Saturday, 19 March 2016

Popular Music - January 2016

Tori Amos - To Venus and Back (venus orbiting)
Tori Amos - American Doll Posse
David Bowie - Never Let Me Down
Deborah Conway - Bitch Epic
Jars of Clay - Jars of Clay
Moloko - Do You Like My Tight Sweater?
Agnes Obel - Aventine
Simply Red - Picture Book
Third Day - Come Together

It so happened that the death of David Bowie perfectly coincided with me listening to one of his worst albums.That's not just my assessment, it's a very widely held view, even by Bowie himself.

Because of my rules about what goes into this blog, most of the albums in my extremely slow and intermittent exploration of Bowie's work don't appear here. Only the albums I've purchased "earn" a mention, and Never Let Me Down is one of the several I picked up cheaply some years ago. That was mainly on the strength of the title track which I've always enjoyed a fair amount. But the album on the whole does tend towards being tedious.

It does mark a significant milestone, however, in that it represents the end of "Bowie that I know". That's not entirely true - there are one or two later songs that I'm familiar with. But it's the end of the era where I'd be confident of knowing most of the singles. It's the end of the era where Bowie could be expected to be heard on the radio. It's the end of the 3-disc best-of I eventually purchased, before deciding to go on this fuller exploration.

So off I go into the unknown. Whether there will be any reports back here will depend on whether I purchase any of the later albums.

But while I'm here let me say this: even though my own reaction to his work is sometimes mixed, the impact of the man on popular music is undeniable. At its best his music is superb, but the greater impact was often from his stylistic choices. Every modern pop star who changes their aesthetic from album to album owes a considerable debt to Bowie.

No comments:

Post a Comment