Always tempted by these. Never buy.
I am disappoint.
There were loads of tantalising clips of live performances from TOTP, OGWT, Later, Parkinson and so on. None lasted much more than a minute. Other than that, we had a fair amount of official videos that we can all view elsewhere. And news features. Nothing makes more excited than a news reader making an announcement. Bowie provided a voice over, cut from a variety of interviews, some of which looked, when pictures were shown, very interesting.
I expecting to see full performances of songs at various points of career. As an example, I’ve added one in this post. Sadly, that did not happen. I would happily buy a DVD of all of his performances at the Beeb but I won’t be watching this again.
There was one astonishing moment. Jools Holland asked a good question!
I thought it was a great documentary. The talking heads were all people who knew him, the older clips were used for context and the Bowie quotes were perfect. I was delighted that there wasn’t a single ‘critic’ or ‘uber-fan’ in sight. You got the impression he was full of beans, excitement and curiosity right through to the very end. He looked so fit and energetic. What a man! What a life!
I could have done with more of The Next Day band talking about and playing those songs. That band was much more engaging and interesting on the TV than the Blackstar one, although the opposite is arguably true on the records. I also felt the last few months were somewhat rushed, but, then, those last few months were probably very rushed in real life for the man himself.
The most moving part was Tony Visconti spotlighting Bowie’s vocal on the track Lazarus. Fair choked me up, it did.
What did you think?
David Robert Jones would have been 70 this coming Sunday, January 8th. So I think it`s time for a poll to find what the AfterWorders reckon are Bowie`s greatest/favourite STUDIO albums. There was a lot of feeling that `Black★Star`, the last studio album was The Great Man`s best.
So what do you think*?
Pick your FIVE choices numbered 1-5. Only your first 5 choices will be accepted. The scoring will be 5 points for your first numbered choice down to 1 point for fifth. If you fail to number your choices, the first 5 will be awarded 3 points each, the same applies for any entries with less than 5 choices not given preference.
Only STUDIO albums, no box sets, live albums or compilations allowed.
*i am very interested where `Black★Star` figures overall in D.B.`s superb catalogue, if you do not wish to participate, that is fine. I think we have posted our favourite D.B. albums before but not in a poll such as this. Let the thingy begin….
This Saturday on BBC2 at 9pm. The link below is for a 20 second trailer, featuring a snippet of isolated Blackstar vocals. Phew. Programme link in comments.
The results are in. 97 Afterworders voted for a total of 612 albums, The scoring mechanism really focussed the mind. It was possible to get into the top fifty with just two votes, yet Mogwai’s Atomic languished in 61st place with ten votes. Where there is a tie for points, I’ve given the higher place to the album attracting more votes.
@salwarpe will be adding colour and flavour, comparing and contrasting different scoring systems. Still, there is a very clear winner no matter what system is used.
Here is the official top ten Afterword Albums of 2016:
1. David Bowie – Blackstar 703 points (48 votes) 2. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker 330 (29) 3. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool 274 (31) 4. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree 252 (26) 5. Michael Kiwanuka – Love And Hate 252 (21) 6. Teenage Fanclub – Here 177 (20) 7. Paul Simon – Stranger To Stranger 169 (17) 8. Wilco – Schmilco 128 (14) 9. Case/Lang/Viers 115 (17) 10. The Avalanches – Wildflower 112 (10)
You can view everyone’s votes on the link.
Happy New Year!
Prince has a new album out. Well, no, he doesn’t. He has another greatest hits package on the shelves and on Internet retail outfits. It’s his third Best Of and his previous one was in 2006. This isn’t quite as bad as Bowie whose recent Legacy follows on less than two years since Nothing Has Changed.
Prince4Ever is a pretty decent collection of his singles, plus one B side, up to 1993. (I think the world is crying out for a half decent post 1993 Prince collection. If the Purple People want some help, I’m willing to make suggestions.) The thing that upsets me is the inclusion of one, just one, previously unreleased track. It’s called Moonbeam Levels and was originally written in 1982, for 1999, and adjusted in 1989, but never actually issued. Elvis Costello covered it during Prince’s inauguration to the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. I have all the other 39 tracks. Let’s hope I can download it separately. It’s rather nice but not worth forking out for the whole ‘album’.
The good news is the the Purple People plan to release a Purple Rain legacy edition next year, followed by a whole collection of » Continue Reading.
Mick Ralphs family have announced that, following the end of the recent Bad Company tour, Mick has suffered a stroke. He is recovering in hospital, but no further information is forthcoming. Mick was Mott’s guitarist at my first ever live gig, in 1971. I was at the first night of the first Bad Company tour and Ralpher has always been one of my heroes. He was also responsible for the Greatest Guitar Solo Ever Recorded, on Mott’s David Bowie produced version of Sweet Jane which, as all right thinking people know, is the only version you need. Get well soon, Mick.
The Pretenders have a new album out. I think the only actual Pretender involved is Chrissie Hynde. It struck me that the backing band sound very much like Iggy Pop’s for Lust For Life. That band was, essentially, Tin Machine, David Bowie and all.
Not a bad album, in my view. Loving the simplicity, the grunginess and the noisy tub-thumping.
I wondered if any other bands have morphed into another. One other example I could think of was The Meters into Little Feat, or vice versa.
It’s been a strange year, musicwise. It started brilliantly with the release of Blackstar but that euphoria didn’t last long. I spent a whole month listening to nothing but Bowie and the best part of the next. It took a while to summon up the enthusiasm to listen to anything else. As a consequence, I am well behind on ‘new’ 2016 releases. My expenditure is down by close to 75%. I have a playlist on my iPod where I put all my new purchases. Compared to last June, it is puny.
Now, more than ever, I am genuinely interested to explore Afterword recommendations.
Here are my top ten of the year so far:
1. Blackstar – David Bowie 2. Lemonade – Beyoncé 3. A Moon Shaped Pool – Radiohead (I regard it as a single suite with ebbs and flows, the key combination being between piano, voice and strings. Utterly beautiful) 4. Man Made Object – GoGo Penguin 5. HITNRUN Phase Two – Prince (The 2015 Tidal release doesn’t count) 6. Into The Silence – Avishai Cohen 7. Hollowed – iTAL tEK (It may just be me, but electronica is having a poor year. This is an exception. Hollowed » Continue Reading.
How about a picture of Tiny Tim meeting Princess Margaret in 1969 while David Bowie looks on?
Tim is flanked by Dusty Springfield and Lou Christie.
The Tiptoe Through The Tulips hitmaker routinely carried his ukes in a plastic carrier bag and on this occasion he went for a patriotic theme.
I assume it was some kind of charity gala Royal Variety-type event.
I found this on Danny Baker’s Twitter feed yesterday.
Merely sharing this link for those that might be interested. The arrangement of Blackstar is brilliant, and shows just what a complex piece it is.
A steady trickle of Bowie leaks now appearing. You may need a hanky for this one.
David Bowie had many illustrious sidemen; Mick Ronson, Tony Visconti, Mike Garson, Carlos Alomar, Earl Slick, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Nile Rodgers, Gail Ann Dorsey, to name a few. Which one has the most songwriting co-credits with Bowie?
The answer is Reeves Gabrels. If I wasn’t posting on The Afterword, half of the readers would be open-mouthing “Who?” By my reckoning, he co-wrote forty-one songs between 1987 and 1999, far more than Eno and Alomar. Even if you include songs written with Iggy Pop for Iggy albums, Gabrels wins hands-down.
Gabrels met Bowie in 1987, a time when Bowie had enjoyed a good run of commercial success but endured a lot of criticism. Bowie was sick of playing hits and was ready for something different. Reeves persuaded him to stop being a pop star and become a member of a rock band. The democracy of being a band, led to collective writing of the songs.
Having set that precedent with Tin Machine, Gabrels and Bowie continued to write together through the nineties on Black Tie, White Noise, 1.Outside, Earthling and, finally Hours… Reading that list of albums might not make your heart zing with excitement (especially when you realise » Continue Reading.
In a dropbox near you
Whilst recording one of his finest vocal performances Bowie goofs about and proves he really did have the best job in the world – sad these things only surface once people leave us
If you missed it a couple of years back around the release of The Next Day then 6Music rebroadcast Adam ‘Dr Buckles’ Buxton’s 2 hour Bowie extravaganza with some great music, opinions and skits.
Has anyone else seen this? It seems that during two months last year someone was posting rather interesting images to a tumblr site called The Villa of Ormen.
As part of our ongoing Saying Bye and celebration (I would like to think it’s that) of all things Bowie it’s surely time to include his acting career. His Wikipedia Filmography lists over 30 credits, before concert films and videos are taken in account. Here’s my top 4 Bowie film moments:
The Man Who Fell To Earth His best film surely, one of the best acting performances by a musical artist ever in a feature film, and one of the best films of the seventies. Making it clearly had a profound effect on him, as the Thin White Duke is basically an extension of Thomas Newton back into the musical world. Film stills adorn two of his best albums. I love everything about this film from start to finish, but the moment where he picks out his contact lenses in the bathroom to reveal the alien beneath is just a brilliant piece of film-making.
2. Zoolander. His best ever cameo.
3. Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence. Not a great film, but two great visual moments – Bowie rocking a boater and blazer as a schoolboy, and being buried up to his neck in sand.
4. The Snowman prelude. What a » Continue Reading.
Its has to be said that Bowie’s back catalogue is a bit of a mess.
The Rykodisc CDs from 1991 gave us some rarities that then slipped back into the Goblin King’s Labyrinth. Various anniversary editions have given us other bits and bobs and even the excellent ‘Sound & Vision’ box set has been expanded but also had mysterious subtractions.
So what are your favourite Bowie rarities or deep cuts?
This is one of mine – the sort of song most artists would give their left testicle for
There must be loads, but I’ll begin with this. It’s long been a firm favourite…
It seems he has always done cover versions throughout his career and Pin Ups is a fitting tribute to the music that influenced him. Whisper it quietly, I actually prefer his version of See Emily Play to the Floyd’s. It probably spurred on many of his young fans to seek out the original version.
The first cover I heard that impressed me the most was Amsterdam. I probably saw him perform it in 1972 and listened to as much Jacques Brel as I could get my hands on in the pre-internet days. Any more?
The New Year’s Honours List is as dull as ever, dolling out gongs to the rich, the famous, the already-successful and the well-connected. The only bright spot is a gangster’s moll becoming a dame.
Who should really be recognised for their great work and deeds?
I nominate Andrew Jennings and David Yallop for doggedly exposing corruption at FIFA for over 15 years. They deserve at least an OBE.
Who would be in The Afterword’s New Year’s Honours?
Like many on The Afterword, it is still 1973 in my head. In April, for the very first time, I bought a brand new album on the day of its release. I rushed home, put it on the ‘stereo’ and positioned myself centrally between the speakers hanging on the wall. Side one went very smoothly. I barely noticed the hedonistic party in the opening track, the louche afternoon sex of the one in the middle nor the financial transaction taking place under a grinding guitar in the side’s closer.
Satisfied so far and feeling rather pleased with my hard-earned purchase, I flipped the disc. Just as I carefully placed the needle at the beginning of side two, my mum walked in the room.
“Ooh, that sounds good,” she cooed, impressed by Mike Garson’s florid piano introduction to Time. Moments later, Time was “flexing like a whore” and falling “wanking to the floor.” Mum, without another word, spun on her heel and made a hurried exit. I was mortified. I didn’t dare look at her for days. We have never spoken about it since.
By October and my second on-the-day acquisition, the household had acquired head-phones. I listened intently. Thirty-four » Continue Reading.
According to the Urban Dictionary, a “deep cut is a song by an artist that only true fans of said artist will enjoy/know. True gems that are found later in an album, a b-side. Rarely if ever played on the radio.”
As we know, The Afterword is full of “true fans”. Pick a favourite artist and post a deep cut.
I’ll go first with David Bowie and the B side of Alabama Song, a 1979 re-recording of Space Oddity. In contrast to the original, it is stark with an impassioned, almost bitter, vocal. The video, first broadcast on Kenny Everett’s New Year Show, is a great watch too.