Hunky Dory Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
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Recorded at Trident Studios in July 1971, several days after his Glastonbury appearance, Hunky Dory captures David Bowie in transition from the pot-enhanced rock of The Man Who Sold The World to the grand concept of Ziggy Stardust. Produced by Ken Scott, the album is very much a songwriter’s work and finds Bowie for the first time finding his own voice after scrabbling around stylistically for best part of a decade.
In 1971, singer-songwriters were very much a la mode – in a way Hunky Dory is Bowie’s Tapestry or Madman Across The Water, albeit with themes that encompassed art, gender, other lifeforms and general strangeness. All the component parts of the Spiders From Mars are in place – Mick Ronson, Woody Woodmansey and Trevor Bolder. Although Bowie tackled some “less complicated piano parts” due to “(inability)” as he wrote on the sleeve, it is session player Rick Wakeman who gives the album its pastoral flavour.
Hunky Dory contains some of Bowie’s greatest songs. “Changes” and “Life On Mars?”, “Oh! You Pretty Things” are almost too well-known now; but to hear the scale of Bowie’s ambition is incredible. “Andy Warhol” introduced the pop-artist to many British listeners, while the fairly unrepresentative “Queen Bitch” (his tribute to Velvet Underground) points the way clearest to what was to lay ahead.
This album finally demonstrated David Bowie's enormous potential to the listening public. It became a huge hit after Bowie broke through and became a household name in 1972. --Daryl Easlea
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Due to the current ,great re interest in Vinyl as the best music format ever,i decided to buy this album from the late great David Bowie ,it's actually the only great Bowie Album i... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mr. A. J. Ireland