David Bowie – Low (2017 Remaster) (1977/2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 38:59 minutes | 1,53 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Parlophone UK
“Sula vie dilejo. Solo vie milejo!”Warsaw, April 1976. The little cozy train from Zurich to Moscow stops for a while in the even more inhospitable capital of socialist Poland. A well-known Londoner with his buddy Iggy Pop walks deeply impressed through a city full of bomb craters, bullet holes and coal smog. A trip in the middle of the”low” sessions, which should be worthwhile. Meanwhile, the other buddy Brian Eno sat alone at home and devised the basic melody of “Warszawa”.
That dark, stoic despair of the Eastern Bloc saw David Bowie reflected one – on-one in the ideas of the former Roxy Music father. Highly inspired, he added the pain-filled vocals plus excerpts from a Silesian folk piece he had learned in Warsaw. Eno only mentioned later that the basic theme of the song was largely created with the help of producer Tony Visconti’s four-year-old son. When Eno looked after the child, he sat down at the piano and constantly looped A, B and C. This, it is said, overcame Uncle Brian only the inspiration.
One of countless, mostly moody anecdotes about one of the darkest albums in music history. An album marked by the suffering of the recovering cocaine junkie Bowie. One about which one wrote dissertations; Phillip Glass even a complete symphony. In addition, a musical cut in David Bowie’s career, such as there was neither before nor after him. A lot of superlatives for less than 40 minutes of playing time. Nevertheless justified.
With this LP he discovers the Krauts and their electronics. With a little power plant, much more New! and La Düsseldorf as well as the entire Düsseldorf school as a role model, the Thin White Duke finally sounds as “Weimar Republic” as it already looks and occasionally presents itself since the last Station To Station tour.
Although two godparents of Make Up and glamrock meet here with Eno and Bowie: the record is the complete opposite of the media image of both artists, at least at the time. But Eno’s collar and feather boa have long since mothballed. With New!s Michael Rother together with Cluster he has in the forest a few corners further – “quite simply in black” (so Rother) founded the Krautrock allstar combo Harmonia and recorded the masterful “Tracks And Traces”.
Bowie contributed a good portion of depression to the already fragmentary songs. For this purpose, he crawled into a rundown hole in the main street in Berlin-Schöneberg. WG buddy from across the street: the appropriately chaotic Rockbar Iggy. Bowie sucks up all the drug-pregnant morbidity of the heroin capital of Europe and becomes the nihilistic star of the punk and emerging new Wave scene. Surreal a lot of underground credibility for a superstar. With a cameo appearance in “Wir Kinder Vom Bahnhof Zoo” Bowie will thank you shortly afterwards.
If the pleasing single “Heroes “was always a little too much the” Wind Of Change “of an already mixed history of Berlin Wall songs, you will find a reliable alternative in” Weeping Wall”. A spacey-in spite of everything-clearing up against the misfortune of the wall. Congenially symbolized by the implied interweaving of the British traditional “Scarborough Fair”. For the equally monolithic sound area “Subterraneans” devises the famous cryptic and always in vain interpreted lines of “Share bride failing star / care-line care-line driving me Shirley, Shirley, Shirley own / share bride failing star”. The scalpel-like saxophone is itself recorded and sounds like the lonely screaming twin of the broken Orwell sax in “Diamond Dogs”. It never gets better.
If you find this permanently too melancholic, you should stick to the A-side with the most sung songs. The cute opener “Speed Of Life” is such a poppy electric herb bead – Klaus Dinger would have been proud. With” Sound And Vision ” Bowie addresses the paranoia of his cocaine use. Added to this is Carlos Alomar’s guitar hook from Hell, the naked bass George Murray and Eno’s backing vocals with Germanophile synthies. With good reason the beautiful song establishes itself as one of the original hymns of the beginning wave culture. “Don’t you wonder sometimes ’bout sound and vision? ”
My very personal Bowie-highlight in general and”Low “-peak in particular is the equally tender track”Always Crashing In The Same Car”. Lines from the hallucinogen Burroughs ‘ image frenzy to real wisdom. “Jasmine, I saw you peeping / Oh, but I’m always crashing in the same car.”The almost breathed voice gives the three and a half minutes a floating atmosphere, such as one can rarely experience in such intensity (except possibly in the psychotic “After All” of 1970).
Despite all the tortures of drug withdrawal: great how the Brixtoner absorbs the destroyed alienation of the former imperial capital and conceptually forms as a red thread in frozen sounding neon sounds. How he manages all this despite Stooges-Iggy, without sinking into the heroin swamp of the old hooker Berlin. According to Bowie’s captivating English logic, however, no problem: “Of course I moved from the ‘coke center of the world’ to the ‘smack center of the world’. But luckily that was not a thing, because I never had a weakness for heroin.”
Although with the sequels “Heroes” and “Lodger” two parts of his Berlin trilogy should be missing; apart from a brilliant Robert Fripp Bowie had nothing to add to this perfect reinvention. The disk works just as well without any background knowledge as vice versa. Bowie as a post-punk pope with a wonderfully sublime cover, a photo from Nicholas Roeg’s”The Man Who Fell from the Sky”. A silent counterpart to Munch’s “The scream”, but just as negative.
1. David Bowie – Speed of Life (2017 Remaster)
2. David Bowie – Breaking Glass (2017 Remaster)
3. David Bowie – What in the World (2017 Remaster)
4. David Bowie – Sound and Vision (2017 Remaster)
5. David Bowie – Always Crashing in the Same Car (2017 Remaster)
6. David Bowie – Be My Wife (2017 Remaster)
7. David Bowie – A New Career in a New Town (2017 Remaster)
8. David Bowie – Warszawa (2017 Remaster)
9. David Bowie – Art Decade (2017 Remaster)
10. David Bowie – Weeping Wall (2017 Remaster)
11. David Bowie – Subterraneans (2017 Remaster)