Keno's Classic Rock n Roll Web Site
Released - 1971 by RCA Records. Produced by Ken Scott.
David Bowie: Lead and Backing Vocals; Guitars: Saxophones; some Piano
Mick Ronson: Guitars; Backing Vocals;
All songs written by David Bowie except "Fill Your Heart", written by Bif Rose & Paul Williams
Perhaps the best of David Bowie's pre-Ziggy Stardust albums, Hunky Dory has a nice, mellow blend of songs, and a bit more folky than some of his other LPs.
The disk starts off with its best song, "Changes", about the changes life in general brings to all people, and contains perhaps the earliest warning to his fellow Baby Boomers that even they would grow old some day, while still telling their parents to lay off of their lives.
There are two other great songs on this LP, "Life on Mars?" is one of them. According to Bowie, Rick Wakeman actually helped in writing the music to this usual song, along with Mick Ronson. The song is about the freak show of life and why would humans even worry or care if there is life on Mars when we don't even understand or know the meaning of life on Earth.
"Kooks" is the third great song on Hunky Dory, written on the day his son Zowie Bowie (aka Joey, and known today as movie director Duncan Zowie Jones) was born. It has to go down as one of the coolest and most unusual father to son songs, an invitation to Zoey to join his dad and mum's (who are the "kooks") very far out (indeed) family.
Bowie did write a few other neat songs on this album, including "Oh! You Pretty Things" being an interesting one of them. Almost an extension of "Changes", this tune is talking about how the up and coming generation, which he was a part of, would take over things in their own, different way, and how they were driving the members of the WW2 generation crazy at the same time: "Don't you know you're driving your Mamas and Papas insane". Sure, it was very clear the Boomers did that to their parents, as other rock songs before this one pointed that out. I have read where some people claim this song is only about gay youth. I guess it could be, but I don't really think so. Just because Bowie was going through his bisexual period when this was written, doesn't mean it is. When he did write such songs, he was so much clearer if the songs he wrote were about being bisexual or not. Nothing totally points to that in this song.
Overall, one very nice album put out by early Bowie.
- Keno 2011
To listen to some soundclips from HUNKY DORY or to purchase it, click on: Hunky Dory [CD]