16/05/2018: “Moonage Daydream” by David Bowie


David Bowie is one of the most interesting performers to emerge in the 20th century. His early attempts in the late Sixties ranged from out-there to, well, slightly embarrassing.

But there was a decade or so that David Bowie produced a truly dazzling amount of timeless music. “Moonage Daydream” or so was written in 1971 as part of Bowie’s Arnold Corns project. It can be hard to keep up with Bowie’s constant reinventions, personas, and musical styles, but Ziggy Stardust is probably his most famous.

1972 saw the release of The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. Although the iconic song “Space Oddity” had been released in 1969, and there had already been two very good albums after that, this was really his breakthrough album.

The album, like many of Bowie’s works, is conceptual, and tells a story. The story is basically about a rock star called Ziggy Stardust who is a messenger for aliens.

“Moonage Daydream” is itself about the submission of Ziggy to the aliens. I think…

Bowie’s lyrics are often interpreted in various highminded ways, which is fine, but they can be a bit cryptic, especially when taking the songs on their own without any context. They are nice to listen to though, even if they tend to be a bit grim in content!

The song is easy to like, with a great set of guitar riffs, an excellent vocal melody, and a very nice bass part. It’s a classic Bowie glam rock song, with just a touch of the trademark nuttiness that defines much of his work. It’s not even the best song on the album but the album is so good that this easily fits into its role as a classic song.

“Freak out in a moonage daydream!”

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