Learning about David Bowie via his opinion on 25 diverse albums in his record collection. Really, a must read!

http://scallemang.ca/bowie25albums/

Let me count the reasons that I love this:

  1. The diversity of the picks and unimpeachability of the selection.
  2. His recall for when and where he bought a record. Absolutely a sign of a true obsessive.
  3. He remembers the people who ran his local department store record section, from his childhood, by name.
  4. This statement about the above mentioned store and his relationship with a certain clerk: “Jane Greene, their counter assistant, took a liking to me, and whenever I would pop in, which was most afternoons after school, she would let me play records in the “sound booth” to my heart’s content till the store closed at 5:30 P.M. Jane would often join me, and we would smooch big-time to the sounds of Ray Charles or Eddie Cochran. This was very exciting, as I was around 13 or 14 and she would be a womanly 17 at that time. My first older woman.” Smooch big time!
  5. That he remembers the Psychedelic Art collective, The Fool.
  6. 6. He credits Daevid Allen’s Bananamoon with being Proto-Glam
  7. He gave his vinyl copy of Linton Kwesi Johnson’s, Forces of Nature, to Mos Def, incorrectly thinking he had CD copy, and was looking for a replacement copy.
  8. He discusses the awkward introduction of Scott Walker’s influence.
  9. He refers to Glenn Branca’s music as having “an effect akin to the drone of Tibetan Buddhist monks but much, much, much louder.”, and knows that David Rosenbloom and Lee Ranaldo were members of the ensemble.
  10. He knows that Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg, former Fugs, had currently rejoined forces for a new album, and says that the CIA had them on watch as The Fags.
  11. His acknowledgement of his own trendsetter status as the first to record a Velvet Underground cover, pre-VU and Nico release (though the Downliners Sect covered a pre-VU Reed and Cale song, Why Don’t You Smile Now, in 1966)
  12. Anyone who gives it up for Harry Partch gets points.

My only complaint is that he uses the plural, with “s”, when referring to vinyl, an admittedly petty pet peeve of mine, which I will attribute to his being British. But it’s Bowie, so you know it was charming as hell when he said it.

From Vanity Fair, November 2013.

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