Here's a little trivia ... this is the very first album I ever reviewed. Well, not this
album specifically, but the 1967 album titled David Bowie
All throughout that review I said it was pretty dumb to own that album when you could own The Deram Anthology
instead, which contains all of David Bowie
plus a bunch of singles released at the time. So now, here I am finally rectifying my own hypocrisy and actually reviewing The Deram Anthology
! Finally, the world can rest easy.
Truth be told, the best material on this collection is actually the stuff that appeared on David Bowie
, so you're not missing out on much. On the other hand, if you're out there collecting obscure David Bowie albums, you might as well be a completist about it. At the very least, The Deram Anthology
allows you to own a copy of “London Boys”, and you deserve a copy of that song, as it's a true rarity in David Bowie's discography, in that it's not only well-written with smart instrumentation, Bowie also gives a truly gut-wrenching vocal performance. I think most of the world agrees that one of Bowie's greatest weaknesses was how little he seemed to believe in the music he was singing, but “London Boys” is an exception.
It's also safe to say that Bowie had finally figured out how to write consistently good songs. I already mentioned (at length) about how mediocre the songs were on Early On
, but his songwriting skills had greatly improved by the time he was recording music for the Deram label. That said, he still couldn't come out with a hit to save his life! But he was making some noble stabs at it. And truthfully, there's not a lot here that could legitimately overshadow the songs that were hits at the time. David Bowie was simply not cut out to be a superstar in the 1960's.
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio
(blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews