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Song Writing Beyond Description,
This review is from: Hunky Dory (Audio CD)
As a Bowie fan for 35 years - I have to say this is his finest work. Made from a position of non-stardom - the experimentation is still there which is lacking on the perfectly produced legendary follow up a year later. 'Changes' eases the listener in, followed by the first of maybe four all time classic songs in 'Oh You Pretty Things' - with wonderful piano, superb lyrics and a great sing-along chorus ending with the prophetic statement 'gotta make way for the homo superior' - as the nation did a year later. This paves the way for the weird but necessary 'Eight line Poem' which acts as a bridge between the two jewels - then 'Life on Mars' one of the greatest songs ever written, clearly takes your breath away. Genius and obscure lyrics, wonderful voice and melodies, and Mick Ronson's beautiful orchestral arrangements at the climax. Listen carefully at the end and you will hear David mutter 'I think that's the one.'
'Kooks' follows - David's lullaby to his little baby son Zowie, and it's another timeless song with the great line 'if the homework brings you down then we'll throw it on the fire and take the car down town' - borrowed by Morrissey on 'Sheila Take a Bow' - while the song itself even spawned the name of a group. Again, I repeat myself 'Quicksand' is - well - one of the greatest songs ever penned anywhere. Enough said. Listening to it is like having a seasoned teacher of English literature giving you a fascinating lecture. Tremendous. 'Side two' kicks off with the jaunty cover 'Fill Your Heart' followed by the bizarre but brilliant 'Andy Warhol'- the first of several tribute songs. 'Song For Bob Dylan' adds balance before the Lou Reed inspired 'Queen Bitch' rocks in with 'Coo ba ba coo ba coo da da da da'. This brilliant rock song will have your hair standing on end as Bowie arrogantly proclaims 'I could do better than that' and he does with the climax. 'The Bewlay Brothers' named after a pipe company but concerning David's intense relationship with half brother Terry - cannot be listened to as background music - such is the level of raw intensity. The music is first rate, the lyrics sublime - the rising and falling moods and emotions and the chilling line 'my brother lays upon the rocks - he could be dead, he could be not .. he could be you.' The song ends with the voices of demons tempting you to immerse yourself in forbidden pleasures - 'Please come away just for the day.'
I would urge would be buyers to come away for the day just to listen to this musical masterpiece. People will be buying this at the end of the next millenium - it's that good. David Bowie 's talent is unquestionable and on this album alone he proves himself the man of the seventies.