Friday, January 15, 2016
Throwback Thursday: Hunky Dory, by David Bowie
In 1971 David Bowie put out one of his most prolific albums that would in some ways act as the blueprint for the rest of his career: Hunky Dory. It was the first album to feature Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust persona backed by his band The Spiders from Mars.The lyrics were profound and had immense amounts of cultural importance at the time with issues such as artistic reinvention, youths' reaction to the media, alternative religion/spirtualism, and more. The music itself was big, as though from some great grand movie score.
Hunky Dory features a variety of genres, from big ballads to catchy pop numbers to in your face rock n' rollers. It features some of Bowie's best known hits such as Life on Mars, Changes, Oh! You Pretty Things, etc. Many of the songs are fairly easily to follow, having graspable melody and accessible movable grooves. There is something for everyone on this album, honestly. It's no wonder that this is where Bowie REALLY started to make a name for himself.
Oh! You Pretty Things is a peculiar little tune, but the chorus is so damn catchy that it really doesn't matter either way. It has a rather jazzy vibe to it during the verses, especially considering the style in which Bowie plays the piano. However, the chorus very much has a pop oriented feel to it. The styles blend together pretty well. I'm not surprised Bowie pulled this off as well as he did. The lyrics themselves are kind of weird too, primarily focusing on Aleister Crowley - the famed English occultist from the early 20th century.
Changes is a certified Bowie classic and was a staple of his live sets and radio hits. It focuses on Bowie's chameleonic stage and musical persona and how it is always changing as well as the compulsive nature of artistic reinvention in general. Musically it sounds like a REALLY old school night club song, but it has some blusier/poppier aspects to it as well. The chorus is naturally one of the absolute catchiest things to ever smack the face of the planet by surprise. It really is a unique work of art.
If you really want to see where Bowie began to take off, Hunky Dory is the album to go to. It's fun, eclectic, and full of pure Bowie goodness. I personally think it's one of his best albums; probably his second best (the first being The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars). Whether you like softer tunes, louder ones, or something you can dance to you will be guaranteed to have a good time. Do yourself a favor and start looking into the legacy of David Bowie today by picking up a copy of Hunky Dory.
Hunky Dory, by David Bowie receives 4 out of 5 stars.
2. Oh! You Pretty Things
3. Eight Line Poem
4. Life On Mars
7. Fill Your Heart
8. Andy Warhol
9. Song For Bob Dylan
10. Queen Bitch
11. The Bewlay Brothers
Buy the album on Amazon: