Another Bowie album from the job lot of 5 I picked up, and one I don’t really know much about. I’ve heard the title track and Rebel Rebel appears on all the greatest hits type releases, I may even remember it from when it was originally released in 1974 as I would have been 7 at that point. The good thing about this is that I get to hear brand new Bowie material to me at least, even though it is 43 years old.
I’m a big fan of the works of George Orwell and list 1984 as one of my favourite books ever written, so to find that, thematically, Diamond Dogs is part Orwell’s 1984 and part Bowie’s own vision of a post-apocalyptic world is quite a bonus. Apparently Bowie had wanted to create a theatrical production of the book but the author’s estate denied the rights. The songs that Bowie had already written after Pin Ups ended up on the second half of Diamond Dogs instead, which is the 1984 bit..
This ain’t Rock ‘N’ Roll this is genocide
It is a bit odd that the Ziggy Stardust character had been killed off but seems to make a bit of a return here, as though reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated. It does feel a little that, for this album, Bowie had returned to a familiar area and there is always the possibility that Diamond Dogs is not as fully formed as it might be as a result of it being the basis for an unrealised show.
The songs are good though, no doubt about that, with side two feeling more fully realised to me, although there are no tracks there that might stand up as a single, it is very much a series of album tracks, which is no bad thing. Not the jolliest of albums but still maintaining the high quality writing that Bowie always seemed to manage.
A1a Future Legend – 1:00
A2 Diamond Dogs – 5:50
A3 Sweet Thing – 3:29
A4 Candidate 2:39
A5 Sweet Thing (Reprise) – 2:32
A6 Rebel Rebel 4:21
B1 Rock ‘N Roll With Me – 3:54
B2 We Are The Dead – 4:48
B3 1984 – 3:24
B4 Big Brother – 3:25
B5 Chant Of The Ever Circling Skeletal Family – 1:48
Rating this album is quite difficult from as one would expect these songs to be well embedded into the Bowie history even for the casual listener, but they aren’t so I am almost certain that in weeks and months to come I will like it more and more, but for now I’m going with an 8.0.