The Liner/Sleeve Notes:
Yesterday on January 10, 2016 the world lost an icon, an innovator and a very brave and inspiring man. Bowie was my all time favorite musician, and his music helped me through a lot of hard times. Hearing of his passing is not an easy thing to accept, but we can only help his legacy live on with his music, and here is one of his finest pieces of work, ‘Hunky Dory’.
So, we begin this album with the wonderful track, and probably the title track of Bowie’s career “Changes” (and the title track of my high school days) and immediately we get into a really great track, the way Bowie sings and the backing musicianship leading up to the chorus all make everything on this opening track fantastic. Bowie is an extremely talented musician. This song, like many of Bowie’s songs helped me through a lot of my rougher moments in time, and like the song goes “Time may change me, but I can’t change time.” Next up, we go onto one of my favorite Bowie tracks, “Oh! You Pretty Things” and the opening piano riff is amazing, Bowie continues deliver a fantastic track, and the lyrics, vocals and piano all build up the magnificent chorus in this great track, and that chorus is one of the greatest choruses written by David Bowie, Bowie was a genius. It’s then followed by “Eight Line Poem” which the guitar playing in this track is superb, it’s soft and sweet. The vocals are a little slow, but after all, it is a poem, and Bowie once more delivers it beautifully, this man is beyond talented. We then go onto the one of Bowie’s greatest masterpieces, “Life On Mars?” and the opening piano, to the structure of the lyrics, and the build up to the chorus, it’s a beautiful track. No one can ever quite compare to Bowie. The chorus comes around, and well, Bowie is just fantastic, the man is a legend. Everything about this album, is great, everything about this song is great. I think the song is one of the most emotionally driven ballads of the seventies. The album continues with the song “Kooks” and it’s more upbeat, I believe the song is one of those songs that seems to have a really positive meaning behind it, and features a lot of words of encouragement, if anything Bowie taught a lot of us (especially myself) to not be afraid of who we are, and songs quite like this, give his fans, the people, a lot of motivation. The A-Side closes with ever-so-wonderful and emotionally charged “Quicksand” and the opening guitar playing followed by Bowie’s almost a cappella vocals are, well, it’s unbelievable that such a man as talented as Bowie can even exist. When listening to any of Bowie’s greatest 70’s albums you can feel the emotion and heart in his songs. Bowie also has no issue telling it like it is with the lyric “I can’t take my eyes from the great salvation of bullshit faith” – and then we just continue picking up with this album.
The B-Side opens with the track “Fill Your Heart” and it’s not upbeat song, that is arranged beautifully and has great musicianship, everything from the piano playing to the lyrics and vocals are amazing. Bowie continues to impress us with this album. The album continues on with another one of Bowie’s greatest tracks, “Andy Warhol” which opens with some great piano playing by Rick Wakeman as Bowie explains the title, then we get some guitar strumming, laughing and we go into the song, and it’s a great track, the whole song is a masterpiece. I’m especially keen on the guitar playing that is featured on this track, it’s really captivating. The song is extremely well done. Then we go onto the song titled “Song for Bob Dylan” and the opening guitar playing again is just phenomenal, and the song is literally about Bob Dylan and his career, and it’s great to see one of the greatest musicians in rock music, singing about another one of the greats of rock music. This song is really great, and it’s sad that we can’t expect anymore greatness from Bowie. We then go onto one of my all time favorite Bowie songs, and my motivation song from high school, “Queen Bitch” and right from that opening riff and into the vocals, up to the chorus, this song is a masterpiece, another one of Bowie’s fantastic hits. Bowie’s vocal work on this album is just superb, there is nothing more amazing than this mans vocals, his ability to be able to sing in many tones, and various different ways has always fascinated me. The album closes with another emotionally charged track, and another one of my favorites from David Bowie, “The Bewlay Brothers” closes the album. It starts soft and slow, and Bowie delivers those vocals like magic, while being accompanied by amazing guitar playing, the song begins to pick up in pace and musicianship. We do that little pick-up, and then we go back to the slower vocals, and it’s just an amazing track. Again the song picks up, and Bowie’s vocals just go to show how amazing this man is as a musician and singer. Then comes that really baritone-y part of the song and we close the album.
Thank you David Bowie for showing me to not be afraid of who I am as a person. Rock on with Lou Reed.
A1 – Changes
A2 – Oh! You Pretty Things
A3 – Eight Line Poem
A4 – Life on Mars?
A5 – Kooks
A6 – Quicksand
B1 – Fill Your Heart
B2 – Andy Warhol
B3 – Song for Bob Dylan
B4 – Queen Bitch
B5 – The Bewlay Brothers
“Life on Mars?”
Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Producer & Remix – Ken Scott
Guitar & Arrangements – Michael Ronson
Drums – Woody Woodmansey
Trumpets & Bass – Trevor Bolder
Piano – Rick Wakeman
Guitar, Saxophone, Piano & Vocals – David Bowie
‘Fill Your Heart’ Arranged by Arthur G. Wright
Photos – Brian Ward
Art – Terry Underwood & Main Artory
Other Albums I Own by David Bowie:
“China Girl / Shake It”
“Let’s Dance / Cat People (Putting Out Fire)”
“Life on Mars?: 40th Anniversary”
“Loving the Alien (Extended Dance Mix) / Don’t Look Down”
“Never Let Me Down”
“The Next Day”
“The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars”
“Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)”
“Space Oddity / The Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud”