MOOPY ALBUM SYNC LISTENS #2 - DAVID BOWIE - HUNKY DORY - 8PM THURSDAY 16/04

octophone

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After a wee bit of discussion in the Ray Of Light thread, the plan is basically this: a nailed-on Moopy Classic on a Tuesday and something that stretches us a bit on a Thursday.

So, Thursday coming we're going to cue up and listen to David Bowie's now-classic 4th album "Hunky Dory".

Selling the front end of bugger all upon release, it only became a success after Bowie's Ziggy Stardust persona had propelled him to stardom and "Life On Mars?" had been such a hit that Bowie was compelled to make a video for the song 2 years after recording it.

The album is now regarded as his first true classic. The above YouTube leads into a playlist of the full 11 track album but you'll find it on spotify etc as well.

Give a try.
 

octophone

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Before we hit the play button tonight, it's worth putting Hunky Dory into a bit of context.

This was Bowie's 4 album for his 3rd record label. In some quarters, he was considered already past it; a one hit wonder ("Space Oddity") whose attempts to build on his success had failed.

By the time "Hunky Dory"was released in December 1971, he had already recorded most of the follow-up and RCA were much more keen on what he was recording than they were on "Hunky Dory". Given that this turned out to be "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars", one would have to imagine they had a point.

But consider a music industry that functioned that way, where an artist could get signed after 3 albums elsewhere and a single "novelty" hit under his arm. Where an album would be issued because it was done and the next one was shaping up to be better.

The album only really started to sell after "Life On Mars?" was belatedly issued as a single in 1973 - hence the video showing Bowie in full Ziggy/Aladdin Sane mode and classic status was slow to come. But it came. How does this peculiar rag-bag of acoustic ditties, surreal balladry and experimental sound experiments sound to Moopy in 2020?
 

dmlaw

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I'm here and have started. Am I meant to have 15 songs?
 

octophone

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The production is so dry...which helps because it means you can really hear everything.
 

dmlaw

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Fair enough. It can get switched off after that.

Changes very much sounds like a declaration of intent as the opening track.
 

lolly

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There are definite hints of the very early 70s about Changes, but it also utterly transcends the era.
 

octophone

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Changes very much sounds like a declaration of intent as the opening track.

I think it became a kind of theme song...he'd already been through a couple of incarnations and he was already working on another.
 

octophone

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Fun fact: "All You Pretty Things" was a hit for Herman's Hermits singer Peter Noone, despite being about Nietzsche.
 

octophone

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It's just a bit catchy this...gets right in your head but musically it's actually pretty audacious.
 

dmlaw

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Yep, you could very easily not notice the depth to the lyrics whilst bopping away to the chorus.
 

octophone

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Eight Line Poem is a bit of a fanny-about tho'. Already not willing to reign in some of his more outre inclinations.
 

lolly

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I don’t think I realised this album was a Mickie Most production.
 

dmlaw

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Ooh, Life on Mars? It astonishes me that this wasn't immediately recognised as a classic.
 

octophone

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I adore "Life On Mars?" The perfect not-nonsense nonsense song. You can take it either way and it;s still glorious...that chorus!!!
 

octophone

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"It's on Amer-ee-kah's tortured brow that Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow" is an astonishing lyric; funny and poignant.
 

dmlaw

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It's quite simplistic but still sweet. A lot better than most songs written for a new child.
 

lolly

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Life On Mars always makes me want to listen to Wuthering Heights for some reason. I'm not sure of why, other than the fact that I think they are both towering tour de forces that sound like nothing else around them at the time. You'd struggle to place them if you didn't know where they were from.

Either way, both feels incomplete without the other for me.
 

octophone

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Life On Mars always makes me want to listen to Wuthering Heights for some reason. I'm not sure of why, other than the fact that I think they are both towering tour de forces that sound like nothing else around them at the time. You'd struggle to place them if you didn't know where they were from.

Either way, both feels incomplete without the other for me.

I know what you mean, they both have an irresistible ascent to the chorus, they're at a similar pace and they're as audacious as each other too.
 

octophone

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"Quicksand" is a bit of a throwback to his second album, where he was being a hippy troubadour. The sudden arrival and equally sudden departure of the rhythm section works well.
 

dmlaw

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There's a dissertation or two in these lyrics to Quicksand.
 

octophone

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I don't like "Fill Your Heart" - it's a cover and there were shenanigans..Bowie's then manager had a share in the publishing rights to the song. They had better available to them.
 

dmlaw

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I don't like "Fill Your Heart" - it's a cover and there were shenanigans..Bowie's then manager had a share in the publishing rights to the song. They had better available to them.
I don't know if it's just because you said that, but it does sound like he can't really be bothered with it.
 

octophone

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God, it really drags the heart out of the album actually...I usually skip this.
 

octophone

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I love this. Apparently Warhol didn't because he was a stuck-up art bore with no sense of fun.
 

dmlaw

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I'm not sure how you would tell if Warhol liked anything.

I like the guitar sound towards the end of the song. It makes it sound quite alien.
 

octophone

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There's something a little bit needy about having a song called "Andy Warhol" and then "Song For Bob Dylan" - it feels a bit like trying to get some reflected attention.
 

octophone

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SFBD has a better sound and a more enthusiastic group performance than the song really deserves.
 

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