David Bowie
Young Americans


3.5
great

Review

by Chrisjon89 USER (7 Reviews)
June 2nd, 2010 | 56 replies


Release Date: 1975 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bowie's venture into soul music with the Thin White Duke persona.

David Bowie is known as a musical chameleon - an artist who constantly evolves for better or worse and makes variations to his sound with each release. This was evident in the early 1970's where he hopped genres on occasion, dabbling in hard rock, pop and eventually glam rock. The most radical shift in style, however, occured with the release of the 'Young Americans' album in 1975. A cocaine addicted Bowie would abandon the glam rock style of the three preceding albums in favour of an album influenced by Philadelphia soul. Only subtle hints existed on the previous record that he would head in this direction.

Assisted by Luther Vandross (who provides vocal arrangements and earns a co-writing credit) and a small army of back-up vocalists, Bowie delivers a smooth soul album which suprised and alienated some of his fanbase at the time of release. Fittingly recorded in Philadelphia, the production by Tony Visconti is superb. Visconti had worked with Bowie in the past and would continue to work with him for years following. The musicians are in fine form throughout and lay the foundation for the album, providing a laidback soul backing, or on occassion a frenetic funk sound, allowing Bowie to adapt to the genre and never really sound too far out of his comfort zone. Carlos Alomar would go on to collaborate with Bowie extensively in the future and Mike Garson had played on 1973's Aladdin Sane album.

The three defining tracks that best represent the album's sound occur early on - 'Win', 'Fascination' and 'Right'. These three songs are the backbone of the record and are the most consistent section. The saxophone (which pops up fairly often on Bowie albums) plays a prominent role in the most of the songs, supported by clean electric guitars and string sections. Aside from the title track, it seems to lack the lyrical depth of some of his other work but the album serves it's purpose based purely on the groove, vibes and laidback nature of most of the songs.

John Lennon features on 'Fame', which was Bowie's biggest hit in the US at the time of release, as well as 'Across the Universe' - a fairly forgettable cover of the Beatles' classic which sounds out of place. Although not his best work by any means, 'Young Americans' was an important stepping stone for the ever-evolving artist, who would go on to release some excellent albums in the years to come. In particular, this album provided the platform for him to build on the sound he had forged here and release Station to Station - a brilliant rock album.



Recent reviews by this author
Donny Hathaway LiveAlice Coltrane Journey in Satchidananda
John Coltrane Olé ColtraneJohn Coltrane Crescent
Mos Def Black on Both SidesDavid Bowie Diamond Dogs
user ratings (576)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Major Tom (3.5)
“I wanted to get into that whole Warholism of Polaroiding things… Young Americans was my photogr...


Comments:Add a Comment 
BigHans
June 2nd 2010


28387 Comments


Good review, unfortunately you won't get many comments as this site doesn't care enough about Bowie.

Chrisjon89
June 2nd 2010


3833 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks. Yeah that's alright, I just wanted to add a review for this album since it only had sound offs. He's kind of underappreciated here.

DhA
September 25th 2010


421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was going to review this ages ago but didn't feel I could. Good review, although I disagree with the rating.

dylantheairplane
December 25th 2010


2181 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think the Across The Universe cover on this is pretty awesome

Chrisjon89
January 1st 2011


3833 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I own everything he did in the 70's except for Pin Ups, and that's literally the only song I'd ever consider skipping. That's a pretty good track record. Maybe cos I like the Beatles version so much.

Sousa
February 11th 2011


46 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Got this thinking it would be pretty much 2 songs and some trash in the middle. Great album.

Jarvig
May 15th 2011


168 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Disappointing album. Both in musical direction and overall quality.



Do not like this blend of funk, soul, disco, R&B and blues. Too boring.



Outstanding tunes: -

Good tunes: Young Americans and Fame.



Next album please

Chrisjon89
May 16th 2011


3833 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really like 'Right' as well. And 'Fascination' is pretty sweet.

vmcoia91
May 16th 2011


573 Comments


Good review. I'll check this out cause I like Low and Ziggy by Bowie.

FromDaHood
July 29th 2011


9107 Comments


I'm scared to listen to this because I heard an incredible cover of Young Americans and it might taint the music.

13themount
January 23rd 2012


173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

liked this a lot better than i thought; good to hear a Beatles song by someone with a better voice than the beatles

LilLioness
October 10th 2012


2994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It is a pretty good, chill record.

ViperAces
February 9th 2013


12570 Comments


FAAAAAAMMMMMMMMEEEEE

hamid95
December 31st 2013


435 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think I'm in the minority here: Not digging Fame. Title track is the best, though.

dylantheairplane
December 31st 2013


2181 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

suuuuuuuuuch an underrated album. Every song is great. The first side of the record in particular is some of the best work Bowie has ever done imho

Maladjusted
April 17th 2015


119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is some kind of a guilty pleasure but i think a 3.5 rating is pretty good.I do enjoy this album a lot

Digging: Mac DeMarco - Salad Days

ArsMoriendi
April 17th 2015


21481 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Win" and "Fame" are brilliant. : )



Honestly I love the direction he took with that album. Sure it had its flaws and I'm glad that he only did it once, but its still great.

Digging: Wilco - Summerteeth

Maladjusted
April 18th 2015


119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love his soul period and i love this album.After all it's Bowie.All of his songs have a soul,jazzy quality but in the background, in their DNA(genius).In this album is just obvious.I love, it's gonna be me

WillDockery
July 21st 2015


7 Comments


A major, unforgettable moment in following Bowie, in which he showed me and others that he might go just about any direction musically and stylistically. I think that truly weird appearance on Soul Train came just before I bought the album... wow, I haven't seen it since, but what a herky-jerky dancing moment that was... as he blushed at all the afro-sheeners.


Maladjusted
August 18th 2015


119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really lovely and quirky Will and he was so high that he wasn't even aware of that



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy