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Paul Reviews Bowie!

David Bowie Five Years 1969 – 1973 Deluxe LP Box Set

After 50 years in the industry, releasing 26 studio albums, starring in movies and theatre productions David Bowie is, if you will excuse the pun, still in fashion. For anyone who checked out the recent exhibition at ACME the interest is there for all to see, huge queues and people travelling from all over Australia to see it. Starting his recording career in 1964 under his own name David Jones, he released a couple of 7” singles before changing his surname to the more iconic Bowie (taken from Jim Bowie one of the heroes of the battle of The Alamo in Texas who also had a knife named after him)


This box set contains the first 6 studio albums all faithfully remastered on 180g Audiophile vinyl and housed in their original artwork. Space Oddity, his second album released 1n 1969 still has the folk feel of his first Self Titled album from 1967(not included in this box for some reason) The next offering,  The Man Who Sold The World, released in the UK 1971, sees Bowie collaborating with Mick Ronson and moving towards the image & sound he would be known for in the 70’s,  though the cover art featuring David in drag lying on a chaise longue proved too much for his American company and they changed the artwork to a strange Un-Bowie like cartoon cover. Next up and also released in 1971 was Hunky Dory, containing 2 hit singles Changes & Life On Mars and once again featuring androgynous artwork and to the horror of the record company no album or artist titles on the front. This didn’t seem to harm sales and perhaps helped created more of an aura of mystery, clever marketing. 1972 saw the release of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars, the album that broke him worldwide. It includes the hit singles Starman & Suffragette City and once again an interesting album cover taken in the backstreets of Soho London. After the rise and fall of the Ziggy character Bowie released his first album as a bona fide rock star in 1973. Aladdin Sane spawned The  Jean Genie, one of his most memorable singles written about his new friend and partner in crime Iggy Pop. As a sort of continuation to the Ziggy character the album received mixed reviews from the critics but the fans loved it, great songs and eye catching artwork once again. The final studio album in the box is the Pin Ups album, also released in 1973 it features 12 cover versions of songs that influenced Bowie. It includes tracks originally recorded by Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things, The Kinks & The Yardbirds. Despite the album not being a new Bowie album as such it was still well received and reached number 1 in the UK charts. Once again it contained classic artwork with a Vogue magazine shot of Bowie with Supermodel Twiggy.


Also included in the box are two double LP’s featuring live concerts from 1972 & 1973 plus two LP’s of rare & unreleased tracks and a beautifully produced book containing many rare & unseen photographs from this early period of his career. The book includes recording essays from Bowie producers Tony Visconti & Ken Scott as well as a forward from Kinks front man Ray Davies.


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