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The Complete David Bowie Paperback – 9 Sep 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books; 6th edition (9 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857682903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857682901
  • Product Dimensions: 16.7 x 4.3 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"I can't imagine how this book could be better... the definitive read for Bowiephiles." (Uncut) The Complete David Bowie certainly lives up to its title... Pegg's opinionated and witty prose turns it into that rare thing: a reference book that sparkles." (MOJO) "Pegg has a keen critical intelligence." (Sunday Telegraph)"

From the Publisher

The first definitive account of Bowie's work
THE COMPLETE DAVID BOWIE Nicholas Pegg

ANNOUNCING THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE BOWIE BOOK EVER PUBLISHED!

THE COMPLETE DAVID BOWIE is the first book to cover every facet of Bowie's career in revealing depth and detail. In his research for this benchmark book, Nicholas Pegg has used a host of sources, many of them previously unpublished. Every recording is analysed from a technical and musical point of view, as well as being judiciously placed in the context of Bowie's mercurial career moves and constantly refined creative intentions. The A-Z of songs and the day-by-day dateline of Bowie's career are the most complete yet published.

* THE ALBUMS - detailed production history and analysis of every album from 1967 to the present day.

* THE SONGS - hundreds of individual entries reveal the facts and anecdotes behind not just the famous recordings, but also the most obscure of unreleased rarities - from 'Absolute Beginners' to 'Ziggy Stardust', from 'Abdulmajid' to 'Zion'.

* THE TOURS - set-lists and histories of every live show.

* THE ACTOR - a complete guide to Bowie's career on stage and screen, including many obscure and little-known performances.

* PLUS - the videos, the BBC radio sessions, the paintings, the Internet and much more.

From the 11-year-old's skiffle performance at the 18th Bromley Scouts' Summer Camp in 1958, to the 53-year-old's headliner at Glastonbury 2000, THE COMPLETE DAVID BOWIE dissects every last move in rock's most fascinating career... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By paulcornell@owlservice.freeserve.co.uk on 1 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
Nicholas Pegg is clearly a great fan of David Bowie, but he also displays a calm intelligence, gently chiding his hero for Tim Machine and other follies. The book examines every track Bowie ever recorded in alphabetical order, a cut-up technique similar to Bowie's own, before launching on more in-depth (and chronological) examinations of the albums. The pitch is exactly right: it's not too musicianly, not too fannish, and entertains the wild speculations of biographers as possibilites rather than history. Also, Pegg seems to have paid attention to every Bowie resource and taken the best from all of them, leading to an overview that carefully wanders round its subject to see it from all angles. If the character of Bowie himself can be pinned down in print, it's here, where he comes across as a decent, concerned, sharing sort of chap with a corny sense of humour, who, realising that he was rather horribly normal, hid for a long time behind images and drugs. Whilst, of course, being an astonishing songwriter and performer. This book reminds you of the length of the career, the size of the contribution, and is a work of similar art itself. 'The Complete' title has never been more apt.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Walloff Domburg on 12 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
This book triumphantly illuminates the extraordinary career & catalogue of David Bowie.

It works on several levels. It is bursting with detail, but there is a consistent discipline which prevents it falling into random trivia. With Bowie, this distinction is vital. His cronic referencing of many artists, not least himself, creates a maze. Mr Pegg is our surefooted guide through the sometimes obscure labyrinth. My appreciation of Bowie's work, particularly from Buddha Of Suburbia onwards, has been hugely enhanced by understanding his influences & context at the time of writing.

The most satisfying sections are the narratives on albums & tours. These are not biography, in the sense of the bonkfest pageturner genre of rock writing. Mr Pegg clearly has no appetite for these redtop areas. Rather, he studiously, absorbingly & lovingly charts the evolution of the Bowie canon.

Bowie emerges as down to earth, somewhat vulnerable & touched by an extraordinary intuitive genius. We see that his work excels the more he trusts this intuition.

Most broadly, 'The complete DB' begins to place Bowie in cultural history. Legacy is not,I suspect, a priority of Bowie, but it is an inevitable issue & the almost scholarly perspective & rigour of Mr Pegg sets a well considered marker.

The final pleasure of this book is the style. Generous, whilst balanced in sharing past journalistic criticisms of Bowie; witty; understated, yet sharp. I would have enjoyed the read if Bowie had not been a hero. For those for whom he is, you will find yourself continually pouring through the pages, preferably with the stereo at full volume.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 6 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
Reference books are struggling to survive, edged out by the accessibility, flexibility and, let's not deny it, freeness of the web. So why is it worth your while to splash out hard cash on this vast chunk of dead tree? Because it's rather more than a reference work. Yes, all the facts are there; or rather, Pegg's facts are utterly plausible, as his grasp of the minutiae of Bowie's life and career, from album serial numbers to Dave Lee Travis sessions is at times overwhelming to this humble reader.

But Pegg offers something extra, that you don't get with Wikipedia or the All Music Guide. He has a fine critical intelligence, expressed with a dry wit, while never descending into crass journalese of PR-style puffery. He is a Bowie fan, but this is never expressed as blind, gushing praise. He does not try to claim that Tin Machine II is as good as Hunky Dory - he is not deaf, or a certifiable nincompoop - but he does dare to suggest that the more recent album may have its less horrible moments, and be worthy of contemplation in the overall arc of Bowie's career. Indeed, one of the book's strengths (and a reason to pick up a new edition, if you have an earlier one) is that the author does not follow the hack orthodoxy that DB ceased to be relevant at some point between Scary Monsters and Let's Dance. Bowie is still out there, and should be grateful to have Pegg as his most scrupulous, even-handed and articulate chronicler.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Og Oggilby TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A huge, exceptionally well-researched and very informative book, Nicholas Pegg's 'The Complete David Bowie' is a superb, in-depth trawl through David Bowie's musical history, including his earliest days in the mid 1960s. It's not a biography - look elsewhere for that, but in terms of lifting the lid on the inspiration and recording history of individual songs, albums and the weaving in of outside events and even managerial and contractual issues, and how they impinged on his career, this book is invaluable. It's a handy item to have around when you listen to Bowie's magisterial catalogue of recordings, affording the listener an insight into what any individual song is about. Endlessly fascinating, like the career of David Bowie himself, this book repays the modest outlay time and again
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Bentley Newman on 21 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The world needs Nick Pegg! Pur and simple!

Whilst Bowie doesn't have the volume of fans that Springsteen, Dylan, The Stones and Beatles may have one thing is for sure, Bowie fans are a desperate bunch!

We love to know everything about his music, films, art, his passion for writing and like myself many of us have been inspired by Bowie to discover Dali, Kraftwerk and French art house cinema.

Nick Pegg picks apart every aspect of Bowie's career in great detail. You will find out so many wonderful bits of information and continue to come back to this wonderful publication time and again.

I own all bar one of the volumes released so far and none have left me disappointed.
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