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David Bowie - Low - LP -

Price per Unit (stuk): €15.95

The first album in David Bowie's Berlin Trilogy sees Bowie as a tragic figure. The album'sĀ first side is a beautiful futurist ruin, littered with holes left purposefully unfixed, while the blank, instrumental second side feels like a calculated attempt to kill the author.

Compared to its predecessors, David Bowie's 11th studio album is noticeably reserved. "I had no statement to make on Low," said Bowie, who could hardly write lyrics at all in the aftermath of his L.A. excesses, let alone fashion another extensive character study like Ziggy or the Thin White Duke. His lyrical gifts were already spread thin, and thinner still when a completed third verse was cut from "Always Crashing in the Same Car," in which Bowie did his very best Bob Dylan impression. Producer Tony Visconti thought it was so creepy, and potentially inappropriate given Dylan's motorcycle accident a decade earlier, that they scrapped it.

Bowie was hardly lucid in 1976, but you bet he knew exactly what he was doing with that verse. The mysterious injuries from Dylan's 1966 accident gave him the excuse to disappear from the rat race for years, whereas the full complement of wounds Bowie sustained in L.A. were proudly displayed for a while: the Station to Station-era diet of cocaine, red peppers, and milk, and the ensuing physical and psychic degradation that led him to endorse fascism, fear the occult, and allegedly keep his urine in the fridge lest anyone steal it. (From a flushed toilet?) When he realized he had to leave Hollywood and kick his prodigious habit, West Berlin appealed for its anonymity, though unlike Dylan, Bowie would make his own recovery a matter of public record. Both artists were escaping paradigmatic American success by retreating into themselves. Where Dylan let rumors of death fester, Bowie opened his hermitage to the world, reinforcing his outsider myth.

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