Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Make way for the Homo Superior

Hunky Dory was David Bowie's fourth album and his first after moving to RCA from Mercury.  I got a copy on eBay a few weeks back for around a fiver:

David Bowie - Hunky Dory (1971)

It's one of Bowie's most accessible records, front-loaded as it is with the monster trio of Changes, Oh! You Pretty Things and Life On Mars.

After modest success with Space Oddity and The Man Who Sold The World, Bowie seems to have really knuckled down to his songwriting, for Hunky Dory is his first masterpiece.  Acoustic folk-rock like Quicksand and Song For Bob Dylan ("voice like sand and glue") is well represented, my absolute favourite being the sweet, touching love song to his new baby son Duncan, "Kooks".


Elsewhere the piano reigns, Bowie making maximum use of the talents of Rick Wakeman before he left to join Yes.  Electric riffage is provided by guitarist Mick Ronson, where on tribute to Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground "Queen Bitch", the path to Ziggy Stardust is revealed.

It's a very English album, and Bowie employs his always- amusing "Cocker-ney" accent on final track The Bewlay Brothers.

Bowie in '71 (yum)
It wasn't a huge commercial success at first, but when Ziggy Stardust was released in June 1972, Hunky Dory's sales were given a deserved boost, peaking at no.3 in the UK.  To pick a few top tracks is too much of an ask, so listen to it all on Spotify here: David Bowie – Hunky Dory

Original Rolling Stone review here:

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