits into David Bowies output roughly where Moondog Matinee (which, strangely enough, appeared the very same month) did into the Bands output, which is to say that it didnt seem to fit in at all. Just as a lot of fans of Levon Helm et al. couldnt figure where a bunch of rock & roll and R&B covers fit alongside their output of original songs, so Bowies fans -- after enjoying a string of fiercely original LPs going back to 1970s The Man Who Sold the World -- werent able to make too much out of Pin Ups new recordings of a brace of 60s British hits. Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane had established Bowie as perhaps the most fiercely original of all Englands glam rockers (though Marc Bolans fans would dispute that to their dying day), so an album of covers didnt make any sense and was especially confusing for American fans -- apart from the Easybeats "Friday on My Mind" and the Yardbirds "Shapes of Things," little here was among the biggest hits of their respective artists careers, and the Whos "I Cant Explain" and "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" were the only ones whose original versions were easily available or played very often on the radio; everything else was as much a history lesson, for Pink Floyd fans whose knowledge of that band went back no further than Atom Heart Mother, or into Liverpool rock (the Merseys "Sorrow"), as it was a tour through Bowies taste in 60s music. The latter was a mixed bag stylistically, opening with the Pretty Things high-energy Bo Diddley homage "Rosalyn" and segueing directly into a hard, surging rendition of Thems version of Bert Berns "Here Comes the Night," filled with crunchy guitars; "I Wish You Would" and "Shapes of Things" were both showcases for Bowies and Mick Ronsons guitars, and "See Emily Play" emphasized the punkish (as opposed to the psychedelic) side of the song. "Sorrow," which benefited from a new saxophone break, was actually a distinct improvement over the original, managing to be edgier and more elegant all at once, and could easily have been a single at the time, and Bowies slow version of "I Cant Explain" was distinctly different from the Whos original -- in other words, Pin Ups was an artistic statement, of sorts, with some thought behind it, rather than just a quick album of oldies covers to buy some time, as it was often dismissed as being. In the broader context of Bowies career, Pin Ups was more than an anomaly -- it marked the swan song for the Spiders from Mars and something of an interlude between the first and second phases of his international career; the next, beginning with Diamond Dogs, would be a break from his glam rock phase, going off in new directions. Its not a bad bridge between the two, and it has endured across the decades.
diamond_dogs Album: 9 of 40
Title:  Diamond Dogs
Released:  1974-03
Tracks:  11
Duration:  38:20
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Future Legend  (01:08)
2   Diamond Dogs  (05:58)
3   Sweet Thing  (03:38)
4   Candidate  (02:40)
5   Sweet Thing (reprise)  (02:32)
6   Rebel Rebel  (04:30)
7   Rock ’n’ Roll With Me  (04:01)
8   We Are the Dead  (04:59)
9   1984  (03:27)
10  Big Brother  (03:20)
11  Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family  (02:03)
Diamond Dogs : Allmusic album Review : David Bowie fired the Spiders from Mars shortly after the release of Pin Ups, but he didnt completely leave the Ziggy Stardust persona behind. Diamond Dogs suffers precisely because of this -- he doesnt know how to move forward. Originally conceived as a concept album based on George Orwells 1984, Diamond Dogs evolved into another one of Bowies paranoid future nightmares. Throughout the album, there are hints that hes tired of the Ziggy formula, particularly in the disco underpinning of "Candidate" and his cut-and-paste lyrics. However, its not enough to make Diamond Dogs a step forward, and without Mick Ronson to lead the band, the rockers are too stiff to make an impact. Ironically, the one exception is one of Bowies very best songs -- the tight, sexy "Rebel Rebel." The song doesnt have much to do with the theme, and the ones he does throw in to further the story usually fall flat. Diamond Dogs isnt a total waste, with "1984," "Candidate," and "Diamond Dogs" all offering some sort of pleasure, but it is the first record since Space Oddity where Bowies reach exceeds his grasp.
young_americans Album: 10 of 40
Title:  Young Americans
Released:  1975-03-07
Tracks:  11
Duration:  58:37
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Review Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Young Americans  (05:12)
2   Win  (04:45)
3   Fascination  (05:45)
4   Right  (04:14)
5   Somebody Up There Likes Me  (06:33)
6   Across the Universe  (04:32)
7   Can You Hear Me  (05:07)
8   Fame  (04:17)
9   Who Can I Be Now?  (04:39)
10  It’s Gonna Be Me  (06:30)
11  John, I’m Only Dancing Again  (07:00)
Young Americans : Allmusic album Review : David Bowie had dropped hints during the Diamond Dogs tour that he was moving toward R&B, but the full-blown blue-eyed soul of Young Americans came as a shock. Surrounding himself with first-rate sessionmen, Bowie comes up with a set of songs that approximate the sound of Philly soul and disco, yet remain detached from their inspirations; even at his most passionate, Bowie sounds like a commentator, as if the entire album was a genre exercise. Nevertheless, the distance doesnt hurt the album -- it gives the record its own distinctive flavor, and its plastic, robotic soul helped inform generations of synthetic British soul. What does hurt the record is a lack of strong songwriting. "Young Americans" is a masterpiece, and "Fame" has a beat funky enough that James Brown ripped it off, but only a handful of cuts ("Win," "Fascination," "Somebody Up There Likes Me") comes close to matching their quality. As a result, Young Americans is more enjoyable as a stylistic adventure than as a substantive record.
station_to_station Album: 11 of 40
Title:  Station to Station
Released:  1976-01-23
Tracks:  6
Duration:  38:08
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Review Review2 Review3 Review4 Review5 Review6 Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Station to Station  (10:14)
2   Golden Years  (04:01)
3   Word on a Wing  (06:03)
4   TVC 15  (05:33)
5   Stay  (06:15)
6   Wild Is the Wind  (06:00)
Station to Station : Allmusic album Review : Taking the detached plastic soul of Young Americans to an elegant, robotic extreme, Station to Station is a transitional album that creates its own distinctive style. Abandoning any pretense of being a soulman, yet keeping rhythmic elements of soul, David Bowie positions himself as a cold, clinical crooner and explores a variety of styles. Everything from epic ballads and disco to synthesized avant pop is present on Station to Station, but what ties it together is Bowies cocaine-induced paranoia and detached musical persona. At its heart, Station to Station is an avant-garde art-rock album, most explicitly on "TVC 15" and the epic sprawl of the title track, but also on the cool crooning of "Wild Is the Wind" and "Word on a Wing," as well as the disco stylings of "Golden Years." Its not an easy album to warm to, but its epic structure and clinical sound were an impressive, individualistic achievement, as well as a style that would prove enormously influential on post-punk.
changesonebowie Album: 12 of 40
Title:  ChangesOneBowie
Released:  1976-05-20
Tracks:  11
Duration:  46:30
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Space Oddity  (05:15)
2   John, I’m Only Dancing  (02:47)
3   Changes  (03:35)
4   Ziggy Stardust  (03:13)
5   Suffragette City  (03:25)
6   The Jean Genie  (04:07)
7   Diamond Dogs  (06:05)
8   Rebel Rebel  (04:30)
9   Young Americans  (05:12)
10  Fame  (04:17)
11  Golden Years  (04:01)
ChangesOneBowie : Allmusic album Review : David Bowies first official compilation album, released in the wake of Station to Station and sharing that albums odd typography, Changesonebowie is a handy one-stop roundup of the last four years of hits, plus "Space Oddity" -- an American smash in 1973, but unavailable on a U.K. single since its first appearance in 1969. It soared to the top of the British chart, dragging Changesone with it -- the album eventually peaked at number two. The albums main charm for confirmed fans was the inclusion of "John, Im Only Dancing." Never previously included on LP, the song was also making its American debut here, with the excitement soaring even higher when it was discovered that the "wrong" version had been included -- the regular 1972 U.K. single version was omitted in inadvertent favor of a 1973 re-recording. The error was corrected for subsequent pressings of the album. An unadventurous-looking track listing should not deter the keen fan. As with so many pre-CD age Bowie compilations, its very easy to overlook Changesonebowie in favor of the more-bang-for-your-buck career-spanning collections that have since emerged. It remains, however, a charming time capsule, a reminder of the days when Bowie was as much a chart-topping pop star as an iconic idol.
starting_point Album: 13 of 40
Title:  Starting Point
Released:  1977
Tracks:  10
Duration:  29:45
Info:  Allmusic Musicbrainz

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1   The Laughing Gnome  (03:03)
2   Love You Till Tuesday  (02:40)
3   Please Mr Gravedigger  (02:34)
4   We Are Hungry Men  (02:58)
5   The London Boys  (03:18)
6   Come and Buy My Toys  (02:07)
7   Karma Man  (03:03)
8   When I Live My Dream  (03:55)
9   Join the Gang  (02:16)
10  Silly Boy Blue  (03:51)
Starting Point : Allmusic album Review : In 1977, London tried to cash in on David Bowies tremendous popularity with Starting Point, a ten-song LP looking back on his 1966-67 Deram output. The album had its critics, who argued that London was simply out to make a quick buck and could have cared less about the quality of the material it was reissuing. But truth be told, these are songs that should have been reissued. Theyre historically important and theyre good, although few would argue that they are in a class with the gems Bowie offered on Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and Young Americans. The LPs opener is "The Laughing Gnome," a goofy novelty item that became a major hit in England in the 70s -- Bowie might have ended up hating the song and regretted having recorded it, but its entertaining. "The London Boys," arguably Bowies best song from that period, is nothing to be ashamed of -- nor are "We Are Hungry Men," "Karma Man" and "Come and Buy My Toys." The most comprehensive collection of Bowies work from this period was the double-LP Images 1966-67 (which was released as simply Images in England), but for those who were on a tight budget, Starting Point wasnt a bad introduction to early Bowie.
low Album: 14 of 40
Title:  Low
Released:  1977-01-14
Tracks:  14
Duration:  50:24
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Review Review2 Review3 Review4 Review5 Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Speed of Life  (02:47)
2   Breaking Glass  (01:52)
3   What in the World  (02:23)
4   Sound and Vision  (03:03)
5   Always Crashing in the Same Car  (03:33)
6   Be My Wife  (02:56)
7   A New Career in a New Town  (02:53)
8   Warszawa  (06:23)
9   Art Decade  (03:47)
10  Weeping Wall  (03:28)
11  Subterraneans  (05:41)
12  Some Are  (03:14)
13  All Saints  (03:38)
14  Sound + Vision (David Richards remix 1991)  (04:40)
Low : Allmusic album Review : Following through with the avant-garde inclinations of Station to Station, yet explicitly breaking with David Bowies past, Low is a dense, challenging album that confirmed his place at rocks cutting edge. Driven by dissonant synthesizers and electronics, Low is divided between brief, angular songs and atmospheric instrumentals. Throughout the records first half, the guitars are jagged and the synthesizers drone with a menacing robotic pulse, while Bowies vocals are unnaturally layered and overdubbed. During the instrumental half, the electronics turn cool, which is a relief after the intensity of the preceding avant pop. Half the credit for Lows success goes to Brian Eno, who explored similar ambient territory on his own releases. Eno functioned as a conduit for Bowies ideas, and in turn Bowie made the experimentalism of not only Eno but of the German synth group Kraftwerk and the post-punk group Wire respectable, if not quite mainstream. Though a handful of the vocal pieces on Low are accessible -- "Sound and Vision" has a shimmering guitar hook, and "Be My Wife" subverts soul structure in a surprisingly catchy fashion -- the record is defiantly experimental and dense with detail, providing a new direction for the avant-garde in rock & roll.
heroes Album: 15 of 40
Title:  “Heroes”
Released:  1977-10-14
Tracks:  10
Duration:  40:37
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Review Review2 Musicbrainz
  
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1   Beauty and the Beast  (03:36)
2   Joe the Lion  (03:07)
3   “Heroes”  (06:10)
4   Sons of the Silent Age  (03:19)
5   Blackout  (03:49)
6   V‐2 Schneider  (03:11)
7   Sense of Doubt  (03:57)
8   Moss Garden  (05:05)
9   Neuköln  (04:34)
10  The Secret Life of Arabia  (03:47)
“Heroes” : Allmusic album Review : Repeating the formula of Lows half-vocal/half-instrumental structure, Heroes develops and strengthens the sonic innovations David Bowie and Brian Eno explored on their first collaboration. The vocal songs are fuller, boasting harder rhythms and deeper layers of sound. Much of the harder-edged sound of Heroes is due to Robert Fripps guitar, which provides a muscular foundation for the electronics, especially on the relatively conventional rock songs. Similarly, the instrumentals on Heroes are more detailed, this time showing a more explicit debt to German synth pop and European experimental rock. Essentially, the difference between Low and Heroes lies in the details, but the record is equally challenging and groundbreaking.
david_bowie_narrates_prokofievs_peter_and_the_wolf Album: 16 of 40
Title:  David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf
Released:  1978
Tracks:  48
Duration:  1:05:40
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Musicbrainz

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1   Peter and the Wolf, op. 67: Introduction  (02:45)
2   Peter and the Wolf, op. 67: The Story Begins  (00:57)
3   Peter and the Wolf, op. 67: The Bird  (01:33)
4   Peter and the Wolf, op. 67: The Duck, Dialogue with the Bird, Attack of the Cat  (04:13)
5   Peter and the Wolf, op. 67: Grandfather  (02:13)
6   Peter and the Wolf, op. 67: The Wolf  (02:01)
7   Peter and the Wolf, op. 67: The Duck Is Caught  (00:53)
8   Peter and the Wolf, op. 67: The Wolf Stalks the Bird and the Cat  (01:42)
9   Peter and the Wolf, op. 67: Peter Prepares to Catch the Wolf  (01:06)
10  Peter and the Wolf, op. 67: The Bird Diverts the Wolf  (01:30)
11  Peter and the Wolf, op. 67: Peter Catches the Wolf  (01:49)
12  Peter and the Wolf, op. 67: The Hunters Arrive  (01:18)
13  Peter and the Wolf, op. 67: The Procession to the Zoo  (04:59)
14  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Theme: Full Orchestra  (00:22)
15  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Theme: Woodwinds  (00:22)
16  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Theme: Brass  (00:18)
17  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Theme: Strings  (00:17)
18  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Theme: Percussion  (00:14)
19  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Theme: Full Orchestra  (00:18)
20  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variation I: Flute, Piccolo (Presto)  (00:34)
21  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variation II: Oboes (Lento)  (00:59)
22  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variation III: Clarinets (Moderato)  (00:37)
23  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variation IV: Bassoons (Allegro alla marcia)  (00:56)
24  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variation V: Violins (Brilliante alla polacca)  (00:43)
25  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variation VI: Violas (Meno mosso)  (01:06)
26  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variation VII: Cellos  (01:13)
27  The Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra: Variation VIII: Doublebasses (Comminciando lento, Ma poco accel.)  (01:02)
28  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variation IX: Harp (Maestoso)  (00:44)
29  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variation X: French Horns (Il stesso tempo)  (00:39)
30  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variation XI: Trumpets (Vivace)  (00:33)
31  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variation XII: Trombones & Tuba (Allegro pomposo)  (01:09)
32  The Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra: Variation XIII: Percussion (Moderato)  (01:55)
33  The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Fugue: Full Orchestra (Allegro molto)  (02:57)
34  Carnival of the Animals: Introduction  (00:36)
35  Carnival of the Animals: Royal March of the Lion  (01:22)
36  Carnival of the Animals: Hens and Cocks  (00:47)
37  Carnival of the Animals: Wild Horses  (00:40)
38  Carnival of the Animals: Tortoises  (01:42)
39  Carnival of the Animals: The Elephant  (01:35)
40  Carnival of the Animals: Kangaroos  (00:56)
41  Carnival of the Animals: Aquarium  (02:24)
42  Carnival of the Animals: Personages with Long Ears  (00:34)
43  Carnival of the Animals: The Cuckoo in the Depth of the Forest  (02:11)
44  Carnival of the Animals: Aviary  (01:20)
45  Carnival of the Animals: Pianists  (01:12)
46  Carnival of the Animals: Fossils  (01:19)
47  Carnival of the Animals: The Swan  (02:49)
48  Carnival of the Animals: Finale  (02:04)
David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf : Allmusic album Review : In 1982, David Bowie released In Bertolt Brechts "Baal"; four years earlier, the prestigious RCA Red Seal classical label had Bowie narrating Prokofievs Peter and the Wolf, and with his stint on Broadway as The Elephant Man, the artist stretched himself brilliantly. There is not enough spoken word by popular recording artists in todays world. Steven Tyler may show up on a Kerouac tribute performing one track; Grace Slick, Lou Reed, Peter Frampton, Marty Balin, and so many others have cut promotional interview discs for insiders, but it is surprising how the record industry has, for the most part, ignored this inexpensive and wonderful format to further endear artists to their fans. Jim Morrisons poetry, after all, was all that was left when Elektra published An American Prayer -- and that fans purchase low-quality bootlegs of many artists should have been a signal in the past to deliver this type of product to the marketplace. The scarcity of such projects makes Bowies close to 30 minutes of narration that much more delightful. The Peter and the Wolf album is divided into two sides. The narration by David Bowie of public domain material originally written by Prokofiev takes up 27 minutes and eight seconds, while the second side of this green-colored vinyl LP has 17 minutes and ten seconds of Eugene Ormandy conducting Benjamin Brittens Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Ormandy and the aforementioned musicians from Philly also back up Bowie on side one. This RCA Red Seal release includes detailed liners and the project, according to Mary Campbells notes, is specifically geared to "introduce children to the sounds of the individual instruments in the symphony orchestra." Both Prokofiev and Britten wrote their respective pieces with this aim in mind. That makes this record all the more charming -- imagine what it could do if teachers would actually use it on a large scale to educate? As for Bowies performance, it is splendid. He tells the well-known fable with his usual eloquence and style, and gives instructions at the beginning for kids to understand how the music corresponds to characters in the story. The accompaniment from the Philadelphia Orchestra is first rate, the lush sounds more exciting on the Bowie side than on Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell, which makes up side B. Interesting how this project, if promoted today, could bring the name David Bowie to a huge audience of young people. A remarkable and well-crafted project.
lodger Album: 17 of 40
Title:  Lodger
Released:  1979-05-18
Tracks:  10
Duration:  35:06
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Fantastic Voyage  (02:58)
2   African Night Flight  (02:58)
3   Move On  (03:21)
4   Yassassin (Turkish for: Long Live)  (04:13)
5   Red Sails  (03:45)
6   D.J.  (04:01)
7   Look Back in Anger  (03:08)
8   Boys Keep Swinging  (03:18)
9   Repetition  (03:01)
10  Red Money  (04:20)
Lodger : Allmusic album Review : On the surface, Lodger is the most accessible of the three Berlin-era records David Bowie made with Brian Eno, simply because there are no instrumentals and there are a handful of concise pop songs. Nevertheless, Lodger is still gnarled and twisted avant pop; what makes it different is how it incorporates such experimental tendencies into genuine songs, something that Low and Heroes purposely avoided. "D.J.," "Look Back in Anger," and "Boys Keep Swinging" have strong melodic hooks that are subverted and strengthened by the layered, dissonant productions, while the remainder of the record is divided between similarly effective avant pop and ambient instrumentals. Lodger has an edgier, more minimalistic bent than its two predecessors, which makes it more accessible for rock fans, as well as giving it a more immediate, emotional impact. It might not stretch the boundaries of rock like Low and Heroes, but it arguably utilizes those ideas in a more effective fashion.
scary_monsters_and_super_creeps Album: 18 of 40
Title:  Scary Monsters… and Super Creeps
Released:  1980-09
Tracks:  10
Duration:  45:38
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   It’s No Game, Part 1  (04:20)
2   Up the Hill Backwards  (03:15)
3   Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)  (05:12)
4   Ashes to Ashes  (04:25)
5   Fashion  (04:49)
6   Teenage Wildlife  (06:56)
7   Scream Like a Baby  (03:35)
8   Kingdom Come  (03:45)
9   Because You’re Young  (04:54)
10  It’s No Game, Part 2  (04:24)
Scary Monsters… and Super Creeps : Allmusic album Review : David Bowie returned to relatively conventional rock & roll with Scary Monsters, an album that effectively acts as an encapsulation of all his 70s experiments. Reworking glam rock themes with avant-garde synth flourishes, and reversing the process as well, Bowie creates dense but accessible music throughout Scary Monsters. Though it doesnt have the vision of his other classic records, it wasnt designed to break new ground -- it was created as the culmination of Bowies experimental genre-shifting of the 70s. As a result, Scary Monsters is Bowies last great album. While the music isnt far removed from the post-punk of the early 80s, it does sound fresh, hip, and contemporary, which is something Bowie lost over the course of the 80s. [Rykodiscs 1992 reissue includes re-recorded versions of "Space Oddity" and "Panic in Detroit," the Japanese single "Crystal Japan," and the British single "Alabama Song."]
the_best_of_bowie Album: 19 of 40
Title:  The Best of Bowie
Released:  1980-12-15
Tracks:  16
Duration:  10:38
Info:  Allmusic Musicbrainz
  
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1   Space Oddity  (?)
2   Life on Mars  (?)
3   Starman  (?)
4   Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide  (?)
5   John, I’m Only Dancing  (?)
6   The Jean Genie  (?)
7   Breaking Glass  (?)
8   Sorrow  (?)
9   Diamond Dogs  (?)
10  Young Americans  (?)
11  Fame  (?)
12  Golden Years  (03:59)
13  TVC15  (03:35)
14  Sound and Vision  (03:03)
15  “Heroes”  (?)
16  Boys Keep Swinging  (?)
The Best of Bowie : Allmusic album Review : David Bowie has switched labels so often his catalog is cluttered with hits compilations, all purporting to be definitive. Since he is one of the few major artists with no compunction about putting all his hits on one disc, theyre all excellent, and 2002s Best of Bowie is no exception, no matter which country you live in (brief explanation: sensitive to the needs of fans in different markets, Bowie and EMI/Virgin tailored a different Best of Bowie for every country it was released in -- a collectors and catalogers nightmare, but the basics apply for each variation). Yeah, there are great songs missing, and it loses a little focus toward the end, but all the big, big hits are here, in great sound and logical sequence. Bowie made more than his share of great albums, but if you just want the highlights, this is as good as Changesbowie in capturing them.
la_grande_storia_del_rock Album: 20 of 40
Title:  La grande storia del rock
Released:  1981
Tracks:  12
Duration:  34:12
Info:  Musicbrainz

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1   Uncle Arthur  (02:06)
2   Little Bombardier  (03:27)
3   Silly Boy Blue  (03:54)
4   The London Boys  (03:22)
5   Karma Man  (03:05)
6   Rubber Band  (02:05)
7   In the Heat of the Morning  (02:59)
8   When I Live My Dream  (03:25)
9   Maid of Bond Street  (01:45)
10  The Laughing Gnome  (03:03)
11  Please Mr. Gravedigger  (02:37)
12  Join the Gang  (02:21)
another_face Album: 21 of 40
Title:  Another Face
Released:  1981
Tracks:  14
Duration:  38:26
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Musicbrainz

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1   Rubber Band  (02:15)
2   The London Boys  (03:18)
3   The Gospel According to Tony Day  (02:50)
4   There Is a Happy Land  (03:11)
5   Maid of Bond Street  (01:44)
6   When I Live My Dream  (03:19)
7   Liza Jane  (02:14)
8   The Laughing Gnome  (03:03)
9   In the Heat of the Morning  (02:45)
10  Did You Ever Have a Dream  (03:45)
11  Please Mr. Gravedigger  (02:34)
12  Join the Gang  (02:16)
13  Love You Till Tuesday  (03:00)
14  Louie, Louie Go Home  (02:12)
Another Face : Allmusic album Review : Deccas 1981 album Another Face is another repackaging of Bowies late 60s recordings, the music where he made after leaving his mod bands and before he becamea glam rock alien. In other words, its his Anthony Newley-esque campy British music, highlighted by "The Laughing Gnome" and "Please M. Gravedigger" but also the quite nice "London Boys" and "Love You Til Tuesday," two songs that highlight his developing theatrical pop skills. This music is available elsewhere, in packages that offer more of these sides and are easier to find, but this is a nice set of 14 highlights from these transitional recordings.
dont_be_fooled_by_the_name Album: 22 of 40
Title:  Don’t Be Fooled by the Name
Released:  1981
Tracks:  7
Duration:  56:25
Info:  Allmusic Musicbrainz

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1   I’m Not Losing Sleep  (02:53)
2   I Dig Everything  (02:45)
3   Can’t Help Thinking About Me  (02:46)
4   Do Anything You Say  (02:31)
5   Good Morning Girl  (02:13)
6   And I Say to Myself  (02:28)
7   David Bowie Interview  (40:47)
changestwobowie Album: 23 of 40
Title:  ChangesTwoBowie
Released:  1981-11
Tracks:  10
Duration:  42:33
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Aladdin Sane (1913–1938–197?)  (05:08)
2   Oh! You Pretty Things  (03:12)
3   Starman  (04:14)
4   1984  (03:27)
5   Ashes to Ashes  (03:37)
6   Sound and Vision  (03:03)
7   Fashion  (03:26)
8   Wild Is the Wind  (06:00)
9   John, I’m Only Dancing (Again) 1975  (07:00)
10  D.J.  (03:23)
ChangesTwoBowie : Allmusic album Review : Changestwobowie, the follow-up to 1976s Changesonebowie, was released as David Bowies RCA contract entered its final months, and a certain rancor began to permeate the relationship. The label did not even consult the star over the makeup of this collection, and the result is a strangely disjointed ragbag of tracks scraping through the past decade with little regard for either continuity or, perhaps surprisingly, the hits. Any cohesion that might be detected, then, tends to be in the eye of the beholder, although theres no denying that, with songs the quality of "Aladdin Sane" and "Oh You Pretty Things" onboard, there should be little room for rubbish. As with Changesonebowie, RCA appealed to collectors via the inclusion of one non-LP cut, in this case the 1975-era remake of "John, Im Only Dancing" -- long legendary as an outtake, a single had finally appeared in 1979. Further attention was garnered after "Wild Is the Wind" was lifted as a single. With Bowie agreeing to cut a very striking promotional video to accompany it, this most un-Top 30-like ballad reached number 24 in the U.K.
portrait_of_a_star Album: 24 of 40
Title:  Portrait of a Star
Released:  1982
Tracks:  31
Duration:  1:54:16
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Musicbrainz

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1   Fantastic Voyage  (02:58)
2   African Night Flight  (02:58)
3   Move On  (03:21)
4   Yassassin (Turkish for: Long Live)  (04:13)
5   Red Sails  (03:45)
6   D.J.  (03:59)
7   Look Back in Anger  (03:08)
8   Boys Keep Swinging  (03:18)
9   Repetition  (03:01)
10  Red Money  (04:20)
1   Beauty and the Beast  (03:32)
2   Joe the Lion  (03:05)
3   “Heroes”  (06:07)
4   Sons of the Silent Age  (03:19)
5   Blackout  (03:49)
6   V‐2 Schneider  (03:10)
7   Sense of Doubt  (03:57)
8   Moss Garden  (05:05)
9   Neuköln  (04:34)
10  The Secret Life of Arabia  (03:47)
1   Speed of Life  (02:45)
2   Breaking Glass  (01:52)
3   What in the World  (02:20)
4   Sound and Vision  (03:03)
5   Always Crashing in the Same Car  (03:33)
6   Be My Wife  (02:56)
7   A New Career in a New Town  (02:53)
8   Warszawa  (06:23)
9   Art Decade  (03:47)
10  Weeping Wall  (03:28)
11  Subterraneans  (05:41)
rare Album: 25 of 40
Title:  Rare
Released:  1982-01-01
Tracks:  11
Duration:  42:27
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Wikipedia Musicbrainz

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1   Ragazzo solo, ragazza sola  (05:05)
2   Round and Round  (02:42)
3   Amsterdam  (03:27)
4   Holy Holy  (02:18)
5   Panic in Detroit  (05:52)
6   Young Americans (single edit)  (03:13)
7   Velvet Goldmine  (03:11)
8   Helden  (06:09)
9   John, I’m Only Dancing (Again) (single edit)  (03:28)
10  Moon of Alabama  (03:51)
11  Crystal Japan  (03:11)
Rare : Allmusic album Review : In some respects, this early-80s compilation of then-hard-to-find David Bowie tracks was a tatty affair. There were only ten songs, and the annotation said nothing about original dates of recording and release dates -- important details, considering that some of these are alternate versions of common Bowie songs (and sometimes, even a famous hit). As it turns out, in fact, one of the supposedly rare cuts, "Holy Holy," is not the original 1971 single, but the less scarce remake later used as a B-side. Too, many of the cuts were eventually issued as bonus tracks on various CDs. Casting all that aside, there are some good if peripheral items here, like the 1973 B-side cover of Jacques Brels "Amsterdam"; the cover of Chuck Berrys "Round and Round" (also a 1973 B-side); "Helden," aka "Heroes" with German lyrics; the 1975 B-side "Velvet Goldmine" (actually recorded in late 1971), which supplied the title for Todd Haynes film about the glam era; and the spooky early-80s instrumental B-side "Crystal Japan." Less sparkly is the 1975 disco remake of "John, Im Only Dancing," as "John, Im Only Dancing (Again)." Still, quite a while after its release, this was the only place you could find the Italian version of "Space Oddity" ("Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola") and the less entertaining live 1974 B-side version of "Panic in Detroit."
golden_years Album: 26 of 40
Title:  Golden Years
Released:  1983
Tracks:  9
Duration:  36:51
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Fashion (rare 12″ long version)  (04:51)
2   Red Sails  (03:47)
3   Look Back in Anger  (03:07)
4   I Can’t Explain  (02:13)
5   Ashes to Ashes  (04:29)
6   Golden Years  (04:01)
7   Joe the Lion  (03:05)
8   Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)  (05:15)
9   Wild Is the Wind  (06:00)
a_second_face Album: 27 of 40
Title:  A Second Face
Released:  1983
Tracks:  12
Duration:  36:41
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Musicbrainz

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1   Let Me Sleep Beside You  (03:24)
2   Sell Me a Coat  (03:50)
3   She’s Got Medals  (02:26)
4   We Are Hungry Men  (02:58)
5   In the Heat of the Morning  (03:02)
6   Karma Man  (03:00)
7   Little Bombadier  (03:24)
8   Love You Till Tuesday  (03:07)
9   Come and Buy My Toys  (02:07)
10  Silly Boy Blue  (03:57)
11  Uncle Arthur  (02:07)
12  When I Live My Dream  (03:19)
lets_dance Album: 28 of 40
Title:  Let’s Dance
Released:  1983-04-14
Tracks:  8
Duration:  39:48
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Lyrics Review Musicbrainz
  
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1   Modern Love  (04:48)
2   China Girl  (05:33)
3   Let’s Dance  (07:37)
4   Without You  (03:10)
5   Ricochet  (05:13)
6   Criminal World  (04:24)
7   Cat People (Putting Out Fire)  (05:09)
8   Shake It  (03:51)
Let’s Dance : Allmusic album Review : After summing up his maverick tendencies on Scary Monsters, David Bowie aimed for the mainstream with Lets Dance. Hiring Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers as a co-producer, Bowie created a stylish, synthesized post-disco dance music that was equally informed by classic soul and the emerging new romantic subgenre of new wave, which was ironically heavily inspired by Bowie himself. Lets Dance comes tearing out of the gate, propulsed by the skittering "Modern Love," the seductively menacing "China Girl," and the brittle funk of the title track. All three songs became international hits, and for good reason -- theyre catchy, accessible pop songs that have just enough of an alien edge to make them distinctive. However, that careful balance is quickly thrown off by a succession of pleasant but unremarkable plastic soul workouts. "Cat People" and a cover of Metros "Criminal World" are relatively strong songs, but the remainder of the album indicates that Bowie was entering a songwriting slump. However, the three hits were enough to make the album a massive hit, and their power hasnt diminished over the years, even if the rest of the record sounds like an artifact.
fame_and_fashion_david_bowies_all_time_greatest_hits Album: 29 of 40
Title:  Fame and Fashion (David Bowie’s All Time Greatest Hits)
Released:  1984
Tracks:  12
Duration:  55:02
Info:  Musicbrainz

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1   Space Oddity  (05:15)
2   Changes  (03:35)
3   Starman  (04:14)
4   1984  (03:27)
5   Young Americans  (05:12)
6   Fame  (04:17)
7   Golden Years  (04:01)
8   TVC 15  (05:33)
9   “Heroes”  (06:10)
10  D.J.  (04:02)
11  Fashion  (04:50)
12  Ashes to Ashes  (04:25)
tonight Album: 30 of 40
Title:  Tonight
Released:  1984-09-01
Tracks:  9
Duration:  35:50
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Loving the Alien  (07:10)
2   Don’t Look Down  (04:11)
3   God Only Knows  (03:08)
4   Tonight  (03:45)
5   Neighborhood Threat  (03:12)
6   Blue Jean  (03:11)
7   Tumble and Twirl  (04:58)
8   I Keep Forgetting  (02:35)
9   Dancing With the Big Boys  (03:35)
Tonight : Allmusic album Review : On the basis of Tonight, it appears that David Bowie didnt have a clear idea of how to follow the platinum success of Lets Dance. Instead of breaking away from the stylized pop of "Lets Dance" and "China Girl," Bowie delivers another record in the same style. Apart from the single "Blue Jean," none of the material equals the songs on Lets Dance, but that doesnt stop Tonight from becoming another platinum success. Nevertheless, the record stands as one of the weakest albums Bowie ever recorded.
never_let_me_down Album: 31 of 40
Title:  Never Let Me Down
Released:  1987-04-18
Tracks:  11
Duration:  52:38
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Day‐In Day‐Out  (05:35)
2   Time Will Crawl  (04:18)
3   Beat of Your Drum  (05:03)
4   Never Let Me Down  (04:04)
5   Zeroes  (05:44)
6   Glass Spider  (05:30)
7   Shining Star (Makin’ My Love)  (05:04)
8   New York’s in Love  (04:31)
9   ’87 and Cry  (04:18)
10  Too Dizzy  (03:58)
11  Bang Bang  (04:28)
Never Let Me Down : Allmusic album Review : David Bowie broke away from the mainstream pop of Tonight with 1987s Never Let Me Down, turning out a jumbled mix of loud guitar rockers and art rock experiments like the failed "Glass Spider." While its not as consistent as Tonight, its far more interesting, with the John Lennon homage of the title track being one of his most underrated songs.
sound_vision Album: 32 of 40
Title:  Sound + Vision
Released:  1989-09-19
Tracks:  70
Duration:  4:57:57
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Review Musicbrainz
  
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1   Space Oddity (original mono demo)  (05:10)
2   The Wild‐Eyed Boy From Freecloud (B‐Side version)  (04:51)
3   The Prettiest Star  (03:11)
4   London, Bye, Ta‐Ta (stereo version)  (02:37)
5   Black Country Rock  (03:36)
6   The Man Who Sold the World  (03:58)
7   The Bewlay Brothers  (05:24)
8   Changes  (03:35)
9   Round and Round (alternate vocal mix)  (02:43)
10  Moonage Daydream  (04:39)
11  John, I’m Only Dancing (sax version)  (02:44)
12  Drive‐In Saturday  (04:31)
13  Panic in Detroit  (04:27)
14  Ziggy Stardust (live ’73)  (03:23)
15  White Light/White Heat (live ’73)  (04:23)
16  Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide (live ’73)  (04:16)
17  Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere  (03:11)
18  Sorrow  (02:53)
19  Don’t Bring Me Down  (02:06)
1   1984 / Dodo  (05:29)
2   Big Brother  (03:20)
3   Rebel Rebel (U.S. single version)  (03:00)
4   Suffragette City (live ’74)  (03:50)
5   Watch That Man (live ’74)  (05:08)
6   Cracked Actor (live ’74)  (03:30)
7   Young Americans  (05:12)
8   Fascination  (05:45)
9   After Today (Young Americans outtake)  (03:50)
10  It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City (Station to Station outtake)  (03:49)
11  TVC 15  (05:33)
12  Wild Is the Wind  (06:00)
13  Sound and Vision  (03:03)
14  Be My Wife  (02:56)
15  Speed of Life  (02:47)
16  “Helden” (’89 remix)  (03:39)
17  Joe the Lion  (03:07)
18  Sons of the Silent Age  (03:19)
1   Station to Station (live ’78)  (08:51)
2   Warszawa (live ’78)  (06:49)
3   Breaking Glass (live ’78)  (03:30)
4   Red Sails  (03:45)
5   Look Back in Anger  (03:08)
6   Boys Keep Swinging  (03:18)
7   Up the Hill Backwards  (03:15)
8   Kingdom Come  (03:45)
9   Ashes to Ashes  (04:25)
10  Baal’s Hymn  (04:02)
11  The Drowned Girl  (02:26)
12  Cat People (Putting Out Fire)  (06:45)
13  China Girl  (05:33)
14  Ricochet  (05:13)
15  Modern Love  (03:45)
16  Loving the Alien  (07:10)
17  Dancing With the Big Boys  (03:35)
1   Blue Jean  (03:11)
2   Time Will Crawl  (04:18)
3   Baby Can Dance  (04:57)
4   Amazing  (03:06)
5   I Can’t Read  (04:53)
6   Shopping for Girls  (03:44)
7   Goodbye Mr. Ed  (03:24)
8   Amlapura  (03:49)
9   You’ve Been Around  (04:43)
10  Nite Flights (Moodswings Back to Basics remix radio edit)  (04:37)
11  Pallas Athena (Gone Midnight mix)  (04:21)
12  Jump They Say  (04:23)
13  Buddha of Suburbia  (04:27)
14  Dead Against It  (05:47)
15  South Horizon  (05:24)
16  Pallas Athena (live)  (08:19)
Sound + Vision : Allmusic album Review : In 1989, not all major artists had their catalog available on CD, and one of the most notable absences was David Bowie. When the format was in its infancy, RCA had issued several of his classics, but those pressings were notoriously awful and were pulled from the market in 1985 when Bowie acquired the rights to the recordings. Sharp businessman that he is, he took the catalog to market, and after an intense bidding war, he chose to reissue his classic work through Rykodisc, an independent CD-only label that had earned acclaim for its work with Frank Zappas catalog. Instead of dumping all the discs on the market at once, the titles were slowly rolled out, beginning with a series-encompassing Sound + Vision, a three-CD/one-CD-ROM box set released to great fanfare in the fall of 1989. At the time, box sets were all the rage, following the template of Bob Dylans Biograph -- an exhaustive career overview that offered all the basics, peppered with some revealing rarities. Upon its release, Sound + Vision was reviewed as if it belonged to this tradition, when it really inverted the formula, offering a series, not career, overview by showcasing alternate versions and rarities, along with album tracks, with a few familiar hits tossed in here and there to provide context. This was a tantalizing way to begin a reissue campaign, and it did receive gushing reviews -- the CD-era publication Rock & Roll Disc breathlessly claimed "Suffice to say that the sound quality will give your ears an orgasm" -- but once the reissue series completed and once Ryko lost the rights to the catalog, Sound + Vision looked more like a curiosity, an artifact of its time, than a major statement.

Much of the problem stems from its design -- it was intended to show off the sound quality, which was a marked improvement over the RCA discs, and to show the depth and breadth of rarities within the vaults. It was not a career-capper; it was a teaser. It was enticing upon its release, and some of it remains so. Theres a clutch of early rarities that lead off the set -- the original demo of "Space Oddity," alternate single versions of "The Wild-Eyed Boy From Freecloud" and "The Prettiest Star" -- that are quite good, alternate takes on "John Im Only Dancing" and "Rebel Rebel" that manage to be notably different without changing the feel, excellent outtakes from Diamond Dogs (a medley of "1984/Dodo"), Station to Station (a glittery, lush cover of Springsteens "Its Hard to Be a Saint in the City"), and Young Americans (the superb "After Today," a disco-rock song that should have been on the album and is hands down the best rarity here). These suggested the great unearthed treasures that lay ahead, and they remain necessary additions to any serious Bowie collection, particularly because they never showed up on another disc. If they were placed in a better forum, they would function like the rarities on either Biograph or Eric Claptons Crossroads -- rarities that helped fill in the details of an artists story -- but since theyre in a set thats intended to showcase what the Ryko series would do, not what Bowie had done, theyre the main attraction instead of feeding into the greater narrative. And that narrative, while certainly capturing the sometimes bewildering twists and turns in Bowies career, is an alternate-universe narrative, lacking defining songs, from "Starman" to "Golden Years," and presenting many familiar songs in odd, not particularly interesting variations (a live 1974 version of "Suffragette City," a German version of "Heroes," presented in a 1989 remix). Though it succeeds in conveying Bowies ever-changing moods, it lacks the substance and sense of a great box set, which this surely could have been. Instead, its an interesting artifact of the early days of CDs, right down to its overly elaborate packaging, and only those who want to relive that time, or need those rarities, will need this in their collection.
black_tie_white_noise Album: 33 of 40
Title:  Black Tie White Noise
Released:  1993-04-05
Tracks:  15
Duration:  1:12:07
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Lyrics Review Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   The Wedding  (05:04)
2   You’ve Been Around  (04:43)
3   I Feel Free  (04:52)
4   Black Tie White Noise  (04:54)
5   Jump They Say  (04:23)
6   Nite Flights  (04:35)
7   Pallas Athena  (04:39)
8   Miracle Goodnight  (04:12)
9   Don’t Let Me Down & Down  (04:54)
10  Looking for Lester  (05:37)
11  I Know It’s Gonna Happen Someday  (04:06)
12  The Wedding Song  (04:33)
13  Jump They Say (alternate mix)  (04:03)
14  Pallas Athena (remix)  (05:38)
15  Lucy Can’t Dance  (05:48)
Black Tie White Noise : Allmusic album Review : Black Tie White Noise was the beginning of David Bowies return from the wilderness of post-Lets Dance, the first indication that he was regaining his creative spark. To say as much suggests that its a bit of a lost classic, when its rather a sporadically intriguing transitional album, finding Bowie balancing the commercial dance-rock of Lets Dance with artier inclinations from his Berlin period, all the while trying to draw on the past by working with former Spider from Mars guitarist Mick Ronson, collaborating with Lets Dance producer Nile Rodgers, and even covering inspiration Scott Walkers "Nite Flights." On top of that, the record was inspired by his recent marriage to supermodel Iman -- the record is bookended with "The Wedding" and "The Wedding Song" -- and then tied up and presented as a sophisticated modern urban soul record, one that draws from uptown soul (including, rather bafflingly, a duet with Al B. Sure!) and state-of-the-art dance-club techno, while adding splashy touches like solos from avant jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie and a nod to modern alt-rock via a nifty cover of Morrisseys "I Know Its Gonna Happen Someday." Thats a lot of stuff for one record to handle, so it shouldnt come as a great surprise that the album doesnt always work, but its stylish restlessness comes as a great relief, particularly when compared to the hermetically sealed previous solo Bowie record, 1987s Never Let Me Down. Black Tie White Noise displays greater musical ambition than any record hed made since Scary Monsters, and while much of the record feels like unrealized ideas, there are songs where it all gels, like on the paranoid jumble of "Jump They Say," the aforementioned covers, the impassioned "Youve Been Around," and the self-consciously smooth title track. Moments like these are the first in a long time to feel classically Bowie, and they point ahead toward the more interesting records he made in the second half of the 90s, but they are encased in a production that not only sounds dated years later, but sounded dated upon its release in the spring of 1993, two years into the thick of alternative rock. At that point, the club-centric, mainstream-courting Black Tie White Noise seemed as an anachronism during the guitar-heavy grunge-n-industrial glory days -- something Bowie tacitly acknowledged with its 1995 successor, Outside, which was every bit as gloomy as a Nine Inch Nails record -- but separated from the vagaries of fashion, its an interesting first step in Bowies creative revival.
1_outside_the_nathan_adler_diaries_a_hyper_cycle Album: 34 of 40
Title:  1.Outside: The Nathan Adler Diaries: A Hyper Cycle
Released:  1995-09-23
Tracks:  19
Duration:  1:14:50
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Lyrics Wikipedia Musicbrainz

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1   Leon Takes Us Outside  (01:25)
2   Outside  (04:05)
3   The Hearts Filthy Lesson  (04:57)
4   A Small Plot of Land  (06:34)
5   Segue: Baby Grace (A Horrid Cassette)  (01:40)
6   Hallo Spaceboy  (05:14)
7   The Motel  (06:50)
8   I Have Not Been to Oxford Town  (03:49)
9   No Control  (04:33)
10  Segue: Algeria Touchshriek  (02:03)
11  The Voyeur of Utter Destruction (As Beauty)  (04:21)
12  Segue: Ramona A. Stone / I Am With Name  (04:01)
13  Wishful Beginnings  (05:08)
14  We Prick You  (04:35)
15  Segue: Nathan Adler  (01:00)
16  I’m Deranged  (04:31)
17  Thru’ These Architects Eyes  (04:22)
18  Segue: Nathan Adler  (00:28)
19  Strangers When We Meet  (05:07)
1.Outside: The Nathan Adler Diaries: A Hyper Cycle : Allmusic album Review : 1. Outside bears the subtitle "The Diary of Nathan Adler or The Art-Ritual Murder of Baby Grace Blue. A Non-Linear Gothic Drama Hyper-Cycle." Alright, so it reeks of pretension. One belabors the point because Bowie at his best has always been pretentious, risque, creatively (if sometimes contrivedly) over the top. 1. Outside marks the first in a planned series of collaborations with multi-instrumentalist, producer, and conceptualist Brian Eno based on a Bowie short story. In this end-of-millennium setting, "art-crimes" and "concept muggings" merit their own police division funded by the "Arts Protectorate of London." Echoes of the Berlin "outsider" Bowie/Eno 70s trilogy of Low, Heroes, and Lodger reverberate throughout, including a return to the "cut-and-paste" lyric-assembly method then employed, only this time fed through a Mac rather than more labor-intensive paper-and-scissors tools. The thusly fragmented "narrative" follows the investigations of Detective Professor Adler into the murder and subsequent dismembered body parts exhibition of 14-year-old runaway Baby Grace Blue. In this cut-up, composite world, each character, including Adler, Baby Grace, mixed-race youth Leon Blank, septuagenarian Algeria Touchshriek, and art-terrorist Ramona A. Stone, reflects a different aspect of Bowie himself and is therefore a component of all the previous personas Bowie has enacted over the years. The music also randomly dices and displays many of the previous album settings such personas have populated. To complete the cube, Bowie then draws on musicians that form a kind of anagram band from his past. The closest "Ziggy" link comes courtesy of pianist Mike Garson, whose icy, tinkling jazz runs evoke many a spine-tingly moment from Aladdin Sane and Diamond Dogs. Besides Garson and Eno, other names familiar to those who follow the Bowie canon include guitarists Carlos Alomar (Station to Station through Scary Monsters) and Reeves Grabels (Tin Machine), and 90s collaborators such as drummer Sterling Campbell (Black Tie White Noise) and multi-instrumentalist Erdal Kizilcay (Buddha). Diamond Dogs, inspired by George Orwells 1984, is another obvious precursor to 1. Outsides dissection of a post-apocalyptic, technological society in the name of Art. Bowie inflicts "in-character" spoken word segments as between-song segues, several of which evoke the Cockney campiness of such 60s period pieces as "Please Mr. Gravedigger" and "The Laughing Gnome" -- humor (intentional or not) that softens an otherwise bleak landscape. So, should you actually care about this dense, dark, difficult story and its generally unsympathetic characters? The effort required to adequately "process" 1. Outside pays off in a richly voyeuristic experience where Bowie once again reflects fringe culture onto the mainstream and forces us to consider that the differences are not so great.
earthling Album: 35 of 40
Title:  Earthling
Released:  1997-02-01
Tracks:  22
Duration:  2:04:52
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Little Wonder  (06:02)
2   Looking for Satellites  (05:20)
3   Battle for Britain (The Letter)  (04:48)
4   Seven Years in Tibet  (06:21)
5   Dead Man Walking  (06:50)
6   Telling Lies  (04:49)
7   The Last Thing You Should Do  (04:57)
8   I’m Afraid of Americans  (05:00)
9   Law (Earthlings on Fire)  (04:48)
1   Little Wonder (censored video edit)  (04:09)
2   Little Wonder (Junior Vasquez club mix)  (08:18)
3   Little Wonder (Danny Sabre dance mix)  (05:33)
4   Seven Years in Tibet (Mandarin version)  (03:59)
5   Dead Man Walking (Moby mix 1)  (07:32)
6   Dead Man Walking (Moby mix 2)  (05:27)
7   Telling Lies (Feelgood mix)  (05:09)
8   Telling Lies (Paradox mix)  (05:10)
9   I’m Afraid of Americans  (05:12)
10  I’m Afraid of Americans (Nine Inch Nails V1 mix)  (05:30)
11  I’m Afraid of Americans (Nine Inch Nails V1 clean edit)  (04:14)
12  V‐2 Schneider  (07:16)
13  Pallas Athena (live)  (08:19)
Earthling : Allmusic album Review : Jumping on the post-grunge industrial bandwagon with Outside didnt successfully rejuvenate David Bowies credibility or sales, so he switched his allegiance to techno and jungle for the follow-up, Earthling. While jungle is a more appropriate fit than industrial, the resulting music is nearly as awkward. Though he often gets the sound of jungle right, the record frequently sounds as if the beats were simply grafted on top of pre-existing songs. Never are the songs broken open by a new form; they are fairly conventional Bowie songs with fancy production. Fortunately, Bowie sounds rejuvenated by this new form, and songs like "Little Wonder" and "Seven Years in Tibet" are far stronger than the bulk of Outside. Still, the record falls short of its goals, and it doesnt offer enough intrigue or innovations to make Earthling anything more than an admirable effort.
hours Album: 36 of 40
Title:  ‘hours…’
Released:  1999-10-05
Tracks:  10
Duration:  47:04
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Thursday’s Child  (05:23)
2   Something in the Air  (05:46)
3   Survive  (04:11)
4   If I’m Dreaming My Life  (07:04)
5   Seven  (04:04)
6   What’s Really Happening?  (04:10)
7   The Pretty Things Are Going to Hell  (04:41)
8   New Angels of Promise  (04:37)
9   Brilliant Adventure  (01:51)
10  The Dreamers  (05:13)
‘hours…’ : Allmusic album Review : Since David Bowie spent the 90s jumping from style to style, it comes as a shock that Hours, his final album of the decade, is a relatively straightforward affair. Not only that, but it feels unlike anything else in his catalog. Bowies music has always been a product of artifice, intelligence, and synthesis. Hours is a relaxed, natural departure from this method. Arriving after two labored albums, the shift in tone is quite refreshing. "Thursdays Child," the albums engaging mid-tempo opener, is a good indication of what lays ahead. It feels like classic Bowie, yet recalls no specific era of his career. For the first time, Bowie has absorbed all the disparate strands of his music, from Hunky Dory through Earthling. That doesnt mean Hours is on par with his earlier masterworks; it never attempts to be that bold. What it does mean is that its the first album where he has accepted his past and is willing to use it as a foundation for new music. Thats the reason why Hours feels open, even organic -- hes no longer self-conscious, either about living up to his past or creating a new future. Its a welcome change, and it produces some fine music, particularly on the first half of the record, which is filled with such subdued, subtly winning songs as "Something in the Air," "Survive," and "Seven." Toward the end of the album, Bowie branches into harder material, which isnt quite as successful as the first half of the album, yet shares a similar sensibility. And thats whats appealing about Hours -- it may not be one of Bowies classics, but its the work of a masterful musician who has begun to enjoy his craft again and isnt afraid to let things develop naturally.
heathen Album: 37 of 40
Title:  Heathen
Released:  2002-06-05
Tracks:  12
Duration:  51:41
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Review Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   Sunday  (04:45)
2   Cactus  (02:54)
3   Slip Away  (06:04)
4   Slow Burn  (04:41)
5   Afraid  (03:28)
6   I’ve Been Waiting for You  (03:00)
7   I Would Be Your Slave  (05:13)
8   I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spaceship  (04:06)
9   5:15 the Angels Have Gone  (05:01)
10  Everyone Says ‘Hi’  (03:57)
11  A Better Future  (04:11)
12  Heathen (The Rays)  (04:16)
Heathen : Allmusic album Review : Heathen marks a new beginning for David Bowie in some ways -- its his first record since leaving Virgin, his first for Columbia Records, his first for his new label, ISO -- yet its hardly a new musical direction. Like Hours, this finds Bowie sifting through the sounds of his past, completely at ease with his legacy, crafting a colorful, satisfying album that feels like a classic Bowie album. Thats not to say that Heathen recalls any particular album or any era in specific, yet theres a deliberate attempt to recapture the atmosphere, the tone of his 70s work -- theres a reason that Bowie decided to reteam with Tony Visconti, the co-producer of some of his best records, for this album -- even if direct comparisons are hard to come by. Which is exactly whats so impressive about this album. Bowie and Visconti never shy away from electronic instrumentations or modern production -- if anything, they embrace it -- but its woven into Bowies sound subtly, never drawing attention to the drum loops, guitar synths, and washes of electronica. For that matter, guest spots by Dave Grohl and Pete Townshend (both on guitar) dont stand out either; theyre merely added texture to this an album thats intricately layered, but always plays smoothly and alluringly. And, make no mistake, this is an alluring, welcoming, friendly album -- there are some moody moments, but Bowie takes Neil Youngs eerie "Ive Been Waiting for You" and Pixies elusively brutal, creepy "Cactus" and turns them sweet, which isnt necessarily a bad thing, either. In the end, thats the key to Heathen -- the undercurrent of happiness, not in the lyrics, but in the making of music, a realization by Bowie and Visconti alike that they are perfect collaborators. Unlike their previous albums together, this doesnt boldly break new ground, but thats because, 22 years after their last collaboration, Scary Monsters, both Bowie and Visconti dont need to try as hard, so they just focus on the craft. The result is an understated, utterly satisfying record, his best since Scary Monsters, simply because hed never sounded as assured and consistent since.
reality Album: 38 of 40
Title:  Reality
Released:  2003-09-15
Tracks:  11
Duration:  49:23
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Review Wikipedia Musicbrainz
  
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1   New Killer Star  (04:40)
2   Pablo Picasso  (04:05)
3   Never Get Old  (04:24)
4   The Loneliest Guy  (04:11)
5   Looking for Water  (03:28)
6   She’ll Drive the Big Car  (04:35)
7   Days  (03:18)
8   Fall Dog Bombs the Moon  (04:04)
9   Try Some, Buy Some  (04:24)
10  Reality  (04:23)
11  Bring Me the Disco King  (07:45)
Reality : Allmusic album Review : Instead of being a one-off comeback, 2002s Heathen turned out to be where David Bowie settled into a nice groove for his latter-day career, if 2003s Reality is any indication. Working once again with producer Tony Visconti, Bowie again returns to a sound from the past, yet tweaks it enough to make it seem modern, not retro. Last time around, he concentrated on his early-70s sound, creating an amalgam of Hunky Dory through Heroes. With Reality, he picks up where he left off, choosing to revise the sound of Heroes through Scary Monsters, with the latter functioning as a sonic blueprint for the album. Basically, Reality is a well-adjusted Scary Monsters, minus the paranoia and despair -- and if those two ingredients were key to the feeling and effect of that album, its a credit to Bowie that hes found a way to retain the sound and approach of that record, but turn it bright and cheerful and keep it interesting. Since part of the appeal of Monsters is the creeping sense of unease and its icy detachment, it would seem that a warmer, mature variation on that would not be successful, but Bowie and Visconti are sharp record-makers, retaining what works -- layers of voices and guitars, sleek keyboards, coolly propulsive rhythms -- and tying them to another strong set of songs. Like Heathen, the songs deliberately recall classic Bowie by being both tuneful and adventurous, both hallmarks of his 70s work. If this isnt as indelible as anything he cut during that decade, thats merely the fate of mature work by veteran rockers. So, Reality doesnt have the shock of the new, but it does offer some surprises, chief among them the inventive, assured production and memorable songs. Its a little artier than Heathen, but similar in its feel and just as satisfying. Both records are testaments to the fact that veteran rockers can make satisfyingly classicist records without resulting in nostalgia or getting too comfortable. With any luck, Bowie will retain this level of quality for a long time to come.
the_next_day Album: 39 of 40
Title:  The Next Day
Released:  2013-03-08
Tracks:  17
Duration:  1:00:21
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Review Musicbrainz
  
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1   The Next Day  (03:26)
2   Dirty Boys  (02:58)
3   The Stars (Are Out Tonight)  (03:57)
4   Love Is Lost  (03:57)
5   Where Are We Now?  (04:09)
6   Valentine’s Day  (03:02)
7   If You Can See Me  (03:12)
8   I’d Rather Be High  (03:44)
9   Boss of Me  (04:09)
10  Dancing Out in Space  (03:21)
11  How Does the Grass Grow?  (04:34)
12  (You Will) Set the World on Fire  (03:32)
13  You Feel So Lonely You Could Die  (04:37)
14  Heat  (04:25)
15  So She  (02:31)
16  Plan  (02:02)
17  I’ll Take You There  (02:41)
The Next Day : Allmusic album Review : Say this for David Bowie: he has a flair for drama. This abiding love of the theatrical may not be as evident in the production of The Next Day as it is in its presentation, how Bowie sprung it upon the world early in 2013 following a decade of undeclared retirement. Reasons for Bowies absence were many and few, perhaps related to a health scare in 2004, perhaps due to a creative dry spell, perhaps he simply didnt have songs to sing, or perhaps he had a lingering suspicion that by the time the new millennium was getting into full swing he was starting to be taken for granted. He had settled into a productive purple patch in the late 90s, a development that was roundly ignored by all except the devoted and the press, who didnt just give Hours, Heathen, and Reality a pass, they recognized them as a strong third act in a storied career. That same sentiment applies to The Next Day, an album recorded with largely the same team as Reality -- the same musicians and the same producer, his longtime lieutenant Tony Visconti -- and, appropriately, shares much of the same moody, meditative sound as its predecessor Heathen. Whats different is the reception, which is appropriately breathless because Bowie has been gone so long we all know what weve missed. And The Next Day is designed to remind us all of why weve missed him, containing hints of the Thin White Duke and Ziggy Stardust within what is largely an elegant, considered evocation of the Berlin Bowie so calculating it opens with a reworking of "Beauty & The Beast," and is housed in an artful desecration of the Heroes LP cover. Unlike his Berlin trilogy of the late 70s, The Next Day is rarely unsettling. Apart from the crawling closer "Heat" -- a quiet, shimmering, hallucination-channeling late-70s Scott Walker -- the album has been systematically stripped of eeriness, trading discomfort for pleasure at every turn. And pleasure it does deliver, as nobody knows how to do classic Bowie like Bowie and Visconti, the two life-long collaborators sifting through their past, picking elements that relate to what Bowie is now: an elder statesman who made a conscious decision to leave innovation behind long ago. This persistent, well-manicured nostalgia could account for the startling warmth that exudes from The Next Day; even when a melody sighs with an air of resigned melancholia, as it does on "Where Are We Now?," it never delves into sadness, it stays afloat in a warm, soothing bath. That overwhelming familiarity is naturally quite appealing for anyone well-versed in Bowie lore, but The Next Day isnt a career capper; it lacks the ambition to be anything so grand. The Next Day neither enhances nor diminishes anything that came before, its merely a sweet coda to a towering career.
Album: 40 of 40
Title:  
Released:  2016-01-08
Tracks:  7
Duration:  41:16
Info:  Allmusic Discogs Lyrics Review Musicbrainz
  
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1     (09:57)
2   ’Tis a Pity She Was a Whore  (04:52)
3   Lazarus  (06:22)
4   Sue (or In a Season of Crime)  (04:40)
5   Girl Loves Me  (04:51)
6   Dollar Days  (04:44)
7   I Can’t Give Everything Away  (05:47)
★ : Allmusic album Review : Its difficult to separate 2016s Blackstar from The Next Day, the album David Bowie released with little warning in 2013. Arriving after a ten-year drought, The Next Day pulsated with the shock of the new -- as Bowies first album of new material in a decade, how could it not? -- but ultimately it was grounded in history, something its cover made plain in its remix of Heroes artwork. Blackstar occasionally recalls parts of Bowies past -- two of its key songs, "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)" and "Tis a Pity She Was a Whore," were even aired in 2014 as a supporting single for the Nothing Has Changed compilation (both are revamped for this album) -- but Bowie and producer Tony Visconti are unconcerned with weaving winking postmodern tapestries; now that theyve shaken free their creative cobwebs, theyre ready to explore. Certainly, the luxurious ten-minute sprawl of "Blackstar" -- a two-part suite stitched together by string feints and ominous saxophone -- suggests Bowie isnt encumbered with commercial aspirations, but Blackstar neither alienates nor does it wander into uncharted territory. For all its odd twists, the album proceeds logically, unfolding with stately purpose and sustaining a dark, glassy shimmer. It is music for the dead of night but not moments of desolation; its created for the moment when today is over but tomorrow has yet to begin. Fittingly, the music itself is suspended in time, sometimes recalling the hard urban gloss of 70s prog -- Bowies work, yes, but also Roxy Music and, especially, the Scott Walker of Nite Flights -- and sometimes evoking the drumnbass dabbling of the 90s incarnation of the Thin White Duke, sounds that can still suggest a coming future, but in the context of this album these flourishes are the foundation of a persistent present. This comfort with the now is the most striking thing about Blackstar: it is the sound of a restless artist feeling utterly at ease not only within his own skin but within his own time. To that end, Bowie recruited saxophonist Donny McCaslin and several of his New York cohorts to provide the instrumentation (and drafted disciple James Murphy to contribute percussion on a pair of cuts), a cast that suggests Blackstar goes a bit farther out than it actually does. Cannily front-loaded with its complicated cuts (songs that were not coincidentally also released as teaser singles), Blackstar starts at the fringe and works its way back toward familiar ground, ending with a trio of pop songs dressed in fancy electronics. These dont erase the heaviness of the opening quartet but such a sequencing suggests Blackstar is difficult when the main pleasure of the record is how utterly at ease it all feels: Bowies joy in emphasizing the art in art-pop is palpable and its elegant, unhurried march resonates deeply.

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