Wednesday, January 16, 2008

That V-Day 'Love Songs' list again

Morning all! Okay, we're going to flit back to that List of Greatest Ever Love Songs for a moment, while I'm still wrestling (or perhaps, toying with?) deadlines.

The text that follows this video is a bit of a cheat, seeing as I originally posted it back in August. But not all of you are archive-surfers, and anyway, if my little tribute to David Bowie's 'Young Americans' album was good enough for God himself (which apparently it was - insert long, convoluted tale about how I stalked his press officer for feedback here), it's good enough for us. As for this video: the fact that Dave the Rave is gettin' down with Cher is the ultimate bonus. But seriously, folks: isn't this song just amazing?

Young Americans: A Tribute (pretentious - moi?)

As David Bowie traversed the deep valley between the vast, self-made mountains of glam-rock apocalyptica (‘Diamond Dogs’) and the ominous Euro-alienation that beckoned (‘Station to Station’), he made his best album of all: ‘Young Americans’ – the sound of a legend passing time.

Bowie appears on the cover looking cool, calm and collected, slick and delicious, yet pensively baleful – he was at his most beautiful, and he knew how to use it. Heavily influenced by the gleaming, commercial sound of Philadelphia soul but with a deferential, elegant curtsey to Lord Lennon (‘Across the Universe’) thrown in to keep his roots intact, the blatantly mercantile ‘Young Americans’ gave Bowie his first US number one hit (the clunky, hollow ‘Fame’), yet it continues to be the album that divides his longstanding fans. But who can listen to the achingly bittersweet ‘Can You Hear Me’, the empty desperation of ‘Win’ or the soft, melodic funk of ‘Right’ and not be completely seduced by the showbiz whore who falteringly led a whole generation through their turbulent adolescence and beyond?

If I had to choose one album to define the soundtrack of my life, ‘Young Americans’ would be it: heartache, devastation, beauty, cynicism and drama contained in just eight songs; life’s rich tapestry in all its vacillating, disingenuous glory.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Amazing - not Cher necessarily, but your thoughts on the 'Young Americans' album in general. Couldn't have put it better myself, and wouldn't dare to try.

I've been visiting here for weeks but have only just felt brave enough to comment. That's what half a bottle of red wine and some fantastic musical memories can do for you. Great blog - very inspirational.