David Bowie is an icon. He’s been an icon for many years. And since his untimely death in 2016, he has been constantly re-appraised. In this special tracklist, I am selecting songs I consider some of David Bowie’s best. In some cases, they are the least worst. Some may be expected, others may be surprises, but they are all interesting.
DAVID BOWIE ’67: PLEASE MR. GRAVEDIGGER
Kicking things off is this rather strange piece by David Bowie, well strange to modern years. Bowie had been in the music business since 1964, and in releasing his first album, he attempted to become a 60’s pop star, singing hall tunes, and classic pop. Please, Mr Gravedigger is perhaps a great example of this early sound, where Bowie sings a dark tune about being the murderer of a girl. Truly dark stuff, I am sure you will agree. No real music in this, as Bowie sings largely acapella, with the sound of church bells gonging and rain, creating a rather dingy sound. It is an interesting piece to listen to though, as is the entire album.
This album is actually quite hard to find these days, with the next album being considered his first. It has been re-released, but was absent from the ‘Five Years’ boxset, and not included as part of recent remasters. It has been remastered, but this album has largely been disowned.
DAVID BOWIE ’69/SPACE ODDITY: MEMORY OF A FREE FESTIVAL
After his first album failed to chart, David Bowie’s second album was really the debut he deserved. The song Space Oddity was the song that catapulted Bowie to fame, and the album it comes in was good. David Bowie ’67 felt like a young man who was trying to get into the business. But Space Oddity was an album which aimed to promote David Bowie’s sound.
This may surprise some, but I feel Memory of a Free Festival encapsulates this album as a whole. Its a folk tune of sorts that seems to reminisce about the summer of love, a then-contemporary event. It’s a 7-minute long psychedelic folk song that drags in places. I do enjoy it as a product of its time like I enjoy early Beatles songs. However, while I recommend a listen, I wouldn’t listen to the album version. Instead, listen to it in its two-part single form, because it is better.
THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD: ALL THE MADMEN
In many ways, The Man who sold the world gave birth to the classic early 70’s glam rock David Bowie. 1969’s Space Oddity saw him ditch the last vestiges of his young, chart-friendly image. David Bowie was in the music industry, and his music began to become heavier. Perhaps a touch heavier than subsequent and more popular releases.
All the ‘classic’ elements are here in this album. The cover has Bowie crossdressing, the music is heavy, and thematically challenging. The music is helped by the addition of Mick Ronson, and Tony Visconti, who both make appearances in subsequent albums.
Hands down, this is the first album David Bowie did that I consider ‘good’. When I say that Bowie ditched the young, perky, chart-friendly image in his previous album, I mean it. In the previous album, you have David Bowie playing largely acoustic music, with generally positive vibes, singing about space exploration and the summer of love. In this album, he is singing about insanity, war, and Lovecraftian elder gods.
All the Madmen is a dark, depressing song about Bowie’s half-brother, a diagnosed schizophrenic committed to a mental asylum. I love this song for its general theme and its sound. Its just so brutal, and it feels like David Bowie had finally found his voice. I consider the lyrics and guitar to be the songs highlights. This is, by far, some of the best guitar work that I have heard.
HUNKY DORY: THE BEWLAY BROTHERS
I’ve changed my choice from the original post on Hunky Dory. In the original, I singled out the song Kooks. While I still like that song, I have to consider The Bewlay Brothers to be half a point better. I have quite the soft spot for Hunky Dory, because it gets virtually everything right. It is a perfect balance of the pop and the rock of previous albums.
Lyrically, the song doesn’t make any sense. That is deliberate, because it isn’t about anything. Bowie said that much himself. It isn’t autobiographical, and the lyrics are too stream of consciousness to form a narrative. In my mind, how the song makes you feel is the true meaning. True to you, at least. It makes me feel nostalgic, remembering something I did with an old friend that I cannot properly recall.
THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS: STARMAN
Ziggy Stardust is one of those special albums that many consider; from start to finish, absolutely perfect. For many young kids and teens, this was their first album. When you have that, it creates what could be considered a mythos, a legend. And then those adults pass it on to their kids. My Mum and Uncle did it, and I will likely do it. They make the artist look so revered and they make the album seem like one of the greatest things ever. Sometimes, people get it wrong, but they’re right about this one.
That’s just my opinion of course, but it is hard to argue. That being said, it isn’t my favourite album of David Bowie. It’s a top 5 contender for me, but many would consider it to be his number one album. It is very hard for me to pick a particular song, as all of them have merit. I could write a whole track by track on this particular album.
For me, Starman is a special song. it is mid to fast-paced, it follows major notes, giving it a very positive sound, and creates a story with the narrative present in its lyrics, something that most of these songs do. In this song, the arrival of Ziggy is imminent, and his arrival just brings joy and hope. All the elements of this song are at their best. Mick Ronson is at his best, and Bowie is at his best too. It is a wonderful song, and I don’t need to recommend it, as you probably all know it.
ALADDIN SANE: TIME
Aladdin Sane, in many ways, feels like it should have been released before The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. It is a good, solid album, and it has a similar sound to its predecessor, but it falls short of reaching the highs of its older brother. Despite that, the highs of this album are still very high, and the album is very good. The music still maintains the glam rock sensibilities of Ziggy, but it adds to it, with elements of Jazz and Cabaret.
Time is an example of the latter, art rock meets cabaret. The piano in this song gives the song an almost burlesque feel, and the lyrics add to that, with references to masturbation and drugs and alcohol. It feels like a vulgar song which you should be offended by, but instead, find yourself revelling in it. I love Time, because it is just a great evolution of the sound that Bowie cultivated.
DIAMOND DOGS: FUTURE LEGEND/DIAMOND DOGS
Skipping Pin Ups for this retrospective, because its a covers album. Diamond Dogs feels like two album ideas in one. One about Halloween Jack, and the other an adaptation of 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.
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.
We meet Halloween Jack, an occupant in the dystopic Hunger City. Future Legend’s opening monologue This creates a rather nasty and gritty image in your mind. The guitar riffs in Diamond Dogs adds to this. Its very gritty.
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?
Diamond Dogs is not actually included on the ‘5 Years’ boxset, but in fact, the next boxset, featuring…
YOUNG AMERICANS: FAME
Young Americans is what I consider to be an album where you can only like it or dislike it, unless you are a fan of RnB and Soul. The album feels like it has been made by a completely different person; helped by the fact that Bowie uses a new group of musicians for this album. If you are a fan of the early 70’s glam rock Bowie, this will probably not be your album; though a few of the songs are really good. If you’re an American, you will probably quite like this album, as this is very much an American album.
Fame is perhaps my favourite song on the album, thematically and musically. As a scathing critique of the condition of being famous, it works in showcasing greed and the idea of fame bloating you. Helping that idea is the contributions of John Lennon; at the very peak of his counter-culture phase. Lennon’s work on this song means that two British legends of music are working on this song, and they do good. And as it a last-minute addition to Young Americans, it was almost not on the album.
Musically, there is a definite funk sound to it, with the whining guitar rift present throughout the song, and the angry lyrics are punctuated with the angry vocal delivery of David Bowie. Fame is a good song, and one of the most well known of Bowie’s work. The only bit of negativity to the song was that Bowie’s cocaine addiction at the time, something which affected him in interviews, and in his performances. He was sick. And this is something which continues on his next album.
STATION TO STATION: WILD IS THE WIND
Before I gush, I must comment on something which bothers me about fans of people’s work. I do consider Station To Station a fine album. But, something which bothers me about this album, and other albums which involved the consumption of drugs is the idea that ‘these drugs were good’. I do not subscribe to that. Cocaine is an addictive substance. I am not saying that Cocaine had no effect on Bowie as an artist. But don’t glorify it. Bowie was physically and mentally unsustainable around this period.
Station to Station was a natural maturation of Young Americans, with the sort of storytelling that you’d see in his glam rock albums. I really love these songs. I love Station to Station as an album. Wild is the wind is a fantastic cover, and album closer to this work. I love the mature sound, and the instrumentation. At this point, in the grip of a cocaine addiction, Bowie was at his worst, physically and mentally. The Thin White Duke was the embodiment of that, and the song acts; in my opinion, as an autobiographical account of what he became.
LOW: Always Crashing in the Same Car
When you’re strung out on coke, what would you do? David Bowie moved from LA, the Cocaine capital of the world to West Berlin, then the Heroin capital of the world, taking Iggy Pop with him, to write music and get clean. Somehow, he did it.
Low is a special album, it is full of raw emotion, and it is full of uncompromising music. It is strong in its artiness. From the start to the finish, it is ambient, it is avant-garde, it is a very existential album, thematically. The Berlin Trilogy as a whole feels like you’re listening to Bowie rebuild himself, and in Low, he is really broken. Cured, yes, but still really broken.
Teaming with Brian Eno, they made this, and two other albums. Low is by no means an accessible album for the casual listener, because there really aren’t any songs that one can sing along to, unlike some other albums I discussed. I really like it, but you may not.
The best word for this album is ‘disjointed’. Some songs, like ‘Sound and Vision’, and ‘Be my Wife’ loosely follow conventional song making. Then there is the long, bewildering, and somewhat depressing instrumentals of side two. Warszawa is probably the best of the long, Eno led instrumental pieces, with Art Decade being a close second for me, in terms of how much I enjoy them, though your mileage may vary. And then this song is about in the middle, in terms of this album’s extremes.
I think that this album will reward you with repeated listening. But skip it if you like ‘songs’.
‘HEROES’: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
‘Heroes’ was released in the same year as Low, which had a relatively long production period for a David Bowie album, while ‘Heroes’ took about two months to record. As the middle part of David Bowie’s musical and physical recovery, the songs that feature on this album are more conventional, featuring more lyrics and having a more conventional musical structure, though as an art rock album, it is still rather uncompromising in some areas.
Beauty and the Beast is the opening track of the album, and it is rather minimalist in its construction, only really having a guitar, bass, drums, and vocals, and some piano. The song doesn’t really come together normally, but it works. Its very disjointed, and jarring. I believe it is one of those songs where lyrics are not really the main factor, but rather delivery and music are the main features of this song. The disjointed sound can be interpreted as pieces of Bowie himself beginning to come together, though perhaps the glue hadn’t dried.
LODGER: FANTASTIC VOYAGE
I love Lodger as an album because it is an album about the world and it is an album about worldly problems. While I said that Station to Station featured the last Bowie character, some would consider Lodger to have its own character, which would go against the notion I discussed that Bowie’s albums were all autobiographical from Station to Station onwards. I suppose The Lodger could just be Bowie himself, but I don’t consider the album to be about a character, more about the views of Bowie himself. Lodger is my favourite Bowie album. You get a sense that things have returned to normality with David Bowie, the music seems more cheerful, the instrumentation less disjointed, its a very good album.
It is a very hard album to select the best song from Lodger because all of the songs range from very good to downright excellent. Fantastic Voyage is downright excellent. This song is about the cold war and the threat of Nuclear destruction, putting the calmly cheerful music into sharp contrast with the topic matter.
I feel like Fantastic Voyage is the best song to open this album, as a follow up to ‘Heroes’; which in its second side was very much delving into that fear and aural imagery of a nuclear wasteland, and a good follow up to the last track of Heroes; The Secret Life of Arabia, which was a precursor to this album. Fantastic Voyage is excellent, it is part of an excellent album, and I would encourage you to listen to it. Low and ‘Heroes’ are great albums, but many can be turned off by how so experimental they are. Lodger is the most conventional album of the Berlin trilogy.
SCARY MONSTERS (AND SUPER CREEPS): IT’S NO GAME (PART 1 AND 2)
I said that Lodger was my favourite album by David Bowie, and I stand by that, but Scary Monsters was my favourite for a long time. These days, it remains my number two favourite, and that is largely because my all time favourite song by David Bowie is on this particular album. As an album, this has more in common with The Man who sold the world, compared to the Berlin trilogy, as it is heavier than the output Bowie put out in the second half of the 1970’s. You can hear throughout this album both elements of his previous work and also more musical elements from the music of that era.
It’s No Game is a work of genius, acting as both the opener and closer of the album. The first part is the song sung in Japanese by a Japanese singer, and Bowie screaming the vocals in English, making it sound rather frantic to listen to. Its almost as if you’re listening to someone having a fit of rage and you’re watching them pull their hair out and hitting their head on walls. Part two is the same song, sung in English by Bowie, and is much calmer, making it much less frantic. The music is still the same for both pieces, indicating that the anger from the start of the album is still there, but it is being processed better. The whole album could be considered the inner rantings of a very angry man, if you want to look at it deeply, with each song emoting different emotions.
LET’S DANCE: MODERN LOVE
Let’s Dance is not a rock album, it is a dance album. But that said, do I like it? I don’t have a strong opinion either way, really. It’s a mixed bag of stuff. That being said, to make a completely different album after making a series of albums that had the sound continuously evolving and changing is a pretty commendable thing to do. Sales wise, this album did very well, especially in America. Nile Rodgers; while not someone I listen to, did a great job producing the album. David Bowie did a good job singing on this album, playing no instruments.
Modern Love is the best song on this album, as it mixes a lot of genres and ideas. Dance, rock, gospel, blues, it is a hybrid of sounds that work very well together and is a great tune that one would perhaps play in a party. For introducing a new sound, it is a good song to get the die-hard fans who gave the music a chance into the new sound. That being said though, I would call it a good song, but not a great song. It doesn’t quite appeal to me in the way previous choices have. That being said, I didn’t hate it, I enjoyed it.
I couldn’t say that I enjoyed the rest of the album. The first three songs are perhaps the best songs on this album, with a lot of the rest being album tracks which really leave me feeling dissatisfied.
TONIGHT: LOVING THE ALIEN
There’s nothing new here. The album is basically the same musically as Let’s Dance, using the same sounds, instrumentation, and the same people. David Bowie did not perform a single instrument on this album. If you read my paragraph yesterday about Let’s Dance, re-read it, but get rid of mentions of Nile Rodgers and Let’s Dance. Many of the songs on this album are covers, so it really isn’t a David Bowie album. There’s a very Bowie cover of God Only Knows on here though.
Loving The Alien is original, and that is a relief, but would I call it good? No, I wouldn’t. I would not call this album good, but I do still like it. It is an original song, and musically is great, I love the instrumentation on it, as a fan of 80’s pop in general. Lyrically, however, the song is actually great, which is what makes it the best on the album. The actual lyrics of the song, a critique of religion, and a critique of humanity’s societal evolution. These are strong themes to have, and they are ruined by a mediocre 80’s Bowie album, and perhaps ruined by the music, which is technically quite good. Bowie himself admitted that saying he was disappointed with the edit, and I can say I share that sentiment.
Give Loving the Alien a listen, but try the live versions or the demo version, which is closer to the original vision. Thankfully, the duology of Let’s Dance and Tonight end the brief flirtation with pop muzak.
NEVER LET ME DOWN: Zeroes
For the longest time, Never let me down got the reputation of being David Bowie’s worst album. I even fell into that camp when I originally listened to it. But, that has changed since 2017. Mario McNulty, a producer who remixed one of the songs from this album, made a new version for the ‘Loving the Alien’ Boxset. That version removes a lot of the issues I will now talk about below.
Never Let Me Down was supposed to be David Bowie’s return to making music for himself, and making a return to rock music. It didn’t go well. After a couple of albums with a very specific sound which appealed to a lot of people, Bowie felt disconnected with this fanbase. He was in a very hard position, and to make anything would be challenging. To come out with Never Let Me Down is a very brave choice to make, as it is a departure from the commercial stuff that Bowie released. This album is so deliberately uncommercial, that it created a new problem.
The original album is very confused. Its a jumbled mess of ideas, synthesisers, and messy production. It sounded like, and I am sorry to say this, David Bowie forgot how to make music. And he knew it. He wanted to redo the songs immediately after they were released. There are good songs in there. Zeroes is a really good song, but ruined entirely by production.
If you want to listen, listen to the original version of the album with the 2018 remix. I did a standalone Track by Track comparing the two.
BLACK TIE WHITE NOISE: YOU’VE BEEN AROUND
Never Let me Down was an unmitigated disaster, as an album to be sold to consumers, and as a piece of art, and it must have knocked Bowie, as he would not release a solo album for 6 years after this point, the longest gap up to this point between albums. He did do stuff in that time period, though. With some friends, he formed a band called Tin Machine (Not reviewed for this retrospective), and went on a big tour in 1990 to retire his hit songs. He also got married to Iman.
I didn’t think I’d like Black Tie, White Noise, but I do really like it. It has a lot of good music on it, and its a lot more natural to listen to. Never Let Me Down was pretentious and it was a forced piece of art. This was not the case for Black tie, White Noise. It experimented with different genres, and is really an enjoyable album to listen to, even if soul and acid jazz isn’t your cup of tea.
My personal favourite track of this album; however, has to be You’ve Been Around. This is a mixture of hard rock, acid jazz, and gospel, which makes for a bloody interesting listen. Musically, it is excellent, all the elements work together really very well, and it is just an amazing thing to listen to. Lyrically, it is even more interesting, with the song discussing emotional confusion and it really is quite a dark song, but it is a really good song. The opening drone noise really does create a mood of intrigue. When I listen to it on my iPod, it makes me feel like I am in some sort of action film.
1. Outside: The Motel
1. Outside is the last collaboration between Brian Eno and David Bowie. Both men worked together on the Berlin Trilogy of albums, Low, ‘Heroes’, and Lodger. And their last collaboration is pretty good. It is perhaps one of those albums that a casual listener should be given caution with, as it is really out there, thematically. This is the last concept album of Bowie’s, being about a detective in a post-apocalyptic world where there is a police force to determine what constitutes as art, and what is not art. High concept stuff, really. It does not mean that it is pretentious though. Sometimes, high concept works can be pretentious if done wrong, but if done right, they can be good.
The Motel is my favourite track on the album because it is one of the slower and more melodic pieces. The Motel is a slower paced, and introspective piece, giving us an insight into one of the album’s characters. You feel like the opening is a 90’s reinterpretation of one of Low’s instrumental, ambient pieces in some places, and that is not a bad thing because those were good. Hearing the inner thoughts of the character through this song is just sublime, as you can hear the character’s dissent for the regime the album describes.
1.Outside is an underrated album in my opinion, but as someone who really likes strange music, I know that some people will be turned off by it. It is a long, very experimental album, and much like the Berlin Trilogy, it does not compromise artistic integrity for commercial prosperity. It is worth giving a chance, I’d suggest listening through it all, but if you are really unsure, I would start by listening to Hallo Spaceboy, or The Motel.
EARTHLING: SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET
I really like Earthling. It is a product of Cool Britannia, a movement which was very strong for most of the mid 90’s. As many good David Bowie albums do, it is building on sounds and ideas that have been introduced in previous albums. Earthling is still strongly in the category of Industrial rock, a sound that you can hear in Outside, but builds on it with sounds that were very popular at this period of time, such as drum and bass, Britpop, as well as jungle and techno. In parts of this album, you would be quite correct in stating that this is the sort of music you’d hear at an underground rave, and you’d be right in that assumption.
I really love the song Seven years in Tibet. It is a hard rock masterpiece. The lyrics are quite dark, which matches well with the rather menacing instrumentation, which sounds a lot like an early song by Gorillaz. David Bowie is so good, he plagiarised the sound of Gorillaz a full two years before Gorillaz even existed. Thematically, this song is probably one of Bowie’s most extrovertedly political songs, with Bowie’s interest in Tibet going way back to the 60’s.
He wrote the song, and it is bloody great. The album is one which I would recommend to all listeners because it has a bit of everything in it that I think any listener will pick out something they like I must give mention to the blog post that I have used for my research, which is Bowie Songs. I know for serious fans of Bowie that my posts are really just casual recommendations for casual listeners who want to dig deep into Bowie’s musical catalogue.
HOURS: BRILLIANT ADVENTURE
Hours is, sadly, bad. Compared to Earthling, it is a much mellower album, sonically and thematically. The heavier rock sound has been ditched with more of an easy listening vibe. Unfortunately, it’s not as good as Earthling. Hours just doesn’t pack as big a punch as Earthling, and ultimately falls flat in delivering a good listening experience. In all, though, this is a crucial transition record, in that Bowie and returning producer Tony Visconti, who had not worked with Bowie since 1979. He didn’t do much in regards to the main production of the album, but as a big part of Bowie’s success, it is great to see him return. Hours delivers a sound which will be built on in future albums, but as the first stage in creating that new sound, it just fails.
There is only one track worth mentioning in this album, and that would have to be The instrumental track Brilliant Adventure. It feels like a piece you would have heard in one of the Berlin era second sides of dark, introspective, and long tracks. This actually comes in at less than two minutes, and its a darn shame. The music has a distinctive oriental vibe
Ultimately, the end of Bowie’s 90’s output is a bit of a damp squib, unfortunately. Its a shame, as there were a lot of good ideas in the entire album that could have been worked on to make something brilliant. In ranking the albums, it would be the bottom. At least ‘Never Let me Down’ had good intentions, and Pin Ups had good covers.
HEATHEN: SLOW BURN
Heathen, in many ways, is a lot like Hours. Compared to some of Bowie’s mid 90’s output, it is noticeably mellower but less so than Hours. There are more than a few memorable songs on this album, and with a modern sound, influenced by initial post 9/11 panic and confusion, it makes this album one which you will really find yourself enjoying more and more when you listen to it. Fully Produced by Tony Visconti, the music and production really complement each other very well, as the two men have extraordinary chemistry when in a studio together, and it is excellent.
Slow Burn is one of those songs that has transcended the period in which it had been made, in the aftermath of 9/11. I feel like it really captures the mood of post 9/11 earth, and it is a real shame that the song was not released as a single in the UK, nor did it do very well in the charts. In doing research for this song; using the website ‘Bowiesongs’ again, lyrically, there are a lot of subtle references. Namely, biblical ones.While I am not a Christian, the use of biblical allegory and reference again captures the mood of the period, and the mood of today as well.
REALITY: TRY SOME, BUY SOME
Reality, as an album, is very much like Aladdin Sane, in that it is a continuation of the sound and music of its predecessor, in this case, Reality is the similar, younger brother of Heathen, though I’d consider Reality to be a softly nostalgic album. Many of the songs seem to be reflective of David Bowie’s long and illustrious career, be they referring to his past glories, or of the music that he grew up with or listened to.
Reality was the last album Bowie recorded for 10 years, as Bowie would become somewhat of a recluse after health issues, and quitting touring in the 2000’s, making this the end of Bowie’s output in the 2000’s, and it is a strong decade in terms of quality of music, rather than quantity.
My choice for the best song on the album is actually a cover, I really like the original songs, but I find the cover song on this album; a song recorded for the aborted Pin Ups 2, to be the best song. I guess this brings us full circle from me not choosing a song for Pin Ups. The cover is of the George Harrison song; ‘Try some, Buy Some’, recorded for his 1973 album, Living in the material world. It’s a solid cover/tribute to Harrison, who passed away the year before this album was released.
THE NEXT DAY: DIRTY BOYS
Between 2004 and 2013, David Bowie was a virtual recluse. He no longer toured, he had not released a new album of original songs in almost a decade. I remember I was watching the news one night in my room, and Bowie’s picture popped up on the screen. He had released a new song. That song was ‘Where are we now’, and that song is very good.
This really was the first Bowie album that I was able to appreciate and listen to as a piece of newly released music, and it is a strong return. I said in my previous entry, that Bowie’s albums; Heathen and Reality, were good, but this is a great album. I like Heathen and Reality, but I think they’re a little safe. The Next Day is an album which takes risks and is a lot artsier than the work he had already released.
Dirty Boys is one of my favourite tracks on the album and almost doesn’t belong on the album. As an entire album, thematically being a nostalgia fest for a Bowie fan in terms of call-backs to earlier works, and perhaps a reflection of Bowie’s own reminiscence about his long and storied career. This is a bass-heavy, stripped back piece of music, that is a contrast with the rest of the album. However, that makes it stronger.
BLACKSTAR: I CAN’T GIVE EVERYTHING AWAY
The Next Day was a fantastic return for Bowie after a decade-long silence. It is a sad fact though, as you know, that this was a short-lived return. Blackstar is an album of life, mortality, death, and finally, celebration. This is the last dance, so to speak, for David Bowie. I consider Blackstar to be the best way to describe David Bowie to anyone. It is experimental, it is strange, it is ahead of its time, and it is human. This album is the embodiment of humanity, and being a human, in all its finite nature.
As I said, I did a full Track by Track on Blackstar, which I am using to make this section, as my opinions there are what I still hold now. I Can’t Give Everything Away is my pick from this album. But, to summarise my opinion, this is a special song as it is the only one which is played in a major chord, while the rest of the album has been in a minor chord.
Some would argue that David Bowie is overrated, and perhaps they’re right. I wouldn’t call him the best in the world, but I would say that he was one of the most human musicians in musical history, and many of his albums reflect that humanity and the changing nature of people throughout time. I really enjoyed doing this series, and I do hope that this retrospective has made you think about some of your favourite songs. Perhaps it has opened you up to songs you’ve never listened to before, and maybe its made you a bit sick of David Bowie.