Throughout the album, there are hints that he’s tired with the Ziggy formula, particularly in the disco underpinning of “Candidate” and his cut-and-paste lyrics. However, it’s not enough to make Diamond Dogs a step forward, and without Mick Ronson to lead the band, the rockers are too stiff to make an impact. Ironically, the one exception is one of Bowie’s very best songs — the tight, sexy “Rebel Rebel.”
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)
When this came out in 1974, it was roundly dismissed as Ziggy Stardust’s last strangled gasp. In hindsight, Diamond Dogs is marginally more worthwhile; its resigned nihilism inspired interesting gloom and doom from later goth and industrial acts such as Bauhaus and Nine Inch Nails.
~Mark Kemp (rollingstone.com in 2004)
#2 – Diamond Dogs:
Well.. most the critics dismissed (and still – in hindsight – dismisses) this album. I’ve always liked it. Best to play it all through in one sitting…
24 April 1974
October 1973 – February 1974 at Olympic Studios and Island Studios, London, and Ludolf Studios, Hilversum, Netherlands
Rock, glam rock
Diamond Dogs is a concept album by David Bowie, originally released in 1974 on RCA Records, his eighth album. Thematically, it was a marriage of the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell and Bowie’s own glam-tinged vision of a post-apocalyptic world. Bowie had wanted to make a theatrical production of Orwell’s book and began writing material after completing sessions for his 1973 album Pin Ups, but the late author’s estate denied the rights. The songs wound up on the second half of Diamond Dogs instead where, as the titles indicated, the Nineteen Eighty-Four theme was prominent.
#6 – Rebel Rebel:
Although Diamond Dogs was the first Bowie album since 1969 to not feature any of the ‘Spiders from Mars’, the backing band made famous by Ziggy Stardust, many of the arrangements were already worked out and played on tour with Mick Ronson prior to the studio recordings, including “1984″ and “Rebel Rebel”.
In the studio, however, Herbie Flowers played bass with drums being shared between Aynsley Dunbar and Tony Newman. In a move that surprised some commentators, Bowie himself took on the lead guitar role previously held by Mick Ronson, producing what NME critics Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murraydescribed as a “scratchy, raucous, semi-amateurish sound that gave the album much of its characteristic flavour”. Diamond Dogs was also a milestone in Bowie’s career as it reunited him with Tony Visconti, who provided string arrangements and helped mix the album at his own Good Earth Studios in London, on a Trident B-range console, brand new from Trident at the time. Visconti would go on to co-produce much of Bowie’s work for the rest of the decade.
#7 – Rock’n Roll With Me:
The record was Bowie’s glam swansong; according to author David Buckley, “In the sort of move which would come to define his career, Bowie jumped the glam-rock ship just in time, before it drifted into a blank parody of itself”. At the time of its release Bowie described Diamond Dogsas “a very political album. My protest … more me than anything I’ve done previously”.
Diamond Dogs’ raw guitar style and visions of urban chaos, scavenging children and nihilistic lovers (“We’ll buy some drugs and watch a band / And jump in the river holding hands”) have been credited with anticipating the punk revolution that would take place in the following years.
All songs written by David Bowie, except where noted.
“Future Legend” – 1:05
“Diamond Dogs” – 5:56
“Sweet Thing” – 3:39
“Candidate” – 2:40
“Sweet Thing (Reprise)” – 2:31
“Rebel Rebel” – 4:30
“Rock ‘n’ Roll with Me” (lyrics: Bowie; music: Bowie, Warren Peace) – 4:00
“We Are the Dead” – 4:58
“1984″ – 3:27
“Big Brother” – 3:21
“Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family” – 2:00
“The return of the Thin White Duke Throwing darts in lovers’ eyes Here are we, one magical moment, such is the stuff“
Station to Station is a collection of soul, rock, funk, and disco, twisted by an influence of experimental German artists. This is David Bowie’s “plastic soul” mixed with krautrock. This is the introduction of the “Thin White Duke”.
It is Bowie’s tenth album, one of his most important and in my opinion, one of his very best!
David Bowie came from the soul infused “Young Americans” into Nicolas Roeg’s film, “The Man who fell to Earth” (the picture on the cover is a still from the film) and then into this masterpiece of a record. If you see the film and listen to Young Americans you get a sense of what made the album. There is a switch from popular dance oriented music into a more artful approach. But, without losing the pop sensibility. It is also a start for Bowie on his journey back to a more European approach to his music, even if it was recorded in LA.
“I know it was in LA because I’ve read it was”
- David Bowie
TVC15 (from rehearsals for the Station to Station tour 1976):
This was the first time that guitarist Carlos Alomar, drummer Dennis Davis and bassist George Murray would record together and they became the backbone of rhythm section that Bowie would use on every release forward, up to and including Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) in 1980. The two great guest players, namely, guitarist Earl Slick and E Street Band piano player Roy Bittan played an important part in the sound. Slick’s guitars and Bittans wonderful piano really polishes Bowie’s masterpiece.
Wikipedia:With its blend of funk and Krautrock, romantic balladry and occultism, Station to Station has been described as “simultaneously one of Bowie’s most accessible albums and his most impenetrable”.Preceded by the single “Golden Years”, it made the Top 5 in both the UK and US charts. In 2003, the album was ranked number 323 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. (Read More)
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1. Visions Of Johanna
2. Like A Rolling Stone
3. Tangled Up in Blue
4. Ballad Of A Thin Man
5. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
6. Blind Willie McTell (electric version)
7. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
8. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
9. Desolation Row
10. Idiot Wind (New York version)