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4.5 out of 5 stars33
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 28 August 2007
This album is a perfect introduction to Bowie's most interesting and, in my opinion, his best period. This really is an intoxicating stew- Here we have plastic soul (Young Americans, Can You Hear Me), Krautrock-influenced rock-funk (TVC15), heart-stopping balladry (Wild is the Wind), electro-pop (Sound and Vision) and avant-garde guitar noise (check the startlingly weird guitar solo on Boys Keep Swinging). There's even a great version of Knock on Wood, from the coked-up David Live. To be honest, after getting into this stuff, Bowie's glam period, great as it is, just sounds a little conventional in comparison, mainly because the late 70s saw Bowie experiment with different procedures for making music. For instance, Sound and Vision has no vocals for almost 2 minutes (very unusual for a pop single), and on Boys Keep Swinging, Bowie instructed the musicians to swap instruments, giving the song a suitably shambolic, teen-punk feel. 'Chance' procedures were also employed on Low and Lodger through the influence of Brian Eno.

All of the albums from the period are well-represented, except Low, (which is his best album, so you should own it anyway). Although some of the tracks are edited (TVC15, Young Americans, Heroes, Golden Years), this doesn't matter, because if you come to this album as an introduction, never having heard the originals, you won't notice this anyway. In fact, Heroes and The Secret Life of Arabia (another gem) actually sound better than on the "Heroes" remaster, which has a thinner mix.

The only stinkers are It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City, which is pretty dreadful, and the disco version of John, I'm Only Dancing, which is actually rather enjoyable in a camp, Bee-Gees kind of way;) One thing's for sure, Bowie was never less than interesting during this period, whether or not his experiments came off successfully.
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This is the second in a trilogy of albums anthologising David Bowie's output since 1969. This does an excellent job of collecting all the hits up until from 1975 to 79, essentially collecting in one place the important recordings with which he consolidated his reputation. This was an inventive and productive era for Bowie, during which he underwent several stylistic changes and so there is no one `sound' that characterises this album. Suffice to say it is track after track of catchy seventies pop.

While I feel Bowie's albums of this period are a bit uneven, this set manages to give all the essential hits while cutting out some of the filler you would inevitably end up with if you collected the albums. A great way of getting Bowie's big hits from the period.
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This great compilation reflects my favourite Bowie period, the middle to late seventies. Drawn from the albums Young Americans, Station To Station, Heroes and Lodger, it covers his "plastic soul" excursion, the Thin White Duke period and the three albums of synth experimentation. The sequence of tracks is odd - I think a chronogical one would have made more sense. My favourite tracks from Low are here: the sublime Sound & Vision and the ominous Breaking Glass, of which the latter inspired Nick Lowe's brilliant song I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass from 1978. Station To Station, in my opinion the best ever Bowie album, provides the energetic TVC15, the classic soulful Golden Years and the wistful ballad Wild Is The Wind, but a serious omission has been the magnificent Word On a Wing, one of the greatest and most poetic Bowie tracks of all time with its transcendent spiritual quality, its inspired lyrics and soaring melody. Fame and Young Americans, the "plastic soul" songs, still sound good after all these years, especially next to the disco version of John, I'm Only Dancing. I don't find some of these tracks from Heroes, like Secret Life Of Arabia or Beauty And The Beast, as memorable as some of the other songs here, but I love his cover of Knock On Wood and of course the title track of Heroes remains a landmark composition, one of the most psychologically trenchant songs of all time. Artists as diverse as Blondie and Nico have covered it and I still listen to the German and the French versions on vinyl. To me, Lodger was the least satisfying of the trilogy of Eno albums, but Boys Keep Swinging still swings after all these years and I remember its dramatic video clip from 1979. I consider this his most creative period based on the sheer quality of songs such as Sound & Vision, Breaking Glass, Heroes, Golden Years, Fame, Young Americans and Wild Is The Wind. That's why, although I regret the omission of the breathtaking Word On A Wing, I have awarded this album five stars
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on 8 January 2014
After track 11 it's hard to be a saint in the city ( a pretty good Springsteen song) the next few tracks are really weak . What have they done to john I'm only dancing on this and why? Knock on wood Awful too . Wish I'd just stuck to cds I've got of his and compilation I have too .
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on 8 July 2013
Being a fan of David Bowie for years, I was so let down by the Young Americans album apart from the title track. and i stopped listening to what followed. This CD has enabled me to get the tracks i like from the albums i did'nt have, even an outtake from "Station to Station".
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on 21 June 2013
A very good selection from the crucial period after Bowie ditched Ziggy. Most tracks are the best from the relevant albums, but could have done without the live "Knock on wood" and the Lodger tracks for "V2 Schneider" from Heroes and more from Diamond Dogs.
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on 19 February 2016
A brilliant collection of the maestro's greatest hits from the period, great clarity of recording and with the emotional anthem of Heroes, it just makes you sad that the great man has left us and gone up to the starman in the sky.
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on 1 November 2013
All the good ones on this cd.Better value than changes as it had several more tracks on it.Cant knock David bowie even now!
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on 23 May 2013
This is Bowie at his best if you want all the classics get this cd and the other two in the series.
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on 27 January 2016
A must buy! Good songs. Take you right back & they never seem to age! Highly recommend. 👍🏼
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