Tuesday, February 23, 2010


For those of you who are new to No Expiration, every Wednesday morning at 9 am ET I go on the SIRIUS XM channel OutQ. I am a weekly contributor to The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick. We talk about - surprise! - music. This week I'll be talking about David Bowie. Despite the fact that he often says he doesn't like to look back, he releases an awful lot of catalog stuff. If you're a fan, that's a cool thing.

Late last year, David's first solo album, Space Oddity, was reissued. I say it was his first solo album because before that he recorded with bands like Davy Jones & The Mannish Boys and Davy Jones & The Lower Third. Space Oddity isn't a classic album, and as the Brits say, it's a bit "naff." It's very 12-string acoustic guitar folky, but with much weirder lyrics. That said, the title track is obviously a classic, and there are lots of other great songs also. I really like "Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed." The reissue is two discs, and has lot of bonus tracks, including demos and BBC sessions.

In the summer of 2008, I talked about Bowie's Santa Monica '72, recorded at the very beginning of his first U.S. tour with The Spiders From Mars. Unlike Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture, recorded at the end of that tour, this was at the beginning when Bowie and the band had something to prove. It is a classic live album that more people should know about, and probably my favorite Bowie release.

Bowie recorded his episode of VH1 Storytellers in 1999 while he was promoting his Hours album. I'm not sure why it took a decade to release it on CD, or if there was a huge demand for it. I was a bit skeptical, I admit. But it actually is a great performance. And maybe the best thing about it is the stories that Bowie tells between songs. It's a CD/DVD set that is well worth the money.

David Bowie's last tour was for the Reality album, which came out in 2003. The A Reality Tour live album just came out: again, don't know why the wait, and if there was a demand. It's a good live album, but it sort of makes the arguement that Bowie's last decade was as good as the '70s or '80s, which is a tough arguement to pull off. Still, there are some great moments. I have to say, I prefer Storytellers.

I'll also be talking about David's classic 1976 album Station To Station, which is due to be reissued later this year.

Feel free to call in and talk about your favorite era of Bowie!


Kent said...

Huge Bowie fan! Enjoyed the show today!

My pick for ultimate Bowie "naff"ness is the Peter Noone cover of "Oh! You Pretty Things". Maybe my pick for ultimate Bowie "WTF"ness, too.

Minority said...

hey, kent, thanks. wow, there are a lot of naff Bowie moments. the Jim Henson movie was one. the duet with Bing Crosby was another. But I have not yet heard Noone's "Oh! You Pretty Things" although I love Bowie's verison.