It’s a lot of ground to cover. The Berlin period. Two posts left in this week in a day and I’ve not touched Berlin, Plastic Soul, Thin White Duke, Soundtracks, The 80’s, The 90’s. Sound (there’s a lot of that) and Vision (There’s a lot of that too).
Let’s have a splurge. Wuzza Wuzza. Low is an album in every sense of the word. A dense soundscape of mood pieces that all hang together, with a rich and unique texture. And slap bang in the middle of it there’s a hit single. Sure, there were 3 singles from Low. But Sound And Vision was the hit. The first record of the Berlin trilogy it followed Station To Station (home of Golden Years and Wild Is The Wind) which was already pretty darned ambient in places and preceded Heroes (home of errm… Heroes) then Lodger (Boys Keep Swinging and DJ). He could have taken the easy road. He definitely didn’t.
It’s hard to think of a megastar who went about things more awkwardly than Bowie in the late 70’s. Sure he was invited to sing with Bing Crosby and cosy up to Marc Bolan on kids TV by Auntie Establishment. And he did. But nobody asked him to go to bed with Mick Jagger, hole up in a Berlin hotel with Iggy Pop until they’d done enough drugs to turn Glam Rock into performance art. But he did those things too.
If there was ever any doubt beforehand it was now clear. He was a weirdo’s weirdo.