ARTIST: David Bowie
TITLE: Hunky Dory
YEAR RELEASED: 1971
CHART ACTION: #57 US, #3 UK
SINGLES: Changes (#41 US, #49 UK), Life on Mars (#3 UK, released in 1973)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Oh! You Pretty Things, Queen Bitch
LINEUP: David Bowie, Mick Ronson, Rick Wakeman, Trevor Bolder, Mick Woodmansey
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Bowie-mania strikes the UK as this album starts the frenzy and the saga of Bowie as a cultural icon.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: At first, the single “Changes” didn’t chart very well (who knows why), but this album took the UK by storm (the hipper parts of the UK, really) and he really became BOWIE on the back of that track, and “Oh! You Pretty Things”, “Queen Bitch” and “Andy Warhol”.
Rick Wakeman’s piano and keyboards shine through most of the tracks here as his playing adds the right feeling and mood for each song. These tracks aren’t dominated by Ronson’s guitar, but the keyboard and the orchestration and acoustic guitar. However, Ronson kicks it in during “Queen Bitch” which save the title could have been a smash.
It’s a well thought out album, not full-on rock, but reflective at its core. I can see why many in the UK took to this.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Queen Bitch” is a homage to the Velvet Underground, while “Kooks” was written for his son.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a couple of spare tracks and demos
GRADE: A: You may not know many of the songs in the middle, but the writing and arrangements are strong, and well, it’s Bowie at the controls.