I know it’s pretty close to midnight already, and it surely will be tomorrow by the time I finish this post, but I’ve got to put my time in, you know? This work has got to be done.
David Bowie – Low (1977)
One of Bowie’s most popular and critically acclaimed albums, Low, was released in early 1977, one of the most important years in recent memory. As the first in the legendary “Berlin Trilogy;” the collaboration with Brian Eno, Low marked the beginning of another of Bowie’s “changes.”
While churning out incredible albums like Station to Station and starring in hit films like The Man Who Fell to Earth, David Bowie was also freaking himself out with cocaine and a wacky diet of milk and peppers. He also thought witches were stealing his semen and The Rolling Stones were sending him secret messages. But this is not that story. This is what came after that, when Bowie found himself interested in his art again, and tried to kick coke. The album titles refers to his withdraws-induced bad moods. The music here is serious and deals with heavy issues.
It is also awesome. The obvious influence here is the unstoppable sound of Kraftwerk, but Bowie brings plenty to the table here. Wikipedia says the drums’ sound was especially influential, all I know is that they sound neat. The album kicks off with the instrumental “Speed of Life,” which sets the tone for much of the album.
It occurs to me now that I’m really tired, so I’ll wrap this sucker up. The last half of the album is almost entirely instrumental, which may turn off Bowie fans. But I’m more than happy with what we get here, and I commend him for letting the music stand on its own. I know a lot of people want to pretend David Bowie is another sing-a-long artist, and just listen to classics like “Ziggy Stardust” and “Changes.” But his “musical chameleon” reputation is deserved. The dude knows what he’s doing and whether it’s the Sixties, Seventies or today, the tunes he delivers are pretty damn good.
Favorite Tracks: “Speed of Life,” “Sound and Vision,” “Subterraneans”