A Very Bowie Christmas: Dec 8th

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After yesterday’s none post, I really should make it up with my discussion on this particular album.

FUTURE LEGEND/DIAMOND DOGS: DIAMOND DOGS (1974)

Diamond Dogs was more like it, compared to pin-ups, but it really feels like David Bowie’s glam rock affair was ending. Glam rock was on the wane, and it was probably for the best that he made his this last glam rock album. Diamond Dogs feels like two album ideas in one, with the first half being an original character by Bowie (known as Halloween Jack), and the second half being a musical adaptation of the George Orwell’s 1984. I think that is evident of the well of ideas running dry. That isn’t to say that the album was bad at all, it isn’t, but this album was one which the ideas did not extend across the full albums.

With that being said, Future Legend/Diamond Dogs is a brilliant opener for this album. While these are two separate tracks, I would consider it to be one song, and it is brilliant. Its very bluesy, and has a harder edge, much like All the Madmen, and really paints the picture of the post-apocalyptic themes that both sections of the album have. I really love segues in music, and the use of a segue between both tracks is just excellent.

The song itself acts as an introduction to Halloween Jack, perhaps the least well-known character in the 70’s glam rock Bowie era, an occupant in the dystopic Hunger City, which is illustrated beautifully in the opening monologue of Future Legend, creating a rather nasty and gritty image in your mind. The guitar in Diamond Dogs adds to this. I feel like this song is quite stripped down, which makes it work.

Diamond Dogs is a good album and is a great last hurrah for early 70’s Glam rock David Bowie, and Diamond Dogs was celebrated as such, with a big theatrical tour, which built a giant stage version of Hunger City, though halfway through the tour, things were changing. As the Diamond Dogs tour continued, things began to change, both visually, aesthetically, and sonically. How much of a transition? Well consider that Diamond Dogs is not actually included on the ‘5 Years’ boxset, but in fact, the ‘Who Can I Be Now?’ one…

 

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Ben

Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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