Monday, 7 August 2017

david bowie : station to station
david bowie
station to station (tape)
rca records (1976)
apk1 1327

design : AGI
photography: steve schapiro

 Another classic album from Bowie's best decade; the 70s. The year was 1976 and this was incredibly Bowie's tenth album release! Station To Station was recorded after he completed shooting Nicolas Roeg's Sci-Fi film, The Man Who Fell to Earth. The actual album artwork features a still from that very same film. As does the first of the "Berlin Trilogy" albums, Low.

Musically, Station to Station is a bit of a transitional album for Bowie. Developing the funk and soul music of his previous release, Young Americans, Bowie takes a new direction towards synthesisers and deutsch-motorik rhythms. Rhythms highly influenced by German electronic bands such as Neu! and Kraftwerk that were beginning to emerge and become known to a wider audience.

This trend would culminate in some of his most acclaimed work, the so-called
"Berlin Trilogy", recorded with Brian Eno in 1977–79 at the famous Hansa Tonstudio in the Kreuzberg district of '70s Berlin. Interesting to note that Bowie's buddy, Iggy Pop, who accompanied the Thin White Duke on his German sojourn, also made what are probably his two best solo albums, The Idiot and Lust for Life, during the same period.

After recording Station to Station in the USA, Bowie heavily addicted to cocaine, decided to get away from his Los Angeles base. In an attempt to flee the substance-fuelled years that had taken a toil not only on his sense of judgement but had also seen him go from thin to downright emaciated, Bowie departed for Berlin.

Incidents such as the infamous and supposedly "Nazi" salute photograph in the New Musical Express, under the headline "Heil and Farewell", as well as Bowie's apparent fascination with fascism and collecting Nazi paraphenalia really weren't doing his public image any good at the time. So, Bowie and Iggy packed their suitcases and set up home in the then very much divided and isolated former Reich capital. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Anyhow, I'd sort of gone off Bowie with  the Diamond Dogs and Young Americans albums -albums which I've since reappraised and found that they belong up there with Bowie's other great seventies recordings- but Station To Station put back him on track (no pun intended!) as far as I was concerned and gave us a glimpse of what was to come with the fabulous "Berlin Trilogy." Golden Years indeed!

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