I learned of the death of David Bowie today, and thought I’d post this piece I wrote back in 2007, my reflections about one of his greatest songs…
David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World”
I’d never paid much attention to David Bowie. When he was becoming famous in the early 70’s, I had lost interest in rock and was delving into classical music, still playing my Doors and Janis and Beatles and Stones LPs, but ignoring the new crop. Thus, I missed Bowie’s classic albums, and by the time I started paying attention to rock again, we (and Bowie) had entered the era of disco, a sub-genre that I found both forgettable and regrettable.
Just recently, however, I started listening to Bowie, thanks to the recommendation of a friend, and in short order got the albums, The Man Who Sold the World, Aladdin Sane, and a two-disc Singles 1969-93 collection (Hunky Dory is on my must-buy list). On the first album mentioned, I came across the song that made me realize that for a third of a century I’d been missing the work of a musical genius.