A look back at David Bowie’s debut albumRodney
Looking back on David Bowie’s first album released in 1967, simply titled David Bowie. It’s certainly a lot different to the last album he released in 2016 titled Black Star. It was 49 years apart so that’s bloody obvious.
The album was released on the same day as the iconic album by the Beatles – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Any fan of music would know of the popularity of that Beatles album. About a week before the Beatles album was released The Monkees album Headquarters charted at No.1 in the U.S. then quickly replaced by the highly successful Beatles album. These two albums were the top two selling records during the “Summer of Love” period. Sadly Bowie’s first album didn’t gain the same commercial success. The album peaked at No.125 in the charts.
There’s fourteen songs on the album and has the mid-sixties jaunty feel about it. It feels like Bowie was influenced by Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett as it has similarities with the quirky nursery psychedelic feel.
Syd Barret reviews David Bowie
Syd Barrett was even invited by Melody Maker to review a single of the album ‘Love You Till Tuesday’ Syd Said “Yeah, it’s a joke number,” Barrett remarked, “Jokes are good. Everybody likes jokes. The Pink Floyd like jokes.”
“It’s very casual,” he then continued, “If you play it a second time, it might be even more of a joke. Jokes are good. The Pink Floyd like jokes. I think that was a very funny joke.”
Love your work, Syd! He then predicted what the world would think of the song “I think people will like the bit about it being Monday, when in fact it was Tuesday. Very chirpy, but I don’t think my toes were tapping at all.”
Bowie was and remained a big Barrett, on his 1973 covers album Pin Ups he covered ‘See Emily Play’ and in 2006 Bowie teamed up with Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour to perform a Barrett classic ‘Arnold Layne’.
Bowie spoke about Syd passed away in 2006 “Syd was a major inspiration for me,” He Continued. “He was so charismatic and such a startlingly original songwriter. Also, along with Anthony Newley, he was the first guy I’d heard to sing pop or rock with a British accent. His impact on my thinking was enormous. A major regret is that I never got to know him. A diamond indeed.”
Picking through the peppercorns of a manure pile
In 1999 with an interview with Uncut Bowie talks about his debut album “It’s kinda fun now, actually – I see sites on the Internet where they study those areas very intimately. You can see them picking through the peppercorns of my manure pile. Looking for something that might indicate I had a future. They’re few and far between, but they have come up with some nuggets.”
Bowie Continued “So yes, the whole of my learning period is all out there, all released. It took me an awful long time to work out what it was that I did. I guess what made it so difficult was that I was never in love with one kind of music and one kind of music only. At that point, particularly, it wasn’t ‘Right’ to have an interest in all areas. It was make-your-mind-up time… I felt: well, I don’t wanna be like this. I wanna keep my options open; there’s lots of things I like. So it was: ‘How can I do this so I can try everything? How can I be really greedy?'”
Track listing is:
A1. Uncle Arthur
A2. Sell Me A Coat
A3. Rubber Band
A4. Love You Till Tuesday
A5. There Is A Happy Land
A6. We Are Hungry Men
A7. When I Live My Dream
B1. Little Bombadier
B2. Silly Boy Blues
B3. Come And Buy My Toys
B4. Join The Gang
B5. She’s Got Medals
B6. Maid of Bond Street
B7. Please Mr. Gravedigger
All songs written by David Bowie. Music arrangements by Dek Fearnley and David Bowie.