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What EVERY music magazine always says about David Bowie

March 3, 2013


PHASE ONE: C’or Blimey guv’nor, he’s only an Anthony Newley-loving Cockernee mod abaaaht Swinging Landahn town, blowing on his old saxophone and making plans. ‘Turbulent family background’ important if you want to indulge in a pop psychology you aren’t qualified for.

PHASE TWO: Ziggy years require only words and two constantly recycled anecdotes. Androgynous, freakish, otherworldly (if you are of a literary bent), gender bending, freakish (again), outer space. Always use picture of him simulating ‘adult act’ on Mick Ronson as the latter plays guitar. For anecdotes: talk about how, while watching Top of the Pops, your dad asked whether he was ‘a bloody man or a woman,’ but also stress that Bowie ‘made it OK for lonely outsider teenagers in depressed 1970s Britain to be different.’

PHASE THREE: Nazi salutes/ occult/ cocaine/ isolation/ paranoia. Lou Reed/ Andy Warhol/ John & Yoko/ he calls Iggy ‘Jim’. (In working class communities would be described as the ‘off his ‘ead’ years.) The rather conventional Young Americans album is often overlooked because it doesn’t fit the ‘otherworldly’ narrative.

PHASE FOUR: Low/ Heroes/ Lodger – Berlin, isolation, Cold War, heroin, Iggy, misfits, arty, bohemian, trans-sexual love, possible homosexual liaisons, Hansa Studios. Innumerable references to the Berlin Wall, despite loads of the album not being recorded in Berlin.

PHASE FIVE: 80s – Ashes to Ashes/ Let’s Dance/ bad suits/ Glass Spider debacle/ Live Aid/ Mick Jagger and dad dancing/ creative exhaustion. Prepare the way for Tin Machine excoriation. Don’t mention Phil Cornwell’s freakishly brilliant impression.

PHASE SIX: Tin Machine – mostly awful, but we’ll find one writer who, for 250 quid will say ‘actually, it’s time for a critical reappraisal of Tin Machine for its artistic bravery.’

PHASE SEVEN: Pretend to like the new album.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2013 1:16 am

    There’s one phrase missing – ‘his best album since Scary Monsters’, It never is,,,

  2. March 3, 2013 2:07 am

    Thanks! You just saved me several hours’ worth of reading 🙂

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