Friday, March 25, 2011

323 Station to Station. I think I'd prefer the replacement bus service.

Album: Station to Station
Artist: David Bowie
Genre: Pop
Year: 1976

Tracks

  1. Station to Station
  2. Golden Years
  3. Word on a Wing
  4. TVC 15
  5. Stay
  6. Wild Is the Wind

I’ve written before about how I respect David Bowie I just can’t actually enjoy him. His music leaves me cold and unaffected. Listening to him is like being praised by an idiot- you know how it’s supposed to make you feel but you just can’t get moved by it at all. 

At least that’s how I used to feel. Now I’ve listened to Station to Station I’ve actually lost quite a bit of respect for the guy. Station to Station is the most annoying thing I’ve ever heard Bowie do. While his other albums make me think “I can understand why people like this but why don’t I?” this made me wonder how anyone could love it. 

Having taken the time to research the album and try and understand what the fuss is about I can put my finger on the reason- it’s all Kraftwerk’s fault. Kraftwerk are the biggest band in a genre known as Krautrock, the German industrial rock and roll scene. They took the genre we know as Rock and Roll and sucked all the life and fun out of it and made it a noisy mess than Germans liked. In stark contrast to Krautrock is funk which is a genre that said: “hey this rock thing is great but why don’t we make it even more fun by giving it groove?” If I had the choice between listening to Kraftwerk’s greatest hits of Funkadelic’s most minor album I’d be choosing George Clinton and the Mothership Connection any day of the week. Make my funk the P-funk.

Station to Station is a transitional album that saw Bowie turn his back on Funky and move towards the more industrial sounds of Kraftwerk and krautrock. He shed some fans along the way and while I was never a fan he also shed me. 

I just can’t get excited by anything on Station to Station. While some see it as a fascinating transition it’s only really appealing to listen to if you like both where he was coming from and where he’s going. To me most of the tracks are just interminably long with no respite. The title track goes for ten minutes and feels like an entire album. These between-station journeys aren’t quick, it’s not Flinders street to Southern Cross it’s Parliament all the way to Lillydale with long delays and regular breakdowns. Golden Years (the album’s single) is only 4 minutes long but still manages to feel like it takes an eternity. 

Station to Station was a brand new experience for me, a whole album of Bowie tracks I’d never heard before. I never want to hear any of them again. 

Highlight: Golden Years
Lowlight: Word on a Wing

Influenced by: Kraftwerk
Influenced: Industrial pop

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "A record you want to play while drinking a glass of champagne with the beautiful wife of your best friend...."

-Wait. Who? You want to drink champagne with who?

So do you stop at all stations or would you rather travel express through the whole thing? Let me know below.

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