on 10 December 2010
I can understand why the previous reviews were not of great help: lack of description.
You should know before buying this book that it is a chronology, therefore you cannot expect massive entries on (all) the various subjects considered; but the one about the "Ziggy album" cover is definitely extended.
This having been said, the older ones among Bowie fans will remember that Cann wrote a chronology almost thirty years ago which, for those times, was very helpful.
What you get today is an improved version of the above, with an abundance of pictures (of memorabilia as well), which will probably have a follow up for the years from 1974 onwards.
At the end of the book you also find a listing of live shows, televisions appearances, and an essential bibliography.
I think it will become, together with the acclaimed Nicholas Pegg's The Complete David Bowie the standard, and essential, reference text for bowiephiles.
For a proper biography you will have to look somewhere else (by using Cann and Pegg bibliographies, by the way).
Worth the buy, and you might also try to have one copy of the limited edition as well (because there is a limited edition).
David Bowie has been a presence in my life from a very young age. Like many of my generation it all started with THAT first Top of the Pops appearance on 6 July 1972 performing "Starman". I was only 10, but the performance was burned into my consciousness. When I finally saw it again on YouTube, well into middle age, the moment that was seared on my memory was exactly how I had remembered it. He really did point at the camera whilst singing “I had to phone someone so I picked on you-hoo”. I was electrified by that instant first time round.
As a glam obsessed pre-teen I devoured his singles along with many other of those other glamtastic artists. Whilst most of those fell by the wayside, Bowie went from strength to strength. When I started secondary school, and befriended Kevin, he took it upon himself to fully convert me. Within days I bought my first Bowie album (and one of my first ever albums) “Hunky Dory” and the life long love affair was really underway.
In my musical universe Bowie was the star around whom all others orbited and, whilst I have drifted far and wide, this still holds true. My many and varied musical journeys... glam, punk, post-punk, soul, disco, techno, reggae, ambient etc etc all in my mind link to and from David Bowie.
Coincidentally it was the aforementioned Kevin who gave me this book - Any Day Now: David Bowie the London Years. I have had it for a couple of years, and enjoyed occasional dips into it, however, finally in May 2016, I decided to read it from cover to cover, prompted by his death in January, which still feels quite unreal.
As you may have already worked out, I read this book as a fairly knowledgeable fan and I thought it was incredibly impressive. I loved this chronological, forensic examination of Bowie's London years. I was amazed at how hard David Bowie was working from age 17 onwards. The ephemera in the book is a delight - as much social history as music biography. If you’re a Bowie aficionado, or just someone who enjoys social history, you should find much to enjoy. However, if you’re neither of these things, then I suspect this book might just be too detailed.
Any Day Now: David Bowie the London Years starts with David’s birth, through his childhood and then into adulthood and the years leading up to, and including, his initial success. The book ends with the release of 'Diamond Dogs' and David’s final departure from the UK. He would never again live in the country of his birth however those London Years continued to influence and inform much of what followed.
The book takes a diary like approach chronicling, where known, exactly what David was up to on any given day. He was a very busy lad too. Copious footnotes add additional information, and side panels further contextualise the information by adding a commentary of what else was happening at the time. Kevin Cann's collection of Bowie memorabilia must be enormous.
It's an amazing achievement - every page is awash with detail and numerous photos to further inform and engage. It’s quite wonderful and essential reading for any serious Bowie fan.
on 7 December 2010
Cann has created an absolutely fantastic book on Bowie. I have more or less all books written on Bowie and I rate Cann's book as the best, together with Pegg's book! Cann has unearthed a wealth of new information. What I particularly like is his information on early recordings of songs like "Diamond Dogs", "1984" (during Aladdin Sane sessions), which gives an indication of how projects and ideas developed over time. I'm also fascinated with information on many songs I was not even aware of. I'm also impressed by his ability to trace influences for album covers, song lyrics, music, etc. Having written a few books on Prince, including The Vault (which used an approach similar to Pegg's The Complete David Bowie), I have an idea of how much research and work has gone into Cann's book.
on 26 December 2010
WOW !!! Having been a Bowie Fan for 40 years !!!This is the BEST Bowie Book..so many unseen pics and memorabilia.I spent most of Xmas Day engrossed...it even beats the IPAD as my fave 2010 Christmas pressie.The Author deserves a HUGE GOLD Star for all his hard work putting this together.Hope we get 1974 to ??? next..that would definately go on the 2011 Santa List..You will not be dissapointed...
Now, can someone out there do a MARC BOLAN version for all us middle aged Rex Children.. that really would be the Bees Knees !!!!
on 7 January 2012
There's nothing much I can add, other than another 5 star review. I'm loving this book - the very early part of Bowie's career has rarely been given this much attention, and the detail is enthralling for fans. It's not just lists and dates - the anecdotes and clippings are priceless.
Beautifully presented too, with lots of rare photos.
I hope some follow ups detailing Bowie's US and European years are in the pipeline!
on 3 November 2011
Packed with exhaustively-researched detail and decorated with countless rare photos and other ephemera, Kevin Cann's flawless Bowie book will delight both the hardcore fan and the fairweather friend. You need no other Bowie books than this and Nicholas Pegg's COMPLETE DAVID BOWIE. I only hope Kevin Cann is now working on the next volume, picking up the story after Bowie moves to America.
on 9 October 2015
I would recommend this book to any bowie obsessive! It contains amazing detail on a day by day basis of every show, recording, record releae, TV appearance, newspaper feature and event. The footnotes and photographs are equally fascinating and there has been many the time that I've looked things up on youtube and wikipedia because of reading a footnote in this book. As an obsessive fan it has certainly helped my understanding and knowledge of all things David Bowie. If you're a Bowie obsessive like me then my advice is buy it - I promise you will not be disappointed!
on 21 February 2014
I bought Any Day Now around 6 months after its release. Why I didn't buy it sooner is beyond me!
From the opening pages you are left astounded at the quality and brilliance of the writing, documentation and images within. Even the most ardent Bowie fans will learn something, no, many new things from reading through Any Day Now.
Don't miss the opportunity to read over the early years of Bowie's career in sublime detail.
on 26 December 2010
I haven't even read this book properly yet, just flicked through the pages, but the sheer number of involuntary 'Blimey, I've not seen that photo before' and 'Wow, I never knew that!' exclamations I made mean that I have no hesitation in giving this 5 stars already. As someone with quite a few Bowie books on my shelves (including about four editions of the only previous Absolute-Must-Have title, Nicholas Pegg's The Complete David Bowie) I like to think I know my Bowie Onions, and this really does have new information on every other page. The sheer range of unpublished/unfamiliar imagery is jaw-dropping. I think my favourites are the shots of Bowie on his way to the stage at Glastonbury, wearing what can only be described as a fabulous cape.