Sunday, January 23, 2011

station to station

The Thin White Duke found faith and transcendence in the midst of paranoia during the filming of 'The Man Who Fell To Earth'. Bowie says this new persona was "ice masquerading as fire" and born of a dangerous drug habit which left him paranoid and miserable. Recorded in a haze of "cocaine, red peppers, and milk", 'Station to Station' bridges the blue-eyed soul of 'Young Americans' with the electronic experimentalism of the 'Berlin Trilogy' of 'Low', '"Heroes"', and 'Lodger' that was to follow. A chilly techno-pop brings an edge to his artful disco as the slinky vagabond mixes glossy textures with plastic soul. In the US it was the highest charting album of his entire career (until 
), peaking at number three.

The title track opens the album with the sound of an approaching train that announces his new musical direction in a wail of feedback that starts chugging along toward a frenetic climax. It features a "hybridization of R&B and electronics" and references the Stations of the Cross and the Kabbalah ("from Kether to Malkuth").

"Here are we one magical moment
Such is the stuff from
Where dreams are woven
Bending sound
Dredging the ocean lost in my circle"

David may have been drunk during this performance of 'Golden Years' on Soul Train. It was a natural choice for leadoff single since it was closer to the hit making sound of 'Young Americans' than the rest of the album. It was a top ten hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Some of these days, and it won't be long
Going to drive back down where you once belonged
In the back of a dream car twenty foot long
Don't cry my sweet, don't break my heart
Doing all right, but you got to get smart
Wish upon, wish upon, day upon day,
I believe, oh lord I believe all the way"

"There were days of such psychological terror when making the Roeg film that I nearly started to approach my reborn, born again thing. It was the first time I'd really seriously thought about Christ and God in any depth, and 'Word on a Wing' was a protection. It did come as a complete revolt against elements that I found in the film. The passion in the song was genuine... something I needed to produce from within myself to safeguard myself against some of the situations I felt were happening on the film set."

"Oh sweet name, I call you again, you're born once again for me
Just because I believe don't mean I don't think as well
Don't have to question everything in heaven or hell"

The swinging 'TVC15' was inspired by a hallucination that Iggy Pop had at Bowie's home in LA where he thought that his girlfriend disappeared into a television and wanted to follow her. It was a top forty hit in the UK.

"Maybe if I pray every, each night I sit there pleading
"Send back my dream test baby,
She's my main feature"
My T V C one five, he, he just
Stares back unblinking
So hologramic"

The funky frustration of 'Stay' was released as a single in the US to complete indifference. It is one of his lost classics.

"'Cause you can never really tell
When somebody wants something you want too"

The pure emotion of 'Wild is the Wind' was inspired by Nina Simone's version.

"You touch me
I hear the sound of mandolins
You kiss me
With your kiss my life begins
You're spring to me
All things to me
Don't you know you're life itself?"

'Station to Station' 

full album: 

David Bowie - Station to Station (full album HQ)
by ClevelandAdler

00:00 "Station to Station"
10:15 "Golden Years"
14:14 "Word on a Wing"
20:19 "TVC 15"
25:53 "Stay"
32:09 "Wild Is the Wind"

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