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Monday, 11 January 2016

Bowie

So here's my experience with Bowie.

I first heard the Ziggy Stardust album many years ago while making my way through Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of all time. I'd never heard anything so psychadelic and with such a fascinating story. The songs Ziggy Stardust and Suffragette City shot straight into my most loved list.

When I heard the album Just Dance, I was blown away by how different it was to the former. I was compelled to look into it further. It turns out Bowie's been a master of reinvention. From the beginning of his career, flitting around as a well-presented man in a suit named Davey Jones, to the androgynous, messianic Ziggy Stardust, to uncaring showman the Thin White Duke.

I saw an exhibit on Bowie at the Australian Center for the Moving Image in Melbourne. Seeing the way he collects influences from all sorts of sources that you wouldn't think had anything to do with music. The one that stuck out most came from the release of the first ever colour photo of Earth from afar. It's such a weird idea to me that before that photo, nobody knew that the Earth was blue. Bowie saw this photo and made a note in his journal that said "Planet Earth is blue, and there's nothing I can do." It became one of the most famous lines in his entire discography.

Bowie isn't my favourite singer. If given the choice, I'd rather listen to 90s punk bands like Green Day and Blink 182. But he's without a doubt my favourite artist The one thing I can take from him is his incredible knack for creativity and the way he takes influence from everywhere to create crazy, new, unique ideas.


28 comments:

  1. Bowie made some memorable music. Sad that he's gone now.

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    Replies
    1. Someone on Facebook pointed out that everyone sharing one of his songs shared a different one.

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  2. He paved the way for constant reinventors like Madonna and Lady Gaga.

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    Replies
    1. I never thought of it like that, that's a great point.

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  3. Reinvention probably happens when it is hard to come up with something totally different from the get go. I have a nephew who writes and performs his own music... Chicago Farmer. He plays venues around the Midwest.

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    1. Does he name Bowie as one of his influences?

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  4. He wasn't afraid to take chances. I'm hearing his music on all the radio stations today.

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    1. And as one commentator pointed out, despite all his different images and styles, he never once did anything that could now be considered daggy or old-hat.

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  5. I saw the news, and now I'm sad. *sigh*

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  6. A man of immense talent. His latest album, released on his birthday, is his gift to us all. And I believe it is wonderful.

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    1. I haven't listened to it yet. I bet it'll rocket up the chart now.

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  7. I am sad about David Bowie. All the posts about him make me feel a bit better because he was appreciated. I like Green Day, too. My daughter who hates me saw the stage show of American Idiot in Berkeley, California, before it went to Broadway. She met Billie Joe Armstrong's mom and son that night (she still talked to me then). Billy Joe's mom is very proud of him. I hope David Bowie knew that people who loved him were proud of him.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. That sounds so awesome, I'd love to see the American Idiot stage show. Bowie was certainly loved. I agree, I hope he knew it too.

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  8. This was so sad to hear today!

    Let's dance,
    Put on your red shoes and dance the blues
    Let's dance,
    To the song they're playin' on the radio

    Whenever I see red shoes I think of this song!

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  9. He wasn't my favorite, either, but he should have been. I love art rock, weird seventies stuff, big cult bands... He was the touchstone for all of that.

    I was born too late to appreciate his best as I should.

    The Ziggy Stardust album is fantastic, though.

    This was a great tribute.

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    1. It's great that you can still see his value as an artist.

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  10. Sad news! Hopefully his music and vision will continue to inspire.

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  11. He was so unique, constantly reinventing and yet maintaining a high quality. So glad his work will live on and influence the future

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    1. He liked to keep pushing himself just a little bit further.

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  12. It's sad he's no longer with us. He influenced and inspired so many of us with his uniqueness and artistry.

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  13. I am still deeply sad over his passing. I actually had to write a post about him today.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that. I'll check it out when I get home.

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  14. I'm the same, not my favourite musician but one of my favourite artists and people.

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