Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Number 495 - David Bowie


Number 495

David Bowie

"The Jean Genie"

(1973)
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Genre:Glam Rock
art by adrian-fez-
Now here's something different ... I have been reading The 101 things You Didn't Know About Rock n' Roll. So, a huh I thought, go on, try me ... lets see what didn't know. How hard could this be? I mean, what couldn't I know about rock?! Obviously, here is Eight I didn't know about. ack
1.(#07) Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) has Bonzo's (Led Zeppelin's drummer) symbol, three intersecting symbols tattooed on his forearm. [Ya got me on that one]
2.(#25) Slash's favourite song is "Nobody's Fault" by Aerosmith. As he said, "first heard it at the house of a girl I wanted to date. I went to her house, talked for a while, smoked a joint, and then she put the cd (Rocks), it hit me like a ton of bricks...and I totally forgot about her". [I wonder if anyone knows that one!]
3. (#32) Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie Van Zant is said to be buried with a Neil Young t-shirt, the same he uses on his last cd cover. The admiration between these two musicians was mutual: Young said he'd rather play "Sweet Home Alabama" than "Southern Man" (his own southern anthem). [Dunno about the last part]
4.(#48) When Brian May was nine he realized that he couldn't play all the songs he wanted to in the acoustic guitar he had gotten two years before, so he decided to change it. However, he didn't have enough money to buy one, so, with a little help from his father, he started building his own ax in 1963. This guitar was finished the next year, and was baptized "Red Special" (it is red, in case you haven't guessed). [So that explains the distinctive sound]
5.(#54) The Sex Pistols were banned almost in every part of the UK, so they started touring under the name SPOT (Sex Pistols On Tour). [Now you're pulling me leg]
6. (#62) Lynyrd Skynyrd took their name from a high school teacher named Leonard Skinner who had suspended several students for having long hair. [Ah! I can relate to that!]
7. (#83) Cass Elliot (Mama Cass of The Mamas & Papas) and Keith Moon of The Who that died in the apartment of the same singer/songwriter: Harry Nilsson. [GTFO ...]
8.(#96) The money used to score the heroin that killed Sid Vicious was given to him by his mother, who was under the impression he was going to use the money to just buy cocaine (What a mom!). [And all I get is socks ... Ugh]
can you rock this good?
Ziggy Stardust wrote the blueprint for David Bowie's hard-rocking glam, and Aladdin Sane essentially follows the pattern, for both better and worse. A lighter affair than Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane is actually a stranger album than its predecessor, buoyed by bizarre lounge-jazz flourishes from pianist Mick Garson and a handful of winding, vaguely experimental songs. Bowie abandons his futuristic obsessions to concentrate on the detached cool of New York and London hipsters, as on the compressed rockers "Watch That Man," "Cracked Actor," and "The Jean Genie." Bowie follows the hard stuff with the jazzy, dissonant sprawls of "Lady Grinning Soul," "Aladdin Sane," and "Time," all of which manage to be both campy and avant-garde simultaneously, while the sweepingly cinematic "Drive-In Saturday" is a soaring fusion of sci-fi doo wop and melodramatic teenage glam. He lets his paranoia slip through in the clenched rhythms of "Panic in Detroit," as well as on his oddly clueless cover of "Let's Spend the Night Together." For all the pleasures on Aladdin Sane, there's no distinctive sound or theme to make the album cohesive; it's Bowie riding the wake of Ziggy Stardust, which means there's a wealth of classic material here, but not enough focus to make the album itself a classic. ~ [Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide]
For more David Bowie see Number 634
For Foo Fighters see Number 535
For more Foo Fighters visit Mellow Mix Vol 1 #012
For Led Zeppelin see Number 577 & Number 957
For Guns N' Roses see Number 557 & Number 795
For Neil Young see Number 677 & Number 938
For Queen & David Bowie see Number 513
For Queen see Number 539, 747 & 805
For The Sex Pistols see Number 500
For The Who see Number 556
For Harrry Nilsson see Number 599
What does Rolling StoneD still think about Bowie?
Aladdin is less manic than The Man Who Sold the World, and less intimate than Hunky Dory, with none of its attacks of self-doubt. Ziggy, in turn, was less autobiographically revealing, more threatening than its predecessors, but still compact. Like David's Radio City Music Hall show, Aladdin is grander, more produced: David is more than ever more mastermind than participant. Aladdin's very eclecticism makes it even less exposed, conceptually, than Ziggy. Three of the tracks, "Pretty As a Star," "Let's Spend the Night Together," and the related "The Jean Genie," are inferior, they lack the obdurate strength of the remaining songs, not to mention the perfection of Hunky Dory and Ziggy. The calmness of the former, the inexorability of the latter (which manages to subsume the question of each individual song's merit) are not Aladdin Sane's. ~ [source:Rolling Stone]
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '495th Song of all Time' was "Shop Around" by Smokey Robinson. Smokey Robinson has appeared in The Definitive 1000 @ #565
Other songs with reference to David Bowie #508, #512, #513, #522, #582, #592, #616, #661, #674, #703, #739, #747, #760, #798, #874, #971
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Like what we wrote .. its crap) the Album ranked at Number 277
This song has a crowbarred rating of 75.5 out of 108

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