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David Bowie Is Hardcover – Special Edition, 23 Mar 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: V & A Publications; 01 edition (23 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851777377
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851777372
  • Product Dimensions: 24.8 x 3.2 x 31.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

...a treasure trove of all things Bowie - a one-stop smorgasbord for the eyes whose pictorials chronicle the groundbreaking star from Ziggy Stardust to Thin White Duke to Heathen and every personality in between. Examiner.com May 20th 2013; The fans of 50 years or those making discoveries in retrospect will be intrigued by the accompanying book "David Bowie Is Inside" that is far more than a fanzine, Suzy Menkes, New York Times, March 18th 2013 ...lends context and picks away at Bowie with such insight...that it's a rare hagiography with soul. Chicago Tribune, April 26th 2013

About the Author

Victoria Broackes is curator of Theatre & Performance at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She has previously curated exhibitions on Annie Lennox and Kylie Minogue. Geoffrey Marsh is Director of the V&A Theatre Collections. He co-curated the exhibition Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909 - 1929, contributing to the catalogue. Contributor biographies: Christopher Breward is Principal of Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) and Vice Principal Creative Industries & Performing Arts for the University of Edinburgh, and is the former Head of Research at the V&A. He co-curated British Design from 1948: Innovation in the Modern Age, and has worked on many other exhibitions including The London Look (2004) and Sixties Fashion (2006). Oriole Cullen is the V&A curator of Fashion in Motion and Modern Fashion. She studied History of Dress at the Courtauld Institute and previously worked as curator of Dress and Decorative Arts at the Museum of London. She has worked on a number of fashion exhibitions including Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1950 (2012), Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones (2009) and Vivienne Westwood (2000). Howard Goodall is an EMMY, BRIT and BAFTA award-winning composer of choral music, stage musicals, film and TV scores, and a distinguished broadcaster. He contributed to Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909 - 1929, and has written several other books including The Story of Music (2013) and Big Bangs: Five Musical Revolutions (2011). Camille Paglia is University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she has taught since 1984. She is the author of six books: Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990); Sex, Art, and American Culture (1992); Vamps & Tramps (1994); The Birds, a study of Alfred Hitchcock published in 1998 by the British Film Institute in its Film Classics Series; Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-Three of the World's Best Poems (2005); and Glittering Images: A Journey through Art from Egypt to Star Wars (2012). She has written many articles on art, literature, popular culture, feminism, politics and religion for publications around the world. Jon Savage is a writer, broadcaster and journalist. His previous writing includes the books Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture (2007) and England's Dreaming (1991), as well as innumerable contributions to the Guardian, the Observer, The Face and the New Statesman. The book also contains a roundtable discussion by Sir Christopher Frayling, Mark Kermode and Philip Hoare.


Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a big Bowie fan and have a ton of books about him. Created as a companion to the exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, this is one of the best. Several reasons:

1. The exhibition was given full access to the official David Bowie Archive which means there is plenty of material you have not seen before, such as handwritten lyrics with corrections (that line in "Heroes", "and we kissed as though nothing could fall", was drafted as "and we kissed and you felt called"), minor details maybe but it is fascinating to get a glimpse at how these songs evolved. There is also a big focus on costumes, photographed in superb quality, many of which are stunning, as well as photographs, posters, artwork done for album covers complete with some early mock-ups and that I have not seen before, and other memorabilia.

One costume example is Natasha Korniloff's "cobweb bodysuit" designed for the 1980 Floor Show, which has a pair of hands clutching Bowie's chest stitched into it. First we see Mick Rock's photo of Bowie wearing this on stage, then pictures of the costume itself. Fantastic.

2. This is not just a picture book. There is a lot of text, and it's good stuff. The authors are various, but the editors are Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh from the V&A, who take a scholarly approach though they still convey enthusiasm for their subject (and overall this is a book for fans, there is not much here that is negative). There is a lot of factual information though, both biographical and cultural. The cultural bit is important. As you would expect from people working for a museum, the editors are interested in how Bowie was influenced by the culture of his times, and in turn how he influenced it.

The book is organized into nine main chapters.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are intending to go to see the exhibition at the V & A or not, then you need this book. It in a nutshell, it contains photos, many close up, of all the main exhibits at the museum. From all the early 'Ziggy' costumes through to the one's he wore for the Reality tour via a breathtaking section based around the Diamond Dogs tour. As no photographs are allowed to be taken at the V & A, this is the closest you will get to seeing these items again. Apart from original lyrics shown full page, and costumes mentioned above, you also get plenty of original period photos, and documents relating to stage productions, etc. My favourite photo is of the original; model of the Diamond Dogs set. As that tour didn't come to the UK, most of us have rarely even seen photos of the set, let alone a working model ! The hardback edition of the book has a lovely velvet feel to both the front and back cover. The book overall is huge, and like the man himself, beautiful.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book created to accompany the David Bowie Is exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum. Beautifully illustrated throughout with photographs of clothes and other items from the exhibition this covers the full 40 plus years of Bowie's outstanding career up to the Reality tour. Clothes include the Life on Mars sky blue suit, the Station to Station black suit, the Sound and Vision stage wear designed by Armani, the Ashes to Ashes pierrot costume, numerous examples from the Ziggy and Aladdin Sane tours and the blue suit stage costume from the Diamond Dogs tour which Bowie also wore in the 1985 Live Aid performance, as well as many others.

But there is much more here too, including images of the lyrics from Heroes, Lady Stardust, and Oh! You Pretty Things, complete with Bowie's handwritten scoring outs and amendments. Interspersed through the photographs are a variety of narratives covering Bowie's career and influence from several angles, including his album covers and his influence on fashion and style throughout the years.

2013 is already one of the great years to be a Bowie fan, and this beautiful book just adds to the joy of the new album, and the anticipation of the what might still be to come

Cant wait to see the V&A exhibition for myself!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm going to keep it short. The pictures are simply antonishing, very well documented with lots of cool facts and info. In terms of structure it's also beautifully made, I, as a photographer and DTP (desktop publisher) I think they did a great job putting all together. Materials are great, made with taste and good sense, looks classy and feel good in your hands. Being picky there are a few (very few indeed) manufacturing flaws printing wise, some spots here and there, but as I said very little, still a 5 stars product.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After visiting the exhibition at the V&A I really wanted to buy this at the time, but two things stopped me. The first thing is the weight - this is a heavy, heavy book to be carting round busy streets. The second thing was the equally hefty price, which was much more expensive than Amazon.

Anyway, all that aside, I can guarantee that this is a fantastic book, and a must-have for any true Bowiephile. Many things that are in the exhibition are listed - from the rare photos and scrawled lyrics to many of the classic songs, to a large well illustrated section on all the costumes. The latter here is especially welcome, as anyone who's been round the gallery knows that due to the volume of people milling about, and the fact that it's difficult to get too close the costumes. The pictures here are amazing and zoom right in on all the details. There is an extensive text throughout, but this is really more of an ultra-stylish coffee table book. It's well worth going for the hardback edition, which is much more impressive than the paperback.

As someone who has a huge library of Bowie reading material I thought I had just about every book worth having, but this blew me away.
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