Written just before Bowie's first child was born, 'Oh! You Pretty Things' finds him relating his anxieties about his impending fatherhood by pumping them into a story of aliens taking over the earth. Although an integral part of the storyline of Bowie's 'Ziggy Stardust', 'Moonage Daydream' was released in 1971 as the debut single by his side project Arnold Corns. Apparently, Mott The Hoople were about to call it a day — until Bowie learned of their predicamen and wrote, produced and played guitar on '. The lyric is about Ziggy, the ultimate rock superstar, getting too big for his boots and ultimately self-destructing. The melodrama of the story is reflected in the music, a grandiose, theatrical epic, inspired, according to Bowie himself, by French poet Baudelaire. In Bowie's hands, the winsome, delicate track twists like a snake around a branch.
The fact that he opened up with this drum pattern that was really kind of a bit odd, was just completely experimental and avant-garde. . There's a tragic irony to 'Modern Love'; it's not that David Bowie managed to make a perfect song about his cynicism at the world. It has such a cool detachment, and it's very sexy. Even though it's based on a Muddy Waters riff, it doesn't sound like an American band.
A homage to the doo-wop of 1950s America, 'Drive-in Saturday' described a world that would have been as alien to a young Bowie as that described in 'Life On Mars? The single that made David Bowie huge in America was inspired by the rather unsexy subject of how utterly pissed off he was at his then-management. He starved his body of all nutrients besides milk, cocaine and red peppers and replaced them with dirty disco and funky soul. Eight months later, 'John, I'm Only Dancing' was released. It's that his prescient observations about the burgeoning business charm offensive of the 1980s exposed the hollowness that would consume his own career for a few years — critically, at least— until he formed Tin Machine in 1989. As if being the greatest rock star on the planet wasn't quite enough, by 1972 Bowie had even set about saving his contemporaries from extinction. With his album 'Pin-Ups', Bowie paid tribute to his favourite bands of the previous decade by covering their songs.
While attempting to extricate himself from his contract, Bowie was egged on by his new pal John Lennon, who went on to supply the title and backing vocals. Recall is a powerful tool. Bowie chronicled Ziggy's final fall from grace, torn into pieces by his feverish acolytes. Its big reveal is the fate of Major Tom, cast here as a junkie drifting into oblivion. Bowie likes to litter his songs with references to earlier works, and it's a trick he pulled off most neatly in 'Ashes To Ashes', looking to the future with its airy funk, but looking back to an earlier character in its lyrics. Stylistically it has one foot in the Ziggy Stardust era with the other kicking towards the experimentalism of the European years. It has a simmering undertow of violence about it, which is a weirdly English thing.
I think his choice in words and incredibly expressive voice communicates such a unique mental and emotional state that it makes the song much more than the sum of its parts. Dudes', which instantly took the band to the top of the charts. It was common for Bowie to take inspiration from his musical heroes, but the heaven-sent riff here owed as much to Keith Richards as it did to the Stones' singer. . .
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