Top positive review
Essential purchase for every Bowie fan
on 14 January 2018
Disc one has ‘Ziggy’, of which it has all been written. However, I’ll say it again. This is, without doubt, the most important and influential album of the 1970s. From ‘Five Years’ through to ‘Rock’n’Roll Suicide’ we are treated to spontaneous, edgy, exciting, virtuosic ‘pop/rock’ the likes of which had never been heard before. Bowie never sounded better than when he was backed by (only) the three ‘Spiders’. The 2003 remastering is clear and concise.
The comprehensive liner notes, in booklet form, along with the photographs (some that were not familiar) are well worth having. This double CD release is a well thought out and meaningful package.
Disc two, however, is what makes this actual release an essential purchase. To have the ‘B’ sides ‘Amsterdam’ (1971) and ‘Round and Round’ (1972) available on CD is a real boon. ‘Amsterdam’, in particular, has David Bowie on top form, vocally and he ‘stacks’ his 12-string guitars to a crescendo in this emotional rendition in the ‘chanson’ by Jacques Brel. ‘The Supermen’ (1971 recording with ‘The Spiders’) is a revelation. Just listen to Mick Ronson’s guitar, especially on the second chorus. This serves to illustrate how and why this period (1971-2) is Bowie’s most creative (arguably) and most interesting. On ‘Velvet Goldmine’, ‘Sweet Head’ and ‘Holy Holy’ (the later version, as opposed to the 1970 ‘Blue Mink’ version) Bowie’s optimism and ‘swagger’ are so evident. These recordings are the last that Bowie made before the stardom that was inevitable. Ziggy was a monster, indeed!
Oh, such wonderful music. Thank you, Messrs. Jones, Ronson, Bolder and Woodmansey. It just doesn’t get any better than this.