Best of David Bowie 1974-1979 Review

Copyright 1998 Melody Maker

Contributed by Dara O'Kearney

DAME Dave may well be at an all-time critical low with his recent excursions into jungle, but this compilation perfectly displays not only his finest work, but also his most influential.

It covers a period in which Bowie moved from conceptual performer ("Diamond Dogs" and "David Live") through his flirtations with White Soul ("Young Americans") on to epic funk rock ("Station To Station") and finally ending with his triumvirate of techno-embracing Eno collaborations ("Low", "Heroes" and "Lodger"). Five years of extreme creativity - fuelled by addictions to both travel and coke - which found Bowie happily trampling on his less interesting Ziggy manifestation, even if he now maintains that he can barely remember any of it.

Most people point to Ziggy Stardust as a representation of Bowie at his best. However, where that era concerned itself with the image of sexual exploration thinly wrapped in an alien concept and soundtracked by out-takes from The Velvet Underground and T Rex, it was in these, his golden years, that Bowie laifd down his real manifesto: experiment with the creative form and forget the financial consequences.

MARTIN JAMES

Four stars

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This document last updated Tuesday, 15-Sep-1998 21:30:09 EDT
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