(1974) David Bowie - "Diamond Dogs"
David Bowie: vocals, guitar, saxes, moog and mellotron
Mike Garson: piano
Alan Parker: guitar on the track '1984'
Herbie Flowers: bass
Tony Newman: drums
Anysley Dunbar: drums
Tony Visconti: strings
After the ever popular success of Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" and "Aladdin Sane" persona's (and minus the covers only album "Pin-Ups") Bowie released "Diamond Dogs". As you may or may not know, this album was written to be made into a musical based on the George Orwell Novel "1984". David Bowie could not secure the rights to the story, thus went on to turn his efforts into an album. Many critics were hard on this album. They claimed it wasn't nearly as good as his last 2 Wonder Albums. Here is what I've come to say about "Diamond Dogs". One of the most underrated, passed on Bowie LP's.
Future Legend - 6/10
A spoken intro, depicting a dark apocalyptic view of the future ahead of us. Disturbing dialogue mixed with eerie music and children's voices leads the listener up to the next track.
Diamond Dogs - 9/10
The albums title track starts off as sort of a hypnotic zombie style march, but then quickly shoots of into sort of a jazzy rock song about the Diamond Dogs, who are presumably one of two things. Ghoulish blood sucking woman... or Ghoulish blood sucking whores. Either way, this track is really snazzy. Cool saxophone parts included.
Sweet Thing - 9/10
Here is a very touching song. It starts off with slow with some cool sound effects, but then we are left to piano, vocals and some nice distorted guitar. The song sings about dark sexual desire. Almost like a theme song for prostitution this song really pulls at the heart. Very emotional song.
Candidate - 8/10
This song is part of a medley. Continued from the last song. Similar tune even. This song is about dirty politicians and government scandals and cover ups. Nice sax and guitar work done on this tune.
Sweet Thing (Reprise) - 8/10
Continued from the last two tracks, we have the reprise of Sweet Thing. The song is the same (more emotional singing by David) and there is some added instrumental, which showcases the wild experimental side of album's composition.
Rebel Rebel - 10/10
Here we have Rebel Rebel. One of Bowie's greatest radio friendly hits. It was his second biggest hit since "Space Oddity". Everyone has heard this song on the rock and roll stations, without a doubt (You'd know it if you heard it). This song is pretty much a rock anthem for falling in love with the bad girl. You want her, you need her, but she is such a bad ***. Intro guitar riff is quite possibly one of the best from the 70's. Great song to party to.
Rock N' Roll With Me - 9/10
Here is a lesser known song. But a great one nonetheless. A sing-a-long anthem for rock and roll. Piano based song, great swaying tempo. Awesome reverb on the guitar parts. All round a wonderful, upbeat rock song.
We Are The Dead - 7.5/10
Here is where we can see the novel "1984"s influence start creeping in. This song reflects upon the mood of the classic book. People having no control on their lives, and having to live every moment under careful watch of the government power figures. Nothing fancy about this song. Fits well with the mood of the album.
1984 - 10/10
Here it is folks. Pre-Disco, DISCO. This song is a swinging dance song. Reminds me a bit of "Dancing Queen" by ABBA meets "Thriller" By Michael Jackson. A very flashy song based on Orwell's brilliant novel about government control. Moreso a disco funk song than a rocker. Brilliant, regardless.
Big Brother - 9/10
Another song based directly on the novel. This song is about the influence of the government ("Big Brother" was the name of the power figure in the novel. The quote "Big Brother Is Watching You" was of vital importance to the novel, as it represented the ever watching eye over your every day life.). This song pretty much rocks about being controlled and manipulated by the higher powers. A very interesting song that ends up sounding really good.
Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family - 8/10
The album closes off with a strange outro, similar to the intro...This time, much like an event in the novel, all that we can hear is the chanting of "BIG BROTHER". Cool music accompanies this and the album fades off.
Overall Rating - 8.5/10
As this underrated album fades off to the chants of:
Shake it up, shake it up
Move it up, move it up
....So does a part of David Bowie. His career was never quite the same after this album. He pretty much dropped most of the sparkling attire and makeup and adopted a more clean cut persona (The Thin White Duke).
I recommend that fans of Bowie and concept albums pick this one up. There are some very good songs to be heard on here.