david bowie

The contents of this page relate to david bowie.

Various: Next Brel (Barclay)

Various: Next Brel (Barclay)

The music and lyrics of Jacques Brel (1929-78) have seduced dozens of musicians down the decades, notably Scott Walker, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield . . . Actually just about anyone who appreciates his melodramatic darkness. Brel wrote and sang of street people, love and loss, was reflective or angry, romantic or...

Various: Bowiemania (Naive)

Various: Bowiemania (Naive)

Compiled by the French arranger/sound artist Beatrice Ardisson, this wayward collection of people covering Bowie songs is as enjoyable as it is uneven: but even the weaker moments hold considerable appeal. They are hardly household names here (Microsillion, Rhonda Harris, Los Chicros) but some are so engaging you might want to hear more from...

Flight of the Conchords: Flight of the Conchords (SubPop)

Flight of the Conchords: Flight of the Conchords (SubPop)

Comedy albums are usually good for two plays. Tops. But this collection of songs which parody artists (Bowie, Pet Shop Boys, the Stylistics among them) or genres (hip-hop, 70s soul) is astute, cleverly produced and so lyrically and musically layered that it has been commanding airplay around my place in the weeks since the advance copy...

Jacques Brel, Infiniment (2004 compilation)

Jacques Brel, Infiniment (2004 compilation)

Jacques Brel is alive and well and living in ... Well, back in his hometown of Brussels, funnily enough. This is odd because Brel (1929-78) was ambivalent about Brussels. "Everyone has to come from somewhere," he would sardonically remark. And Brussels has seemed a bit iffy about him. The great singer-songwriter, who made his...

The Last Shadow Puppets: The Age of Understatement (Domino)

The Last Shadow Puppets: The Age of Understatement (Domino)

References in UK reviews to Scott Walker with regard to this album tweaked my interest -- more so when you look at who is behind it: Alex Turner from Actic Monkeys and Miles Kane of the UK indie-rockers Rascals, two least likely Walker aficionados I couldn't imagine. And yet . . . No there is no Amsterdam here, not even The Sun Ain't Gonna...

UTE LEMPER INTERVIEWED (2003): The ice maiden cometh

UTE LEMPER INTERVIEWED (2003): The ice maiden cometh

Midnight on a warm Wednesday in New York City, the Gotham of the Great Republic. The German cabaret maven has come home early from a recording studio across town so, sure, she has plenty of time to talk."I'm not an early sleeper," she laughs, somewhat stating the obvious.This is singer and actress Ute Lemper, once memorably described...

Various: Life Beyond Mars. Bowie Covered (Border)

Various: Life Beyond Mars. Bowie Covered (Border)

The ever-increasing pile of tribute albums/covers is so high it is starting to topple under its own weight. Just last week Elsewhere offered the amusing lounge-sweet versions of heavy metal by Hellsongs.Bowie has always been ripe for covers and there have been any number of such projects already: the point of difference here is the obscurity of...

Lou Reed: Berlin (1973)

Lou Reed: Berlin (1973)

Right from the beginning -- aside from a short period as a jobbing songwriter for the Pickwick label in ‘64-’65 -- Lou Reed’s lyrics had a literary quality. With the Velvet Underground his songs would take the listener to an immediate location (“standing on the corner . . .”) or conjure up characters...

DAVID BOWIE; THE EARLY YEARS: He was an interesting bunch of people

DAVID BOWIE; THE EARLY YEARS: He was an interesting bunch of people

For a while, quite a while in fact, David Bowie could do no wrong – and when something seemed like a career move (“I never did anything out of the blue”) it worked to his advantage. Even when he was The Man Who Fell To Earth after Lou Reed decked him in a London restaurant, it was the day before his new single was released...

LOU REED'S BETWEEN THOUGHT AND EXPRESSION: Boxed for you in '92

LOU REED'S BETWEEN THOUGHT AND EXPRESSION: Boxed for you in '92

Blame Dylan for box sets. It was his Biograph in November ’85 (16 unreleased tracks among the 53 spread across five albums, later three CDs) which began things by reaching 33 on the American charts. Sure, there had been box sets before – but mostly for dead guys. Dylan and CDs together proved there was money in this...

Grace Jones: Hurricane (Wall of Sound)

Grace Jones: Hurricane (Wall of Sound)

It has been about 20 years since the formidable Grace Jones menaced us, but she's back and her opening salvo on this typically groove-oriented album is her declaiming "this is my voice, my weapon of choice". And that track This Is marries a Sly'n'Robbie Caribbean sensibility (and sensimilla) with the Serengeti. It is larger...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 TV on the Radio: Dear Science (4AD)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 TV on the Radio: Dear Science (4AD)

There are very few bands in rock culture that you could describe as genuinely avant-garde, but this ambitious New York outfit certainly fits the job prescription: they are musically ambitous, possess a sense of history but also a 21st century grandeur in their sonic approach, and write on a big scale. It's enough to observe that there are...

KRAFTWERK'S RALF HUTTER INTERVIEWED (2008): The werk ethic

KRAFTWERK'S RALF HUTTER INTERVIEWED (2008): The werk ethic

Ralf Hutter -- founder of the innovative German electro rock pioneers Kraftwerk rarely does interviews. And when he does speak to the press he sometimes doesn’t make it easy. One reporter tells of the constraints being placed on questions: the first being no asking about Kraftwerk. Kraftwerk are, shall we say, different: their...

DAVID BOWIE INTERVIEWED (1993): Black tie, white noise and the duke bounces back

DAVID BOWIE INTERVIEWED (1993): Black tie, white noise and the duke bounces back

David Bowie is a pain. Or more correctly perhaps, “his people” are. Eighteen months ago, when he was keen to plug his uneven, already forgotten but not uninteresting Tin Machine II album (the follow-up to what we might have charitably called “a side project” in a long career) he was a pushover. Oh, just wait...

ROBERT FRIPP INTERVIEWED (1990): The economic man at work

ROBERT FRIPP INTERVIEWED (1990): The economic man at work

The only sound in this small foyer is a huge fly buzzing monotonously and occasionally slapping itself into the windows. Peter, one of the guitarists studying at this retreat in Howick whispers “are you the journalist?” and our conversation is carried out in hushed voices so as not to disturb the 20 or so people in the room next...

Lou Reed: The Raven (Reprise)

Lou Reed: The Raven (Reprise)

"These are the stories of Edgar Allen Poe, not exactly the boy next door," yelps a breathless-sounding Reed over dramatic, grinding guitar riffery at the start of this guest-heavy collection of diverse songs and spoken-word sections which explore the works of that peculiar, melancholic American writer with whom Reed feels great...

LOU REED'S NEW YORK ALBUM (1989): The pugnacious poet

LOU REED'S NEW YORK ALBUM (1989): The pugnacious poet

Think about it, Lou Reed shouldn’t be here in 1989. Scan his background and the death vultures were wheeling from the first time he came through with the Velvet Underground. But all right, he’s here -- and should we still care? Face it, his albums in the 80s have been pretty uneven, some just simply bad. And yes, the...

Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (1977)

Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (1977)

In the rush to acclaim Kraftwerk as electro-pioneers, it is often overlooked how they grew out of the German avant-garde/post-hippie prog-rock scene. As Organisation and on the first two Kraftwerk albums, founders Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider (and others) engaged in long, almost free-form jams with Schneider playing flutes and bells....

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Of Montreal: Skeletal Lamping (Pop Frenzy/Rhythmethod)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Of Montreal: Skeletal Lamping (Pop Frenzy/Rhythmethod)

Unless they come with a DVD (rare), there's not much added-value with CDs. Not like in olden days when you could get a gatefold sleeve on an album. This camp, goodtime pop-funk and sex obssessed outfit from Georgia offer much added value if you buy the CD: it comes with an elaborate, multi-coloured fold-out sleeve that reaches 60cm across....

Lou Reed's Berlin: Lou Reed, Julian Schnabel (Madman DVD)

Lou Reed's Berlin: Lou Reed, Julian Schnabel (Madman DVD)

Elsewhere last year posted Lou Reed's 1973 Berlin as an Essential Elsewhere album, also noting the CD release of the soundtrack to this filmed concert of the album, staged and directed by Julian Schabel. Berlin was an album that begged to be filmed and indeed there were loose plans, but then the album tanked, Reed had to hit the road to...

DAVID BOWIE; VH1 STORYTELLERS (EMI CD/DVD)

DAVID BOWIE; VH1 STORYTELLERS (EMI CD/DVD)

At the very end of the Nineties, David Bowie released one of his best album in years, Hours. Unfortunately by that time fewer and fewer people were listening to him. He'd started the decade with the two Tin Machine albums in which he tried to bury himself within a band format (about as successfully as McCartney did with Wings) and although...

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE by JIM DeROGATIS: When the whip comes down

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE by JIM DeROGATIS: When the whip comes down

In 1976 the musician/producer and music theorist Brian Eno said to Punk magazine of New York’s the Velvet Underground: “I knew that they were going to be one of the most interesting groups and that there would be a time when it wouldn’t be the Beatles up there and then all these other groups down there. “It would be a...

Grant-Lee Phillips: Little Moon (Yep Roc)

Grant-Lee Phillips: Little Moon (Yep Roc)

Phillips -- formerly frontman for the LA alt-rock/indie-pop outfit Grant Lee Buffalo in the 90s -- may never release a solo album quite as exceptional as his Mobilize of 2001. But after the country-folk of Virginia Creeper of 04, the 06 covers album Nineteeneighties (you always ask, “Why?” of such projects) and Strangelet of two...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 The Flaming Lips: Embryonic (Warners)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 The Flaming Lips: Embryonic (Warners)

Anyone coming to this sprawling and musically diverse (not to say sometimes bewildering) 80 minute album because they were seduced by the Lips' earlier album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (with that sublime hit Do You Realise) might want to take a big breath. This is different in many, many ways. This is the Lips' fascinating and...

David Sylvian: Gone to Earth (1986)

David Sylvian: Gone to Earth (1986)

You never know quite how people are going to turn out: they find bodies under the floorboards in the house of that polite boy next door, the rebel girl in school becomes a nun, and David Sylvian . . . .? When David Sylvian (born David Batt in Kent, 1958) first appeared on the music scene it was as a member of the glam rock band Japan and it...

LOU REED AND PATTI SMITH IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Patent pending

LOU REED AND PATTI SMITH IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Patent pending

When those archetypal New Yorkers Lou Reed and Patti Smith both released albums in the early days of 2000, it allowed anyone still interested in their careers the chance to consider their relative positions as they entered a new decade -- in fact a new century -- about 25 years (and more) on from their career defining best work. Neither of...

THE BARGAIN BUY - David Bowie: Heroes/Lodger

THE BARGAIN BUY - David Bowie: Heroes/Lodger

David Bowie: Heroes/Lodger (EMI) While there's an easy case to make for Bowie's Low and Heroes albums to be in any Essential Elsewhere collection, Lodger from '79 -- his more difficult third album in "the Berlin trilogy" which he made with Brian Eno -- has always been overlooked or dismissed. Certainly it lacks that sudden...

OK Go: Of the Blue Colour of the Sky (Capitol)

OK Go: Of the Blue Colour of the Sky (Capitol)

At the recent Laneways Festival it was noticeable every young band delivered up its obligatory noise segment -- feedback, atonal guitar trash'n'trash -- as if to prove its indie-alt cred. But if everyone is doing it then how independent and alternative is that? You've just conformed to type. And most such noise isn't that interesting anyway....

Tom Verlaine: Souvenir from a Dream (1978)

Tom Verlaine: Souvenir from a Dream (1978)

After the exceptional Television fell apart in '78 following their classic debut Marquee Moon and the lesser Adventure, guitarist/singer and writer Tom Verlaine dropped from sight for a year. During that time he quietly went about recording his self-titled debut album in two and three day sessions. With a core of Television bassist Fred...

The Easybeats: Sorry (1966)

The Easybeats: Sorry (1966)

In 1980 EMI released an excellent double vinyl on the Joker imprint entitled The Easybeats: Absolute Anthology 1965-69. It might well have been titled The Rise and Fall of a Pop Group because across 43 tracks in chronological order it traced Australia's Easybeats from their first tentative attempts at being the antipodean Beatles, through...

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND; VANISHING POINT (Chrome Dreams/Triton DVD)

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND; VANISHING POINT (Chrome Dreams/Triton DVD)

Although this 90 minute film of the career of the Velvet Underground leaps in when Lou Reed met John Cale --as if nothing of consequence had happened in each of their lives prior to that -- what follows is an interesting (if much canvassed) doco about a band which changed the face of contemporary music. This chronological account is...

Lou Reed: Families (1979)

Lou Reed: Families (1979)

Lou Reed never strikes you as having a sentimental streak, but this song (from his album The Bells) is as nakedly autobiographical and pained as John Lennon's Mother. It is the sounds of a son who knows he has disappointed the family but equally realises there is no way back. Interesting too is the tone of regret and sadness at what has...

Ute Lemper: The Best of Ute Lemper (Decca)

Ute Lemper: The Best of Ute Lemper (Decca)

With this great entertainer returning to New Zealand after her thrilling cabaret-noir/showtunes performance in 2003 it seems not only timely to reprint the lengthy, career encompassing interview with her, but to point to this 21-track easy-intro overview from the late Nineties. Here, divided into easy to assimilate sections, are songs from...

Various Artists: The Hal David and Burt Bacharach Songbook (EMI)

Various Artists: The Hal David and Burt Bacharach Songbook (EMI)

Just a quick notice of this locally compiled double disc set which follows in the Lennon-McCartney and Goffin-King collections in this series. Some great acts here on David's lyrics wrapped in Bacharach's arrangements: the Shirelles with the Beatles' favourite Baby It's You; Cilla Black peeling the paint on Anyone Who Had a Heart; the...

MIKE EDWARDS OF JESUS JONES INTERVIEWED (1993): Right here, right now . . . back then

MIKE EDWARDS OF JESUS JONES INTERVIEWED (1993): Right here, right now . . . back then

Mike Edwards has got a big mouth - and without going too far into the anatomically impossible, it’s his big mouth that gets right up people’s noses. And right here, right now in Birmingham, he’s been getting up the noses of the British music press - which admittedly isn’t hard to do and probably quite worthwhile....

John Cale: Mercenaries (1980)

John Cale: Mercenaries (1980)

Born of its political era and John Cale's peculiarly damaged consciousness at the time, this menacing live recording captures an embittered spirit, a rare rage and a grim humour. As Mikal Gilmore noted in Rolling Stone at the time, the Sabotage/Live album this comes from is "without apology, and more importantly, without ideology,...

UTE LEMPER INTERVIEWED (2010): The fearless angel comes treading

UTE LEMPER INTERVIEWED (2010): The fearless angel comes treading

Ute Lemper – the foremost interpreter of Weimar cabaret songs and the music of Jacques Brel, Kurt Weill and Edith Piaf – doesn't pull her punches. With no prompting at all after she mentions one of her most recent projects has been creating a multi-media theatrical setting for the poetry of barfly Charles Bukowski, she...

ANDY WARHOL'S LOOK: Glamour, Style, Fashion and Moron

ANDY WARHOL'S LOOK: Glamour, Style, Fashion and Moron

“People are always calling me a mirror and if a mirror looks into a mirror, what is there to see?” -- Andy Warhol. There's a scene in an Austin Powers movie in which the superspy and international man of mystery is in his London bachelor pad. Amid the iconography of the Swinging Sixties is a large multiple portrait...

Alejandro Escovedo: Street Songs of Love (Concord)

Alejandro Escovedo: Street Songs of Love (Concord)

From the breathless pace he sets on this hard rocking album you'd never know that Escovedo out of Texas (formerly of Rank and File, a fellow traveller with John Dee Graham, co-writer with Chuck Prophet and now managed by Springsteen's Jon Landau) nearly died a few years ago. Such is the high regard he is held in by his peers that for a...

EDGEPLAY; A FILM ABOUT THE RUNAWAYS by Victory Tischler-Blue (Shock DVD, 2004)

EDGEPLAY; A FILM ABOUT THE RUNAWAYS by Victory Tischler-Blue (Shock DVD, 2004)

Clearly timed to ride the coattails of the film The Runaways about this seminal all-girl band of the the Seventies which launched the careers of Joan Jett and Lita Ford and (based on the memoir Neon Angel by lead singer Cherie Currie), the re-presentation of a doco made by the band's former bassist Vicky Blue should be an object lesson in...

Lotus Mason: Lotus Mason (Glowb)

Lotus Mason: Lotus Mason (Glowb)

London-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Blair Jollands (interviewed in 2004 here) is one of New Zealand's best-kept expat secrets. With his band El Hula he crafted some of the finest post-Bowie dramatic ballads (with a touch of alt.country) and his strong, elegant voice has drawn favourable comparisons with Scott Walker and...

BURT BACHARACH IN 1995: The slow rehabilitation

BURT BACHARACH IN 1995: The slow rehabilitation

Mainstream pop culture has witnessed some peculiar pairings, none more so than when Noel Gallagher, mastermind and songwriter behind the Britrock band Oasis, climbed on stage in London recently to perform with Burt Bacharach. Gallagher, a 29-year-old mouthy wide boy from Manchester, would seem to have nothing in common with the urbane,...

Aztec Camera: Jump (1988)

Aztec Camera: Jump (1988)

By the time of their third album Love in 1987, Aztec Camera out of Scotland had effectively become just singer-songwriter Roddy Frame and whoever he chose to work with. Love was their/his most successful UK album and the single Somewhere in My Heart lifted from it went to number 3 on the British charts. The 12" remix of that single...

David Bowie: Station to Station, Expanded Edition (EMI)

David Bowie: Station to Station, Expanded Edition (EMI)

Rock critics and civilians are generally divided over David Bowie: people on the street seem to prefer the stabbing pop-rock of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane (with party favourite The Jean Genie) and singles like Rebel Rebel and Let's Dance. Critics – because they famously don't dance – gravitate towards the sonic...

THE SACRED TRIANGLE; BOWIE, IGGY AND LOU 1971-1973 (Sexy Intellectual/Triton DVD)

THE SACRED TRIANGLE; BOWIE, IGGY AND LOU 1971-1973 (Sexy Intellectual/Triton DVD)

It's hard to believe but in the same year as the Velvet Underground's debut album came out, David Bowie's new single was The Laughing Gnome, a gimmick song and another desperate step in trying to crack the charts. As this interesting doco makes clear, for many years Bowie was trying all kinds of tricks and tropes (from new clothes to new...

Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg: Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg (Light in the Attic)

Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg: Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg (Light in the Attic)

Sex sells. It certainly sells the idea of maturity when former popettes decide to ditch the little sister look and get into barely-there leathers. Adults of course find this tasteless and the kids being manipulated, but it's nothing more than sex selling a product just like any other. Sex gets people hot under the collar (as in outraged) and...

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Velvet Underground; White Light White Heat/Velvet Underground and Nico

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Velvet Underground; White Light White Heat/Velvet Underground and Nico

Brian Eno once said that there would come a time when the Velvet Underground were discussed in the same breath as the Beatles with regard to their influence and importance. He said that when very few people in rock culture had really given serious consideration to this band out of New York which recalibrated the coordinates of rock music....

MOTHER OF ROCK: LILLIAN ROXON, a doco by PAUL CLARKE

MOTHER OF ROCK: LILLIAN ROXON, a doco by PAUL CLARKE

Australian writer Lillian Roxon (1932-73) was in the vanguard of feminism, a scene-maker in New York as she held court in Max's Kansas City with her pals and peers (Iggy, Alice Cooper, Andy Warhol), was a correspondent and columnist filing on everything from the mundane to the remarkable (Warhol's Factory, Janis Joplin, Hendrix) and was one the...

POINT MUSIC (1992-2002): A decade of delivering new music

POINT MUSIC (1992-2002): A decade of delivering new music

In many ways Rory Johnston looked exactly what he was, the vice-president of A&R (artists and repertoire) of a contemporary classical music label. It was there in the high, broad forehead and clear eyes, in the modulated speech and the vocabulary which didn't shy from a polysyllable or two. When I met him in the mid Nineties in...

SCOTT WALKER INTERVIEWED (2006). Loneliness is a cloak you wear

SCOTT WALKER INTERVIEWED (2006). Loneliness is a cloak you wear

No one could accuse reclusive songwriter and singer Scott Walker of haste. In the time between Walker's last album Tilt and his latest The Drift in May 2006, film director Peter Jackson delivered The Frighteners, his Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong. Van Morrison coughed up 11 albums, and Oasis -- despite fraternal bickering, divorces and...

JACQUES BREL PROFILED: Seasons in, and out of, the sun

JACQUES BREL PROFILED: Seasons in, and out of, the sun

Jacques Brel is alive and well and living in ... Well, back in his hometown of Brussels, funnily enough. This is odd because Brel (1929-78) was ambivalent about Brussels. "Everyone has to come from somewhere," he would sardonically remark. And Brussels has often seemed a bit iffy about him. The great singer-songwriter, who...

Of Montreal: False Priest (Shock)

Of Montreal: False Priest (Shock)

With their falsetto funk, tongue-in-cheek humour, camp dramatics, clever dynamics, pop-smarts and outrageous sense of fun, Of Montreal out of Athens, Georgia sound like Queen or a Fame-era Bowie for the 21st century. And if their terrific Skeletal Lamping of 2009 staked out their distinctive ground, this silly, suggestive, sexy and...

Brian Eno and David Byrne: The Jezebel Spirit (1981)

Brian Eno and David Byrne: The Jezebel Spirit (1981)

When the Brian Eno and David Byrne album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts appeared in 1981, the musical, social and cultural climate was very different. Hip-hop had yet to establish the widespread use of sampling (although of course there had been artists who had used the technique), and the idea of a beat-driven album by two intellectual boffins...

Various Artists: SIN-ATRA (Armoury/Shock)

Various Artists: SIN-ATRA (Armoury/Shock)

After Hellsongs who take metal songs and render them in a lounge or country-folk manner, this might be subtitled "Metal's Revenge!!!" Here bellicose and bellowing heavy metal frontmen from Anthrax, Deep Purple, Twisted Sister, Judas Priest, Cheap Trick, Warrant and others take on the catalogue of Frank Sinatra (New York New York,...

BRIAN ENO: THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (2011) (Sexy Intellectual/Triton DVD)

BRIAN ENO: THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (2011) (Sexy Intellectual/Triton DVD)

Despite the title here being appropriated from David Bowie, this does seem a fair description of Brian Eno, the self-described "non-musician" who made his name in Roxy Music as the flamboyant synth-twiddler who brought an avant-garde sensibility to a band which might have otherwise simply sounded retro and poopy. Eno's sonic...

Jakszyk, Fripp, Collins: A Scarcity of Miracles (MPL)

Jakszyk, Fripp, Collins: A Scarcity of Miracles (MPL)

With the (almost) complete Pink Floyd catalogue being re-presented shortly, the Moody Blues arriving on our shores and bands like The Mars Volta, Radiohead and Porcupine Tree pushing the boundaries, there seems to be quite a lot of progressive rock, if not exactly old school prog-rock, out there. Of course it never really went away and...

David Bowie: This Is Not America (1985)

David Bowie: This Is Not America (1985)

Accidentally catching David Bowie in Labyrinth on television recently reminded just how much he put himself about for a while there. Recording Peter and the Wolf, singing the Little Drummer Boy with Bing Crosby, strutting with Mick Jagger for Dancing in the Street, the Absolute Beginners and When the Wind Blows soundtracks, knocking off...

David Bowie: It's Hard to be a Saint in the City (1975)

David Bowie: It's Hard to be a Saint in the City (1975)

Bruce Springsteen's song It's Hard to be a Saint in the City holds a very important place in his history. It was one of the songs he played at an audition for John Hammond at CBS which got him his recording contract, and before that it was the song that Mike Appel was so impressed by that he quit the day job to become Springsteen's manager....

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . KLAUS NOMI (2013): Twinkle twinkle little star . . .

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . KLAUS NOMI (2013): Twinkle twinkle little star . . .

There have been some remarkable voices who have landed in rock culture -- that strange world where people like Tom Waits, Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons), Yoko Ono and other people clearly not "rock" end up in the same magazines as Aerosmith, U2 and Lady Gaga. One of the strangest voices -- and most visually engaging...

DAVID BOWIE IN THE SEVENTIES (2013): Ch-ch-changes

DAVID BOWIE IN THE SEVENTIES (2013): Ch-ch-changes

That one of the most identifiable and famous men on the planet, David Bowie, managed – in this age of tweeting and endless internet gossip -- to spend the past two years recording his new album The Next Day without anyone knowing (or at least saying they knew) is surprising. Then again, Bowie always had the capacity to surprise....

David Bowie: The Next Day (Sony)

David Bowie: The Next Day (Sony)

Further proof Bowie's a smart post-modern artist. And not just self-aware, but aware of how the modern world works post-Bowie. Not only does he record his first album in a decade in secret in this gossip-driven Tweetworld, but the no-tour/no-interviews policy guarantees attention turns to the art and not the artist . . . . while listeners...

Various Artists: Bowie Heard Them Here First (Ace/Border)

Various Artists: Bowie Heard Them Here First (Ace/Border)

The glue that barely holds this diverse 24-song collection together -- Paul Revere and the Raiders through Johnny Mathis, Lotte Lenya and Roxy Music -- is that these are the originals of songs David Bowie covered in his long and shapeshifting career. The timeframe is as wide as the songs: It runs from Revere's oddball garageband Louie Go...

David Bowie: Nothing Has Changed (Parlophone)

David Bowie: Nothing Has Changed (Parlophone)

The surprising resurrection of David Bowie with his extremely good The Next Day last year doubtless prompted this retrospective double CD chronological collection (which also comes as an impressively thorough four CD version). There's never been much shortage of Bowie compilations and doubtless the hopeful tipping point for this one is the...

DAVID BOWIE IS (2015): The Man Who Sold His Selves

DAVID BOWIE IS (2015): The Man Who Sold His Selves

In one corner of the expansive David Bowie Is exhibition which opened in Melbourne a fortnight ago is a video clip that many visitors walk past with barely a glance. In the exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) which contains dozens of his stage costumes, artwork and storyboards for videos, handwritten lyrics...

DAVID BOWIE IS (2015): Inside the mind of a pop culture chameleon

DAVID BOWIE IS (2015): Inside the mind of a pop culture chameleon

Even in an artistic life of oddity, irony, apparent contradictions and self-aware consistency, it still comes as a surprise that David Bowie left London – the city of his birth and where Ziggy Stardust fell to Earth – over 40 years ago. Aside from brief visits, he's never returned. David Robert Jones who grew up in...

DAVID BOWIE REINVENTED, AGAIN (2016): Out of the blue and into the blackstar

DAVID BOWIE REINVENTED, AGAIN (2016): Out of the blue and into the blackstar

Although we shouldn't presume the “I” in any song belongs to the singer, it was widely taken that David Bowie was referring to himself in 1980 when he sang, “I've never done good things, I've never done bad things, I've never done anything out of the blue”. The song was Ashes to Ashes, his self-referential hit...

GUEST WRITER MADELINE BOCARO hears classic Bowie celebrated just days before his death

GUEST WRITER MADELINE BOCARO hears classic Bowie celebrated just days before his death

In a recent interview, Tony Visconti told of David Bowie’s Spiders from Mars drummer Woody Woodmansey's relentless enthusiasm and desire to bring Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World album (1970) to a live audience. It would be difficult, especially for Bowie producer/bassist Visconti. He had to rehearse countless...

Scott Walker, In Five Easy Pieces (2003)

Scott Walker, In Five Easy Pieces (2003)

The only time I saw Scott Walker I burst out laughing. It was the mid-60s and he was one of the (non-sibling) Walker Brothers on a package tour with the Yardbirds (guitarist Jimmy Page) and Roy Orbison. When the Walker Brothers ran on to the Auckland Town Hall stage, skinny-legged guys in tight pants and teased-out bouffants, they looked like...

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