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David Bowie


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#41 Ex-Kirkholt

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:22 AM

I never understood what it was about?

can you help?

Nope !
Never quite understood what "Desolation Row" or "Visions of Johanna" were about but still love 'em.

"Harmonicas play the skeleton keys out in the rain" anyone ?
Looks like it wer' organised by't Pennine League

#42 Wolford6

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:34 AM

Problems solved.
:)

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#43 Methven Hornet

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:03 PM

I find it strange that people think that lyrics have to mean something. Even as a kid I remember the fuss of critics tying to fathom the meaning of songs like "I am the Walrus". The reality was that Lennon got so p****d off analysing every lyric of his that he chose to write nonsense. It still works as a song.

And that's the point, song lyrics don't have to have any explicit meaning, they could be shooby doo wap and still sound good.

As for Bowie's new single, I think it is a tremendous track. I was never an out and out Bowie fan as a kid, although I remember being surrounded by fantastic singles through my teenage years and beyond. "Where are we now" comes across as a very reflective piece, and expresses something a lot of us 'oldies; go through. Thinking back to youth, thinking about how it got us to where we are now, and how it is going to influence the time we have left. Perhaps it is an age thing, perhaps an artist such as this reflects some of our thoughts and feelings - much more than, say, than giving numerous young maidens "every inch of our love".

We are at that stage where many of our rock heroes are old men, or certainly aging men, and we should get used to the fact that they may sing, and write lyrics, about subjects that reflect their time of life.

As for the song itself, it reminds me of the stuff on an album of a past recording partner of his, John Lennon Plastic Ono Band. Basic, stripped back instrumentals, haunting, bleak lyrics delivered with what seems like real emotion. I don't know if his voice has 'gone', or whether he has adopted the style for the song; either way if feels appropriate for the song. The sad fact that the voice can weaken as the years pass, but I don't recall vocal power being Bowie's speciality anyway. It's just an obstacle that has to be worked around.

As for being 'relevant', I don't want to speak for the person who suggested he still is, but I take that term to mean that an artist can still contribute something to the genre - which in Bowie's case is pop/rock music. From what I've heard, the impression I have is that he still can; much more so than, say, someone like the Stones, a group that doesn't seem to have had a creative idea for at least three decades.

As I said earlier, my experience of Bowie was the singles I heard on the radio. His albums largely passed my by (I had other priorities for my hard-earned), but on the strength of this single I will be buying the new album in March.
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#44 JohnM

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 07:47 AM

I suspect Bowie was on drugs when he wrote some of this stuff. Clearly these were not performance enhancing drugs. Nevertheless, a confession on Opera Winfield would not go amiss...followed by a lifetime ban.

#45 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:00 AM

Nope !
Never quite understood what "Desolation Row" or "Visions of Johanna" were about but still love 'em.

"Harmonicas play the skeleton keys out in the rain" anyone ?


and your point is?

You appear to have missed the pun in the line you quote.

The dystopian picture that Dylan paints in the song you mention is fairly clear one would have thought.




I'm not keen on David Bowie and I've said why. If you like his music and all that goes with it: not a problem.


a poster mentioned a song. I didn't understand the words to the song song and for asked his/her assistance.

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#46 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:03 AM

I find it strange that people think that lyrics have to mean something. Even as a kid I remember the fuss of critics tying to fathom the meaning of songs like "I am the Walrus". The reality was that Lennon got so p****d off analysing every lyric of his that he chose to write nonsense. It still works as a song.

And that's the point, song lyrics don't have to have any explicit meaning, they could be shooby doo wap and still sound good.

As for Bowie's new single, I think it is a tremendous track. I was never an out and out Bowie fan as a kid, although I remember being surrounded by fantastic singles through my teenage years and beyond. "Where are we now" comes across as a very reflective piece, and expresses something a lot of us 'oldies; go through. Thinking back to youth, thinking about how it got us to where we are now, and how it is going to influence the time we have left. Perhaps it is an age thing, perhaps an artist such as this reflects some of our thoughts and feelings - much more than, say, than giving numerous young maidens "every inch of our love".

We are at that stage where many of our rock heroes are old men, or certainly aging men, and we should get used to the fact that they may sing, and write lyrics, about subjects that reflect their time of life.

As for the song itself, it reminds me of the stuff on an album of a past recording partner of his, John Lennon Plastic Ono Band. Basic, stripped back instrumentals, haunting, bleak lyrics delivered with what seems like real emotion. I don't know if his voice has 'gone', or whether he has adopted the style for the song; either way if feels appropriate for the song. The sad fact that the voice can weaken as the years pass, but I don't recall vocal power being Bowie's speciality anyway. It's just an obstacle that has to be worked around.

As for being 'relevant', I don't want to speak for the person who suggested he still is, but I take that term to mean that an artist can still contribute something to the genre - which in Bowie's case is pop/rock music. From what I've heard, the impression I have is that he still can; much more so than, say, someone like the Stones, a group that doesn't seem to have had a creative idea for at least three decades.

As I said earlier, my experience of Bowie was the singles I heard on the radio. His albums largely passed my by (I had other priorities for my hard-earned), but on the strength of this single I will be buying the new album in March.


it isn't a question of analysis well no further than sniffing out pretension anyway...something which John Lennon was guilty of frequently.

It's only rock n' roll...now that's a line with a meaning.

Edited by l'angelo mysterioso, 19 January 2013 - 09:03 AM.

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#47 JohnM

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:19 AM

Tis a bit like art...or painting. Its the overall (generally emotional) impression on the senses that counts. I can look at say a Turner, or a Constable or a Poussin and that creates an emotional impression because of its representation of something I sort of recognise as real or nearly real. I can also look at say Guernica which coveys in my mind the all the horror of that event without it being an accurate photograph. I can even appreciate a Jackson Pollock because of its associations with the immediate after-effects of my drunken stag-night at the Domino Club in Grey Mare Lane, Openshaw in June 1967

#48 Ullman

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:39 AM

Tis a bit like art...or painting. Its the overall (generally emotional) impression on the senses that counts. I can look at say a Turner, or a Constable or a Poussin and that creates an emotional impression because of its representation of something I sort of recognise as real or nearly real. I can also look at say Guernica which coveys in my mind the all the horror of that event without it being an accurate photograph. I can even appreciate a Jackson Pollock because of its associations with the immediate after-effects of my drunken stag-night at the Domino Club in Grey Mare Lane, Openshaw in June 1967

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#49 Phil

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:04 PM

Tis a bit like art...or painting. Its the overall (generally emotional) impression on the senses that counts. I can look at say a Turner, or a Constable or a Poussin and that creates an emotional impression because of its representation of something I sort of recognise as real or nearly real. I can also look at say Guernica which coveys in my mind the all the horror of that event without it being an accurate photograph. I can even appreciate a Jackson Pollock because of its associations with the immediate after-effects of my drunken stag-night at the Domino Club in Grey Mare Lane, Openshaw in June 1967


Exactly.The thing with music/art etc is that it triggers an emotional response in us. So "Tracks of my tears" by smokey and the miracles touches me in a way that nothing by Led Zep does. It doesn't mean Led Zep are ###### (which I would have claimed in my younger days) just that they don't reach me for some reason.
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#50 JohnM

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:20 PM

Never let it be said you haven't lived, John.


I know its topic drift but.....see here

We used to go specially to see the ###### acts that were on between the strippers so what better place to be very ill on your stag night and end up asleep under the hedge in your best man's front garden one day before your wedding?

#51 longboard

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:48 PM

I am certain i read once that Bowie sometimes used to write a few one liners on a strip of paper and then throw them into a hat and then pick them out at random which would then be how the song would come out.

CM


Mm.

He supposedly got the idea of the cut up technique from William Burroughs, who used it for his novels.

#52 Gary Coyle

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:07 PM

The stuff he did with them was very good indeed.

Not the stuff he did with them in a locked room

#53 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:49 PM

Mm.

He supposedly got the idea of the cut up technique from William Burroughs, who used it for his novels.


did he do that for laughing gnome and the little drummer boy?

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#54 longboard

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:53 PM

did he do that for laughing gnome and the little drummer boy?


Timothy Leary inspired the Laughing Gnome. Katherine Davis wrote The Little Drummer Boy before Bowie was born and it is thought to have been inspired by the diminutive Buddy Rich. ;)

#55 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

Timothy Leary inspired the Laughing Gnome. Katherine Davis wrote The Little Drummer Boy before Bowie was born and it is thought to have been inspired by the diminutive Buddy Rich. ;)


well played

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#56 longboard

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:57 PM

Interesting i will look him up on wikipedia.David Bowie is from my home town Beckenham in Kent.CM


Burroughs also used a folding technique for some of his works; not sure if Bowie used this. Burroughs took copious amounts of heroin and shot his wife dead.
I didn't really enjoy the couple of his books that I read.

#57 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

Burroughs also used a folding technique for some of his works; not sure if Bowie used this. Burroughs took copious amounts of heroin and shot his wife dead.
I didn't really enjoy the couple of his books that I read.


I couldn't get past the first 20 pages of The Naked Lunch.

There are some David Bowie songs that I really like

Life On Mars

Gene Genie

Kooks

Rebel rebel
Staeman

and a few others

and his covers Album Pin Ups is very good: genuine reinterpretations.


well crafted pop music.

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#58 Wolford6

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:31 PM

There's a really good article about mick Ronson in this month's Uncut magazine. Apparently, he never got a decent wage when he worked with Bowie. Bowie dropped him from his entourage suddenly and without explanation.

I hadn't realised that Mick Ronson subsequently had a good friendship and working partnership with Morrissey.

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#59 John Drake

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:19 AM

Well I'm suitably impressed by the new album. Worth the wait.

Don't be fooled by the slow melancholy of the comeback single. It's good, but not representative of the rest of the album.

There's plenty of life left in the old Diamond Dog.

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