I am undertaking to review one David Bowie studio album per month until I get through all twenty-six of them. Obviously this will exclude a ton of other material. I might include that in between album reviews, if I am so moved, or I might tackle it after the albums, but we’ll see.
A friend of mine introduced me to Bowie back in 2009. It was a dark time for me back then and I didn’t feel I had much of anything to live for. I’m not going to say that Hunky Dory became my reason to live, but— close enough. As Bowie himself said of the first time he heard Little Richard, the first time I listened to Hunky Dory all the way through, I felt like I had heard God. I felt like Dorothy stepping into Oz– Bowie’s music was important to me in Technicolor when the rest of the world was a nihilistic sepia. It was the most wonderful thing I had ever heard. At a time when I was completely numb from booze and drugs, Bowie made me weep and smile again. Anything that can touch an addict active in their addiction that deeply– that’s some powerful shit. Thus began a passionate, abiding, probably lifelong obsession with Bowie’s music.
That same friend and I joked together three or so years later about creating a Bowie religion. Partially because we’re a couple of asshole agnostics who think organized religion is hilarious, and partially because, on some level, I really do connect with Bowie’s music on a spiritual level. Not to get too obnoxious and self-indulgent about it (although this whole undertaking could probably be described thus).
Words and words and words and words have been written about the man and music. As a solemn and ardent devotee, I am compelled to add my words to the billions of others already written about Bowie. It’s an undertaking of devotion, of discipline, it might be a little bit academic, and it’ll probably be a whole lot personal. That’s one of the greatest things, I think, about Bowie’s music, is that nearly every fan has an intimate connection with their first or favorite Bowie track or album. The man had an absolutely genius way of writing music and lyrics that were at once deeply intimate without ever being explicitly personal (until, in my opinion, Blackstar, but we’ll get there— right around March 2019, if I stay on schedule).
So, here it is, the introductory post to this blog, created on 8th January, 2017. Bowie would have been seventy today.
Most of the other blogs will be posted toward the end of the month, probably, but I thought it would be fitting to post the first one on his birthday (as I plan to do with Scary Monsters in January 2018). So I’ll be posting my first essay-review-analysis-anecdote-whatever about David Bowie’s first studio album, David Bowie, later on today.