Saturday, December 17, 2011

hunky dory

The Actor found a new record label and finally hit his stride with the cinematic sweep of this kaleidoscopic pop masterpiece. David Bowie hadn’t been able to follow up the success of ‘Space Oddity’ and was embroiled in a legal battle with his former manager Ken Pitt. Abandoning the heavy rock sound of ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ along with producer and bassist Tony Visconti, he promoted engineer Ken Scott to co-produce his new album. He did not have a recording contract when the sessions began at Trident Studios in London; but the tapes impressed executives at RCA Records and they signed him to a three album deal. The sound of ‘Hunky Dory’ prominently features the pianowork of session man Rick Wakeman. Guitar ace Mick Ronson also contributed mellotron and string arrangements. The rhythm section retained Mick Woodmansey on drums and added Trevor Bolder on bass and trumpet.

Bowie says 'Changes' "started out as a parody of a nightclub song, a kind of throwaway". It was his first single for RCA and his first to chart in the US, peaking at number forty-one. It's theme of reinvention and exploration made it an anthem for the changlings.

"I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
So the days float through my eyes
But stil the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through"

"Oh! You Pretty Things" was inspired by the writings of Aleister Crowley and Friedrich Nietzsche.

"What are we coming to
No room for me, no fun for you
I think about a world to come
Where the books were found by the golden ones
Written in pain, written in awe
By a puzzled man who questioned
What we were here for
All the strangers came today
And it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh you pretty things (oh you pretty things)
Don't you know you're driving your
Mamas and papas insane
Oh you pretty things (oh you pretty things)
Don't you know you're driving your
Mamas and papas insane
Let me make it plain
You gotta make way for the homo superior"


"Life on Mars?" was released as a single in 1973 and went to number three in the UK. Bowie wrote it as his own version of 'My Way'; Paul Anka's rewrite of Claude Fran├žois’ “Comme d’Habitude”, which Bowie had rewritten himself as “Even a Fool Learns to Love” . The song pokes fun at some of Frank Sinatra's film roles.

"Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?"

Bowie wrote "Kooks" after the birth of his son Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones, inspired by Neil Young.
"Will you stay in our Lovers' Story
If you stay you won't be sorry
'Cause we believe in you
Soon you'll grow so take a chance
With a couple of Kooks
Hung up on romancing"


"Fill Your Heart" was written by Biff Rose and Paul Williams.

Fill your heart with love today
Don't play the game of time
Things that happened in the past
Only happened in your Mind
Only in your Mind, ah forget your Mind
And you'll be free-yeah
The writing's n the wall
Free-yeah And you can know it all
If you choose. Just remember
Lovers never lose
'Cause they are Free of thoughts unpure
And of thoughts unkind
Gentleness clears the soul
Love cleans the mind
And makes it Free

"Andy Warhol"

"Like to take a cement fix
Be a standing cinema
Dress my friends up just for show
See them as they really are
Put a peephole in my brain
Two New Pence to have a go
I'd like to be a gallery
Put you all inside my show"


"Queen Bitch" draws heavily from the music of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground.

"She's an old-time ambassador
Of sweet talking night walking games
Oh and she's known in the darkest clubs for pushing ahead of the dames
And if she says she can do it then she can do it
She don't make false claims
Oh she's a queen and such are queens
That your laughter is sucked in their brains
Now she's leading him on, and she'll lay him right down
Yes she's leading him on, and she'll lay him right down
But it could've been me, yes it could've been me
Why didn't I say, why didn't I say?"


'Hunky Dory'

full album:

All tracks written by David Bowie, except where noted.

Side one
1. "Changes"   3:37
2. "Oh! You Pretty Things"   3:12
3. "Eight Line Poem"   2:55
4. "Life on Mars?"   3:53
5. "Kooks"   2:53
6. "Quicksand"   5:08
Side two
7. "Fill Your Heart" (Biff Rose, Paul Williams) 3:07
8. "Andy Warhol"   3:56
9. "Song for Bob Dylan"   4:12
10. "Queen Bitch"   3:18
11. "The Bewlay Brothers"   5:22

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