End of Chapter One (1964-1968)


This seems a good place to pause and take a breath. Next in line is the first Big Bowie Song (oh, you know which one it is), so I’ll need some time to get the entry together.

For four years, David Bowie had been trying to become a pop star. He made nine singles, one LP, and went through six bands, three managers and four labels. By the end of 1968 he was in a folk trio scrounging for gigs, didn’t have a record contract and had a girlfriend who wanted him to get into something more respectable. The Bowie story easily could have ended right then…

For what it’s worth, here’s my Top 10 from this period. What’s yours?

Silly Boy Blue.
The Laughing Gnome.
The London Boys.
There Is a Happy Land.
London Bye Ta-Ta.
Baby Loves That Way.
Karma Man.
I Dig Everything.
Can’t Help Thinking About Me.
Liza Jane.

Top: changing of the guard, London, 1968.

8 Responses to End of Chapter One (1964-1968)

  1. spanghew says:

    Hmm… No time right now to build a top ten – but I’ll say that of the ones you mention, I’d rate “Can’t Help Thinking About Me” very near the top, with at least “Silly Boy Blue,” “There Is a Happy Land,” and “I Dig Everything” getting positive mention. Oh – and that “When I’m Five” track is rather haunting. Much new-to-me stuff in this first period (most of the unreleased stuff) – but bravo on the site so far!

  2. TheGee says:

    Great work so far. Been enjoying this.
    As for a Top Ten, I am not sure the period warrants one!
    Personal faves include When I’m Five and I quite liked There Is a Happy Land.
    For me it’s all about what happens later but all your work so far is interesting background.

  3. Ian says:

    Ooh, I’ll have a go (a go in no particular order). Can’t, for the moment, take the time to write out a more specific Why, but…

    Maid of Bond Street
    Waiting For The Man (can’t resist the bass line)
    Karma Man
    Love You ‘Til Tuesday
    Over The Wall We Go
    When I Live My Dream (Pierrot version)
    Can’t Help Thinking About Me
    London Boys
    Liza Jane
    Laughing Gnome, yes sir.

  4. pilgrim says:

    Hmmm. A top ten of this period would be a real stretch. But “In the Heat of the Morning” and “Let Me Sleep Beside You” are surely better than “London Bye Ta-ta” and “Laughing Gnome” (I thoroughly enjoyed your defense of the latter, without being at all convinced by it)…

  5. Bill Luther says:

    Tough one but I accept your challenge:
    Baby Loves That Way
    The London Boys
    Come and Buy My Toys
    I’m Not Losing Sleep
    Silly Boy Blue
    I Can’t Help Thinking About Me
    Maid Of Bond Street
    Karma Man
    I Dig Everything
    Silver Tree Top School For Boys (home demo)

  6. nb says:

    i wanted to ask something of you re: your 1970-71 appraisal. Maybe you can shoot me a quick email, if you’d be so kind.

  7. Steve Ison says:

    Silver Tree Top School For Boys (top 2 easily)
    Let Me Sleep Beside You

    Karma Man (next best)
    In The Heat Of The Morning

    Laughing Gnome (The rest)
    Love You Till Tuesday
    There Is A Happy Land
    When I Live My Dream

  8. Elijah says:

    TVC15 is a great track, but it only works loud, and I mean very loud with the bass turned up. I grew up on reggae and funk bass lines and this song has it all: Funk, Soul, weill woven into absurdity. This track alone shows how unique he was/is

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