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This review is from: Hunky Dory (Audio CD)
Well I bought this album as it was sold as being a secret classic when compared to The Rise and Fall. And sure enough it kicks off with one of his best songs ever, if not his best, the brilliant Changes. nothing wrong with this number bar perhaps the fade out sax.
Oh you Pretty Things starts, nice upbeat jaunty number you think and then Bowie starts singing and drops it down, and the piano is a bit clunky too, but then the chorus kicks in, oh you pretty things and wow what a difference, suddenly we have a great song, oh and then the verses come back again....
Eight Line Poem - nice little lead blues guitar at the start, then once again Bowie starts singing following a different part to that which the the lead and piano has been taking it, and not for the better, fortunately it's a very short song, odd.
Life on Mars, again a brilliant song, not quite as good as Changes perhaps but a truly great song, some great piano and bass early on, good chord changes into a building chorus and away we go, Sailors fighting in the.... But unlike oh you pretty things the verses fit and work along side the chorus, great track.
Kooks, not sure if this is some kind of joke!!, its got a end of the pier feel to it, something that Queen did well on Seaside Rendezvous but this fails completely, is the sax needed. You can almost hear Bowie putting on his clown like make up for this one and having an idea for a video and writing the song for that, and the fade out kinda shows he's not even sure where to go with it, sadly a poor song.
Quicksand has the start of Space Oddity for a couple of bars, sadly that's as close as this song gets to being any good. Its almost jazzy as other songs have been on this album where the different instruments are off doing their own thing, underneath this one there is a nice rhythm guitar part, the rest of the song doesn't follow it, Bowies voice at his most whiney on this one too.
Fill Your Heart, kinda of like Kooks again, you have to wonder what he was thinking! To be honest I think this is worst than Kooks and that's saying something. When he sings Makes it Free - really?! And someone listened back to this and thought yes that's the sound we want.
Andy Warhol, okay someones seems to be playing a stylophone to start, and then the studio chat, yes very clever.... So when the song starts properly it isn't actually too bad at all, not up there with Changes and Life on Mars but a massive improvement on all the other songs up to this point, nice verses nice chorus.
Song For Bob Dylan, this one differs from Oh you pretty things in that the verses are better than the chorus, as a whole nothing as catchy as the Oh you pretty things chorus but not too bad an effort but needs work on the chorus to make it really work.
Queen Bitch, great rocky guitar to start things off, Bowie singing to that sound , echoes of Velvet Underground to this one, again not such a great chorus but not too bad also.
The Bewlay Brothers, always end with a great song they say, is this it? Well its not too bad, doesn't have the brilliance of Changes or Life on Mars, but is more a complete song than Oh you Pretty things and Song for Bob Dylan or Queen Bitch. The fade out ending could have had more worked on it as its quite a nice little end but goes nowhere.
So what to say about Hunky Dory, moments of absolute brilliance, moments of absolute rubbish and large periods where more work is needed on it. Probably merit's a 2 out of 5. And not a secret classic.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Mar 2013 15:42:36 GMT
Douglas Milne says:
Dissing Hunky Dory oh dear oh dear
Posted on 14 Mar 2013 15:42:43 GMT
Douglas Milne says:
Dissing Hunky Dory oh dear oh dear
Posted on 29 Mar 2013 23:20:02 GMT
D. Schulten says:
Hey Douglas, he can diss Bowie if he wants...some people diss The Beatles. I would do neither as I think they're both brilliant but everyone's entitled to their opinion right?
Posted on 18 Apr 2013 16:43:52 BDT
Neville Harris says:
You obviously know a lot about the technicalities of music, and songwriting, but I somehow feel that you are not 'getting it' as regards the true feeling of this album. I'd hate to be like you and listening to Hunky Dory with such a dry, over technical attitude; you're missing so much. As for when you say: "large periods where more work is needed", well, are you going to go out and prove it by being more successful (artistically and otherwise) than Mr. Bowie?
Posted on 11 Sep 2013 16:11:50 BDT
Mr. D. R. Mcmillan says:
After a long disbelieving sigh all I can really say is if the band 'The Kooks' is his main point of reference to judge/compare what is arguably Bowie's greatest album, then what else is there to be said?
Posted on 20 Apr 2014 21:42:20 BDT
I don't know how old Tom is, but I'd guess a lot younger than me. I think it's a fascinating review. Personally, I know Hunky Dory so well I can't be objective, and it's great to read someone's reaction coming to it for the first time - and a tribute to the album that something released in the early seventies, ie more than 40 years ago, is being considered so seriously.
Posted on 21 May 2014 01:53:49 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 May 2014 01:55:42 BDT
T. J. GANGE-HARRIS says:
Hunky Dory is the album that got me into Bowie about thirty years ago (I'm 44 now). Really varied, not too serious; still absolutely love the whole thing. Sorry you don't, Tom.
Posted on 1 Aug 2014 14:42:14 BDT
Kenneth W. says:
I think I'm safe in saying that Hunky Dory will survive this review.
If Tom sticks with it and listens to it a few more times it might eventually get under his skin as it did mine about 43 years ago. An undoubted classic, no duds here and always included in any 'best ever' poll.
Posted on 13 Dec 2014 19:56:13 GMT
Are you kidding me ?...my oh my listen to the music.
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