Rare – David Bowie

Till the rancid sound of the accordion bursts.
I am not sure while I put this on tonight, I was trying to find a vinyl album that I don’t have on CD and this was the first one I came to. This is a bit of a dog’s dinner, breakfast and lunch of an album. While listening to this today I am reminded of a story concerning the track Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola.
Before I bought Rare in 1983, my entirely unreliable mate would keep telling me about a version of Space Oddity he had heard sung in foreign, he wasn’t sure if it was Spanish or Russian (as it turned out he had the wrong language, it was, in fact, Italian). One of the main reasons we didn’t believe his story about Space Oddity in foreign was that he was a perennial liar, often done to make himself better than the rest of us. One time he told us he had seen a better (uncut) version of the video nasty I Spit on your Grave, and to demonstrate that it was indeed a better version he said it was called I Piss on Your Grave, that title alone still makes me smile.
Hidden gem; Amsterdam. I hadn’t heard this until I bought Rare, it is still a great song.
An aside; The only thing better than a bad compilation is a bad compilation by David Bowie.

The Man Who Sold the World – David Bowie

Sometimes the journey is as interesting as the destination. This was Bowie’s journey album on the way to creating Ziggy, by trying to find a sound, and a style, he made one his most interesting and underrated albums.
One of the reasons why I am listening to this today is that I have acquired it as Hi Definition audio. I wasn’t entirely convinced the first time I heard 24 bit audio, but I think this album sounds amazing (for any geeks reading this it is a 24 bit/88hz recording), but you also need to know that I have sucker tattooed across my forehead. It is ironic to be listening to this almost studio quality recording as the first version I had of this was from a cassette tape recorded by holding a cassette recorder next to a speaker for 40 minutes, complete with friend whispers and dog barking.
There is certainly a bit of chaff (Running Gun Blues) but plenty of wheat (The Width of a Circle, All the Madmen, Black Country Rock)
Hidden gem; Saviour Machine
Pointless trivia; The title track is loosely based on the poem Antigonish by William Hughes Mearns.
Micro review; I had no idea Tony Visconti could play bass like that!