The Man Who Sold the Worldby David Bowie
Even though it contained no hits, The Man Who Sold the World, for most intents and purposes, is the beginning of David Bowie's classic period. Working with guitarist Mick Ronson and producer Tony Visconti for the first time, Bowie developed a tight, twisted heavy guitar rock that appears simple on the surface but sounds more gnarled upon each listen. The mix is off-center, with the fuzz-bass dominating the compressed, razor-thin guitars and Bowie's strangled, affected voice. The sound of The Man Who Sold the World is odd, but the music is bizarre itself, with Bowie's bizarre, paranoid futuristic tales melded to Ronson's riffing and the band's relentless attack. Musically, there isn't much innovation on The Man Who Sold the World -- it is almost all hard blues-rock or psychedelic folk-rock -- but there's an unsettling edge to the band's performance, which makes the record one of Bowie's best albums. [Rykodisc's 1990 CD reissue includes four bonus tracks, including the previously unreleased "Lightning Frightening," and the single "Holy Holy," and both sides of the 1971 "Arnold Corns" single, "Moonage Daydream" and "Hang On to Yourself," which are early and inferior versions of songs that would later appear on Ziggy Stardust.]
- Release Date:
- Rhino / Parlophone
Performance CreditsDavid Bowie Primary Artist,Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals,Stylophone
Mick Ronson Guitar,Vocals,Moog Synthesizer
Ralph Mace Moog Synthesizer
Tony Visconti Guitar,Piano,Electric Bass
Mick "Woody" Woodmansey Drums
Technical CreditsDavid Bowie Composer
Mick Ronson Engineer
Ken Scott Engineer
Gerald Chevin Engineer
Eddy Offord Engineer
Tony Visconti Producer,Engineer,Remixing
Aisha Cohen Associate Project Coordinator
Keith McMillan Inside Photo
Michael J. Weller Artwork
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I'm pretty sure this is an error in the listing- the tracklist is for the Rykodisc edition, while the info is for the Virgin ECD remaster. Hopefully it's the Virgin reissue.
An absolute freak hard-rock album. A lot of classics are included in this underrated and album: title track, Black country rock, She shoke me cold, The width of a circle, etc. Isn't as good as Ziggy Stardust or Hunky Dory, but it was the beginnig of the glory days of the 70's glammy Bowie's era.
Like its predecessor Space Oddity, The Man Who Sold the World is often unfairly overlooked in light of Bowie's later output. But, as with his debut, one should listen to this record on its own terms. Whereas Space Oddity foreshadowed Bowie's future talent as a songwriter, The Man Who Sold the World foreshadows Bowie as performer. Not that the songwriting is neglected. One listen to "Width of A Circle," "All the Madmen," "After All" or the title track proves that Bowie has matured significantly as a songwriter from his debut. But, on the Man Who Sold the World, Bowie began to emerge as the showman who would create unforgettable characters as Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke. Many of the tracks on this album became staples of his early live shows, especially "Width of a Circle" and the title track. The cover also foreshadows his role as the king of early 70s glam rock as he is posing in a dress. His fascination with existentialism and nihilism, explored so effectively on Space Oddity, continues on this album as especially heard on "All the Madmen" and "After All." His future fascination with Nietzschean style fascism can also be heard here: on "Saviour Machine," a tighter, darker rewrite of "Cygnet Committee" from Space Oddity and on "The Supermen." Give this early Bowie classic a spin before you check out Hunky Dory or Ziggy Stardust. It all begins here and on Space Oddity.
All the songs here are good and the album holds together well, just slightly below classic.
Undoubtedly his best work!
Black Country Rock RULES!!!! She shook me cold, awesome tune! Get this and Ziggy Stardust!!!