ARTIST: David Bowie
TITLE: Space Oddity (a/k/a David Bowie a/k/a Man of Words, Man of Music)
YEAR RELEASED: 1969
CHART ACTION: #16 US, #17 UK
SINGLES: Space Oddity (#15 US, #1 UK), Memory of a Free Festival
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Only if you’re a Bowie-phile
LINEUP: David Bowie, Rick Wakeman, Tony Visconti, Herbie Flowers, and other session players.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After a winding journey through various music styles in the 60’s, Bowie releases the song and album that start his career as David Bowie.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I didn’t even try to review Bowie’s mid-60’s output, but of course I started here. Everyone knows “Space Oddity” and it definitely is David Bowie, front and center.
The album they put around it, though? Well, “Unwashed and Somewhat Slighty Dazed” is just as great as the single, and the rest of the first side is pretty on-point. That second side, though, it’s just not good. Bland folky and hippy dippy music of the nth degree.
This is definitely the picture of an artist trying to find a voice, and finding it partially. He’d REALLY become David Bowie in a year or so.
NOTES & MINUTAE: The cuts are the same in the US and UK, but they had different titles for some reason (and what’s more confusing is that in 1967 there was a David Bowie album released on Deram in the UK). Then in 1972, they just renamed it Space Oddity.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, but not streaming.
GRADE: B-: That first side makes the album a keeper (that and the face that a mainly complete Bowie collection is a good thing…)