End of Chapter Four (1973-1975)

Haven’t done one of these in a while, so here are my top 10 faves from the Diamond Dogs to Station to Station era. Very epic-heavy, this lot:

Station To Station.
Word On a Wing.
Rebel Rebel.
Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise).
Young Americans.
Golden Years.
Who Can I Be Now?
Diamond Dogs.

So: Pushing Ahead of the Dame is going to become a book, eventually, thanks to the interest of Zero Books. It most likely will be two volumes, the first (probably) ending with “Station to Station,” hence the grandiose climactic tone of that recent entry. More details to come when I have ’em.

Why buy a book consisting of stuff that’s already on the Internet for free? An essential question of the 21st Century. As an enticement, the song essays in the book will be substantially rewritten, many will be expanded (though a few gassy overlong essays will get trimmed) and, mercifully, all of them will be edited by professionals. The new essays will be more informative, less digressive, funnier and more coherent; they will be far better looking and will have better manners than their ancestors. So consider picking the book up, whenever it arrives.

Top: Normko, “Regent Street, 1975.”

25 Responses to End of Chapter Four (1973-1975)

  1. David says:

    Congratulations. This is one of the few blogs that eminently deserves to become a book and deserves a far wider audience.

  2. David L says:

    Yes, congrats. Your writing, aside from being informative and entertaining, has helped me appreciate Bowie’s work more. I had previously written off Diamond Dogs as dreary whining and Young Americans as plastic soul, but reading your entries caused me to reconsider the music, and now I realize that those albums were ambitious works of art from Bowie’s most creative stage. In fact, I think Young Americans may be my favorite album now (after swapping out “Universe” for “Who Can I Be Now?” and “It’s Gonna Be Me,” of course, ha ha). Young Americans may be his warmest album, the one where he wasn’t afraid to bear his inner most feelings; he seems to be genuinely reaching out to his audience and trying to share some inspiration and beauty. I didn’t see that before, and it really becomes apparent after hearing the two tracks that were cut from the album. So congrats again and thanks.

  3. David L says:

    Forgot to mention, another thing I really dig about your site is to illustrate the entries with period photos that may or may not directly feature Bowie himself. Love it.

  4. snoball says:

    Congratulations, will definitely pick this up when it becomes a book/two books.

  5. Wrkshy says:

    Can I give you my money already?

    A nod to what David L said. I hope some of the great photos will appear in the book too (hopefully the licensing fees won’t blow the budget).

  6. ian says:

    What? Nothing off of Pinups? I jest, of course— though that section was continually interesting because of the dense histories involved. I’d never heard a single one (I Can’t Explain not included) of the originals before I heard Pinups (not even See Emily Play!). So it was kind of eye-opening to learn how sort of half-baked that album truly is. Still, it’s a great album to listen to while, like, sweeping. Or doing the dishes.

    Congratulations are still (and always) in order! I’ll start hocking guitars to buy the book if I have to!

  7. ian says:

    Oh! And I just looked at the website for Zero Books. What great design they have! Your book will really look excellent in that minimal layout they’ve got. Double-excited, now.

  8. diamonddog says:

    Great news and much deserved you need to expand some articles I was expecting more on some tracks though I cannot fault the research well done I may pick a copy second hand LOL!!

  9. giospurs says:

    Great news.

    This would make a fantastic book. The only shame would be the lack of the youtube links. I’ve enjoyed reading each entry while listening to the various versions.
    Nevertheless, it would make a reference book to rival Ian Macdonald’s Revolution in the Head.

    • martyn watson says:

      Any rival to ‘Revolution In The Head’ would need to have access to studio records/personnel, multi-tracks etc.

  10. Deacon Lowdown says:

    Congratulations! I’m looking forward to it very much. Are you going to be able to use the photos, though, or will you have to find new ones for copyright purposes?

  11. col1234 says:

    Well thanks all of you. The photos in the book?—probably not, due to licensing issues. I do try, whenever possible, to use Creative Commons photos I find on Flickr, and if there’s a particularly great shot, I’ll try to contact the photographer and see if they’re interested. Still, it’s quite early days on this project, and I’m not sure how the book will turn out.

    The photos, which probably are as popular, if not more so, than the writing on this blog, are a happy accident. As you can see in the early entries, it originally was just shots of Bowie, or his LP covers or 45s. Then, when faced with coming up with 13 different photos for DB’s first album, I hit upon using photos from the same year as recording, and on it went. (If anyone has any good shots from the late ’70s, particularly from Germany, the UK, France or Switzerland, please let me know.)

  12. Chris Cleary says:

    I’d buy it in a shot. Well done.

  13. Joe the Lion says:

    Great stuff, and looking forward to the book(s) – it’ll go next to the Nicholas Pegg as the best written and most authoritative available. Love this blog.

  14. martyn watson says:

    I’m with you all the way. I see that (from the comments above) that you are making some horses drink from the water that David led them to. Well done.

  15. LondonLee says:

    This blog long ago topped books like Charles Shaar Murray’s ‘Bowie: The Illustrated Record’ so well done, richly deserved.

    You do like the moody ballads don’t you?

  16. don says:

    can’t wait for the book!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Diego says:

    Congratulations for the book, and for this awesome blog. I would buy the book, several times if needed, for Bowie enthusiasts that I know that don’t usually follow blogs. And for myself, that’s for sure. Well done!

  18. sekaer says:

    Bra-freakin’-vo!! I’m always on here lauding this and telling friends, so one more won’t hurt. Don’t let them take out the “formal” bits about composition, chords, etc!

  19. Ass_Hat says:

    congratulations! thoroughly deserved. of course a book makes sense: you can’t give someone an internet for christmas, or put it on a coffee table. your photo choices are always excellent, so i hope zero books can sort you out on that front.

  20. Fact Checking Cuz says:

    Incredibly excited here. Our esteemed author greatly deserves the accolades and will be a pleasure for the publishers to work with (I work in publishing). He’s been warming up for this blog and book most of his life, and I have a vastly improved music collection to thank for it. Congratulations!!

  21. Brian says:

    I’ve liked this site for a while, and it’s managed to be consistently amazing, just like David Bowie. I’d buy the book in a heartbeat.

  22. Ivan Karamazov says:

    I may have said it elsewhere on this blog – but your work is some of the finest literary/pop culture criticism I’ve read in a long time. It is a privilege to read it gratis, and I look forward to the book.

  23. Pierce says:

    If I may:

    Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing
    Diamond Dogs
    We are the Dead
    Who Can I Be Now
    Young Americans
    Station to Station
    Word on a Wing
    Golden Years

  24. 1. Wild is the Wind
    2. Candidate (Demo)
    3. Fame
    4. Rebel Rebel
    5. Station to Station
    6. Big Brother
    7. 1984
    8. Rock’n Roll with Me
    9. Young Americans
    10. Stay

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