Friday, May 31, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Low" (1977)

"Low" - David Bowie (1977)

"Low" is my favorite from Bowie's 'Berlin Trilogy' phase and was his 11th album.  It fluctuates around in my top-5 Bowie albums but never has quite settled.  "Low" is a great album though. all about experimental electronica and snarling, jarring guitars.

Side A is short and catchy with Bowie throwing out cool lyrics over cool synths and guitar rhythms.  Nothing ever sounds complete.  Nothing ever gets resolved.
Side B is colder and very...Brian Eno-esque.  All instrumental.  And though I have no reason to doubt Bowie was actively involved in the all sounds very..." tastes great, less filling" like.  And again, nothing really sounds complete.  Nothing gets resolved.  Perhaps it's all a metaphor for our pathetic little lives.  And maybe that was the point.  And maybe me thinks too much!

I absolutely love side A.  And sometimes...I love side B.  But only sometimes.
And then there are those times when I absolutely need them both.  It can all be so alienating.  Historically, this record will always be held up as a musical envelope pusher.  And it's remarkable how fresh and exciting this record still sounds today.  I read somewhere that when "Low" was first released, customers would test their stereo equipment with this album.  Me, I like headphones and this one goes a long way to scratching that sweet spot.

"Low" (back)

My copy was rescued from the collection of "Garageman" Gary Hess.  He brought it up to one of the regular Hutchinson Record Swaps.  The album has a gold promo stamp embossed on the back cover, however, there was nothing identifying it as such on the RCA Victor label.  Oh yeah, about my top five Bowie albums. Right now I have...
1)  "Ziggy..."
2)  "Station..."
3)  "Hunky Dory"
4)  "Low"
5)  "Scary Monsters."

I'm actively looking for a clean copy of "Diamond Dogs" which is sorely underrated and might give the list a push.  As for Bowie's later stuff, I haven't tasted much, is what it is.
FWIW..."Low" ranks #249 on RS list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

RCA Victor label

"What In The World" - David Bowie / "Low" (1977)

A1  "Speed of Life" 2:46
A2  "Breaking Glass" 1:51
A3  "What in the World" 2:23
A4  "Sound and Vision" 3:03
A5  "Always Crashing in the Same Car" 3:29
A6  "Be My Wife" 2:55
A7  "A New Career in a New Town" 2:51
B1  "Warszawa" 6:20
B2  "Art Decade" 3:43
B3  "Weeping Wall" 3:26
B4  "Subterraneans" 5:39

David Bowie - vocals, sax, guitar, pump bass, harmonica, vibraphone, xylophone, pre-arranged percussion,  keyboards, Synth, "instruments"
Brian Eno - keyboards, Minimoog, Synths, vocals, guitar treatments, "instruments"
Carlos Alomar - rhythm guitars, lead guitar
Dennis Davis - percussion
George Murray - bass
Ricky Gardiner - rhythm guitar, lead guitar
Roy Young - pianos. Farfisa organ
Iggy Pop - b-vocals
Mary Visconti - b-vocals
Eduard Meyer - cellos
Peter (Robinson) and Paul (Buckmaster) - pianos and ARP

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

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