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David Bowie----continued


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Response to Andy---

 

When I said that when soul peaked in the mid-'70s, (which I believe it did), and that Bowie was right there, I was thinking of his stay in Philadelphia to spend time at the legendary Sigma Sound Studios (at which all the Philly soul acts recorded) to record his soul-influenced "Young Americans".

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No one would dispute that Bowie covered a lot of changing ground throughout his

career, but the idea that Bowie was somehow a musical prodigy who gave birth

to punk, new wave, electronica, etc. is rather absurd in my view. Bowie never went

grunge for a few months in the early 1990s I hope. I just can't see him in a flannel

tee shirt, torn jeans, and sneakers. Bowie has had a career arc similar to that of a lot

of rock stars--the early years, rise to fame, and gradual decline. He is a very talented

performer, but I guess I am less impressed by him than others. That's okay, everyone

will have their own opinion on the matter. I'm just repeating my opinion that he was

often a second stringer compared to other artists who were closer to whatever subgenre

it was. I'm not being obtuse, that's just my take on the subject.

Bowie was certainly late to the "new wave" party, but his "Scary Monsters" and "Let's Dance" LPs are, while not as great new wave, as, say, the best of Costello, the Pretenders, the Talking Heads, or the Police, pretty **** good.

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Bowie's music never impressed me, he has a rather untuneful voice really. But boy, did I know several Bowie fanatics in the 80's! 

 

Bowie always struck me as a real "poser" grasping for any recognition he could get. (don't all performers?) Kind of like the Jayne Mansfield of music, or like Madonna.

 

I recently saw (my first viewing) a 35mm screening of LABRYINTH and was very impressed with his acting ability & how well he photographed. But his music....just not my taste.

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Bowie's music never impressed me, he has a rather untuneful voice really. But boy, did I know several Bowie fanatics in the 80's! 

 

Bowie always struck me as a real "poser" grasping for any recognition he could get. (don't all performers?) Kind of like the Jayne Mansfield of music, or like Madonna.

 

I recently saw (my first viewing) a 35mm screening of LABRYINTH and was very impressed with his acting ability & how well he photographed. But his music....just not my taste.

One man's "poser" is another man's versatility. I think he was, and is, one of the greatest talents in rock, even more so than Neil Young.

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I recently saw (my first viewing) a 35mm screening of LABRYINTH and was very impressed with his acting ability & how well he photographed. But his music....just not my taste.

 

I thought he was also very effective as inventor Nikola Tesla in 2006's atmospheric tale of two competing magicians, THE PRESTIGE, Tiki. 

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For me, the only tunes he did that I still like were "Sufferagette City", "Changes", "Panic In Detroit" and the studio version of "Diamond Dogs".  I even still think the "Dogs" LP cover is kinda cool.

 

As for his acting, I only saw one movie in which he acted.  INTO THE NIGHT.  He seemed pretty good in it.  The one scene that kinda cracked me up was when Bowie got involved in a "to the death" fight with CARL PERKINS.  Seemed symbolic on some level.

 

Sepiatone

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I agree, finance, that Bowie was one of the great talents. Anyone who thinks of him as "untuneful" should listen to his cover of "Wild Is the Wind". I never got to a concert, but I snagged every bootleg I could get my hands on and, as a live performer, he had the goods. As a producer, he put Iggy Pop over in a way nobody else had been able to. The album "Transformer" which Bowie and Mick Ronson produced basically kickstarted Lou Reed's solo career. He was a great cross-pollinator; when he produced Mott the Hoople's "All the Young Dudes", they did a killer cover of Reed's "Sweet Jane". I can't imagine who but Bowie could have pulled off the role in "The Man Who Fell To Earth". I don't know about the idea that he was late to new wave. Personally, it seemed to me that Talking Heads had been listening to him ("Sound and Vision" for one). He did credible work in the 80's, his duet with Tina Turner on Iggy Pop's "Tonight" being one of the best. Maybe he's an aquired taste now, but I loved him then and I still do.

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Ten to one the thin white dude would use the word poseur, well just

because. I like Bowie's work from around 1969 to around 1977, but

less so after that.

There were many "thin white dudes". (I am one of them) There was only one "thin white duke".

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One thin white duke was one too many. I had to check exactly when

Bowie used that character, he's had so many. I guess back in the

mid 1970s it sounded cool, now it sounds a bit silly. The passage of

time will get you just about every time. Still, ttwd sounds better than

The Glass Spider. :rolleyes:

It would sound even sillier if Bowie had ballooned to 300 pounds.

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Sorry for posting his Dinah Shore performance on the "In the Heat of the Night" thread.  I got carried away with the discussion!  I'm besotted with David Bowie.  His music was so original and striking, and the invention of Ziggy Stardust and his various personas was unique, especially for the time.  His concerts were such great occasions (I saw the Diamond Dogs show and a couple others in that decade)--he was mesmerizing.  I remember my sister always saying he sounded like Anthony Newley, and recently I read that Newley was an influence on him.  And wasn't he the first white artist invited to appear on Soul Train?  I think a lot of misfits (for lack of a better word!) identified with his music, and it helped them with their otherness, as I know it did me.  I especially love his earlier music, but isn't that often the case with bands...  Anyway, he'll always be so special to me.

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Sorry for posting his Dinah Shore performance on the "In the Heat of the Night" thread.  I got carried away with the discussion!  I'm besotted with David Bowie.  His music was so original and striking, and the invention of Ziggy Stardust and his various personas was unique, especially for the time.  His concerts were such great occasions (I saw the Diamond Dogs show and a couple others in that decade)--he was mesmerizing.  I remember my sister always saying he sounded like Anthony Newley, and recently I read that Newley was an influence on him.  And wasn't he the first white artist invited to appear on Soul Train?  I think a lot of misfits (for lack of a better word!) identified with his music, and it helped them with their otherness, as I know it did me.  I especially love his earlier music, but isn't that often the case with bands...  Anyway, he'll always be so special to me.

His real name was David Jones. He changed it because he would have been confused with Davy Jones of the Monkees.

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I agree with those who think Bowie is a unique and talented musician. For those who like him as an actor, as do I, besides The Man Who Fell to Earth, other must-sees are Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, and The Hunger. TCM really should show MCML.

He was great in them all.  The Hunger was especially underrated, I thought.  I'm with you, and hope TCM will consider an evening of Bowie.

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Well, like I said, Bowie was never a big thing for me.  Liked a few songs, but that's it.

 

But one thing I left out was that the only Bowie recording I have is actually his narration of "Peter and The Wolf" with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Did a nice job on that one. 

 

I do have recordings of the four Bowie songs I've mentioned elsewhere, but they were downloaded for a compilation disc. 

 

Sepiatone

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Well, like I said, Bowie was never a big thing for me.  Liked a few songs, but that's it.

 

But one thing I left out was that the only Bowie recording I have is actually his narration of "Peter and The Wolf" with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Did a nice job on that one. 

 

I do have recordings of the four Bowie songs I've mentioned elsewhere, but they were downloaded for a compilation disc. 

 

Sepiatone

Do you like "Panic in Detroit" just because it's Detroit?

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  • 3 months later...

I wanted to bump up this thread because Showtime has just started showing an amazing documentary, "David Bowie: Five Years", highlighting five key years (not sequential) during his career. Some of the commentary is his own, but mostly the story is told by his collaborators and the musicians he worked with. We get to hear from the people who helped Bowie create the unique "sound" which characterized different albums and phases of his career, accompanied by rare offstage and onstage footage. As music documentaries go, this is one of the best I've seen.

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I wanted to bump up this thread because Showtime has just started showing an amazing documentary, "David Bowie: Five Years", highlighting five key years (not sequential) during his career. Some of the commentary is his own, but mostly the story is told by his collaborators and the musicians he worked with. We get to hear from the people who helped Bowie create the unique "sound" which characterized different albums and phases of his career, accompanied by rare offstage and onstage footage. As music documentaries go, this is one of the best I've seen.

I don't get Showtime, but this made me wonder if this may be the same show PBS broadcast some years back. Very detailed. Mostly, all I can recall are comments on some of his recording techniques. Using 3 or 4 microphones placed (I think) at 10, 20 and 30 foot distances in a straight line from his main lead vocal mic to obtain a certain delayed sound. There were several more techniques brought up also. Some cool guitar and amp procedures.

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