Archive for Ziggy Stardust

Great Rock Albums of 1983: David Bowie- Let’s Dance

Posted in 1980s, Death, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2016 by 80smetalman

David-bowie-lets-dance (1)

So far, the new year isn’t starting off very well for rock and metal. Two weeks ago, we lose Lemmy to cancer and then two days ago, cancer claims David Bowie. Right now is a time for tragedy and great morning.

One observation I have made goes back to that metal hating newspaper, The Sun. At Lemmy’s passing, the paper devoted pages 14 and 15 to talk about his life and contribution to music. However, yesterday’s Sun put David Bowie on the front cover and dedicated about eight pages, at least, to him. Now, I know the argument that Bowie was more well known than Lemmy and sold more records and had many more Top 40 hits. But still, the difference in the amount of coverage by the paper is way out of proportion.

When I began to assemble my list for albums of 1983, I was in two minds on whether or not to include Bowie’s 1983 “Let’s Dance” album. For me, it’s not his best album. It’s a long way down from classics like “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Spiders From Mars,” an album I visited many eons ago. However, being an open minded person and having mellowed a little with old age, I thought it fair that I give it another listen. My opinion of “Let’s Dance” has improved but only a little bit. To me, it still sounds too 80s mainstream pop.


Here’s the good news. When I first heard the title cut all those years ago, I was put off by the domineering bass in the song. I thought he was trying to go for a dance record with it. Hearing it again, I realise now that “Let’s Dance” has a real killer guitar solo. Naturally, I had to look up to discover who played this great solo and very much to my surprise, I have learned that the guitar virtuoso was none other than guitar great Stevie Ray Vaughan. Better yet, not only does he shine on the title cut but his talents explode all over this album. So, I ask myself, “How could have I missed out this great guitar work over thirty years ago?” My only answer is that the mainstream 8os sound put me off so much, that I missed the great guitar solos.

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Another point to make is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Bowie’s vocals anywhere on the album. When you listen to each song, you know without a shadow of a doubt that it’s the Starman singing. His unique voice was as good as ever. This leads me to alter my original verdict on “Let’s Dance” to state that Bowie’s vocals and Vaughan’s guitar work save the album. Like with many albums, I did find a lesser known good track on this one. That track is “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” and that even takes the top spot from the former fave, “Modern Love.”

Track Listing:

  1. Modern Love
  2. China Girl
  3. Let’s Dance
  4. Without You
  5. Ricochet
  6. Criminal World
  7. Cat People (Putting Out Fire)
  8. Shake It
David Bowie

David Bowie

David Bowie- vocals

Carmine Rojas- bass

Omar Hakim, Tony Thompson- drums

Nile Rodgers- guitar, horn arrangements

Stevie Ray Vaughan- lead guitar

Rob Sabino- keyboards

Mac Gallehon- trumpet

Robert Aaron, Lenny Pickett, Stan Harrison- tenor saxophone, flute

Steve Elson- baritone saxophone, flute

Sammy Figueroa- percussion

Frank Simms, George Simms, David Spinner- backing vocals


R.I.P. David Bowie

While “Let’s Dance” is better than what I remember from over thirty years ago, after I listened to it, I did listen to “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Spiders From Mars” again. That album is more my style. Whichever album you from David Bowie you prefer, you can’t the fault the contribution this great singer made to music for over forty years.

Next Post: U2- War  (Unless someone else who put out an album in 1983 dies)

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Great Rock Albums of 70s: David Bowie- The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Spiders from Mars

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , on November 14, 2011 by 80smetalman

I thought I was ready to move onto the next chapter of this tour through heavy metal history, but as what has been always happening to me, another great rock album from the 70s has sprouted to mind. I came upon this one while listening to my MP3 the other day which contains my two favourite Bowie songs of all time; “Space Oddity” and “Ziggy Stardust.” I know that the album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Spiders from Mars” only contains one of those songs, but I have decided to visit the album anyway.

The best reason for visiting the album is quite simple, for an ageing metalhead like me, it takes me back to a time of pure rock. Great tracks like the “Ziggy Stardust,” “Starman” and “Suffragette City” are true rock anthems which helped laid a foundation to the metal we know and love today. For me, this was a time when I thought David Bowie was good before he settled for being popular. Sorry, I just couldn’t get into that “Let’s Dance” stuff in the mid 80s. But Metallica should take note.

Track Listing:

1. Five Years

2. Soul Love

3. Moonage Daydream

4. Starman

5. It Ain’t Easy

6. Lady Stardust

7. Star

8. Hang On In To Yourself

9. Ziggy Stardust

10. Suffragette City

11. Rock And Roll Suicide

David Bowie- vocals, piano, accoustic guitar, harpsichord

Mick Ronson- guitars, piano, backing vocals

Trevor Bolder- bass

Mick Woodmansey- drums

The other thing David Bowie can take credit for is being a key player in the glam rock of the early 1970s. Bowie along with Alice Cooper, The Sweet and later KISS would create an image which would influence a good many metal bands a decade later. If you fancy listening to a classic rock album, then try this one.

Next Post: Judas Priest- Sad Wings of Destiny

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