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Grows on subsequent plays.
on 30 October 2011
Never having been a massive fan of Bowie - despite having been around and record buying since his early career - the first Album I had ever bought by him was 'Let's Dance' - and with having just eight tracks, was more like an 'EP' than LP. It was the smash hit of 1980 'Ashes To Ashes' that led me to this, but if like me you're hoping for more catchy tunes like that here - then you'll be disappointed... Upon first hearing, I immediately thought this was a load of rubbish! However; I have to confess; having turned the volume down somewhat (which when too loud distorts the 'hooks') and having played it a couple more times, several tracks do grow on you!
There's a peculiarity to this Album, in that a few of the songs sounded vaguely familiar to me, yet I was puzzled, as I knew for a fact that I'd never heard any of them before, but then after doing some thinking, they reminded me of other later recordings by other Artists. For instance; 'Up The Hill Backwards' begins very much like George Michael's 'Faith', 'Scream Like A Baby' contained a refrain similar to part of Alexander O'Neal's 'Criticise' and finally 'Because You're Young' sounded a bit like Hazel O'Conner's 'Eighth Day' (I think As all the mentioned 'soundalikes' came after Bowie's releases, it really is the other way round of course.
Despite liking much of Bowie's single material - much of his album stuff (especially here) could be said to be a load of rubbish on first hearing, but like I say; subsequent listens and it does grow, but at times can seem like a lot of noise - and some tracks way too long for my liking...
'Ashes To Ashes' as stated I loved - so much so, that I searched hard for a 12" Extended version at the time when 12" Singles were pretty popular - but still quite rare and had a limited market, but failed... It wasn't until several years later that I discovered that an Extended Mix had been pressed back in 1980 - but only ever available as an Import - oddly. Much of the song is featured here on this Album. (you get a few more seconds - possibly another minute or so on the 12" cut) The only other single I recall from this Album is 'Fashion' which I did not care for at the time, but have warmed to on hearing it again after so many years.
Highlights are tracks; 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10 (Part 2 of 'It's No Game' being far better than Part 1 in my opinion)