David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie, was an English singer and actor. He was a leading figure in the music industry and is considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, acclaimed by critics and musicians for his innovative work during the 1970s, his career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, with his music and stagecraft having a significant impact on popular music. During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at 140 million albums worldwide, made him one of the world's best-selling music artists. In the UK, he was awarded ten platinum album certifications, eleven gold and eight silver, released eleven number-one albums. In the US, he received nine gold certifications, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Born in Brixton, South London, Bowie developed an interest in music as a child studying art and design before embarking on a professional career as a musician in 1963. "Space Oddity" became his first top-five entry on the UK Singles Chart after its release in July 1969.
After a period of experimentation, he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era with his flamboyant and androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust. The character was spearheaded by the success of his single "Starman" and album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which won him widespread popularity. In 1975, Bowie's style shifted radically towards a sound he characterised as "plastic soul" alienating many of his UK devotees but garnering him his first major US crossover success with the number-one single "Fame" and the album Young Americans. In 1976, Bowie starred in the cult film The Man Who Fell to Earth, directed by Nicolas Roeg, released Station to Station; the following year, he further confounded musical expectations with the electronic-inflected album Low, the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno that came to be known as the "Berlin Trilogy". "Heroes" and Lodger followed. After uneven commercial success in the late 1970s, Bowie had UK number ones with the 1980 single "Ashes to Ashes", its parent album Scary Monsters, "Under Pressure", a 1981 collaboration with Queen.
He reached his commercial peak in 1983 with Let's Dance. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Bowie continued to experiment with musical styles, including industrial and jungle, he continued acting. He stopped touring after 2004 and his last live performance was at a charity event in 2006. In 2013, Bowie returned from a decade-long recording hiatus with The Next Day, he remained musically active until he died of liver cancer two days after the release of his final album, Blackstar. Bowie was born David Robert Jones on 8 January 1947 in London, his mother, Margaret Mary "Peggy", was born at Shorncliffe Army Camp near Kent. Her paternal grandparents were Irish immigrants, she worked as a waitress at a cinema in Royal Tunbridge Wells. His father, Haywood Stenton "John" Jones, was from Doncaster, worked as a promotions officer for the children's charity Barnardo's; the family lived at 40 Stansfield Road, on the boundary between Brixton and Stockwell in the south London borough of Lambeth. Bowie attended Stockwell Infants School until he was six years old, acquiring a reputation as a gifted and single-minded child—and a defiant brawler.
In 1953, Bowie moved with his family to Bromley. Two years he started attending Burnt Ash Junior School, his voice was considered "adequate" by the school choir, he demonstrated above-average abilities in playing the recorder. At the age of nine, his dancing during the newly-introduced music and movement classes was strikingly imaginative: teachers called his interpretations "vividly artistic" and his poise "astonishing" for a child; the same year, his interest in music was further stimulated when his father brought home a collection of American 45s by artists including the Teenagers, the Platters, Fats Domino, Elvis Presley, Little Richard. Upon listening to Little Richard's song "Tutti Frutti", Bowie would say that he had "heard God". Bowie was first impressed with Presley when he saw his cousin dance to "Hound Dog". By the end of the following year, he had taken up the ukulele and tea-chest bass, begun to participate in skiffle sessions with friends, had started to play the piano. Like someone from another planet".
After taking his eleven-plus exam at the conclusion of his Burnt Ash Junior education, Bowie went to Bromley Technical High School. It was an unusual technical school, as biographer Christopher Sandford wrote: Despite its status it was, by the time David arrived in 1958, as rich in arcane ritual as any public school. There were houses named after eighteenth-century statesmen like Wilberforce. There was a uniform, an elaborate system of rewards and punishments. There was an accent on languages and design, where a collegiate atmosphere flourished under the tutorship of Owen Frampton. In David's account, Frampton led through force of persona
David Coverdale is an English rock singer best known for his work with Whitesnake, a hard rock band he founded in 1978. Before Whitesnake, Coverdale was the lead singer of Deep Purple from 1973 to 1976, after which he established his solo career. A collaboration with Jimmy Page resulted in a 1993 album, a commercial success. In 2016, Coverdale was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Deep Purple, giving one of the band's induction speeches. Coverdale is known in particular for his powerful blues-tinged voice. Coverdale was born on 22 September 1951, in North Riding of Yorkshire, England. Around the age of 14, he began developing his voice. "I don't think my voice had broken," he explained to Sounds in 1974. "And that's when I first learnt how to sing with my stomach, which sounds silly, but it's different from a normal voice." Coverdale started performing with local bands Vintage 67, The Government and Fabulosa Brothers. In 1973 Coverdale saw an article in a copy of Melody Maker, which said that Deep Purple was auditioning for singers to replace Ian Gillan.
Coverdale had fronted a local group called The Government, which had played with Deep Purple on the same bill in 1969, so he and the band were familiar with one another, after sending a tape and auditioning, Coverdale was admitted into the band, with bassist Glenn Hughes adding his own vocals as well. In February 1974 Deep Purple released their first album with Coverdale and Hughes, titled Burn, certified Gold in the US on 20 March 1974 and in the UK on 1 July. In April 1974 Coverdale and Deep Purple performed to over 200,000 fans on his first trip to the United States at the California Jam. In December 1974 Burn was followed-up by Stormbringer, which ranked at Gold album status in the US and the UK; the funk and soul influences of the previous record were more prominent here and this was one of the reasons why guitarist Ritchie Blackmore left the band in June 1975. Rather than disbanding, Coverdale was instrumental in persuading the band to continue with American guitarist Tommy Bolin; as Jon Lord put it, "David Coverdale came up to me and said,'Please keep the band together.'
David played me the album. We liked his playing on it and invited Tommy to audition.'" The band released one studio album with Bolin, Come Taste the Band in 1975. The album was less successful than previous records, at the end of the tour, in March 1976, Coverdale walked off in tears and handed in his resignation, to which he was told there was no band left to quit; the decision to disband Deep Purple had been made some time before the last show by Lord and Ian Paice, who had not told anyone else. The break-up was made public in July 1976. Said Coverdale in an interview: "I was frightened to leave the band. Purple was my life, Purple gave me my break, but all the same I wanted out." After the demise of Deep Purple, Coverdale embarked on a solo career. He released his first album in February 1977, titled White Snake. All songs were written by guitarist Micky Moody; as his first solo effort, Coverdale admitted: "It's difficult to think back and talk sensibly about the first album. White Snake had been a inward-looking and low-key affair in many ways and recorded as it was in the aftermath of the collapse of Deep Purple."
Though the album was not successful, its title inspired the name of Coverdale's future band. In 1978 Coverdale released his second solo album Northwinds, received much better than the previous album, but before the album's release, he had formed a new band. After recording Northwinds, Coverdale soon formed the band Whitesnake, with Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody both handling guitar duties; this was a touring band for Coverdale's first solo album, it soon developed into a full-time band. In early 1978, the band released the Snakebite EP, repackaged as a full album, with the B-side taken from Coverdale's Northwinds album. For the follow-up album, Coverdale was joined by his former Deep Purple colleague, keyboardist Jon Lord. For Whitesnake's 1980 album, Ready an' Willing, drummer Ian Paice joined the group. Ready an' Willing featured the band's biggest hit up to that point, the song "Fool for Your Loving", which reached No. 13 on the British charts and No. 53 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Ready an' Willing was followed up by the more successful Come an' Get It in 1981.
During 1982 Coverdale took some time off to look after his sick daughter and decided to put Whitesnake on hold. When David Coverdale returned to music he reformed the band, which thereafter recorded the album Saints & Sinners. In 1982, according to British heavy metal magazine Kerrang!, Coverdale was considered for the vocalist position with Black Sabbath following the departure of Ronnie James Dio. Coverdale declined. Whitesnake gained significant popularity in the UK, Asia, but North American success remained elusive. In 1984, the album Slide It In dented the US charts, but not enough to be considered a hit. In time for the US release of Slide It In, Coverdale made a calculated attempt at updating Whitesnake's sound and look by recruiting guitarist John Sykes from the remnants of Thin Lizzy. Sykes had stage manners to match; the last remaining Deep Purple connections were severed when Jon Lord left after recording Slide It In to re-form Deep Purple. In 1985 Sykes and Coverdale sta
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of bandleader Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Ian Stewart. Stewart was removed from the official line-up in 1963 but continued to work with the band as a contracted musician until his death in 1985; the band's primary songwriters and Richards, assumed leadership after Andrew Loog Oldham became the group's manager. Jones left the band less than a month before his death in 1969, having been replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1974. After Taylor left the band, Ronnie Wood took his place in 1975 and continues on guitar in tandem with Richards. Since Wyman's departure in 1993, Darryl Jones has served as touring bassist; the Stones have not had an official keyboardist since 1963, but have employed several musicians in that role, including Jack Nitzsche, Nicky Hopkins, Billy Preston, Ian McLagan, Chuck Leavell. The Rolling Stones were at the forefront of the British Invasion of bands that became popular in the United States in 1964 and were identified with the youthful and rebellious counterculture of the 1960s.
Rooted in blues and early rock and roll, the band started out playing covers but found more success with their own material. After a short period of experimentation with psychedelic rock in the mid-1960s, the group returned to its "bluesy" roots with Beggars Banquet, which along with its follow-ups Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main St. is considered to be the band's best work and is seen as their "Golden Age." It was during this period they were first introduced on stage as "The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World."The band continued to release commercially successful albums through the 1970s and early 1980s, including Some Girls and Tattoo You, the two best-sellers in their discography. During the 1980s, the band infighting curtailed their output and they only released two more underperforming albums and did not tour for the rest of the decade, their fortunes changed at the end of the decade, when they released Steel Wheels, promoted by a large stadium and arena tour, the Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour.
Since the 1990s, new material has been less frequent. Despite this, the Rolling Stones continue to be a huge attraction on the live circuit. By 2007, the band had four of the top five highest-grossing concert tours of all time: Voodoo Lounge Tour, Bridges to Babylon Tour, Licks Tour and A Bigger Bang. Musicologist Robert Palmer attributes the endurance of the Rolling Stones to their being "rooted in traditional verities, in rhythm-and-blues and soul music", while "more ephemeral pop fashions have come and gone"; the Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. Rolling Stone magazine ranked them fourth on the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" list and their estimated record sales are above 250 million, they have released 23 live albums and numerous compilations. Let It Bleed marked the first of five consecutive No. 1 studio and live albums in the UK. Sticky Fingers was the first of eight consecutive No. 1 studio albums in the US.
In 2008, the band ranked 10th on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists chart. In 2012, the band celebrated its 50th anniversary; the band still continues to release albums to critical acclaim. S. and won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. The band continues to sell out venues, they have been on their No Filter Tour since September, 2017 and will wrap up the tour with a North American leg over Summer 2019. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger became childhood classmates in 1950 in Dartford, Kent; the Jagger family moved to Wilmington, five miles away, in 1954. In the mid-1950s, Jagger formed a garage band with his friend Dick Taylor. Jagger met Richards again on 17 October 1961 on platform two of Dartford railway station; the Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records. A musical partnership began shortly afterwards. Richards and Taylor met Jagger at his house; the meetings moved to Taylor's house in late 1961 where Alan Etherington and Bob Beckwith joined the trio. In March 1962, the Blues Boys read about the Ealing Jazz Club in Jazz News newspaper, which mentioned Alexis Korner's rhythm and blues band, Blues Incorporated.
The group sent a tape of their best recordings to Korner, favourably impressed. On 7 April, they visited the Ealing Jazz Club where they met the members of Blues Incorporated, who included slide guitarist Brian Jones, keyboardist Ian Stewart and drummer Charlie Watts. After a meeting with Korner and Richards started jamming with the group. Jones, no longer in a band, advertised for bandmates in Jazz Weekly, while Stewart found them a practice space. Soon after, Jagger and Richards left Blues Incorporated to join Jones and Stewart; the first rehearsal included guitarist Geoff Bradford and vocalist Brian Knight, both of whom decided not to join the band. They objected to playing the Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley songs preferred by Jagger and R
Lee Rocker is an American double bass player. He is a member of the rockabilly band The Stray Cats, he is the son of the classical clarinetists Stanley Naomi Drucker. His sister Roseanne is a country music singer-songwriter; as a child, he played the cello and learned bass guitar. Drucker's school friends included Brian Setzer; the three of them played together and widened their musical interests to include the blues and rockabilly. Drucker learned to play the double bass to incorporate the sounds of blues and rockabilly on the acoustic instrument; the three of them formed the group The Stray Cats in 1979. McDonnell took on the stage name of "Slim Jim Phantom", Drucker devised his own stage name of "Lee Rocker". Rocker evolved his own style of slap-bass playing with the group. Rocker and the Stray Cats sold nearly 10 million albums and garnered twenty three gold and platinum certified records worldwide, made them a mainstay on MTV. In addition to Stray Cats, Lee Rocker and Phantom Rocker and Slick albums, Rocker has recorded or performed with Carl Perkins, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, Leon Russell, Keith Richards, John Fogerty, Scotty Moore.
Rocker was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1982, as was his father, they are the second father-son duo to be nominated for a Grammy in the same year. He considered to be an influential upright bassist in Rock n' Roll. Rocker formed the band Phantom, Rocker & Slick and recorded two albums for EMI Records titled Phantom and Slick and Cover Girl; the song "Men Without Shame" landing Rocker in the charts. For Black Top Records, Rocker released Atomic Boogie Hour, he has recorded for Alligator Records. He released the album, Bulletproof, in 2003, his other albums included Black Cat Bone, released in August 2007, which featured Brophy Dale on guitar and Jimmy Sage on drums. Buzz Campbell gave them a Gretsch guitar sound. In 2011 Lee released an EP called "The Cover Sessions" which features cover versions of songs such as the John Lennon/Paul McCartney song "Come Together," Elton John's, "Honky Cat," and The Allman Brothers song "Ramblin Man." In addition to recording and touring, Rocker has hosted a radio show on KXFM-LP called'Rumble and Twang with Lee Rocker.'
Lee Rocker joined the cast of the Broadway hit "Million Dollar Quartet" as bassist Clayton Perkins, the brother of Sun Records recording artist Carl Perkins in a twelve-show run from January 21 through 31, 2011. He topped off the show with a special encore performance with the cast and an appearance on New York Today. Lee’s latest album “The LOW Road” features live versions of Lee Rocker and Stray Cats songs is on Pledge Music. After a ten-year hiatus, Rocker reunited on stage with the Stray Cats in 2018. Lee Rocker was born Leon Drucker in Massapequa, Long Island, NY on August 3, 1961 He is the son of the classical clarinetists Stanley Drucker and Naomi Drucker. Stanley Drucker was the principal clarinetist for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and played with Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, his sister Roseanne is a country music singer-songwriter. At age 12 Lee picked up the electric bass but developed a preference for playing the double bass as his instrument of choice, he credits records by Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins for his new inclination “The slap bass on those records blew me away!”
Rocker’s favorite bass player is Willie Dixon. Rocker and his wife have been married since 1989. Lee Rocker married his wife Deborah in 1989. Rocker’s wife Deborah Drucker, launched her eponymous fashion line in the Fall of 2013 They reside in Laguna Beach, California with their two children. Rocker is a fan of the Lakers and Anaheim Angels. In 2013, Rocker received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Bass Player magazine, gave master classes in London and Los Angeles, he is a member of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Visionary Artist Award from the Laguna Beach Arts Council. Lee Rocker's Big Blue Atomic Boogie Hour No Cats Lee Rocker Live Blue Suede Nights Bulletproof Upright and Kickin' Burnin' Love: The Best of Lee Rocker The Curse of Rockabilly Racin' the Devil Black Cat Bone The Cover Sessions Night Train to Memphis Official website Lee Rocker at AllMusic Lee Rocker NAMM Oral History Interview
Jim Diamond (singer)
James Aaron Diamond was a Scottish singer-songwriter, best known for his three Top 5 hits: "I Won't Let You Down", as the lead singer of PhD. Diamond was born in the Bridgeton area in the East End of Glasgow in 1951, he started his music career at the age of 15 with his own band, The Method. When aged 16, he fronted a Glasgow band called Jade; that line-up included bassist Chris Glen who went on to play with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Jim Lacey on lead guitar who went on to join the Alan Bown Set. Jade played many pub and college gigs in London in 1969, playing at Brunel University, West London College in Cricklewood, The Pied Bull in Islington, West Hampstead Country Club, another college in Virginia Water and many more in 1969, they supported the Move on their Scottish tour with The Stoics in the same year. He toured Europe with Gully Foyle. Rare recordings of his performances with Gully Foyle were discovered on the internet. Alexis Korner discovered Diamond, who spent the next couple of years as part of Korner's band.
He provided additional and backing vocals on many of Korner's songs, most of which would appear on The Lost Album. Diamond left Korner in 1976, to form Bandit; the line-up included future AC/DC member Cliff Williams. They were soon signed up by Arista Records and released a début album, which failed to reach the chart. In 1979, Diamond was lead vocalist for a Japanese band called BACCO, whose debut album was Cha Cha Me, he went to Los Angeles, California to form Slick Diamond with Earl Slick. He spent some time touring and recording and provided music for a film soundtrack. Diamond married Christine Bailey in 1978; the couple had a daughter, Sara Rosaline Diamond, a son, Lawrence James Diamond. 1981 saw Diamond break into the public eye when he formed PhD, with pianist/keyboard player Tony Hymas and drummer Simon Phillips. They were signed by WEA Records and had a hit single with the multi-million selling "I Won't Let You Down". Diamond contracted hepatitis and the band decided to part ways. In 1984, he decided to go solo and was signed to A&M Records.
He had a number-one hit with "I Should Have Known Better" and was number one in Latin America. He scored another hit soon afterward with the theme song from Boon, "Hi Ho Silver", it reached No. 5 in the UK Singles Chart in May 1986. Diamond is known for some guest vocals on two Genesis band members' solo outings, including: "You Call This Victory" on the album Soundtracks by Tony Banks in 1986. "Days of Long Ago" on the album Darktown by Steve Hackett in 1999. The 1999 compilation The Best of Jim Diamond compiles singles and B-sides from his short time with A&M Records. In the late 1990s, Diamond teamed up with saxophonist Chris "Snake" Davis, known for his work with soul outfit M People; the pair were known as The Blue Shoes, but were billed as Jim Diamond and Snake Davis. In 2005, Diamond released his first studio album in eleven years and Healed; the singles "When You Turn" and "Blue Shoes" were released from this. In 2009 he re-united with Tony Hymas to produce a third PhD album entitled "Three".
Diamond's son Lawrence is the keyboardist of the UK indie pop group Citizens! and the former bass player of Official Secrets Act. Jim Diamond's last album, City of Soul, released by Camino Records in 2011, featured among others Wet Wet Wet drummer Tommy Cunningham and Greg Kane of Hue and Cry. All proceeds from this album of soul music covers benefited the children's charity Radio Clyde Cash for Kids. Diamond was a friend of Father Ted star Dermot Morgan and was present at the small dinner party at which Morgan died in 1998. Diamond died in his sleep on 8 October 2015. According to his daughter Sara, the cause of death was a pulmonary oedema, he was survived by his wife Christine and their two children. Official website
David Live is David Bowie's first official live album released by RCA Records in 1974. The album was recorded in July of that year, on the initial leg of Bowie's Diamond Dogs Tour, at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia; the second leg, a more soul-oriented affair following recording sessions in Philadelphia for the bulk of Young Americans, would be renamed'Philly Dogs', as reflected on a different live release, Cracked Actor. The album catches Bowie in transition from the Ziggy Stardust/Aladdin Sane glam-rock era of his career to the'plastic soul' of Young Americans. While the cover featured a picture of Bowie in his latest soul threads – baggy trouser suit complete with shoulder pads and braces from October 1974 – the music was recorded in July of that year when he was showcasing his two most recent studio albums of original material, Diamond Dogs and Aladdin Sane, as well as selected favourites from Ziggy Stardust and earlier; the tour was Bowie's most ambitious to date, featuring a giant set designed to evoke "Hunger City", the post-apocalyptic setting for Diamond Dogs, his largest band, led by Michael Kamen.
For "Space Oddity" Bowie sang using a radio microphone disguised as a telephone whilst being raised and lowered above the stage by a cherry picker crane. The tour was documented in Alan Yentob's Cracked Actor. Capturing the music on tape was itself problematic. According to the original album liner notes: "This Live album was culled from performances on the 14th & 15th July 1974 at the Tower Theatre, Philadelphia, it is exact. No studio overdubs or re-recording of voices, instruments or audience have been added with the exception of several backing vocals due to loss of theatre mike contact." The Tower Theater concerts gave rise to a backstage revolt by Bowie's touring band. Having been informed on short notice that the concerts would be professionally recorded for official release, that Bowie's management intended to pay them only the standard union fee required for a live recording, the band confronted Bowie an hour before the first show and refused to take the stage unless they received $5,000 each.
The finished album has been criticised for Bowie's'obsessive' rearrangements of the songs and for the strained quality of his vocals. Opinion of the playing is divided, despite the presence of such acclaimed guests as Michael Kamen, Earl Slick and David Sanborn, as well as Flowers, Mike Garson and Tony Newman from the Diamond Dogs sessions; however some of the interpretations earned praise, such as the upbeat jazz-Latin version of "Aladdin Sane" and the atmospheric instrumental additions to "The Width of a Circle" from The Man Who Sold the World. The record is notable for including Bowie's first release of "All the Young Dudes," a song given to the band Mott the Hoople for their 1972 album of the same name. Mick Jagger commented about the album at the time, saying he thought "Knock on Wood" was "awful". Jagger went on to say, "If I got the kind of reviews that he got for that album, I would never record again. Never."Bowie commented that "David Live was the final death of Ziggy… And that photo on the cover.
My God, it looks. That's how I felt; that record should have been called'David Bowie Is Alive and Well and Living Only in Theory'". David Live made No. 2 on the UK charts, No. 5 in Canada and No. 8 in the US. "Knock on Wood" was released as a single, reaching No. 10 in the UK. A reissue of the album in 2005 included a complete song list from the original concerts plus a new mix by Tony Visconti, said to be an improvement over the fidelity of previous releases. All tracks written by David Bowie except; this album was first released on CD in 1990 by Rykodisc/EMI, containing two bonus songs and Bowie's introduction to the audience of his band. A new version of the album was released on CD in 2005 by EMI/Virgin, containing two additional bonus tracks, a reordering of these and previous bonus tracks into their correct position in the original set list order, a new mix by Tony Visconti. In 2016, the album was included, in two versions, in the Who Can I Be Now? Box set. One version contained the original mix and the same tracks that had appeared on the original vinyl album.
The latter was released separately on CD and vinyl, in 2017. A cut-down version of David Live called Rock Concert was released as a single disc by RCA in the Netherlands in 1979. In 1982 it was again released in the Netherlands as David Bowie at the Tower Philadelphia. David Bowie – vocals Earl Slick – guitar Herbie Flowers – bass Michael Kamen – electric piano, oboe, arrangements Tony Newman – drums Pablo Rosario – percussion David Sanborn – alto sax, flute Richard Grando – baritone sax, flute Mike Garson – piano, Mellotron Gui Andrisano – backing vocals Warren Peace – backing vocals Album Single Roy Carr & Charles Shaar Murray. Bowie: An Illustrated Record David Buckley. Strange Fascination – David Bowie: The Definitive Story, ISBN 1613737653 Nicholas Pegg; the Complete David Bowie
Station to Station
Station to Station is the 10th studio album by English musician David Bowie, released by RCA Records in 1976. Regarded as one of his most significant works, Station to Station was the vehicle for his performance persona, the Thin White Duke; the album was recorded after he completed shooting Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth, the cover artwork featured a still from the movie. During the sessions, Bowie was dependent on drugs cocaine, claimed that he recalled nothing of the production. Musically, Station to Station was a transitional album for Bowie, developing the funk and soul music of his previous release, Young Americans, while presenting a new direction towards synthesisers and motorik rhythms, influenced by German electronic bands such as Neu! and Kraftwerk. This trend would culminate in some of his most acclaimed work with the "Berlin Trilogy", recorded with Brian Eno in 1977–79. Bowie himself said that Station to Station was "a plea to come back to Europe for me"; the album's lyrics reflected his preoccupations with Friedrich Nietzsche, Aleister Crowley and religion.
Blending funk and krautrock, romantic balladry and occultism, Station to Station has been described as "simultaneously one of Bowie's most accessible albums and his most impenetrable". Preceded by the single "Golden Years", it made the top five in both the US charts. In 2012, the album was ranked No. 324 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. According to biographer David Buckley, the Los Angeles-based Bowie, fuelled by an "astronomic" cocaine habit and subsisting on a diet of peppers and milk, spent much of 1975–76 "in a state of psychic terror". Stories—mostly from one interview, pieces of which found their way into Playboy and Rolling Stone—circulated of the singer living in a house full of ancient Egyptian artefacts, burning black candles, seeing bodies fall past his window, having his semen stolen by witches, receiving secret messages from The Rolling Stones, living in morbid fear of fellow Aleister Crowley aficionado Jimmy Page. Bowie would say of Los Angeles, "The fucking place should be wiped off the face of the earth".
It was on the set of his first major film, The Man Who Fell to Earth, that Bowie began writing a pseudo-autobiography called The Return of the Thin White Duke. He was composing music on the understanding that he was to provide the picture's soundtrack, though this would not come to fruition. Director Nicolas Roeg warned the star that the part of Thomas Jerome Newton would remain with him for some time after production completed. With Roeg's agreement, Bowie developed his own look for the film, this carried through to his public image and onto two album covers over the next twelve months, as did Newton's air of fragility and aloofness; the Thin White Duke became the mouthpiece for Station to Station and during the next six months, for Bowie himself. Impeccably dressed in white shirt, black trousers and waistcoat, the Duke was a hollow man who sang songs of romance with an agonised intensity, yet felt nothing—"ice masquerading as fire"; the persona has been described as "a mad aristocrat", "an amoral zombie", "an emotionless Aryan superman".
For Bowie himself, the Duke was "a nasty character indeed". Station to Station was recorded in late 1975 at Los Angeles. In 1981, NME editors Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray surmised that it was cut—"in 10 days of feverish activity"—when Bowie decided that there was no hope of his producing a soundtrack for The Man Who Fell to Earth. More recent scholarship contends that the album was recorded over a couple of months—with the sessions beginning in late September or early October 1975 and ending in late November—so that it was in the can before Bowie began his abortive sessions on the soundtrack. At various times to be titled The Return of the Thin White Duke, or Golden Years, Station to Station was co-produced by Harry Maslin, Bowie's associate for "Fame" and "Across the Universe" on Young Americans. Tony Visconti, who after a three-year absence had returned to the Bowie fold mixing Diamond Dogs and co-producing David Live and Young Americans, was not involved due to competing schedules. However, the recording did cement the band line-up that would see Bowie through the rest of the decade, with bassist George Murray joining Young Americans drummer Dennis Davis and rhythm guitarist Carlos Alomar.
The recording process developed with this team set the pattern for Bowie's albums up to and including Scary Monsters in 1980: backing tracks laid down by Murray and Alomar. According to Bowie, "I got some quite extraordinary things out of Earl Slick. I think it captured his imagination to make noises on guitar, textures, rather than playing the right notes." Alomar recalled, "It was one of the most glorious albums that I've done... We experimented so much on it". Maslin added, "I loved those sessions because we were open and experimental in our approach". Bowie himself remembered nothing of the album's production, not the studio admitting, "I know it was in LA because I've read it was"; the singer was not alone in his use of cocaine during the sessions, Carlos Alomar commenting, "if there's a line of coke, going to keep you awake till 8 a.m. so that you can do your guitar part, you do the line of coke... the coke use is driven by the inspiration." Like Bowie, Earl Slick had somewhat vague memories of the recording