UK, 1971, glam rock / pop rock / art rock
For a long time, this was my favorite Bowie album (and of course it’s still up there in the Top 3). The first time I heard “Oh! You Pretty Things”, I was floored. That beautiful, bopping, bare-bones piano and that anthemic chorus, a call to action and to awareness. Every moment of this album is perfect, even “Eight Line Poem”, which is actually a kind of snapshot eight-line poem comparing the city to a wart. The piano just reigns on this album, from the opening right on through the incomparable “Life on Mars?”, ending with full symphonic, orchestral strings just giving us our altitude. This album will break your heart one moment and make you dance the next. While you’re sinking in the quicksand of your thoughts, remember in that moment of powerlessness that “knowledge comes with death’s release.”
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Bowie soars on the glamour of his own beauty, and this is the result.
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