Sunday, 31 January 2010

Review - David Bowie - David Bowie (Deluxe Edition)

David Bowie - David Bowie (Deluxe Edition)

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8 out of 10

Hardcore Bowie-philes will be overjoyed to hear the mono and stereo versions of the Dame's 1967 debut album, here packaged with contemporaneous singles and unreleased goodies. The rest of us, if we're interested at all, may only register its existence if we happen upon an old copy of Mojo magazine at the dentist's in a few months' time and then only because the review will contain a sarcastic mention of The Laughing Gnome. It's the hardcore who'll be laughing, though, as this oh-yeah-another-desperate-cash-in release contains many a golden moment and more than a couple of genuinely beautiful tracks; There Is A Happy Land, for instance, with its deceptively easy-listening accompaniment to Bowie as a heart-rending gatekeeper, standing between children and adulthood ('Mother calls and we don't hear / there's lots more things to do. . .'). When I'm Five occupies a similar space, wherein he sings of going to school and marrying his Mum (little kids say things like that in all their innocence - these days such a song would probably have the singer on the sex offenders register).

In these days of X-Factory clones and I-love-you, you-love-me, look-at-my-tits lyrical tedium, it takes a 30 year-old album written and arranged by a nineteen year-old with the help of the Observer Book of Music to remind us of the true artistry, graft and craft of song writing and the genuinely uplifting beauty it creates. And it's possibly the only album to list amongst its influences both Anthony Newley and Pink Floyd. Discarding it as a Vaudevillian aberration would be a tragedy.


Disc 1
1. Uncle Arthur
2. Sell Me A Coat
3. Rubber Band
4. Love You Till Tuesday
5. There Is A Happy Land
6. We Are Hungry Men
7. When I Live My Dream
8. Little Bombardier
9. Silly Boy Blue
10. Come And Buy My Toys
11. Join The Gang
12. She’s Got Medals
13. Maid Of Bond Street
14. Please Mr. Gravedigger
15. Uncle Arthur (Mono)
16. Sell Me A Coat (Mono)
17. Rubber Band (Mono)
18. Love You Till Tuesday (Mono)
19. There Is A Happy Land (Mono)
20. We Are Hungry Men (Mono)
21. When I Live My Dream (Mono)
22. Little Bombardier (Mono)
23. Silly Boy Blue (Mono)
24. Come And Buy My Toys (Mono)
25. Join The Gang (Mono)
26. She’s Got Medals (Mono)
27. Maid Of Bond Street (Mono)
28. Please Mr. Gravedigger (Mono)
Disc 2

1. Rubber Band (Single Version)
2. The London Boys
3. The Laughing Gnome
4. The Gospel According To Tony Day (Mono)
5. Love You Till Tuesday (Single Version)
6. Did You Ever Have A Dream
7. When I Live My Dream (Single Version - Mono)
8. Let Me Sleep Beside You
9. Karma Man
10. London, Bye, Ta Ta
11. In The Heat Of The Morning
12. The Laughing Gnome (Single Version - 2010 Stereo Mix)
13. The Gospel According To Tony Day (Single Version - 2010 Stereo Mix)
14. Did You Ever Have A Dream (Single Version - 2010 Stereo Mix)
15. Let Me Sleep Beside You
16. Karma Man (Stereo Mix)
17. In The Heat Of The Morning (Stereo Mix)
18. When I’m Five
19. Ching-A-Ling
20. Sell Me A Coat (Remix - Mono)
21. Love You Till Tuesday (BBC "Top Gear" 18/12/67 Mono)
22. When I Live My Dream (BBC "Top Gear" 18/12/67 Mono)
23. Little Bombardier (BBC "Top Gear" 18/12/67 Mono)
24. Silly Boy Blue (BBC "Top Gear" 18/12/67 Mono)
25. In The Heat Of The Morning (BBC "Top Gear" 18/12/67 Mono)

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