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Tradition Re-View: Bowie releases his greatest album… in my view

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23 January 1976: Considered one of my favorite albums is launched

Oh, you thought this column was written with objectivity? Hate to interrupt it to you, however this column is written by a flesh and blood journalist. I do know that seems like an oxymoron.

Regardless, that signifies that when a day comes round and it’s the anniversary of a launch that I personally assume is vital, you’re rattling proper I’m gonna give attention to it.

On today in 1976, David Bowie launched the usually missed dynamite of an album that’s ‘Station to Station’.

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The early 70s had been good to Bowie. His first hit single ‘House Oddity’ landed days earlier than the moon touchdown in 1969 however stardom wasn’t particular. The British rocker cemented his place within the charts with a string of huge albums, beginning with ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ in 1971 and its observe up ‘Aladdin Sane’ in 1973.

By no means one to linger in a style, Bowie adopted these releases with a covers album ‘Pin Ups’ (1973), the punky ‘Diamond Canine’ (1974), and the unbelievable soul sound of ‘Younger Individuals’ (1976). However success had taken its toll.

Feeling strung out dwelling in Los Angeles, Bowie fell deep right into a drug behavior. Famously, he claimed to have spent the interval subsisting on nothing however cocaine, milk and bell peppers. His psychological well being was deteriorating as he began getting misplaced in a brand new persona. Transfer apart Ziggy Stardust, it was the flip of the Skinny White Duke.

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Because the Skinny White Duke, Bowie began dressing in a pointy swimsuit, making fascist statements, and usually unravelling. Later, he’d declare he couldn’t keep in mind something of the interval and afterwards moved to Berlin to get off the medication.

In Berlin he’d go onto file his distinctive Berlin trilogy of albums with Brian Eno. However earlier than any of that, within the midst of the Skinny White Duke’s nasty haze, he launched ‘Station to Station’.

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For an artist so tuned into the general public’s recognition, it’s unbelievable that the file opens with the daring 10-minute lengthy title observe. It’s a posh odyssey that explores his new persona in bitingly comedian element. The instrumentation is wealthy with prog-rock flashes, soul grooves, and Bowie’s basic warble.

Elsewhere on the album there are basic Bowie bangers like ‘Golden Years’ and ‘Keep’, whereas the entire thing involves an finish along with his hauntingly lovely cowl of ‘Wild is the Wind’. For an artist who at all times saved an emotional distance from his viewers, one thing of the troubled human beneath the artifice can’t assist however shine by means of on the observe.

From opening to shut, it’s an astounding album. It almost killed Bowie, and serves because the turning level between his glam rock successes of the 70s and the experimental shift of his Berlin albums. Bizarre, wild, and fantastic. A necessary Bowie file.

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