Album Review: “Hunky Dory” By David Bowie
via David Bowie/YouTube
The Start of An Era
Some rock acts manage to secure their spot in the rock ‘n roll pantheon with one great song or one great album. For David Bowie, he did so with a series of stellar records – most of which he churned out in the ’70s. It was a glorious decade for him and he adapted several alter egos during that time. And while he made other LPs that could rival “Hunky Dory,” it’s undeniable that it’s where it all began – his ascent to becoming a rock deity, that is.
It was a departure from its hard-rockin’ predecessor “The Man Who Sold The World.” For “Hunky Dory,” Bowie explored folk, pop, and artsy territory. It saw him fulfill his artistic vision – from pop anthems to dark rockers. It offered a wide array of musical styles, and it was a quantum leap in terms of songwriting. It’s not without flaws and had its weak moments but overall, it’s well-crafted and one of his most solid studio efforts.
Quirky and eclectic, he truly came into his own as an artist.
It kicks off with the sweet and dramatic “Changes.” It’s catchy and unforgettable. “Oh! You Pretty Things” is melodic, beautiful, but often overlooked. “Eight Line Poem” has that surreal feel. “Life on Mars?” is one of the highlights of the LP. It’s powerful, spectacular, and a brilliant piece of music. “Kooks” is a jaunty number that makes you want to dance along to it. “Quicksand” is a bit dark and sad.
“Fill Your Heart” doesn’t exactly stand out but still enjoyable all the same. “Andy Warhol” is an odd track but it’s not something you’d want to skip. “Song for Bob Dylan” is a stripped-down rock number that is another key track. He then speeds things up with “Queen Bitch” which was influenced by Velvet Underground. “The Bewlay Brothers” is an interesting addition but not as strong as the previous songs.
“Hunky Dory” is one of David Bowie’s finest works. It was a promise of greater things to come.