David Bowie is one of the few beings left in music to infuse transformation without any intuition to provoke it. The offset to this instrumental vitality is found in the comforts of being traditionally misunderstood if not persecuted. The absence of a record deal is nothing but a speck of star dust amidst the scope of a man whom in the long scope has traveled to Mars and back. With the nucleus for “Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders from Mars” being cemented with Mick Ronson’s collaboration on “The Man Who Sold The World” and being validated on Hunky Dory. Ronson’s theatrical contributions are often discounted when accounting the interstellar parallels of Ziggy’s universe to that of our own; still without these humble collaborations, one could hardly reach the heights to explore one’s true space.
Mick Ronson; the man responsible for re-popularizing the sensation of Lisztomania, made his second debut on “The Man Who Sold The World.” The pre-cursor track being the inspired “Space Oddity.” In between these two key components, the evolution that drove the three-album deal that David had acquired from RCA would not have been as character driven if not sensual.
So now, let us look at “Hunky Dory” for the expanse development that Bowie effortlessly exudes. The poetry had never left, nor had the extensive capacity to musically keep composure; so “why is Hunky Dory such an amazing album?”
[LISTEN] David Bowie – Hunky Dory (Full Album HQ)
This album exudes a man who was once viewed as androgynous displaying his inability to connect with what is traditionally beautiful with a track like “Oh! You Pretty Things,” while implicating the raucous of old in a track like “Queen Bitch.” “Changes” initiates the journey, and “Life On Mars” inquires early on. “Fill Your Heart” is the quintessential guide to demonstrating the spirituality that is accompanied with a loving heart. I am also in awe with the discreet homage to Andy Warhol, whom apparently was not favorable to the outcome. I believe this may be due to concern of his physical caricature represented in the song; I take Bowie’s gift as a way of sensualizing Warhol’s flaws as a figurative of creating beauty.
Andy Warhol’s response to the track coincided with; “I like your shoes.” This may have been a demonstration of where Warhol may have been in his sense of perception. It is ironic for me personally to see that Andy had been dulled of the ideology of recreating an image in a different color while preserving the foundation. This serves to show that despite the popular aura he had shown in 1971 that he was exceptionally jaded by the lack of self and communal observance in art… The repercussions of the track itself are reminiscent of Warhol’s early art.
“Song For Bob Dylan” was done with the same intention, in admiration of Bob Dylan’s “Song For Woody.” The subtlety of his endearment was found in the key and chord progressions emulating the most from Dylan’s “Village” catalogue. This includes and is not limited to “Highway 61 Revisited,” and “Bringing It All Back Home.”
My second favorite Bowie song ends this album. “The Bewlay Brothers,” represents far too much to me to do the injustice of trying to explain it. I genuinely feel it matches the level of poetic instinct that was shown during “The Man Who Sold The World,” without the distraction of the instrumental theatricality.
I truly believe that the revolution of this album lies in Bowie’s cognitive discovery finally being presented in a more general life cycle. “Eight Line Poem” represents Bowie’s possession from the Blues, and the album still had room to alleviate and explain his fluctuating musicality with a track as unifying as “Kooks.” I have an unhealthy sense of hero worship for Bowie, this being said, I continually come back to “Quicksand” to remind me that he is as mortal as we all are, and is totally palpable to the same insecurities and confusions as to how to procure them. The result is my favorite track on the album.
The adaption of developing oneself can’t directly be correlated to the adaptation of oneself; still Hunky Dory serves as the catalyst that allowed the musical audience to open awareness and acceptance to the changes we must all face. Please, if you have not taken the time for this album; do yourself some justice and listen with the intent to hear. The end result is the ability to feel; if not associate yourself with the most interstellar of your human qualities. This album (as are all Bowie albums) is a masterpiece.