Starting off with the sound of a train moving from one channel to the other until the soundscape fills the surroundings, we're into the epic Station to Station, a 10 minute long track with a rhythm that sounds like a death march over which Bowie croons, 'The return of the thin white duke throwing darts in lovers eyes.'. It's a startling opening to a truly startling album.
Station to Station
Word on a Wing
Wild is the Wind
The European canon is here - the opening track mutates into a full on kruat-rocker at around the five minute mark. That this brilliant opening track doesn't overshadow the rest of the album is testamount to who good this platter is.
Golden Years follows and this is an immediately catchy track with a disco vibe and Bowie's vocals seem to twist and merge with the electronic soundscape of the vibe. The song was a big hit in both the UK and US and remains one of Bowie's best known tracks.
We're then into the first of two big ballads with Word on the Wing.
'In this age of grand illusion'
Side 2 kicks off with TVC15, a jet propelled rocker with insanely delivered backing vocals. Apparantly the track was inspired by an episode in which
Iggy Pop, during a drug-fuelled period at Bowie's LA home, hallucinated
and believed the television set was swallowing his girlfriend.
Next track, Stay sees Bowie back into his funk persona so evident on previous album, Young Americans and then we're into the epic length ballad, Wild is the Wind - made famous by Nina Simone, Bowie evokes Sinatra for his truly remarkable vocal performance.
Bowie's backing band are electric throughout (no wonder he kept them for subsequent albums) and they never balk at the challenge of following the front man's lead, even getting ahead of him several times.
Bowie may have recorded far more popular albums but few are as enigmatic and fearless as this truly essential creation.