David Bowie by David Bowie

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David Bowie by David Bowie
David Bowie by David Bowie

Album Released: 1967

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1.Uncle Arthur2:07
2.Sell Me A Coat2:58
3.Rubber Band2:17
4.Love You Till Tuesday3:09
5.There Is A Happy Land3:11
6.We Are Hungry Men2:58
7.When I Live My Dream3:22
8.Little Bombardier3:24
9.Silly Boy Blue3:48
10.Come And Buy My Toys2:07
11.Join The Gang2:17
12.She's Got Medals2:23
13.Maid Of Bond Street1:43
14.Please Mr. Gravedigger2:35


The Deluxe edition has 53 tracks over 2 CDs, remastered and featuring plenty of out-takes as well as the original album in both stereo and mono formats.

Much has been made of Bowie being obviously unoriginal at this stage, instead absorbing numerous influences. But then I'm not familiar with everything David Bowie was influenced by and besides, we're now over forty years down the line.

The often discussed "Laughing Gnome" is among the bonus tracks, a song that would haunt the latterday 'cool' Bowie with a vengeance, particularly among the likes of NME and Melody Maker critics. Still, I actually quite like the sound of the music, the bass and drums, the very period 'sixties' sound.

I also spot something of a Kinks influence in the opening "Uncle Arthur", a similar kind of story-telling observation. It's a good tune actually, and although not a hit at the time, as much 1966 as "Ziggy Stardust" was 1972.

There's a lack of identity though - no two songs are sung quite the same or in the same style, and there's a lack of lyrical cohesion too. The original 14-track album is something of a confused grab of random ideas, albeit often wonderfully executed. The lack of clear identity harmed Bowie's commercial chances rather than the oft-repeated theory that he wasn't in fact very good.

So although not many of these tunes display major amounts of innovation or originality, Bowie could undoubtedly write a tune or four. "Rubber Band" contains the excellent lyric my moustache was thickly waxed and one foot long, better than "Love You Til Tuesday" actually, that was released as a single. If the album lacks a central identity or style then "Love You Til Tuesday" encapsulates this, it doesn't know what it's trying to do - it lacks a chorus as such, Bowie instead tries on several different accents, and it just chugs along not doing very much. Nice orchestration though.

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by Reviewer: Adrian Denning (blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews)

Jeez, Bowie bought into the whole 1967 swingin' / pot smokin' / paisley-wearin' / mod-hippie fad with both chequebooks and a wallet of cash.

He was probably considered a 'face' at the time, due to his impeccable fashion sense, got invited to all the right parties, and lusted-after by all the homosexual middle-aged English men in suits that always flocked around what was actually an idiotic scene. And his sexual *ahem* 'agreeability' was probably the main reason they granted him yet another opportunity to break into pop music stardom after his last half-dozen tries landed straight in the crapper.

This his debut album (or is it? Is it really another singles collection? God, who knows with Decca) is another chance not simply missed, but spat upon, chewed up, passed through the lower intestine, tossed in a blender, pureed into a milkshake, fed to a dyspeptic hog, and thrown at the face of Good Taste.

David Bowie is frighteningly early-1967 in both sound and intent, one of the least artistically resilient periods in rock history, that of the hash-influenced pre-Pepper British 'dancehall' craze kicked off by The Beatles' "Penny Lane", and represented at its best by The Kinks' Something Else and the Stones' Flowers and Between the Buttons albums.

But those abums have nothing to do with this phlegm-puddle, other than a shared accent and maybe a record label. Bowie may have tried his best to make an LP that would stack up to those near-classics, but instead he made an embarrassing chunk of dated horse-pucky that says more about the man's ability to huckster an image than it does about his ability to make music.

This album is loaded with march tempos, unironic / unswinging horn charts, infantile baby-la-la nursery school fairy-tale lyrics, and a fierce case of meaningless lyrical diarrhea, that would make Jon Anderson of Yes look like Henry Rollins.

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by Reviewer: Capt Bonanza (blogging at Capn Marvel's Bonanza [Defunct])

Bowie's debut album and the first one he released as 'David Bowie' is an embarrassing and ridiculous pile of ass that he didn’t match in badness again until the 1980's.

The stuff collected on the 1991 retrospective Early On was at least passable in places and never like, killed anyone, whereas this is just atrocious. It’s so over-the-top in its wannabe British dancehall-Kinks / Between the Buttons-ness, and with lyrics that sound like a random amalgamation of semi-freaky / nonsense Syd Barrett-isms, that it’s sickening. I’d probably question the entire musical taste of anyone who finds a lot to enjoy on this album.

There's not a single thing on this album worth hearing. It's actually kind of funny, but alas, it’s so bad that somehow its badness completely over-rides its comedic aspect. Musically, it consists of weak sort of 'jazzy but not really' drums, strings playing whatever they feel like because it’s clear not much coherent was actually written for them, tinkly pianos not being catchy and/or keyboards not being un-shitty, and a bunch of horns (and by 'horns' I don't mean saxophones or a horn section - no, I mean a random trumpet or tuba or trombone) blasting away at melodies that generally fall into one of two categories: 'dickless' or 'off-key', usually both.

Together, it all adds up to a bunch of ultra-fey, way-too-British, pseudo-psychedelic, croon-filled orchestral tinkly dancehall crap with occasional 'weird' or 'controversial' Bowie things that just suck at an unbelievably high level.

Take for example on “We Are Hungry Men”, where some German voiceover guy goes Achtung, Achtung! These are your orders! Anyone found guilty of consuming more than their allotted amount of air will be slaughtered and cremated! before he’s interrupted by Bowie saying I’ve prepared a document legalizing mass-abortion! while a trumpet or something plays a note purposely way off-key. Ooo, He said 'abortion'! He’s being controversial! He’s dark and disturbed! Ooo!

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by Reviewer: BRAD