Have you ever heard Cygnet Committee or Alternative Candidate? Two songs, most fans of the man who wrote Space Oddity are probably not familiar with. Those two rarities, along with Space Oddity, Man Who Sold the World, Station To Station and many more are featured in a new book, Rebel Rebel. This exhaustive and fascinating publication covers David Bowie’s output from first his single in 1964 to Station To Station, his landmark album of 1976. This is volume one, of what will be the entire discography of Bowie’s recorded work. Author Chris O’Leary, a past guest on Life Elsewhere, digs deep into the history of each Bowie song, scrupulously examining every one, with a break down of who recorded it, who played on it and produced it, when it was played live or broadcast on TV or radio. He also provides critical interpretations of Bowie’s music and lyrics, as well as how Bowie’s personal history and cultural trends collided to inspire a particular song, whether it was Tibetan Buddhism, the Apollo moon landing, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four or Philadelphia Soul.
“There had never been so self-conscious an act as Bowie’s in pop before,” writes Chris O’Leary, he continues, “Only the prosperous, youthheady, pop music emporia that was Britain and America in the Sixties and Seventies could have produced Bowie the rock musician. Had he come early in the 20th Century, he would have been a painter or a music hall performer; had he come today, he’d likely be writing for Image Comics.”
Die-hard fans, music lovers and everyone interested in popular culture cannot miss the next edition of Life Elsewhere, when Chris O’Leary will join Norman B to unravel the facts, explain the real stories and play rarities of David Bowie songs.
Life Elsewhere is now available at Soundcloud