stationary target

\”Young Americans\” era jones, 1975.

Stepping off American Bandstand – but not the white powder – The Thin White Duke turned introspective and hit the black on Bleaker Street for his follow-up release, \”Station to Station\”, in 1976. Paralyzing psychosis and paranoia informed both the writing and performance in the studio throughout, and the blue-eyed energized soul of its predecessor was derailed in the process; taking a mysterious detour which would ultimately culminate with those synth laden collaborations with Brian Eno and old friend, Tony Visconti in Berlin between 1976 and 1977.

For all the accusations which were hurled in its direction, in hindsight \”Station to Station\” was potentially David Jones\’ most \’real\’ statement since \”Hunky Dory\”, dealing as it does with genuine emotions, however numbed and blunted. The distance employed between artist and audience has little to do in this instance with artifice and industry chicanery.

The line between persona and persona non grata – a white line, admittedly – is more confused or interrupted than deliberately blurred.

I feel as passionately about this record as anything realized on vinyl between \”Space Oddity\” and \”Scary Monsters… Super Creeps\”. Ever the ardent Österberg admirer and champion, one gets the sense that with this LP Bowie finally gave himself the break of accepting his limitations as an intuitive performer and finally began to build on his own unique capabilities to adopt and absorb from varied sources without fear of criticism or put-down. The theatre is tempered with restraint and the desire to cultivate from crippling experience. The Jacques Brel, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill influences which would dominate later work make their first appearance here, with little apology, on his bold decision to end the album with a cover of Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington\’s \”Wild is the Wind\”, originally recorded by Johnny Mathis for the movie of the same name in 1957. It reeks of cabaret and greasepaint, beyond a doubt, but the face melting on stage under the footlights just as irrefutably belongs to David Jones himself.

Stay tuned, and keep reading between the lines. Keep one eye open for the train.

David Bowie: vocals, guitar, tenor and alto saxophone, Moog, Mellotron; Carlos Alomar: guitar; Roy Bittan: piano; Dennis Davis: drums; George Murray: bass; Warren Peace: backing vocals; Earl Slick: guitar. Produced by David Bowie and Harry Maslin. Recorded in Los Angeles, September-December 1975.

DAVID BOWIE: STAY from \”Station To Station\” LP (RCA) 1976 (UK)



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