22 comments

  1. David Allison

    So where to start? A 10 minute opening track that seems to fly by in a second? And what the hell is this noise? The bridge between his soul experiment on Young Americans and where he was headed next in the Berlin trilogy, it has the white funk of the former and the hint of krautrock that he was too explore more fully in the latter. It was a noise, at the time, that was not being made by anyone else. Now it sounds so familiar, plundered as it has by so many, but at the time, as was so often the case with Bowie, he sounded a bit like an alien who’d landed from another planet.

  2. Guy Hornsby

    Considering this was Bowie in the middle of his legendary cocaine/milk/peppers era, it sounds amazingly vibrant on first listen. Golden Years is one of my favourite Bowie records from that period, so it didn’t surprise me that I liked this. And as for the 10-minute opener? Great. There’s not enough of this in music any more. One of my other favourite openers of the time was Funeral For A Friend on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which was 11 plus minutes, and yet even something like The Birds (8 mins) on Elbow’s latest seems a relic these days. But at first listen, I’m happy to say I’ll be coming back for more, which means more analysis. You have been warned.

  3. misterstory

    Ok. I approached this album with the following ‘characteristics’ (i) I have a well-documented (in my own head) difficulty getting into music from by-gone generations that I am experiencing for the very first time now. I find that unless I had a link to the music through parents or through friends in my youth then, hand on heart, I do find it tough (ii) I have never heard a David Bowie album … never, ever … like ever. I know, I know (iii) I was probably more keen to hear elements of contemporary artists that I love.I did find it tough. It does sound very … er … old and I am not too cool to admit this! Ha. However, I have listened to this a great deal. Loads. SIlvia has been taken for more walks with her dad at the weekend than ever. I have had it on constant rotation in the car and its been big on the stereo too. I do like it. I don’t think that I will ever reverentially love it. But I do like it very much … perhaps I will grow to reverentially love it?However, ‘Stay’ is the standout track for me. Stay is also the track that I can hear most of Mr. Murphy and Mathew Dear. Is this a facet of being new to the music or if I were a proper Bowie fan would I find something else more enlightening?

  4. David Allison

    I think reverential love is fine! Know what you mean about stuff you haven’t lived through yourself, but I really enjoy the difficulty with engaging with albums from other eras. It’s a nice challenge. Cos you can’t quite know the world into which the album came.For the record, this is definitely not the ‘easiest’ Bowie album, but I thought it was the one that most inspired the likes of Murphy et al. And it’s a personal favourite. It lays out its universe on its own terms and you can enjoy it or not enjoy it – it doesn’t throw you any easy stuff. But it’s GORGEOUS too. I mean, Word on a Wing, what a song!Nice song anecdote: TVC15 was written after Iggy Pop recounted thinking his girlfriend had climbed into the TV while on acid. Bowie, being Bowie, took the idea one step further into a weird technological dystopia. Freaky shit, Dave!

  5. Nolan Kane

    I too have committed myself to this album over the last week and a bit. I can see where some of the influences come from and I think that David was spot on to put this album forward. With that I just can’t get into Bowie on a full album level. I think the point of having to be there is very poignant. The youth influences of Bowie is his role in Labyrinth and I can’t seem to shake that.

  6. Guy Hornsby

    <html><body><div style="color:#000; background-color:#fff; font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:10pt"><div><span>Nolan, <br></span></div><div><br><span></span></div><div><span>You should listen to Hunky Dory then. I’ve got that too and it’s a lot more accesible, and has some of his biggest records in it as well. Plus Queen Bitch, which is one of my favourite tracks of his. In fact, I’m probably going to post about it on the weekend. Boom! </span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><font size="2" face="tahoma, new york, times, serif">—————–</font></div><div><font face="tahoma, new york, times, serif"><font size="2"><b>Guy Hornsby</b> <br>London representative <br><b>www.4clubbers.net</b> <br></font></font><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="mailto:guy@4clubbers.net"><font size="2" face="tahoma, new york, times, serif">guy@4clubbers.net</font></a><font face="tahoma, new york, times, serif"><font size="2"> <br><b>07966057695</b></font></font></div><div><br></div> <div style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;"> <div style="font-family: times new roman, new york, times, serif; font-size: 12pt;"> <div dir="ltr"> <font size="2" face="Arial"></div></div></div></div></body></html>

  7. David Allison

    Yeah, Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust are WAY more accessible. Give them both a whirl.Question: now we’ve finally got the blog up and running (yes!), can we post other tunes we come across now and again, or do you think we should stick to one album at a time?

  8. misterstory

    Darn. I wish David hadn’t highlighted Word on a Wing. I’ve just driven a 90 min journey and got through the album twice in all its glory. It does grow. It is a grower. I think the lack of immediate accessibility means that it does keep giving and it is giving to me on each listen. Word on a Wing has really struck a chord with me (pun intended), it’s a gorgeous song. Totally and utterly. I appreciate all the comments regarding the brave move to stick an 11 min track first on an album. I like that … but to be honest … it is two songs glued together … no? That’s no bad thing maybe. I do find the track a bit ‘proggy’ (did someone mention Rick Wakeman on keyboards?) and its probably the biggest barrier in terms of accessibility for me. Perhaps this will grow on me to.Stay is still an instant classic for me (I have no idea where it comes in classic bowie terms).Also, Matthew Dear is an interesting artist in this discussion as I previously assumed he was heavily James Murphy influenced. Which I still think is the case. I do think Bowie is the common influence on them both and therefore I think Bowie is probably more the influence on Dear, James Murphy an influence by proxy?Good call on the album David.

  9. Guy Hornsby

    <html><body><div style="color:#000; background-color:#fff; font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:10pt"><div><span>Station To Station you can definitely see the German influences creeping in, and it’s totally different to something like Hunky Dory, definitely. I have listened to Hunky Dory 3 times in the 3 days since I got it. It’s brilliant. <br></span></div><div><span><br>As for the other stuff, I’m happy for us to just post stuff up for comment if we feel like it, as long as it doesn’t get daft. Then we can have focussed discussions on the actual big albums as well. <br></span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><font size="2" face="tahoma, new york, times, serif">—————–</font></div><div><font face="tahoma, new york, times, serif"><font size="2"><b>Guy Hornsby</b> <br>London representative <br><b>www.4clubbers.net</b> <br></font></font><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="mailto:guy@4clubbers.net"><font size="2" face="tahoma, new york, times, serif">guy@4clubbers.net</font></a><font face="tahoma, new york, times, serif"><font size="2"> <br><b>07966057695</b></font></font></div><div><br></div> <div style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;"> <div style="font-family: times new roman, new york, times, serif; font-size: 12pt;"> <div dir="ltr"> <font size="2" face="Arial"></div></div></div></div></body></html>

  10. Guy Hornsby

    Jo, yeah Rick Wakeman does the keys on Life On Mars. Nuts. And you’re right in that it’s two songs. Much like Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding for Elton on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Still, I like any idea of an album that goes against the grain of something ‘normal’. Albums have started to lose their meanings now anyway as things get played in shuffle modes/playlists so much more these days, but I’m a great defender of the format. There’s something great about sticking at it so you start to not just appreciate the songs, but the programming and the progression as the tracks commence. This is also why I like listening to older stuff on vinyl. You’ve lost the concept of A/B side these days too. God, I sound like my dad.

  11. David Allison

    "Albums have started to lose their meanings now anyway as things get played in shuffle modes/playlists so much more these days, but I’m a great defender of the format. There’s something great about sticking at it so you start to not just appreciate the songs, but the programming and the progression as the tracks commence. "This is the key about Station to Station to me. It’s an ALBUM. It works as an album and its sequencing is part of that. Sure, Golden Years was a single, but by god it works so much better when you hear everything around it. Some albums are a collection of songs, some are greater than the sum of their parts. To use The Smiths for a moment, Meat is Murder is a pretty random collection of songs; The Queen Is Dead is an album.We’re defenders of the format, but will our kids be? Not sure.

  12. misterstory

    Sounding like your dad is inevitable. I’ve started to embrace rather than fight it. It just seems futile. All I have to do is put on 5 stone and Im there.’Shuffle’ is evil. Pure evil. Why? Grrrrrrr. Don’t get me started. My car has an iPod attachment thingy which is great but its default setting is ‘shuffle’ so when picking an album you have to remember to turn it off!!! It drives me mad! Playlists are allowable. But only under certain circumstance. I am a slef confessed album-facist and proud. I simply don’t buy albums that aren’t albums any more and if I do by accident it does not get listened to much.The Vinyl A/B side is a good point here. What was the A side of Station to Station? Tracks 1-3 (sorry haven’t memorised them yet!)?

  13. misterstory

    Ooooh and on the Smiths thing … you’ve picked a bugger of a band there. They were kind of a singles band? If you agree with that then Meat is Murder is kind of another Singles Collection from them (though they didn’t all get released) … does this make any sense or am I banging the solitary drum of mental ill health?

  14. Guy Hornsby

    When I said the album format is on its way out, I mean that for kids these days, but for me it’s still vital. There’s so many songs that when I hear them, in my head it’s automatically the next song on the album. And that’s something I hope I never lose. And I hope recording artists don’t either. While ther’ell be many songs downloaded singly, even on iTunes (ugh, gah, spit) it’ll still play as the album if you buy the whole album. But then it’s heartening to see electronic stuff even still adhere to this (and no, compilations don’t count here). Spencer Parker’s album (A Gun For Hire) plays like a programmed set, on purpose, but there’s a flow to it, and one of my favourite albums of 2010 is Frivolous’s Meterology. Brilliant album, great programming, proper songcraft. But you’re right, some are just jumbled. There’s nothing so frustrating as an album that doesn’t ‘work’ as one, and nothing so beautiful as one that just clicks beautifully. Station to Station is indeed 3 on each side. I need to listen more to ‘get’ it as a whole, but I like what I hear so far.

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