I’m not the biggest Bowie fan, but his music got a second life in the late 90’s and onwards and I kept checking his albums out. I go in with an open mind with the hope to find something that I could use in my song writing.
Now, “Station to Station” is album number 10 for Bowie, released in 1976. It has been regarded as one of his most significant works, so it was on a list of album’s to check out for me.
The band for the album is stellar and on fire. Guitarist Carlos Alomar, bassist George Murray and drummer Dennis Davis all bring it, and guitarist Earl Slick contributes along with pianist Roy Bittan.
Bowie was too drugged out during this time and his memory of the album is vague. And with all the drugs artists do, they always find a way to create and the people around them, always find a way to get them to create. As their livelihoods depend on Bowie.
Station To Station
A 10 plus minute opening track which starts off with train noises created by the guitar. And somehow when it was released as a single, the song was creatively edited down to 3 minutes.
It’s typical of the era, blues rock and with arrangements that didn’t stick to a radio formula, because the artists ruled and the label execs didn’t really have a say, until they became more powerful than the artists in the 80’s because of MTV.
In keeping with the Blues Rock theme, Bowie was loaded up with cocaine and he kept asking Earl Slick to keep repeating a Chuck Berry lead over and over again.
This could have ended up on a Steely Dan album as it has this jazz rock fusion vibe.
Word On A Wing
It’s like a mid-tempo rock ballad, with a vocal delivery that reminds me of Joy Division.
Bowie wrote this while he was filming “The Man Who Fell To Earth”. But it’s a skip for me.
I like the riff, it’s almost Santana like with a bit of Doobie Brothers thrown in and you should definitely press play to hear the bass groove.
But man, Bowie’s vocals are really not connecting with me at all on this album and in this song in particular, because musically, this song is gold.
Wild Is The Wind
Musically, the song is great. It’s like a rock ballad. Like all the previous songs, the vocals and melodies from Bowie just don’t connect with me on any level.
And while this album is held in high regard amongst Bowie’s fans, there isn’t enough there to make me a fan. Although there are a lot of lyrics to digest.