David Bowie
The Man Who Sold the World



by sadisticmonkey USER (8 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 23 replies

Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

(1971) David Bowie - "The Man Who Sold The World"

David Bowie: vocals, guitar
Mick Ronson: guitar
Tony Visconti: bass
Mick Woodmansey: drums
Ralph mace: synth

Fast forward 2 years after the release of "Space Oddity". David Bowie drops the folk singing style for the time being to bring us one of the best albums he has ever released. The album "The Man Who Sold The World" is a hard hitting, dark, sadistic whirlwind of rock that isn't to be missed by any Bowie or Rock and Roll Fan. Released in 1971, this album is considered to some as being one of the first Hard Rock/Metal esque albums released by any well known artist.

The Width Of A Circle - 9/10
The album starts off with some rocking, yet soft guitar riffs...Only to be met by some excellent hard rock riffs and singing. This song, like most off this album provide lyrics that are cryptic, sadistic, and full of delightful symbolisms. Longest track on the LP (8:05) provides a rock opera feel as the song changes throughout the course of its existance. Much like an overture (perhaps the Who's Tommy") would. Great opening to a new side of Bowie.

All The Madmen - 10/10
This song flows right from the first track. We start off with a slow, melodic yet haunting intro, with some more delightful Bowie pan flute (yet this time less annoying). This song breaks from the slow intro and smashes right into a dark hard rocking riff about insanity. Reminds me allot of a Black Sabbath Song but more heartfelt. Best part of this song is the insane middle section with overtracked political dialogue. A true rock and roll gem.

Black Country Rock - 10/10
My favorite song off this album. This song consists of one verse and one chorus repeated. This song has everything you could want from a rock song. Awesome drumming by Mick Woodmansey, and some kick *** guitar from Mick Ronson. Song starts off with a funny little clean guitar intro, but blasts into one of the most catchy Bowie songs I've ever heard. Bowie sings this song with all of his heart, and you can tell. One of the best Bowie Songs. Check it out.

After All - 7.5/10
Creepiest song on this LP. A very haunting song about god knows what, almost sounds like a cult song. Children chanting "Oh By Jingo" scares the crap out of me sometimes. Very interesting song, and oddly enough, feels very belonging to this album.

Running Gun Blues - 9/10
Bowie gone mad. This song is about Vietnam. Its message still holds up today. A very rocking song about the guilt off killing a man on the battle field. The chorus:
I slash them cold, I kill them dead
I broke the gooks, I cracked their heads
I'll bomb them out from under the beds
But now I've got the running gun blues

is rather controversial, but hey, thats Bowie. This song is a delight if you like a cool 'Rocker On The Run' style song

Saviour Machine - 7/10
Bowie's most political song on the album. Sounds like he's ranting about the government manipulating our minds. Sounds about right for an early 70's rock song. Has some nice guitar soloing and some interesting synth effects. Decent song.

She Shook Me Cold - 8.5/10
The most violent sounding song from this LP. This song is about the nightlife. The discovering of the sex seen. This song sounds allot like a Black Sabbath song. Its Dirty, raw and very powerful. Again, the guitar is very good.

The Man Who Sold The World - 10/10
In 1971, this song wasn't as popular as it is today. Thanks to a certain band you might know (Nirvana), who played this song live for the MTV Unplugged concert, this song has gained a new generation of Bowie fans. It was this song that made me go hunt for old Bowie albums in the first place. A very sad song about god only knows. I believe it has something to do with burning out/selling out to "The Man". A very 60's message that lives on strong today (Even though the Nirvana cover is more well recieved than this one. I believe its due to the fact that this song really relates to the life and death of Kurt Cobain as a celebrity). Probably one of the most well written songs by David Bowie. The Music is catchy, the chorus is known by many. The intro is probably one of the most recognizable intro's to the average rock fan.

The Supermen - 8.5/10
A great closer to an amazing album. A hard rocking song about the giants and gods and the people who hold the power. I especially like the drumming on this song (sounds like a tribe march). Good guitar yet again, very nice solo.

Reviewers Picks
All The Madmen
Black Country Rock
Running Gun Blues
The Man Who Sold The World

Overall Rating - 9/10
This is definately an essential bowie album. A little hard rock, a little psychadelic banter. This album is very powerful, and its easy to see how this paved the way for the Glam/ Arena Rocking Bowie years to come in the early-mid seventies.

I recommend this album to any true rock fan.

Recent reviews by this author
Modest Mouse Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour TricksFleetwood Mac Rumours
Bob Dylan DesireDavid Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
David Bowie Diamond DogsDavid Bowie Space Oddity
user ratings (888)
other reviews of this album
Tom93M (4.5)
A strange, mad celebration…...

doctorjimmy (3.5)
Bowie may have still been blossoming as a songwriter, but the embryonic Spiders From Mars simply can...

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 11th 2004


I bought this album because of Nirvana's cover of "The Man Who Sold The World." Good review.

August 11th 2004


Album Rating: 5.0

I bought it for the same reason... I can see why Cobain liked Bowie :thumb:

August 11th 2004


My dad went to a Bowie concert about a month ago (it was in an opera house/theater), and he said this title track was one of his favorites that he was glad Bowie played.

Also, why have you reviewed every single Bowie album EXCEPT the half-dozen on the Rolling Stone 500 list? Are you getting to them eventually?

August 11th 2004


Album Rating: 5.0

getting to them...

I will do Ziggy Stardust next...

I don't have my Hunky Dory or Aladdin Sane yet

August 11th 2004


[QUOTE=YDload]My dad went to a Bowie concert about a month ago (it was in an opera house/theater), and he said this title track was one of his favorites that he was glad Bowie played.

Also, why have you reviewed every single Bowie album EXCEPT the half-dozen on the Rolling Stone 500 list? Are you getting to them eventually?[/QUOTE]

He's great live, best show I've ever been to. :thumb:

August 29th 2005


David Bowie is an amazing artist. And so is Kurt Cobain for liking good music.

December 25th 2005


Album Rating: 4.5

i bought the album because i love bowie. not for kurt cobain!!

June 18th 2006


if i love man who sold the world (the track) think id like this cd as a whole?

June 18th 2006


This comment has nothing to do with David Bowie but i have been taking snare drum lessons for 2 years at my school and i'm going to get a drum set. any of u guys know a lot about drum sets and which model and what brand i should get from a range of $500-$750?

June 18th 2006


Don't ask here, go to the forums.

August 9th 2006


I like Bowie but the labrenth lol...

And he is probuby in his mid 50's truthfully.

August 9th 2006


"labyrinth lol"? are you telling me you dont like "dance magic dance"?!!

August 9th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

David Bowie is 59 years old.

September 29th 2006


the man who sold the world is an amazing song.

October 20th 2006


yes it is
i just got this
and im pretty impressed
i have the greatest hits from bowie
i bought it when i was like 9
i still like it
but i can't stand greatest hits CDs anymore
i wanted a real album of his
and this seemed like a good place to startThis Message Edited On 10.20.06

Two-Headed Boy
October 20th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I'm not too in love with this album to tell you the truth, though it does have some classic cuts. All the Madmen is a great song.

October 20th 2006


im really liking "the width of a circle"This Message Edited On 10.20.06

June 5th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

I'm really liking this as a whole. I really should've gotten sooner.

April 18th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Well I was going to say this is the most underrated Bowie album ever..... but it may not be afterall (well not on this site anyways).

All the mad men is a truly awesome tune. My fav on the album and one of my fav Bowie songs.

August 4th 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

"The Supermen" is such a forgotten Bowie song. It's such a fantastic song.

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


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