On the passing of David Bowie

It may be heresy, but David Bowie never figured greatly in my musical journey through my teenage years and beyond [1]. Sure, I recognised that he had written many songs that were a backdrop to my life - Space Oddity, Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes, Let's Dance to name a few - but something never clicked. Perhaps it was the fact that pop and rock weren't really a strong part of my growing up (my father preferred classical music and my mother was more into Andy Williams, the Carpenters and so on), or perhaps it was part of the revulsion that I held for the 1970s.

I went through a New Romantic phase (Ultravox), then a rock phase (U2, Queen and Simple Minds) with an eclectic side mix (Lloyd Cole, The Cure) before settling into prog rock with Marillion and later Pink Floyd Metal, Goth and Industrial happened in University, later moving into Trance. But somehow, no Bowie. I'm not sure why. Somehow I even missed the fact that groups like Simple Minds had a Bowie influence (their name) and others that I liked often covered him at concerts or on cover's albums (Fish, Mr h). Makes me feel slightly daft.

My biggest memory of discussing him came from an English lesson at secondary school when one of my class-mates - Louise Dixon - gave a five minute talk on 'David Jones', which gave me a background on him I never had. I think I dismissed him as a 70s star in my mind.

Having caught a lot of the media retrospectives over the last week I bought a few of his earlier albums. And, wow, I'm impressed. I think I missed something by just listening to the greatest hits. I think the continuity of style and approach in the albums has hooked me, whereas the collection jumps around in style too much. So now I need to explore his catalogue further. I think it'll be exciting.

26 Jan 2016

[1]: A few years back, I realised that I was missing out here, so bought the greatest hits album, and was amazed how much good stuff was there. It wasn't an album that I listened to a lot, but I liked it.