Friday, 8 July 2016

David Bowie "ChangesOneBowie" (1976)

On my musical journey Bowie had always been a destination Id planned on visiting but given his recent and unfortunate demise it prompted to pick up some of his records, something about the cover and name of this one made me feel like this is where I wanted to start. The months rolled by and with every passing listen familiarity crept in but no true understanding of his acclaimed genius became apparent. Its not often I listen to Glam and Folk Rock, it made me release the nuances of music your accustom to makes it much easier to digest and understand. In recent weeks though many of these songs have really got into my head and I find myself singing along, which is a great sign. One thing that became swiftly apparent was a lack of concept, direction or theme, the inclusion of a live performance a little odd but the records flow stylistically shifts from an arty tone to Glam Rock with slight Country tinges on some songs. It hit me like a slap in the face when I looked it up online, its a greatest hits or compilation released in the midst of his acclaimed peak, the seventies.

So now I'm familiar with this selection of his songs but I more often prefer the album experience to understand the music and I don't have to many musings on this record either. With it not being what I'm used to its hard to find the words to express. One song that really stuck a chord with me was "Changes" with its lyric "Time may change me but I can't change time"... Deep and profound it gave me much to ponder over but then I thought "Ive heard this before!" and it hit me. Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit lifts the line on a track adding a "So fuck it" to the end of Bowie's introspective statement. My teenage self never found any meaning in Fred's butchering of the sentiment, or maybe I was to young to understand it.

To comment on a few other tracks, "Space Oddity" has quite the emotional progression as fictional astronaut "Major Tom" makes his way to the moon, slow, brooding and fragile strings build a subtle tension that blossoms into a moment of wonder with a shift of pace and inclusion of a flute lead, Bowie singing about sitting in a tin can. The guitar then brings a momentary groove to the track before enigmatic strings snap us back to the setting. Its scenic and quite the narrative song with a lot of charm. "Suffragette City" packs a punch with overdriven guitar riffs making quite the racket and jiving piano chords being played with force. Its fast, upbeat and climaxed by a tonal guitar solo in the middle of the track. I really enjoyed this and will continue to listen to more of Bowie's record. Next time it wont be a compilation.

Rating: 8/10