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.
With 1970's The Man Who Sold the World, David Bowie set aside his pop and singer-songwriter aspirations and headed in a harder-rocking direction. Producer Tony Visconti provided a thick, dense setting with guitarist Mick Ronson playing the role of guitar hero to Bowie's megalomaniac frontman; think Keith Richards and Mick Jagger sprinkled with fairy dust. The new approach flowered on Hunky Dory, but the outline for the master plan is here. The title track, "The Width of a Circle," and "All the Madmen" are essential Bowie, as he slips from cryptic to straightforward, celebratory wordplay.
"On the Outside tour, Bowie quietly served as a grounding point for Reznor; he offered, in his music and his performances, the potential of a future. … Bowie and Reznor designed an interim sequence to bridge their sets. There would be no NIN encore. Instead Bowie, then his band, would join NIN on stage, and then NIN would depart, leaving Reznor singing with Bowie's band. The concert featured on this remarkable 2CD set finds the entourage playing at The Riverport Amphitheatre in St Louis, Missouri, on 11th October 1995.
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music
WHAM BAM THANK YOU MAM
Deeply inspired by the rise and fall of Vince Taylor (whom Bowie incidentally met in 1971). David/Ziggy will mix this story with science-fiction themes, the atmosphere of the star rock system mixing the whole stuff with his androgynous look. Ziggy will appear as such on stage. Intelligent glam rock? Probably.