1971 - Hunky Dory - David Bowie.
My older brother Paul was a born leader and a true rebel. He knew exactly what he liked and what he didn't like. He had a swagger and a dangerous charisma.
David Bowie's music was something he most certainly loved and that suited that swing in his walk.
My mum too was a huge Bowie fan.
There was never a problem in our family home when someone wanted to put Bowie on the stereo.
When I look through my record collection, few artists feature as often as David Bowie.
He was a consummate artist right to the very end. Every one of his albums is a wonderful journey to behold.
Although I grew up singing along to his songs, it wasn't until 'Scary Monsters and Super Creeps' that I really became a fan myself.
It was the 'Ashes to Ashes' film clip that hooked me in.
I was only ten years old but I had a sense that I was watching something truly magical.
As the years went by and I started playing in bands, one Bowie album or another would be on high rotation and not a year has past since without spending some reflective time analysing the lyrics, arrangements, production or overall concept of one Bowie album or another.
The one I've listened to and loved the most though, in all my years as a fan, and I love them all believe me, is 'Hunky Dory'.
It opens with 'Changes' - what an opener. I love the bass line, the production, the vocal - then onto 'Oh you pretty things' - how good is that song? The piano work of Rick Wakeman is stunning on this album. - it's hard to choose a favourite track - they're all just so great - the album is full of great poems and big ideas - it tips its hat to Nietzsche, Andy Warhol, Robert Zimmerman (Bob Dylan) - it's just such a great work of art full of little wonders. 'Kooks' always makes me smile, 'Queen Bitch' 'The Bewlay Brothers' 'Quicksand' - I love love love it!
Bowie makes me feel normal. I love watching old interviews, I love his humanity and intellect and the gratitude I feel to his body of art inspires me no end.
Some albums in my collection that I've loved by certain artists, I skip over if I come across them, maybe I overplayed them, maybe they became too popular and I lost interest, maybe they dated - I don't know - but there hasn't been a year yet since I first fell in love with this album, that I haven't welcomed a spin.
Without further adieu here's track four 'Life on Mars' -the low harmony vocal in the verse, the strings, the poem, the defiance, the build to the change and then pow !!!!- what a chorus!!!!!! that doubled tracked vocal - then the guitar hook - it really is a piece of perfection.
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