David Bowie review: More treasure from the vaults...

More treasure from the vaultsDavid Bowie takes some undercooked lyrics and marinates them in midlife wisdom in posthumous release Toy

David Bowie Toy Out Friday

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David Bowie Hunky Dory Limited Edition Out Friday

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영국에서, every January, we have David Bowie Fortnight. If not quite official, it has rapidly become traditional.

It marks the bookends of Bowie’s life – his birth on January 8, 1947 and his death on January 10, 2016. Had his cancer not been terminal, he would have been 75 이번 주.

His touring musicians, who gather to honour him each year, are putting on three gigs in New York, while his madcap pianist, Mike Garson, stages a live-streamed show in LA.

As this century began, David Bowie (위) was still a superstar on stage, wowing a vast crowd at Glastonbury 2000, but he was stuttering in the studio

As this century began, David Bowie (위) was still a superstar on stage, wowing a vast crowd at Glastonbury 2000, but he was stuttering in the studio

Bowie himself might not approve of the pedestal on which posterity has put him. This was a man strong-minded enough to turn down a knighthood (에 2003). But it’s his own fault for going out at the top of his game, with the mesmerising Blackstar.

For the umpteenth time, he discovered a new sound: a reflective kind of rock, played by jazzmen, steeped in Gregorian chant, haunted by approaching death, yet catchy enough to top the charts.

Fifteen years earlier, things were very different. It’s hard to believe now that Bowie was ever unsuccessful, but even the greatest careers have their slumps

As this century began, he was still a superstar on stage, wowing a vast crowd at Glastonbury 2000, but he was stuttering in the studio.

His previous three albums, 외부, Earthling and Hours, had all gone silver, not gold, let alone platinum. It felt like the twilight of a god.

His response was typically idiosyncratic: he tried to climb out of one trough by revisiting another. In the mid-1960s he had been a no-hit wonder called Davy Jones, making singles, forming bands, going nowhere.

He dug out several songs from those days and gathered his live band in New York to rerecord them, along with some later tracks. The result was an album called Toy – which Virgin refused to release.

You can see why Virgin took against Toy (위): most of the faster songs are dated, snappy but shallow, a far cry from Station To Station

You can see why Virgin took against Toy (위): most of the faster songs are dated, snappy but shallow, a far cry from Station To Station

이번 주, after featuring in Bowie’s latest boxed set, Toy finally emerges in its own right. You can see why Virgin took against it: most of the faster songs are dated, snappy but shallow, a far cry from Station To Station.

아직도, you can also see why Bowie believed in it.

There are two ballads that belong with his best work. Conversation Piece is wistful, grave and grounded (‘I can’t see the road for the rain in my eyes’). Shadow Man, a leftover from Ziggy Stardust, is sadder, grander, and just as gorgeous.

Bowie sings beautifully throughout, taking some undercooked lyrics and marinating them in midlife wisdom.

Toy is well worth hearing, but you may prefer to download its two gems – or to pick up the picture disc of Hunky Dory, rereleased for its 50th anniversary. ‘Turn and face the strange,’ he urged us on the opening track, 변화.

From the quirks of Quicksand to the majesty of Life On Mars?, he followed his own advice. This was his first masterpiece.

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