Just finished the 33 1/3 series’ book on “Low” by David Bowie. Hugo Wilcken is the author.
As a side review, I would say that Wilcken does a fantastic job pulling from various sources, critically exploring each song, and most importantly, involving the reader while creating a definitive link between content and context. At times he gets a bit stiff in the writing, but not often.
Down to the meat. To be honest, the first time I listened to “Low”, I wasn’t as wowed as when I listened to “Station to Station” or “Heroes”. I remember my friend Andrew, who incidentally gave me the book as a present, saying that this was his favorite Bowie album. I played it a few more times, and still wasn’t really listening to the album, just hearing it. Maybe it’s just my pride, but I went in to the 33 1/3 book not wanting my opinion to be changed…but here I am, very much appreciating “Low”. Bowie was coming from a completely different place than I though he was in 1975. “Low” wasn’t just some cocaine experimental album, it was a memoir. It was Bowie talking about isolation while suffering from cocaine psychosis. The album is crafted so finely that each piece of it adds to this isolation. There are no frills, no useless part to it.
I feel like I’d just muck it up more trying to explain the how profound I found this album, or even how good the 33 1/3 book was.
33 1/3 Links: