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DAVID BOWIE - HUNKY DORY
(1971)

'Hunky Dory' was David Bowie's first great album, and still stakes a strong claim for being considered his best.

The album begins with 'Changes', one of Bowie's most enduring songs, with Trevor Bolder's beautiful melodic bass lines standing out. 'Oh! You Pretty Things', with its offbeat piano, catchy chorus, and foreboding lyrics could have juxtaposed nicely with the classic 'Life On Mars?', with the latter's great music, lilting and dramatic turns and the strangest of lyrics, and with both having a space/alien theme. But, David being David, 'Eight Line Poem' merges with 'Oh! You Pretty Things', and the former has some nice touches, particularly the dreamy beginning, but it's still one of the weaker tracks on the album.

'Kooks', inspired by Bowie's son Zowie, is, well...kooky. Part of David Bowie's genius is his ability to write songs in several genres, and this gentle ballad was tailor-made for Val Doonican! 'Quicksand' ends side 1 and is a melodramatic epic, marked by beautiful piano and strings, and Bowie's voice is at its most
vulnerable.

Side 2 doesn't match the first side, but then that would be a hard ask. First up is the jolly 'Fill Your Heart', with DB on sax. It does go off at a tangent, though, and the strange beginning of 'Andy Warhol' merges with 'Fill Your Heart', but the former is the more impressive of the two. Simple, but very catchy, with seemingly a wall of acoustic guitars, and an explosive ending! Another 20th Century icon is given the Bowie treatment on 'Song For Bob Dylan'. A bit of a curate's egg. Also good in parts is 'Queen Bitch', which sounds more like a powerful track from 'Ziggy Stardust'. 'The Bewlay Brothers' is a moving tribute to David Bowie's schizophrenic half-brother Terry. Moody, atmospheric, quirky, but, above all, a lovely song.

With Rik Wakeman, Mick Ronson, Woody Woodmansey, and Trevor Bolder all contributing, it was no wonder 'Hunky Dory' remains so acclaimed.

- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.

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booksmusicfilmstv.com Classic Albums - Reviews

The Beatles - Abbey Road
The Beatles - Revolver
The Beatles - Rubber Soul
The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles - The Beatles/The White Album

Blur - Parklife

David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
David Bowie - Hunky Dory
David Bowie - Outside
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
Kate Bush - Hounds Of Love

Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
The Doors - The Doors
Green Day - American Idiot
Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV
Maroon5 - Songs About Jane
The Moody Blues - Days Of Future Passed
Morrissey - You Are The Quarry
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells

PIL/Public Image Ltd. - Flowers Of Romance
Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon
Pink Floyd - The Wall
Queen - A Night At The Opera

Stereophonics - Performance And Cocktails
10cc - How Dare You
Travis - The Man Who
The Verve - Urban Hymns

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'Hunky Dory' Track Listing
(All tracks written by David Bowie unless otherwise stated)

Side One
Changes
Oh! You Pretty Things
Eight Line Poem
Life On Mars?
Kooks
Quicksand


Side Two
Fill Your Heart (Rose/Williams)
Andy Warhol
Song For Bob Dylan
Queen Bitch
The Bewlay Brothers

 

 

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