David Bowie
Aladdin Sane


5.0
classic

Review

by Ross Delany USER (35 Reviews)
April 11th, 2006 | 82 replies | 14,233 views


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist


7 of 7 thought this review was well written

Not too long ago, in a galaxy that we would call home, a boy was born; his name was David Robert Jones. This is a name that nobody knows, a name which is of no significance to music of this day and age; or is it? This man is a living legend, a giant in a world of disposable bubblegum pop. His name is David Robert Jones, but you may know him better as David Bowie.

I have my mother to thank for a lot of the music I like; she introduced me to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink Floyd, and the Sex Pistols among many others. Don’t get me wrong, I love them all, but my appreciation of those greats combined couldn’t touch on my appreciation of Bowie, who both my parents introduced me to when I was 11. When I first heard “Heroes" I was overawed by it’s…greatness. However, every time I looked into my mum and dad’s CD and Vinyl collections, one CD case caught my attention, and it’s this one; Aladdin Sane. I’d been dissuaded by the album’s instantly recognisable cover before; Bowie topless with the iconic red, blue and black lightning bolt on his face, I thought it would be another album which failed to live up to its hype; how wrong I had been

The album has a brilliant opener in “Watch that Man" a song which, from the outset, eases fears that this album will be a letdown. It does this with a blend of a stunningly catchy guitar riff, Bowie’s great voice and lyrics, and some rather good piano. One thing that will catch a listener’s ear on this album is the backing vocals, instead of merely dying in the background, the backing vocals are noticeable and are in the vein of what I can only describe as “soul-esque", not a great description, but the only one that I feel I can provide.

The album fluctuates in style on a number of occasions, for example, the mood and style on the energetic and upbeat rock song “watch that man" to a theatrical mood in “Time" to a more mellow Jazz song in “Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?)" this shows Bowie’s ability to adapt to various styles while still maintaining his own unique take on it. This album possibly shows that ability the most out of the early Bowie albums, with Bowie showing his own take on styles such as Jazz, Doo-Wap and many others. Alongside this, he stays true to his rock roots with songs like “Panic in Detroit" and “Cracked Actor". The latter of these sounds completely different to anything else I’ve ever heard by Bowie; with a rather heavy reliance on traditional rock distortion with harmonica added in by Bowie

The album’s instrumentation is spot on as well, with songs like “Panic in Detroit" keeping a great feel and “Let’s Spend the Night Together…"becoming a really upbeat song with some great piano, a theme which recurs in the album. this album is really the showcase of Bowie’s artistic vision, with songs like “Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?)", “Let’s Spend the Night Together…" and “Lady Grinning Soul" utilising the piano to great effect. This is thanks to Mike Garson, Bowie’s pianist on this album, who plays some brilliant piano, whether it be the more mellow “Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?)" or the more up-tempo yet tasteful passages in “Lady Grinning Soul", Garson pulls some rather amazing piano parts from his sleeve

In my honest opinion, this is a classic, borderline, but classic nonetheless. It practically gave birth to glam rock and influenced more artists than one could shake a large stick at.
I will say however, that the album may fall out of that classic range for a select few, but the majority would find that this album is truly great and deserves is place on the rolling stone’s top 500 albums ever list. Granted, it pales slightly when placed next to “Hunky Dory" but that’s an album which will go on to epitomise that generation of music.

This album’s been hyped by so many, the difference is…

…this lives up to it’s hype.

5/5

Star Tracks*

usually, only one track strikes me as being the album’s “Star track" this however, has two in my opinion, they are…Track 2. Aladdin Sane and Track 4. Panic in Detroit


“Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?)"
__
Aladdin Sane features some absolutely amazing piano work, which, in my opinion, is possibly the best I’ve ever heard. With lyrics depicting the hopelessness of sending men to war on false premises and strong references to Bowie’s brother, a schizophrenic(hence the title, Aladdin Sane or A Lad Insane) the instrumentation never fails to strike me with awe; especially the piano. However, there’s some great saxophone work and Bowie’s voice fits in with the instruments perfectly, making the whole song work as a unit
__

Panic in Detroit
__
Panic in Detroit is the heavy song on the album, written while Bowie was in his bus going through Detroit, this song is about what he seen and imagined the city was like beneath it’s surface. Set to heavy guitars with an infectious riff, this song is one of the better heavier songs Bowie’s ever written, perhaps even the best. The backing Vocalists’ oohs and ahhs add to the song, Giving it something which it would miss if they were omitted.
__


Further Listening.

Reality
Space Oddity
Heathen



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Comments:Add a Comment 
innerdark
April 11th 2006



749 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

By the way, i forgot to put this in, and it won't let me edit it but this was

#227 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest albums of all time list

Two-Headed Boy
April 11th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review, man. This is defintley a classic album.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2006



16081 Comments


Man thats a terrible members also liked. MCR?

I liked the review, although why seperate the two standout tracks like you did, instead of just integrating them into one paragraph? Would make it look slicker imho.

pulseczar
April 11th 2006



2385 Comments


Nice review, I think your overall description of the album was a bit thin though.

Zebra
Moderator
April 11th 2006



2647 Comments


Your review was good, but I don't think that the star tracks are needed.
To me, David Bowie has always seemed like a fool. I mean just looking at him on some of his cover art makes me crack up. That being said he has made some excellent music.

innerdark
April 11th 2006



749 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hey, if you had single handedly influenced great music, you'd be allowed to dress like a twit as wellThis Message Edited On 04.11.06

Two-Headed Boy
April 11th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

...I saw him live :D

innerdark
April 11th 2006



749 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i hate you now :upset:

Two-Headed Boy
April 11th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, it really was incredible. The best part was definitley the encore. He played, like, the whole Ziggy Stardust album and meshed it into one huge song. The crowd freaked out at the opening chords to Ziggy Stardust. Sigh, what a legend.

innerdark
April 11th 2006



749 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

he's recording a new album apparently

buying it

Two-Headed Boy
April 11th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It'll be quite a feat to follow up Reality. It's my new favorite Bowie album.

innerdark
April 11th 2006



749 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

which may have a review soon as well

along with Heroes and Hunky Dory when i find them

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2006



15727 Comments


Innerdark, havent seen u in ages. Good stuff.

Digging: A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Sea When Absent

Starfcker
April 12th 2006



32 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Excellent Review. Nice Intro. Fantastic Album

You could of talked about the almighty piano solo on the track "Aladdin Sane" though.

innerdark
April 12th 2006



749 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i couldn't have done, words cannot describe that solo's awesomeness

Sepstrup
April 18th 2006



1563 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Bowie rocks, he's one of my favourite artists. I don't love this as much as Hunky Dory or Ziggy Stardust, but it's still pretty great.This Message Edited On 04.18.06

Digging: How to Dress Well - What Is This Heart?

Anthracks
August 1st 2008



3665 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

My favorite Bowie album. Every track is ace.

DENEpants
April 2nd 2009



382 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very good review and album. i could tell you really like it too.

Lord Moe
May 3rd 2011



6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

possibly my favorite Bowie album. It grows on you until one day you think to yourself "Wow, what have I been missing?"

Jarvig
May 12th 2011



168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Underrated Bowie album. Among his very best.

Stil glam, hard blues rock. But now with elements of both jazz, cabaret, cirkus music and avantgarde. Not as "perfect" as Ziggy Stardust.....more taking it over the edge.

Outstanding songs: Aladdin Sane, Time and Lady Grinning Soul
Very, very good songs: Drive-In Saturday, Cracked Actor, Prettiest Star and Jean Genie.



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