314 520 515-2 David Bowie
production credits unknown
Released on 1998
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
314 520 515-2 cover  

T his eponymous release amounts to a reissue of 1967’s Love You Till Tuesday, minus a pair of tracks but otherwise with the order intact. Honestly, I’m hard pressed to think of another body of work so grossly overexposed as Bowie’s first, tentative album. And yet, having heard these tracks so many times in various guises, I’ve grown accustomed to this phase. The playful, heavy handed innocence isn’t without its charm, the attempts at social criticism not entirely beyond Bowie’s grasp (“We Are Hungry Men,” “She’s Got Medals”), and when given a flattering sonic setting (as happens here) the ambitious pop arrangements occasionally sparkle. As luck would have it, the eponymous David Bowie even held a new discovery in store for me, “Sell Me A Coat.” I don’t expect most people will be as pleased with this purchase, but a willingness to find merit combined with countless opportunities conspire to undermine better judgment. The same sort of thing has no doubt happened to Genesis fans who’ve heard From Genesis To Revelation under its assumed identities. Both remind me of unguarded children’s songs, similar to what you’d hear on holiday cartoons. In such company, “Come And Buy My Toys,” “When I Live My Dream” and “There Is A Happy Land” hold their own. Some tracks are simply beyond salvage; “Join The Gang,” “Love You Till Tuesday” and “Please Mr. Gravedigger” find Bowie’s voice rendered in such a precious tone that it’s fairly annoying. Tucked in between are a few sleepers, from a story of arrested development (“Uncle Arthur”) to the surprisingly catchy “Maid of Bond Street.” Most artists have their own 21 Jump Street or modeling photos to contend with; in that context, these songs aren’t quite so unflattering at all.

TRACK LISTING

  1. UNCLE ARTHUR    2:07
  2. SELL ME A COAT    2:58
  3. RUBBER BAND    2:17
  4. LOVE YOU TILL TUESDAY    3:09
  5. THERE IS A HAPPY LAND    3:11
  6. WE ARE HUNGRY MEN    2:58
  7. WHEN I LIVE MY DREAM    3:22
  8. COME AND BUY MY TOYS    2:07
  9. JOIN THE GANG    2:17
  10. SHE'S GOT MEDALS    2:23
  11. MAID OF BOND STREET    1:43
  12. PLEASE MR. GRAVEDIGGER    2:35

    All selections written by David Bowie

CREDITS

DAVID BOWIE --
Traci Werbel -- project coordinator

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US 1998 Rebound Records CD 314 520 515  

 

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