Thursday, April 12, 2012

"The year of the Diamond Dog"

My current favorite album is "Diamond Dogs" by David Bowie.
I know I've mentioned him on here a million times but I don't give a crap, for this is my blog and I will post what I like.
So basically it all started when I realized that I had "Hunky Dory", "Ziggy Stardust", "Aladdin Sane","Young Americans", "Low", and "Heroes". I had notably skipped over the 1974 Diamond Dogs era. As soon as I noticed this I had to go and download the album.
The first time I heard it I listened to it three times in it's entirety. THAT'S how good it is. I couldn't believe I was just now hearing it at the age of 24. It was a rainy day at work and for some reason no one else was in the office that I work in that day. I just filed paper work and listened to that album all afternoon while drinking coffee.
Sometime after that I started reading the book "1984" for the first time. What I had forgotten about until then, was that the entire Diamond Dogs album is a concept album based on that book. So as I was reading the book, this album was the soundtrack... and it was PERFECT.

I've since realized that this album was pretty much trashed by a lot of critics at the time and seen as a major step back from Aladdin Sane/Ziggy. Bowie's persona on this album is of course "Halloween Jack who's a real cool cat and lives on top of Manhattan chase".
I don't care what any critics or fans think, this is a high point in my opinion and now on constant rotation for me.

The "glam tinged dystopian, post-apocalyptic world" is captured perfectly. The whole album has a dystopian air to it, but I don't find it depressing at all. New York has been renamed "Hunger City" and is in the "year of the diamond dogs".
The first track "Future Legend" warns:"This ain't rock n roll, this is genocide!".
The track "Diamond Dogs" has a very Stone's like feel to it with the riffs and slide guitar. Actually one thing I love about this album is that by this time Mick Ronson had taken off on his own, so Bowie played not only the rhythm guitar and saxophones on this, but also the lead guitar parts. It adds a distorted, messy touch which I think fits really well here.
The next track is my favorite part of the entire album, "Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing Reprise".
The first time I heard this, it immediately became my favorite song. The vocals start out extremely low and sour within the first verse. Apparently the lyrics were written using the Burroughs "cut-up" technique so they're pretty steam of consciousness. The melody is very haunting too. I highly recommend taking a listen.
The middle part of the album is all great, but my second favorite part of the album are the last two tracks: "Big Brother/Chant of the ever circling skeletal family".
The lyrics on this track are phenomenal in my opinion, going along with the "1984" theme. The chorus "Someone to lead us/someone to follow, someone to shame us/some great Apollo, someone to fool us/someone like you/we want you big brother". Then all the sudden the tempo changes for about a minute and all that's there is an acoustic guitar and vocals that warn "I know you think you're awful square, but you've made everyone and you've been everywhere/Lord I'd take an overdose if you knew what's going down". Can't think of a better way to articulate the horror of big brother and dystopian 1984.
The next track is just chanting and distorted guitar, it ends with a skipping "Bruh, bruh, bruh, bruh...ect." which in an eerie way sounds like the word brother.
All in all, if you are a Bowie fan, 1984 fan, or a fan of glam dystopian rock I highly recommend this album because it's intense and unforgettable.

This is a new thing I'm going to start doing from now on by the. Detailing my favorite albums and explaining what it is I love about them. Hope you enjoyed it!:)

1 comment:

  1. so many typos and errors in this guys...haha. My apologies