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Album 109 I Seeking Major Tom (2011) by William Shatner

Albums

This would be a bizarre album if William Shatner, best known as Captain Kirk from Star Trek, hadn’t already done something like it with the album, The Transformed Man all the way back in 1968. If you ever heard his rendition of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," from that album, you know the drill. He resurrects it here. Same…

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Album 108 I Toy (Box Set) (2021)

Albums

The best thing about Toy is that it allows me to believe that I’m not so much in the tank for Bowie that I convinced myself to like anything he put out. Since I first heard a bootleg version, I’ve never liked it. Now, after having purchased an officially released three-disc box set version…I still don’t like it. The basic…

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One Bowie-inspired album I can’t listen through all the way…

Albums

Back in 1998 I became aware that Marilyn Manson— who I had heard of but never previously heard— was going to release a Bowie-inspired album, which ended up being called, Mechanical Animals. That was enough for me to buy it back then, and I think I still have the nearly-pristine CD…somewhere. Well, Manson’s cover art vaguely looks like Ziggy Stardust.…

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You Can Sometimes Get What You Want: The Rolling Stones’ Hackney Diamonds

Albums

Let me start by being unambiguous: The Rolling Stones’ new album, Hackney Diamonds is near-great. I write this after listening to it a few times, so this is my initial impression, and of course that might change, but upon hearing that the Stones were coming out with a new album, what I was hoping for was something just like this.…

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Where Are We Now: My Occasional Ranking of Bowie’s Albums

Albums

I haven’t recently looked up the last time I did this— ranking Bowie’s albums. If you are reading this and are interested in seeing how my thinking has changed between then and now, this blog is fully searchable. I’ll do it again, later, at some point. Before I get to the list, though, I need to wring my hands about…

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Updated: Album 43 | 1. Outside (1995)

Albums

While I was writing yesterday’s post about Bowie’s worst album (see yesterday’s post), I noticed that the video link to one of his better albums, 1. Outside, was broken. Apparently, YouTube no longer has a link to a recording of the entire album. Instead, if you want to hear the whole thing on YouTube, you’ll get a series of videos…

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Album 107 | David Bowie (Debut Album) (1967)

Albums

Note: the following post includes several links to some of my earlier posts. Rather than me writing “click to link” after every link, I’ve simply bolded links. So when you see a song, album or term bolded— link to my previous comments about it. Got it? OK, here’s my post… I don’t know what’s more incredible: that I have never…

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Updated: Album 35 | Love You till Tuesday (1984)

Albums

Unfortunately the entire Love You Til Tuesday promotional film is not available in its entirety on YouTube, so the above video is just of the title song. The entire film was a compilation of videos of Bowie’s never-to-be-well-known songs from the time, which, if you couldn’t guess from his Austin Powers wardrobe, was 1969. The film and most of the…

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Update: Album 21 | Glass Spider Tour Live (2007)

Albums

Update (8/13/23) The following post from 2018 was about what I guess is now a rare live recording of Bowie during the Glass Spider tour of 1987. As you will read, I reference having seen a broadcast of the concert on PBS. Perhaps the record was a bootleg, though I don’t think so. Subsequently, however, to the extent this was…

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Ziggy Stardust the Motion Picture 50th Anniversary

Albums

As I previously wrote, 2023 is a strange anniversary year for Bowie. It is the first year that ends in the number three that Bowie hasn’t released a new album since 1963, and therefore is the anniversary of several Bowie albums. It is also the 50th anniversary of the supposed (but not really) final Ziggy concert, documented in Ziggy Stardust…

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Album 106: Club Bowie (2003)

Albums

I am the wrong guy to be writing about “club music.” I have never been to a dance club, and aside from weddings, the last time I went to anything like a dance was in the 1990s (once). From a far, far distance, the concept of “dance music” seems to my alien ears to have evolved from something after a…

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Bowie cover of the week (and album 105): Capsula’s Dreaming of Ziggy Stardust

Albums

This week’s cover of the week is an entire album— Capsula, a band from Argentina with an international following, Dreaming of Ziggy Stardust is the band’s cover of the Ziggy album. Although I think the album was released, or at least recorded in 2012, it seems to have appeared on YouTube for the first time over the past week, so…

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Tonight (1984, album #76) updated

Albums

On the occasion of Tina Turner’s death I was looking back over past blog entires and noticed that the video I linked to my discussion of the album Tonight had broken. That provided me an opportunity to update the entry and add a new link, which is the audio of the album’s version of the title track, which Turner sings…

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Album 104: Ziggy Stardub by Easy Star All-Stars

Albums

I am not especially drawn to reggae music. Bowie’s main experiment with the genre was with Tonight, the album that is probably least popular among fans (which, in fairness, is not a reggae album, thought some of the songs are influenced by reggae). I also was not familiar with the East Star All-Stars before this album, though I have learned…

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2023 is a sad, strange milestone year

Albums

Bowie albums tend to get a flurry of retrospective media coverage when they reach an anniversary that ends in “0.” This year, I’ve seen such retrospectives for the 50th anniversary of Pin Ups and Aladdin Sane, the 40th for Let’s Dance, the 30th for Black Tie White Noise and the 10th for The Next Day. I expect to see something…

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Album 103: By Popular Demand (2020)

Albums

Oddly enough, the first thing I feel compelled to clarify is that this double live album is not a recording of a Bowie concert in Buffalo. The reason I’m starting with that is that the album cover explains that it is a recording of “The 96.9 Buffalo, NY Sound and Vision Broadcast, 1990.” And so it is. It’s a recording…

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1976 Vancouver Concert Rehersal

Albums

YouTube keeps sending me these recordings of complete concerts, and as I listen to them, I’ll post them! That said, you will notice that there is no video link. For some reason, YouTube won’t let me link to it. Before reading any further, try this link. I hope you are able to find this video. In a way, something like…

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Bowie at the Hammersmith, 2002

Albums

A few days ago I posted a recording from a CD that I had previously never heard of called, By Popular Demand. That’s a live album from Bowie’s 1990 Sound and Vision tour, which was conceived of as his last greatest hits tour. Back then, I saw the concert in Hartford. The idea was that Bowie was going to perform…

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The Last Three Bowie Albums I’ve Listened To…

Albums

Since I brought a CD player to my office, I’ve been cycling through my extensive collection of Bowie CDs. The exercise takes me away from what I’m otherwise normally drawn to, only to be reminded that even lesser Bowie or Bowie related albums tend to be pretty good. The last three I’ve listen to are: Welcome to the Blackout (Live…

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Best and Worst Song From Every Bowie Album (Part 5: 1999-2016)

Albums

‘hours…’ (1999). Bowie used the cover art of ‘hours…’ to signal another stylistic change. The “new” Bowie held, Pieta style, an exhausted— or dead— looking Bowie much as he had appeared over the past few years. The loud period was over, as was Bowie’s final (overt) attempt to appeal to a younger audience. From here on out his music would…

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Best and Worst Song From Every Bowie Album (Part 3: 1983-1987)

Albums

Let’s Dance (1983). After a three year break between albums, Bowie reinvented himself as a pop star with this, one of his most successful releases. The album is anchored by its strong first three songs, “Modern Love,” “China Girl” and “Let’s Dance,” and I’m going to say the title track is both the strongest and probably song that had the…

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Best and Worst Song From Every Bowie Album (Part 2: 1975-1980)

Albums

Young Americans (1975). My least favorite Bowie album from the 70s, this one still has some great songs. I’m going to say “Fame” is on top here. It was Bowie’s first #1, at least in the U.S., and its a song he continued to perform late into his career. I’m not so partial to the so-called plastic soul songs. This…

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Revisiting Never Let Me Down (1995 reissue)

Albums

In the last few weeks I’ve commented on some of Bowie’s worst music, including through a blog post in which I quoted from Nicholas Pegg writing about some of the songs he apparently likes least. Many of those songs came from the album, Never Let Me Down, which has been regarded as a low point for Bowie since its release…

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Album 102: “The Bowie Project” (2023) by the Metropolitan Jazz Octet, featuring Paul Mar

Albums

I have heard Bowie’s music interpreted in different ways including as classical music. Bowie’s long-time pianist Mike Garson translated Bowie songs into piano jazz a while back. Bowie himself occasionally veered in the direction of jazz, especially in his final album, Blackstar, featuring jazz musician Donny McCaslin, who himself adapted some Bowie songs for his own subsequent records. This disc,…

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Album 101: “Divine Symmetry,” Part 4, Disc 4

Albums

The concept behind Divine Symmetry is that it tracks the evolution of the collection of songs that would eventually find their way on to Hunky Dory. The first three discs include some demos and live performances. They include both songs that would eventually make it all the way to the final album, as well as some that dropped off along…

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Album 101: Divine Symmetry, Part 3, Disc 3

Albums

The third disc in this collection, subtitled, “The Journey to Hunk Dory,” consists of a fairly short radio concert from the BBC show, “Sounds of the 70s with Bob Harris” (recorded in September, 1971), and the recording of a concert at a club called Friars Aylesbury from the same month. Friars Aylesbury is still up and running, advertising itself as…

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Album 101: Divine Symmetry Part 2, Disc 2

Albums

The second disc of the Divine Symmetry box set features a BBC radio concert put on by Bowie and friends, including the future members of the Spiders From Mars from June, 1971. Although the songs are more or less familiar, the performances — including three in which Bowie is not the lead singer— are not. So, like the first disc,…

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Album 101 | Divine Symmetry, Part1: Disc 1

Albums

Divine Symmetry is a new, multi-media package of Bowie materials including several CDs worth of music, framed as “the Journey to Hunky Dory.” I am in the process of listening to the discs and experiencing the whole of the package. Since this is a daily blog, and the entity of the package contains so much stuff, I think its better…

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Album 100 | Moonage Daydream Soundtrack

Albums

This is it, the 100th album I’m commenting on in this blog. And this is a good one. The challenge for any posthumous Bowie album is for it to have anything truly new. This soundtrack manages to do as good a job as any, barring anything with songs that have never been released in any form before. Much like the…

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The 5 Bowie Albums in Rolling Stones’ Top 500

Albums

Rolling Stone magazine announced this week that its releasing its 2020 Top 500 albums list as a coffee table book. It is at least the fourth edition of the list, dating back to 2003, however I think I remember an even earlier version. Anyway, Bowie albums make up a total of 1% of the entire list. He’s tied with Led…

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