Just like you, but different
I was challenged to list 10 Albums, which I took to mean the best 10 albums I could think of. Sometimes I think too much. I found it hard going up with 4. Then I had 12. It’s not as easy as you think.
The first Album I thought of, and the first album I think of frequently is the undeniably good David Bowie Station to Station Album.
The 10th studio album from Bowie this one was released by RCA Records in 1976. Station to Station was peak Thin White Duke.
I have this on original Vinyl, I think I have a couple of copies on Vinyl I like it so much, and I remember being it in the shopping mall in Catford, London.
The album was recorded after he completed shooting Nicolas Roeg‘s The Man Who Fell to Earth, Which coincidentally is one of my top movies of all time. I have the movie and the book, I think I have two copies of the book.
Please don’t ask me to do a 10 Movie challenge.
Only 6 tracks on the Album, all of them standalone wonderful for all sorts of reasons.
The opening track contains the lovely lyric line “It’s not the side-effects of the cocaine I’m thinking that it must be love”, which is ironic since it seems Bowie claims not to have remembered anything about recording it [the album] due to excessive cocaine use.
So 1976, a 15 year old me, all angst and pimples, and rampant hormones, wavery voice and the looking prospect of going to workforce and this pops up, at home at night, the low power stereo, lights dimmed, thinking you’re some kind of intellectual, clearly playing it either too loud or too often as there’s a lot of headphones in this memory time too. Too often is probably because for a full album this is less than 38 minutes and it might have been distracting for the parents.
I have no idea what I would have done other than listen to music in the evenings, it was later that I got into CB radio (not strictly legal), motorcycles, and stepped on the slippery slope.
For me there are two tracks that stand above the other tracks, a feat in itself, one on each side of the Album, and both of them the closing tracks – Word on a Wing – despite it’s religious themes remains for a me a dark melancholy call from a place of insecurity. The other, “”Wild Is the Wind“, a song not written by Bowie, and which has been recorded by many artists, including Nina Simone, George Micheal and Randy Crawford, You’ll also find versions by Shirley Bassey and more lately Cat Power.
I still play this album regularly, on Vinyl Sundays (Wherein I drink a beer and listen to an LP or two), and I have it on Spotify for the car, it’s never been that far away for me.
There are other wonderful and lovely Bowie Albums of course, Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs, Low, Ziggy Stardust, Heroes , and the unforgettable Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) with the always amusing “Up the hill backwards“, but from then, for me, it began to fall away, The Tin Machine albums remain much a mystery and even Heathen I struggle with. Wait a few years and it’s back again with “The Next Day” and finally “Blackstar” is music of much familiarity in lyrical and vocal cadence and timbre. None of these make the 10 album list, because it would then be a list of my 10 favourite Bowie albums, a challenge in itself, further harder by having to number them in some kind of favourite order.
Spoiler Alert, as of writing there is no Queen Album on the list, Or Rolling Stones, although the 1989 “Steel Wheels Album is lovely, nor is there any U2.
It’s without any irony based on the age of the music I’m listening to that I’m drinking a Tuatara – Primeval Old World IPA from the Fill station at the Local Liquorland .
This is of 50 IBU things and is 5.5% ABV so the 1 litre I have is about 4.34 standard drinks in NZ, and somewhere about 165 calories a serve size.
The third beer to feature in our final Switch Six series for the year is an English IPA. One of the original Old World ales, the India Pale Ale is positively primeval. Much like our native namesake, the IPA has continually evolved to endure for over two centuries. Honouring beer alchemists of old, we haven’t strayed far from tradition. With a lavish malt sweetness, this liberally hopped ale delivers the delicious herb and floral flavours of the Old World. A truly ‘original’ brew.
And so with the Beer and the Music I’m about to find out what could go wrong in the second part.
The beer: A lovely hoppy and then a malt aroma, gorgeous golden pour with bright white head, Lightly bitter taste that’s easy going on the palate and a nice finish that hints at being dryer than it is.
I was reading a bit more from the brewer who describes this as “Look : Deep Amber” and I got Pilsner Golden. This has thrown me a bit.
The beer I’m drinking though is nice, I love in the ongoing hope that It’s indeed the Primeval and not something else. What a state to be in if you’re waffling on about beer X when you’re drinking beer Y. Must have happened before.
I switched from Tim Machine, which was indulgent jibjab to Heathen on the Spotify player.
Wracked with doubt and angst then I’m loathe to say more on the subject of beer, except that it seems to be an IPA, of course, although there’s not a lot of the “old world” hop about it, which I presume is a nod towards the traditional Fuggles type hops that are very obvious when you have them.
I had a second pint and forgot all my worries, and started to sing about my TVC15…..