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David Bowie (1947 - )


David Robert Jones (born January 8, 1947), better known as David Bowie, is a British rock and roll musician, actor, and artist who has had a profound influence on rock and roll from the 1960s to the present. He is commonly known as the greatest chameleon of music history, constantly changing his musical style to suit the times, while always holding on to his own ideas and creativity. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bowie [Feb 2005]

Influence on Punk

Where does one start when analysing the influence of the thin white one ? Bowie's impact on the whole spectrum of rock'n'pop and then even soul and ambience throughout the seventies and into the early Eighties was nothing short of apocalyptic.

Wayne County alleges in the book Please Kill Me that Bowie ripped of the whole glam/transvestite thang from him. If he did then good luck to him coz he had the genius to pull it off. Bowie rescued rock. Rock again became dangerous, sexy, confusing, rebellious and annoying to parents. And of course it sold !!! More than this Bowie was bisexual.

Ziggy Stardust was the one that broke the mould after David Jones had spent years warbling away hippily with an acoustic guitar and singing about laughing gnomes. It took gender fantasy into the boudoirs of teenagers and post teenagers alike with its combination of sassy spaced out introspection and strange costumes leaving one nipple and leg exposed and the lunchpack on display. Suddenly everyone wanted to make love with their egos and make up sales rocketed. It also introduced the world to Hang On To Yourself and a bass line the Ramones would base a career on. The role of rock star had to be examined anew aided by the guitar of one Mick Ronson so beloved of later punk bands like Slaughter & The Dogs and Shanne from the Nips who swore he had the sexiest handshake !

Aladdin Sane took the androgyny further silver body paint an all while Diamond Dogs proved you could chant blankly while the world expired.

Ever the chameleon, Bowie then switched to smooth white soul for Young Americans and Station To Station before coming up trumps again in 77 with the magnificent soaring Heroes. Sadly duets with Queen and Mick Jagger and selling himself to Pepsi sold the dream off piece by piece while The Tin Machine and drum and bass forays have attempted to repair the damage.

Without doubt 75% of the challenging and unconventional in music comes from Mr Bowie; from the whole of glam rock thru to Mr Manson. --Paul Marko for punk77.co.uk


  1. Let's Dance (1983) - David Bowie [CD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    David Bowie returned to recording after a four-year break with this relatively clean-cut 1983 album. Although offering another definite new direction for Bowie, with Nile Rodgers of Chic helping to produce a stylish post-disco dance sound, Let's Dance is a mixed bag. Much of the album's success was due to its three danceable hit singles--"China Girl," a sensuous Bowie/Iggy Pop collaboration, the distinctive "Modern Love," and the funky title track. However, much of the rest of the album is bland and vapid, marking the start of serious decline in Bowie's songwriting skills. A cover of Metro's "Criminal World" and "Cat People" are the only other strong tracks here. --James Swift for Amazon.com
  2. The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust (1972) - David Bowie [CD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    After flirting with heavy guitar rock ("The Man Who Sold the World") and lighter pop ("Hunky Dory"), Bowie found middle ground on Ziggy Stardust. The creation of the Ziggy Stardust persona would live on well after Bowie shed the alien skin, marking the first rock concept album by a sexually ambiguous, artistically bent musician who confounded critics at every turn. A blend of dramatic strings, swaggering saxophones, jagged guitars, and theatrical arrangements, the album's darker rock numbers like "It Ain't Easy," "Moonage Daydream," "Ziggy Stardust," and the irresistible "Suffragette City," still serve as solid excursions into the future (then and now) of rock. The buoyant "Hang on to Yourself" and the dreamy "Star" offer hints of optimism in Ziggy's bleak world. The dramatic "Rock 'n' Roll Suicide" and the image-heavy "Star Man" ("he'd like to come and meet us but thinks he'd blow our minds!") no doubt provided plenty of stage-worthy moments when Ziggy toured in the '70s, but years later they still thrill. Bowie blew our minds! --Lorry Fleming for amazon.com [...]

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