Tuesday, 8 January 2013

More Hazy Cosmic Jive?

David Bowie hasn't had a song in the British top ten since 1992, his last number one was in 1985 and that was for Band Aid and the last decent song he put out was 'Under Pressure' and that was with Queen in 1981.
Like many of the dinosaurs of music, Bowie is one of those who somehow managed to stick around due to his past glories, much in the hope that he may have something decent still in his locker but nobody brave enough to tell him to call it a day and go home.
Now he is back again with a new single and a new album and the Bowie public relations people are trying to drum up interest in it as though it is one of the biggest things to happen in music, it isn't, it's only David Bowie.      
Credit where it is due, during the 70s he had some great songs, Starman, Jean Genie, Life on Mars and Rebel Rebel but that well ran dry a long time ago and instead of him and the likes of Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger riding off into the sunset far away from a recording studio, they kept on going and watered down what would have been an impressive back catalogue.
The argument is that if there wasn't still a fan base for the likes of Bowie, he would have been removed from our radio's a long time ago and i get that and think that it emphasises just how dire the musical competition is today.
If the charts were full of decent bands churning out cracking tunes instead of boy and girl bands doing the bland thing they do then David Bowie having an album out would just be a few lines in the music pages of the newspapers rather than receiving a mention on the BBC News.


Cheezy said...

As usual when it comes to music, I couldn't disagree more! Even if you forget about his legendary music of the 70s (which shat from a great height upon the likes of Queen), during the past quarter of a century Bowie's output has encompassed jungle & drum'n'bass, electronica, ambient, jazz, hip-hop, industrial... whereas the three other names that you mention have just been doing the same stuff, only doing it much, much worse. So, even if you don't like Bowie, I don't get that comparison at all... even his critics must admit that he hasn't been coasting or trying to rehash past glories.

Bowie may not always be brilliant these days but he is always at least interesting and sometimes he's fascinating. The new track is great too.

Lucy said...

The comparison was artists who carried on a long time after their peaks. For me, Bowie peaked in the 70s and then became part of the musical furniture, always there but not doing anything very memorable that really stood out and when he does retire, with the exception of dancing in the street from Live Aid, what he will be remembered for is the first ten years of his career.

Cheezy said...

"with the exception of dancing in the street from Live Aid"

That's a joke, right? :-D

The cool thing about Bowie is that he's reinvented himself so often that there's a lot of disagreement about when exactly his peak was. I'd agree that he was pretty unbeatable in the 70s but fans of poppier music prefer the 'Let's Dance' years (which sold much, much more than any previous albums, let's not forget).

I think there's a good comparison to be made with Neil Young here. Both may have peaked during the first decade of their careers, but thereafter they both kept exploring and following their respective muses, wherever it took them.

Lucy said...

I didn't say it was good, i said it was one of the things that he would be remembered for after the 70s period. If you are a fan you probably carried on following him but to the rest of us he fell off the radar.