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David Bowie's "Low" (33 1/3) Paperback – 30 Jan 2014

3.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum; 01 edition (30 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826416845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826416841
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 0.9 x 16.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 173,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

David Bowie's album Low, released in 1977, is an inspired high point for the singer/actor/musician/icon, yet the record still fails to generate the attention it deserves. Hugo Wilcken's Low will hopefully put an end to the long neglect....his book will captivate Bowie fans and the musically inquisitive looking for a lost gem from a name artist. Fascinating for rock historian types who are drawn in to the never-ending debate of who influenced who, and those that simply want to know the stories behind the songs. Devotees will be anxious to rediscover a forgotten favorite....an absorbing and appealing analysis, thankfully sans the type of mind-numbing prose that often accompanies this type of scrutiny. Once Bowie's long career has concluded Low will surely stand as his creative apex, and Hugo Wilcken's book will be its knowing and worthy companion. - Drastic Plastic Press --Drastic Plastic Press

About the Author

Hugo Wilcken is a Paris-based, Australian-born writer and translator. His first novel, The Execution, was published by HarperCollins in 2002. ("A remarkably accomplished debut heralding the arrival of a noteworthy talent" - Publishers Weekly) It was well reviewed, and has since been translated into Dutch and German. A second novel, Colony, will be published in 2005.


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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: 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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