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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sound and Vision
This is the definitive account not only of the making of Bowie's meisterwerk- LOW- but also of the album itself.
Wilcken has an engaging, easy style but manages to dig deep and place the album in the widest context of electronic music,German expressionism, post-modernism, Bowie's canon, Krautrock (especially Kraftwerk themselves), Eno's brilliant sound and prescient...
Published on 30 May 2006 by colin sharp

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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unimpressed
Not a lot new here for the better read fans of Bowie: some dime store psychological profiling (exemplified in Wilcken's use of the word 'autistic' as an adjective far too many times throughout the book) and the bending of literary criticism to suit pop music serve to underline the failures. Unimpressed, I'd avoid unless it's a first point of call for someone newly...
Published on 27 Sep 2008 by Pen Name


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sound and Vision, 30 May 2006
This review is from: David Bowie's "Low" (33 1/3) (Paperback)
This is the definitive account not only of the making of Bowie's meisterwerk- LOW- but also of the album itself.
Wilcken has an engaging, easy style but manages to dig deep and place the album in the widest context of electronic music,German expressionism, post-modernism, Bowie's canon, Krautrock (especially Kraftwerk themselves), Eno's brilliant sound and prescient vision.
It makes for compelling and stimulating reading; each track is dissected and explained and examined in depth, but not in a dry way. He manages to capture the feel, the texture, the dissonance and melody of the album in words: no mean feat.
It takes you back to the album itself, surely the touchstone of this genre of writing and asks you to re-examine and re-experience it in a fresh, vibrant and energetic light.
I've been a Bowie fan for years, and a particular admirer of this period of his work, but it made me listen in a new way and discover subtleties and complexities that I hadn't hitherto been aware of. It places it correctly in the context of the Bowie Berlin trilogy and sheds new light on Bowie's relationship with Eno, and en passant with Iggy Pop.
It is written in a highly intelligent, well informed, style,obviously thoroughly researched with plenty of appropiate anecdote and detail and makes interesting connections with the post-punk pantheon particularly Joy Division, early John Foxx era Ultravox and PIL.
It is part of the fabulous thirty third and a third series and for my money so far the Number One.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done!, 13 Jun 2008
This review is from: David Bowie's "Low" (33 1/3) (Paperback)
I found this book to be very informative and very readable - I got through it in an afternoon. It successfully puts the album in context, both of the music of the time, and of Bowie's preceding work - specifically "Station To Station", "The Man Who Fell To Earth", and Iggy's "The Idiot". I'm a big fan of Eno and Kraftwerk, and love a bit of Kosmische/Krautrock when the mood takes me, so I enjoyed the references to all these. There is pertinent use of quotes, and sparing use of technical/muso info - a good balance to keep the flow, um, flowing. I prefer listening to music to reading about it, so I recommend this book for being concise.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic if you've heard Low, and not read any other Bowie books, 21 May 2008
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David Scoble - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: David Bowie's "Low" (33 1/3) (Paperback)
Like me. I've not read any others. Yet. Going to get one soon. So I can't say whether you'll find better detail in another book. But if you love Low (which would be the reason you're looking at this book), you'll love this book.

I read this in one go (not hard, these books are tiny), it took me a morning.

It's better than the other books of the 33 1/3 series I've read because it doesn't just look at the actual music. It does look at the music, of course, and then in very good detail. But it also looks at the factors that effect the music and the recording, for example, the place it was recorded in, Bowie's life at the time, other projects Bowie was involved in at the time (e.g. Iggy Pop's The Idiot), and other records released at the time of a similar vein. All these factors help place the book into a historical context, which the other 33 1/3 books I've read lack.

This book was a good starting point for me, as I've only really heard Bowie's Berlin trilogy, and has wetted my appetite for more Bowie. I shall be raiding my mum's record collection (she's the Bowie fan in this house) for more. And buying at least 1 more book about Bowie's work.

Writing this review has made me want to read it again.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unimpressed, 27 Sep 2008
This review is from: David Bowie's "Low" (33 1/3) (Paperback)
Not a lot new here for the better read fans of Bowie: some dime store psychological profiling (exemplified in Wilcken's use of the word 'autistic' as an adjective far too many times throughout the book) and the bending of literary criticism to suit pop music serve to underline the failures. Unimpressed, I'd avoid unless it's a first point of call for someone newly discovering 'Low.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Worthless Exercise, 9 Mar 2008
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This review is from: David Bowie's "Low" (33 1/3) (Paperback)
If you've read Buckley's biography of Bowie, have heard Low more than twice and are even vaguely aware of kraftwerk you'll learn nothing from this very disappointing book. The 'best' sections are lifted almost directly from Buckley. The thirty three and a third series is hit and miss, and this is a miss.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, 12 Jan 2010
By 
Ms. M. E. Vaswani (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: David Bowie's "Low" (33 1/3) (Paperback)
If you want to read the thoughts of a rather bright, geeky 13 year old Bowie bore then you've found your book. Waffle of the third order.
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David Bowie's "Low" (33 1/3)
David Bowie's "Low" (33 1/3) by Hugo Wilcken (Paperback - 30 Jan 2014)
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