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4.8 out of 5 stars207
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 1 March 2016
I mostly buy vinyl on Amazon but most of the reviews I have seen are for the CDs or downloads and generally consist of opinion on the content which is of little use to me. Though not my favourite of Bowie's, I do like this album but as its quite old and has already been heavily reviewed and raked over I feel there is little of constructive use I can add. Furthermore I think anyone prepared to shell out for a vinyl copy will most likely be already familiar with it, or at the very least be well informed about it. therefore this review will concentrate on the LP and packaging only.
First the sleeve. As you can see from Amazon's images the LP is now a Parlophone release, so the RCA logo's are gone. The front cover is laminated as per the first pressings. To the rear its the same image and handwritten style track list and annotations, but no 'Mainmain' or 'Gem Productions' although 'Gem Productions' appears on the labels and the logo is on the insert. The stereo recordings info is printed top left and there is a new catalogue number top right in small, bold type where RCA used to be. To bottom left is the UK copyright and licensing blurb, which brings me to my only real gripe about this item. The old US RCA blurb has been brushed over and the new one printed over the top. Unfortunately it has not been done very well on my copy. I can still read the words 'corporation 1971, RCA records, New York, NY, printed in USA' under the UK print. It's not glaringly obvious and OK, it's a bit of a nit - pick, but are these repressings not all about attention to details like this?
One good thing. I dislike bar codes very much, especially on records from the 60s and 70s as they look out of place and I think they always spoil the look of the thing. Here the bar code is on a sticker attached to the outer shrink wrap meaning it's very easily removed. A far better idea I think.
On opening the sleeve I find the vinyl housed in a plain white and poly lined inner. It has a, more or less, carbon copy of the original lyric insert and my copy also came with a second inner sleeve. This one was also plain white but without a liner and I think must be meant to represent the original RCA one, however it does not have the RCA records print on it. The records labels are the same orange as the old RCA one's and formatted in the same way. Where the originals had the RCA logo, these have 'BOWIE' in the RCA style outline lettering.
Regarding the LP itself - I have heard and read many reviews from people on and off Amazon expressing problems with modern 180gm pressings - edge warps and tracks jumping or skipping being the main ones. Well, I am happy to report no such problems here. The disc sits perfectly flat on my turntable and has played through both sides without issue. This is the first time I have heard the remastered version and I have to admit to being impressed. The whole album sounds fresher, cleaner and more defined and is considerable better at meaningful volume than my original.
I have given this item the full marks as I think it a good quality thing. With the exception of my little grump about the rear sleeve I have found nothing really wrong with it. If you are looking for a replacement for a knackered original or you are just curious about this album and fancy the vinyl, I see no reason not to buy it.
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on 11 July 2011
I guess the test of true song writing ability is when songs can sound as good today as when they were released 40 years ago (Hunky Dory was released in 1971). What can I say? One look at the track listing is enough to see how many classic Bowie songs are here - `Changes', `Oh! You pretty things', `Life on Mars?', `Kooks', `Andy Warhol', `Queen Bitch'. This is not to say the other songs aren't classics, but anyone who embraced Bowie whilst they were growing up will be as familiar with these tracks as the alphabet.

So what does `Hunky Dory' Remastered (released in 1999) give us that's new? To be honest, I'm not sure! I'm familiar with Bowie probably most on record and tape. That probably gives me an age of 100 or something. What's my point? Well, you obviously don't get the scratches and hiss of the aforementioned medium, but you still get the same songs. Classics. If that makes me a heathen then I'm guilty as charged.

`Hunky Dory' is a listening delight, remastered or otherwise. Stand out tracks? I'm going to pick out one amongst the many. This probably changes on a daily basis, but with a gun to my head I'd have to say `Queen Bitch'. It's got a killer riff, with a rock staccato feel that leaves you bouncing off the walls.

Enjoy folks.
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This is the first of the great trio of Bowie albums that continued with Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane. I can't think of a mainstream artist who has produced three such perfect examples of their art in succession. Ziggy Stardust is generally accepted as the best of the three, but I disagree. For me Hunky Dory was the pinnacle of Bowie's songwriting ability. It is a quieter more sophisticated album than Man Who Sold The World.

I first saw Bowie live in Harlow, Essex, somewhere between Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust. I have memories of Bowie playing the first half of the set at the piano featuring much of the material from Hunky Dory before unveiling the Spiders for an electric Ziggy set for the second half. This album attacks the senses like virtually no other. It has a feel of greatness about it. Great albums have no weaknesses. This is a great album. For sometime I never got past the first side of the album - it was that good. I continually played Changes, Oh You Pretty Things, Life on Mars, Kooks and then went back to play them again. It was only later on that I realised that there were gems on side two as well. Songs of passion - the art school feel of Andy Warhol and Song for Bob Dylan and The Bewley Brothers was just one of those songs that confused but amazed.

Above all the thing that makes Hunky Dory a great album is the atmosphere it emits. Bowie has hauled himself back from the edge of insanity as suggested by the Man Who Sold The World and turned into the consummate songwriter - more outward going and less introverted and ready to move into the next phase of his life - a strange spaceman ready to change the rock map for ever. I almost look upon Hunky Dory as Bowie's folk album.
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on 14 January 2015
Superb, and rather beautiful album, with some of Bowie's best ever songs. The album belongs to Mick Ronson and Rick Wakeman as much as to Bowie himself, and Trevor Bolder's bass is gorgeously melodic. Funny, engimatic, strange pop art with an almost baroque touch. "Ziggy" gets more attention - and it is a great record, but for me he was never more interesting, adventurous and playful. For real music lovers.
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on 3 March 2016
Having owned the original pressing on vinyl way back in '71, I am more than familiar with this album. I sold most of my albums and moved to CD format about 20 years ago; a bad move in some ways (my old vinyl collection is now worth shed loads!) but my well-worn copy of Bowie's masterpiece needed an update. I've never been entirely 'converted' to CD format. Great for the car but not for a home listening experience. The compression used and various attempts over the years at the remastering of many classic LPs has often been disappointing, to say the least.

So, I've bitten the bullet. My CDs are now gradually being sold and vinyl is back on the record deck! And I'm loving it. This time I'm being more discerning in my choices; buying what I know and like, whether the record is brand new, remastered or just a very good condition original. Paying silly money for well-worn secondhand vinyl is not what I'm into. It's not about collecting and watching prices soar, it's about a listening experience, a handling of a cover that has original artwork and it's about nostalgia. 'Hunk Dory' meets all of these and more. The listening experience is first class. This vinyl has a fantastic reproduction and every nuance is faithfully captured. The cover and insert are a faithful reproduction of the original (albeit with a Parlophone name on the cover, rather than RCA Victor). And nostalgia is there in bucket loads.

The album arrived very promptly and well-packed. What more can I say, as a reviewer. It ticks all of the boxes and it's recommended.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 March 2012
This is a quite simply a magnificent album which sounds as good today as when it was first released in 1971. There are so many tracks which would stand out from any album all in one place here; the magnificent Life on Mars, the haunting and melodic music of Bewlay Brothers and Quicksand, the prescient and catchy Changes and the Velvet Underground pastiche of Queen Bitch - which just works wonderfully, and the loving and gentle Kooks, written for Bowie's son Zowie, who is now of course the highly successful film director Duncan Jones.

A great album - one of Bowie's best - and that is praise indeed!

If you don't have this album or haven't updated yet from vinyl or cassette - you really should do it now.
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VINE VOICEon 6 June 2010
Until recently I only had a Bowie compilation CD in my collection (Roxy Music were my 70s idols) but I have rectified that with Hunky Dory. The two massive hits here are 'Changes' and 'Life on Mars?' but in no way do these classics prepare for you for the other British folky hippy delights on this album. There's a real mix of styles here and Rick Wakeman's piano playing is great. I love 'Oh You Pretty Things' and I can't help wondering if any baby ever had a more touching and charming song written for him than 'Kooks'. Buy the CD rather than the MP3 download as you get the booklet with all the lyrics plus the utterly bizarre Pharaoh photos and the hand-written track listings on the back.
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VINE VOICEon 12 February 2010
Enough said about the brilliance of this album. I would just like to say the remastering is brilliant too. I had this on vinyl but the difference is like hand washed and machine washed glasswear. Detail seems to stand out and sparkle and it hasn't been overdone either. No nasty unnecessary bass boost etc. Very tasteful to my ear (heh?).
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on 1 November 2009
David Bowie's 1971 album "Hunky Dory", what a fantastic album, even though most the songs are ballads, this is a nice soulful lovely album to listen to. The singles include "Changes" & "Life On Mars?"

I will rate the tracks and explain why:-

1. Changes 10/10 - This is the 1st ballad of the album. This song is very well known. The piano work in this song is really great and the chorus is really fast paced.

2. Oh! You Pretty Things 10/10 - the 2nd ballad on the album. This song is just wow really, lovely piano work, lovely lyrics, lovely chorus, everything is just fantastic.

3. Eight Line Poem - 10/10 - This song is the 3rd ballad on the album. This song really shows emotion and lyrics. This song doesn't really have a chorus, just a8 line poem like the title says really.

4. Life On Mars? 10/10 - This is the 4th ballad on the album. This is my personal favourite song on this song. The lyrics are fantastic, the chorus is sooo good, this song has a great guitar solo in the middle.

5. Kooks 10/10 - This song isnt what i would call a ballad, its more pop then a ballad, the song is about the birth of Duncan Jones (born 1971) David Bowie's son. It's a nice paced song with lovely lyrics and a nice chorus.

6. Quicksand 10/10 - This is the 5th ballad on the album. This song is really lovely, the lyrics and piano work is really good, and i love the end of each verse "I'm sinking in the quicksand of my thought and I ain't got the power anymore".

7. Fill Your Heart 10/10 - This is the 6th ballad on the album. This song isn't a too bad track. The lyrics are really thoughtful and emotional. Really is a good track to listen to.

8. Andy Warhol 8/10 - This song is about Andy Warhol, it isn't a too bad song, but i would say that this song can be a bit boring, cos the chorus is sang all the time. I would say this is the worst song on the album.

9. Song For Bob Dylan 10/10 - This is the 7th ballad on the album. This song is good i think, the piano work, the lyrics, the chorus, its just brilliant, worth a listen too.

10. Queen Bitch 10/10 - This song is really rocky. This song has a alot of guitar in it, and is really good to listen to. Great lyrics, great chorus, great guitar.

11. The Bewlay Brothers 10/10 - This is the 8th and last ballad on the album. This song has great lyrics & Chorus. This is a guitar ballad.

In conclusion, i think this album is fantastic if you like ballads a lot and 70s music. This song has 8 ballads and 3 non-ballad songs. This album is worth buying, you be singing to it and everything, if your a Bowie fan, this album si for you, to complete the collection.
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VINE VOICEon 4 November 2006
David Bowie has always worked with a larger musical canvas than most of his contempories that has incorporated a host of often diverse styles. However, on occasions this has resulted in perhaps a certain (maybe justified) accusation of David appearing maybe a touch pretentious, or at the very least a little contrived. However, what i find so appealing about 'Hunky Dory' is the fact that it very much lacks many of those grand designs and the sound is much related to that of folk, certainly in its musical origins, and a much more mellow piano based sound where greater importance appears to be placed on melodic and lyrical matters. It's certainly a lot more varied in style than many of the singer-songwriters output of the time (early seventies) but it does contain those common elements (melody, lyrical importance) that would become less fundamental to David as the decade progressed.
The emphasis on lyrics found on much of the album is not too far removed from the more densely detailed style of Bob Dylan. David even names a song after him (Song For Bob Dylan) as a means as a tribute, alongside his other musical favourites Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground - the rocker 'Queen Bitch' being a terrific tribute to the Velvets.
The lyrics to the opening track 'Changes' is an indication that even at this stage in David's career he didn't intend staying in one place too long.
In retrospect 'Hunky Dory' is a clear indication of what David Bowie was all about as many of the elements found here would be a template for what was to come in the future - it certainly laid the foundations for Ziggy Stardust, although 'Hunky Dory' also maintained a mellow folk influence which didn't feature on David's follow up release. Ziggy was the fully realised version of what David was working towards here although Ziggy was a lot more of a theatrical concept, which although showed David working a lot more to his own visual/theatrical ideals, ultimately lacks some of the musical depth/substance found here.
For me 'Hunky Dory' is a lot more satisfying - it is more deeply stimulating both lyrically and melodically, and perhaps even more enduring than much of his later work (certainly in a more conventional sense), including 'Ziggy ....'. It's David very much stripped of his later bombast, and in being so it is possibly more easy to relate to on more general terms and by more of the general public.
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