David Bowie
The Man Who Sold the World


4.5
superb

Review

by e210013 USER (250 Reviews)
April 2nd, 2024 | 21 replies


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The first great work of Bowie. Probably no other Bowie’s album has so much rocking power and grooving fun.

“The Man Who Sold The World” is the third studio album of David Bowie that was released in 1970. The line up on the album is David Bowie, Mick Ronson, Ralph Mace, Tony Visconti, Mick Woodmansey, Tim Renwick, Mark Carr-Pritchard, Freddi Buretti and Trevor Bolder.


David Bowie is simply one of the best and most respected artists ever. He was one of the most creative and innovative artists I’ve the pleasure to listen to, too. Despite we cannot consider him as a true progressive rock musician, I always see on him the spirit of a true progressive rock musician. Why? Because he always was an artist that never stopped to progress with is music and never was a man that was satisfied with what he has made before. It wasn’t a coincidence that he was named the chameleon artist. If we take a look to his very impressive and amazing career, we can see why. Since their real first work, I mean “Space Oddity”, till the last “Blackstar”, he never stopped changing his music style.

“The Man Who Sold The World” was Bowie’s first album with the nucleus of what would become the “Spiders From Mars”, the band who would be famous due to his future fifth studio album “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars”, released in 1972. “The Man Who Sold The World” has been claimed that this was the album that marked the beginning of the glam rock. Hard rocking and heavy metal hybrid, “The Man Who Sold The World” was Bowie’s third studio album, although considered the second work of his classic period. On “The Man Who Sold The World”, Bowie’s music offers an experience that is as intriguing as it’s chilling, but only to the listener sufficiently together to withstand its schizophrenia. On this album, Bowie deals with oblique and fragmented images that are almost impenetrable separately but which convey with effectiveness an ironic and bitter sense of the world when considered together. His unhappy relationship with the world is traced to his inability to perceive it sanely. In reality, “The Man Who Sold The World” came before he was known for anything other than “Space Oddity”. Unfortunately, this album wouldn’t be his breakout album upon its release. It wasn’t especially a commercial or critical successful work.

“The Man Who Sold The World” has nine tracks. “The Width Of A Circle” is a hard rock song divided into two different parts. It has explicit sexual lyrics. It starts with a nice riff and turns in many musical directions. “All The Madmen” opens with acoustic guitar and recorder before it’s a heavy rock song with a great guitar work. It provides an insanity atmosphere all over the album. “Black Country Rock” is a blues rock number, a kind of respite from the thematically heaviness of the beginning of the album. It has a great vocal work and an unusual hard rock blues sound. “After All” is an unusual song. It was written as a rock song in a waltz time. It reminds me a surreal circus due to the instrumental break. It’s a melancholic song, sinister and dark that transports us to a surrealistic nightmare of a child. “Running Gun Blues” is a return of Bowie to his folk rock roots. It has violent lyrics criticizing the Vietnam War. Here, the beautiful tune contrasts with the criticism of its lyrics. “Saviour Machine” is a return to the hard rock on the album. It’s an epic song with psychedelic influences with a slightly touch of symphonic sound. It’s a powerful song with provocative lyrics and a great ambience. “She Shook Me Cold” is probably the heaviest song of Bowie. The guitar work is influenced by the sound of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. The title track is a classic Bowie’s track. It’s the highlight on the album because the simple and beautiful music and lyrics, instantly catching and attaching. It’s a brilliant and perfect track. I always loved it. It has a special effect on me. I’m not able to stop listening to it, constantly. “The Superman” is inspired by the literary works of Friedrich Nietzsche and H. P. Lovecraft. It’s a dark song with great lyrics that curiously reminds me Van Der Graaf Generator and Peter Hammill. It’s a perfect way to close this amazing album.

Conclusion: “The Man Who Sold The World” wasn’t my first contact with Bowie’s music. The first ones were “Space Oddity” and “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars”, in the middle of the 70’s. Still, it was love at the first sight. “The Man Who Sold The World” is a fantastic album, a great step forward from their previous album “Space Oddity” and a giant step from their eponymous debut. This is one of the best Bowie’s studio albums and one of my favourite albums from him, together with “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars”, “Station To Station”, “Low” and “Heroes”. “The Man Who Sold The World” is the hardest rock album from Bowie that became the precursor of “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars”. “The Man Who Sold The World” is one of the most interesting and cohesive hard rock albums I’ve ever heard and represents his first great work. However and unfortunately, I always think that it was probably the most underrated and overlooked album of Bowie.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



Recent reviews by this author
Camel MirageCarmen Dancing on a Cold Wind
Peter Baumann Romance 76Tangerine Dream Rubycon
Ash Ra Tempel SchwingungenGentle Giant Acquiring the Taste
user ratings (1149)
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Brendan Schroer STAFF (4)
Shades of blues, shades of hard rock, and a stylistic overhaul mark the true launchpad for David Bow...

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

sadisticmonkey (4.5)
...

Tom93M (4.5)
A strange, mad celebration…...



Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
April 2nd 2024


5116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"The Man Who Sold The World" always was one of my favourite albums of Bowie. It represents a huge step forward from the two first works of him. It also represents the first really distinctive output of Bowie and is probabbly the most interesting rocking album of him. It has clever arrangements a rich sound with progressive rock keyboards complemented with brass instruments. For me, this is a true classic of him, beyond any doubt. Perhaps this isn't consensual, but this are my feelings.

mkmusic1995
Contributing Reviewer
April 2nd 2024


1709 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is probably my favorite Bowie record, it's just something special to me. Great write up!

e210013
April 2nd 2024


5116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks pal. It's really great to see another huge fan of this album too.

Helentroy
April 3rd 2024


61 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great write up of a great album.

e210013
April 3rd 2024


5116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Agreed. It's always nice to see another comment of a great album of an amazing artist. Thanks pal.

TheIntruder
April 4th 2024


753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice to see another review of this album so many years after the others. Like you and mkmusic1995I also love this album. I will read the review later. Meanwhile I pos'd it.

e210013
April 4th 2024


5116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Intruder. Nice to see one more comment on my review.

Jethro42
April 4th 2024


18274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think I could bump it up to a 4.5/5

It's such a progressive, influential, experimental rock album. Gonna read your review soon.

deathschool
April 4th 2024


28593 Comments


Pretty good Nirvana cover

e210013
April 5th 2024


5116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's true Jethro. You said the right words. It's such a progressive, influential and experimental rock album.

e210013
April 5th 2024


5116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Absolutely deathschool. It has an amazing cover, as is usual with almost all their albums.

zoso33
April 5th 2024


592 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

greatest opener and closer of any bowie LP for me

e210013
April 7th 2024


5116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Agreed.

gabba
April 7th 2024


777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Opener is among his very best tracks, it’s epic. “All the Madmen” and “After All” are hidden gems.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2024


60206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Much closer to the bottom than the top of the list for his Space Oddity - Let's Dance run in that regard, don't think Saviour Machine is a particularly memorable closer and the opener, while good, always seemed a strained fit for his voice (as do many of the heavier songs here)

Good album though! t/t, All the Madmen and the ever-overlooked After All are all worth a full spin by themselves, and there are no howlers other than She Shook Me Cold (which is maybe his worst song of the 70s and almost a positive just for novelty value)

gabba
April 7th 2024


777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I’m always surprised how well the flute works in “All the Madmen”. On paper I should absolutely hate it, but it kinda feels pleasantly tingling.

StonedManatee
April 7th 2024


542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ehh, this is the start of Bowie’s golden age. First listens are definitely 3.5 but it becomes a 4 after like a half dozen listens. I also worship Bowie so I might be a little biased?

e210013
April 8th 2024


5116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree with you gabba. For me the album worth as a whole. It hasn't weak points.

e210013
April 8th 2024


5116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know that I disagree with you Johnny. I'll tell you too that, for me, the album as no weak points. Besides, I think it's a landmark to Bowie, their real first great work.

e210013
April 8th 2024


5116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I absolutely agree. I couldn't say better Stoned.



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





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // 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 2005-2023 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy