More ch-ch-changes from David Bowie on 1976’s Station to Station album as the Pied Piper of Rock led us once again down another musical path. He completed filming his first foray into acting in Los Angeles in The Man Who Fell to Earth before commencing recording there. With Bowie’s tenth album already he had acquired the reputation of the boldest rocker extant, constantly challenging accepted societal norms. With his Ziggy Stardust character, was he a man, was he a woman…was he even from planet Earth? With the Philly Soul-centric Young Americans which preceded Station to Station, was he Black? And now with the gaunt Thin White Duke with the perpetual moontan, was he rejecting all of that American influence in favor of a Euro-Continental approach?
No longer infatuated with soul music as it evolved into Disco, but not yet embarked on his pioneering electronica work with Brian Eno in Berlin, David Bowie continued what was to become a hallmark of his entire career, adopting a dramatic new look, an intriguing stage persona, and assembling a white-hot live band of decidedly American players this time including bandleader guitarist Carlos Alomar and lead guitarist Earl Slick. Songs on Station to Station include “Golden Years”,”Stay” (terrific guitars from Alomar and Slick),”TVC 1-5″ ( Bowie said that the unused tune for the Man…Earth soundtrack was about a girl and her relationship with her television),”Wild is the Wind” (as soulful as anything on Young Americans but without the awkward affectation ), and the title song, often cited by post-punk bands including The Cars, Talking Heads, and Gary Numan as a major influence. My archival conversation here with the late David Bowie encompasses all of that plus much more. –Redbeard