Monday, February 1, 2016

29 Days of Bowie: David Bowie (1967 album)

Released on June 1, 1967, David Bowie’s self-titled debut album was released under the Deram label as it was produced by Mike Vernon. With all of the songs written by Bowie, the album is presented in baroque pop/dancehall style that was reminiscent of the pop music of Anthony Newley who was one of Bowie’s influences. With elements of rock and pop, the album contains material that played into many subjects such as longing for love, apocalyptic imagery, and all sorts of ambiguities. The mixture of whimsical pop melodies and offbeat material would result in a weird but fascinating debut from Bowie.

Songs such as When I Live My Dream, Love You Till’ Tuesday, Sell Me a Coat, Silly Boy Blue, and the single Rubber Band are definite highlights of the album as it contains material that show Bowie’s strength as a songwriter. When I Live My Dream, Sell Me a Coat, and the Buddhist-inspired Silly Boy Blue definitely show Bowie’s penchant for ballads which play into his baritone-based vocal style while Love You Till’ Tuesday and Rubber Band are more upbeat. Lyrically, Bowie brought elements of Syd Barrett and Anthony Newley into some of the upbeat tunes while would also showcase some dark subject matters in a song like We Are Hungry Men and Please Mr. Gravedigger.

From a production scale, many of the songs sound good though it’s kind of what is typical of many of the pop records that were made at the time. In the 2010 Deluxe Edition of the album, the album is presented in both stereo and mono in the first disc. The mono version is more direct in terms of how Bowie’s vocals are presented as well as in the instrumentation though the stereo version of the album does provide some broader viewpoints. In the second disc of the album, single versions of Rubber Band and Love You Till’ Tuesday both display some superior aspects in comparison to the album versions due to the production and how Bowie’s vocals sound. Their respective B-sides in on The London Boys and Did You Ever Have a Dream definitely display Bowie’s knack for pop melodies. Many of the singles including the non-LP single The Laughing Gnome and its B-side The Gospel According to Tony Day are presented in mono which all sound wonderful no matter how silly The Laughing Gnome is in Bowie’s attempt at a nursery song for children.

Gems in the second disc such as Let Me Sleep Beside You, Karma Man, In the Heat of the Morning, and London Bye Ta-Ta show more complexity into Bowie’s work as a songwriter as a version of In the Heat of the Morning from a BBC recording is very superior to its studio version as did the versions of Silly Boy Blue, When I Live My Dream, Love You Till’ Tuesday, and an album cut in Little Bombardier as the five final tracks on the second disc as it‘s a representation of Bowie‘s first session with BBC radio. A remix of Sell Me a Coat in the second disc while there is a real gem in a song called When I’m Five as it reflects into the idea of innocence with a sense of whimsy as it’s definitely a cut fans need to hear as is a song called Ching-a-Ling.

As a debut album, it’s a good one with some amazing tracks though it pales to the run of albums Bowie would make in the coming years. Still, it’s a record that showcases Bowie’s gift as a songwriter and crafting pop tunes that were unlike anything though it is clear that he was trying to find an identity at a time when pop music was ever-changing. Especially as this album was released on the same day as the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album. In the end, David Bowie’s self-titled debut is a fine record from the man who would later change the world with his music.

Studio Releases: David Bowie (1969 album) - The Man Who Sold the World - Hunky Dory - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars - Aladdin Sane - Pin Ups - Diamond Dogs - Young Americans - Station to Station - Low - “Heroes” - Lodger - Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) - Let’s Dance - Tonight - Never Let Me Down - Tin Machine - Tin Machine II - Black Tie White Noise - Outside - Earthling - ‘Hours…’ - Heathen - Reality - The Next Day - *

Live Releases: David Live - Stage - Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars - Tin Machine Live: Oy Vey, Baby - Bowie at the Beeb - (Live at Fashion Rocks (w/ Arcade Fire)) - (Live Santa Monica ‘72) - (Glass Spider Live) - (VH1 Storytellers) - (A Reality Tour)

Soundtracks: Christiane F. - Labyrinth - The Buddha of Suburbia

Miscellaneous: Peter and the Wolf - Baal - Sound + Vision - (Early On (1964-1966)) - (All Saints) - Toy - (Nothing Has Changed)

© thevoid99 2016

No comments:

Post a Comment