DAVID BOWIE

(UNITED KINGDOM)

THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD

(1970)
LABEL:

MERCURY

GENRE:

ROCK

/ HARD ROCK
TAGS:
Old School, Opera-Rock, Psychedelic, Theatrical
"Much more electric and homogeneous than its predecessors, "The Man Who Sold The World" already has the patina of a "Ziggy" or a "Diamond Dogs", with an intensity that never fades."
CORTO1809 (21.09.2015)  
4/5
(0) opinions (4) comment(s)
David Bowie, the chameleon-artist, will be the man of all surprises and will often take his public by surprise. And if "The Man Who Sold The World" is not as destabilizing as "Young American" or "Let's Dance" could be, it is nevertheless a radical contrast with the tone of the two albums that preceded it.

It must be said that between it and "Space Oddity", David Bowie launched again in the adventure of a short-lived group, The Hype, which will leave no memory to the posterity, but whose musicians are the same ones who will officiate on "The Man Who Sold The World". And the difference is noticeable: we no longer have the impression of hearing a singer doing his show on a vague background, but a united group where each one has his place and where the instruments exist by themselves, enhancing the singer's performance with their interventions, bass, drums and guitar playing roles as important as this one.

It must be said that Bowie knew how to surround himself. The bass is held by Tony Visconti, who also produces the album. It is the efficient Mick Woodmansey who hits the drums and who will occupy this position on several albums to come. As for the guitar, it is played with mastery by the one who will be David Bowie's faithful lieutenant for a few years, Mick Ronson. This fine team delivers to the listener compositions much more homogeneous than on the previous albums, and resolutely electric. Gone is the melting-pot of folk, pop, psyche and variety, "The Man Who Sold The World" is resolutely rock, and even sometimes hard rock, full of violent, heavy, unhealthy tracks, which could almost be compared to contemporary Alice Cooper albums.

This radical change of style is perhaps due to the mystery that hovers over the genesis of these songs. While David Bowie claims that they are his creation, as on previous albums, Visconti and Ronson claim that Bowie, too busy with his heart affairs, left them only rough drafts that they turned into finished tracks. Whatever the truth, the result is a mature, coherent and exciting record.

Of course, there are still some imperfections here and there. 'The Width of a Circle' gets a little lost in the multiplicity of its themes, 'Running Gun Blues', although pleasant, remains in the background, and the guitar/drums duet that ends 'She Shook Me Cold' is a little too long and messy. But David Bowie's extroverted interpretation, Ronson's sharp riffs, Visconti's roaring bass and Woodmansey's vigorous drumming quickly make you forget these minor flaws. And if this record doesn't contain a hit of the dimension of 'Space Oddity', it only contains strong, imaginative and innovative tracks.

"The Man Who Sold The World" already has the patina of "Ziggy" or "Diamond Dogs", with an intensity that never fades. With this album, David Bowie lays the foundations of glam rock, what was called at the time "decadent rock", a deviant rock that distorts its binary and sustained rhythms to make a disturbing and non-conformist music, giving off a sulfurous aroma of decay, madness and rage.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. The Width of a Circle (08:05)
02. All the Madmen (05:38)
03. Black Country Rock (03:32)
04. After All (03:52)
05. Running Gun Blues (03:11)
06. Saviour Machine (04:25)
07. She Shook Me Cold (04:13)
08. The Man Who Sold the World (03:55)
09. The Supermen (03:38)

LINEUP:
David Bowie: Chant / Guitares / Stylophone
Mick Ronson: Guitares / Choeurs
Mick Woodmansey: Batterie / Batterie
Ralph Mace: Moog
Tony Visconti: Guitares / Basse / Piano
   
(0) MIND(S) FROM OUR READERS    
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(4) COMMENT(S)    
 
 
ADRIANSTORK
22/09/2015
  0
Marc Bolan. Bolan. Bo = Bowie. Lan = Dylan.
ALADDIN_SANE
21/09/2015
  0
Bah oui, et c'est bien là le problème, Bowie et le hard ça fait deux. Et pourquoi Bolan s'appelle comme ça au fait ?
ADRIANSTORK
21/09/2015
  0
Par contre, je pense que Bowie s'oriente plus avec cet album vers le hard que le glam à paillettes de T-Rex. D'ailleurs, savez-vous pourquoi Marc Bolan s'appelle Bolan?
ADRIANSTORK
21/09/2015
  0
L'album commence en douceur quasi folk avant que les guitares n'envahissent ce sympathique terrain occupé par des babas. Des sons hards, un chant proche du grunge, Kurt Cobain (qui reprendra le riff légendaire mais inconnu à l'époque du titre éponyme) et David Halliday n'ont donc rien inventé. Cet album nous montre une face un peu plus ténébreuse de David Bowie, empreint de folie nietzschéenne (The Supermen) ou non (les instruments All The Madmen, le chant de Black Country Rock, les choeurs glacés d'After All ou le délire de psychopathe de Running Gun Blues). Il est très regrettable que David Bowie n'ait pas oeuvré plus longtemps dans ce genre (cela nous aurait épargné un raté comme Young Americans).
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