David Bowie – The greatest comeback album in the history of rock and roll?

by Charlie_East_West on February 26, 2013

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David Bowie….Jesus Pole-Vaulting Christ, where do I begin with David Bowie?

The great man is about to release his first album (The Next Day) in almost a decade at the ripe old age of 66. The early reviews bode well. The Telegraph, Guardian and Independent have all given it a big thumbs up. The Telegraph’s Neil McCormick stated that The Next Day is “a thing of wonder”, while the Independent’s Andy Gill claimed it was “the greatest comeback album in rock’n’roll history.”

Now, we all know that music critics like to lurch around the hyperbole, and in the case of Bowie, it might just be a case of a bunch of middle aged critics who are desperately willing to recall the glories of their own formative Bowie listening years by shouting from the rooftops on anything relating to the Thin White Duke. If Bowie were to release ‘Humpty Dumpty’ as his new opus, I am sure that few music snobs would highlight the dystopian, post-modernist influences within the song.

Bowie is not perfect – his Tin Machine phase was dodgy, even more so his mid 70’s drug fuelled sympathies towards fascism and that bizarre Nazi salute at Victoria station. But, unlike our coalition Government, he will be able to preserve his AAA credit rating for ever. His back catalogue is that good. His Berlin trilogy is still up there amongst my favourite albums of all time – in particular the incomparable ‘Heroes’ album.

Regarding Bowie’s new album, the signs are really good. The first two singles from the new album are beautiful. ‘Where Are We Now’ wistfully recalls his mid 70’s Berlin era, and the latest single ‘The Stars (Are Out Tonight)’ reflects about the futile and vacuous nature of celebrity.

It looks like the old boy has pulled it off. The fact that Bowie is still relevant is really important. In this day and age we have an inconvenient truth that Mumford & Sons, One Direction and Coldplay are the three biggest bands on the planet. We have a popular culture that is full of celebrity nobodies. We have reality television invading the brain space of people who should really be finding something much better to watch. We have books being replaced by electrical reading devices. We have the slow death of rock and roll music as the money men replace real music with a bunch of preppy pretty boys trashing old classic songs into dreadful cover songs. We have a society that appears to have lost the art of thoughtfulness. We have a recession which is crying out for some poetic rage against the state we are in. So, we are in need of a nudge towards a direction somewhere else. A real direction, not One Direction. Once again, it falls upon the old master to teach us all a few lessons in quality control.

I will leave you with three recent sets of lyrics. I know which one I prefer. God help you if you prefer the first two.

“So you can hurt, hurt me bad, but still I’ll raise the flag. Wooh, it was a wa-ah-ah-ah-aterfall. A wa-ah-ah-ah-aterfall. Oh, Oh, every tear, every tear, every teardrop is a waterfall.”
– Coldplay

“And I’ll kneel down. Wait for now. And I’ll kneel down. Know my ground. And I will wait, I will wait for you. And I will wait, I will wait for you.”
– Mumford & Sons

“Twenty thousand people, Gross Bose Brucke, Fingers are crossed, Just in case. Walking the dead.”
– David Bowie

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

George_East February 26, 2013 at 2:18 pm

The greatest comeback in the history of rock n roll? Elvis in 1968. 8 years of shitey films, then the brilliance of the NBC special and his second late great period. I am looking forward to the Bowie album, mind and really hope it is as good as its advance press.

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Ray_North February 26, 2013 at 4:05 pm

‘Shitey films’ I think you’ll find that Alloah is a work of genius my friend!

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George_East February 26, 2013 at 5:04 pm

By which I take it you mean either the dreadful Blue Hawaii or the even worse Paradise Hawaiian Style. I have the dubious privilege of being able to say I have, thanks to my mother, seen both.

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Ray_North February 26, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Wasn’t there one called Alloah or Alloha Elvis or am I speaking from Bollocks corner?
….again..

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George_East February 26, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Alloha From Hawaii. Fat Elvis live show.

Charlie_East_West February 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm

A good call on the Elvis NBC special. Men wanted to be him, women wanted to be with him.
“If you are looking for trouble, you came to the right place.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y3YM0WyXJk

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Charlie_East_West February 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I have altered the title accordingly…

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Charlie_East_West February 27, 2013 at 9:33 am

I love how Bowie has made a complete mockery of this type of lazy journalism.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2219928/David-Bowie-recluse-How-Ziggy-Stardust-turned-fame.html

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Charlie_East_West February 27, 2013 at 9:55 am

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