Friday, July 1, 2011

David Bowie- The Man Who Sold the World (1970) Ryko Au20 Edition (Gold Disc) MP3 & FLAC

"'Cause I'd rather stay here with all the madmen than perish with the sad men
roaming free."

Although David Bowie's star had finally begun to ascend by 1970 thanks to the breakthrough success of his "Space Oddity" single the year before, it was not until the recording of his third album, The Man Who Sold the World, that he began to fully explore the rawer, darker, highly theatrical and sexually amorphous approach (both musically and thematically) that eventually made him (and his Ziggy Stardust persona) an iconic figure of the 1970s. In doing so, Bowie temporarily left behind the uniquely dystopian folk that characterized his previous album, Man of Words / Man of Music (later re-named Space Oddity) by relying heavily on two key collaborators who would help create the shape of things to come. The first, Tony Visconti, whose production credits at the time included Marc Bolan's Tyrannosaurus Rex and an early incarnation of Badfinger called The Iveys, had been playing bass in Bowie's touring band The Hype. For the new album, Bowie tabbed Visconti for production duties in addition to playing bass, and in doing so, initiated a creative partnership that would continue off and on for decades. The other, and perhaps even more significant, collaborator was guitarist Mick Ronson, who had also been recruited to play in The Hype, after having previously spent time in a Hull band called The Rats. According to Visconti, it was Ronson who provided the impetus for Bowie's first steps into the Glam-Rock arena: " We were scratching our heads, thinking, 'How do we get a big "rock" sound for David?' David felt very awkward up to that point. He hadn't worked with serious rock musicians. Mick was the first person we met who had dedicated his life to being a 'rock' guitarist." During the recording sessions for The Man Who Sold the World, Bowie, newly married, was preoccupied with family, which left the lion's share of the music arranging to Visconti and Ronson. As the infamous album cover suggests, Bowie's new direction was meant to be fearlessly provocative and musically incendiary, and by all accounts, Visconti and Ronson accomplished this goal. The overall sound of the album is muddy, fuzzy, grungy, off-kilter, and, in places, even approaches the proto-metal of bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. On the epic opener, "The Width of a Circle," things start off with some ominous guitar feedback quickly dissolving into a languorously seductive guitar melody provided by Ronson that soon kicks into second gear when the rhythm section joins in. Bowie's high-pitched Cockney vocals, displaying a new-found confidence and a defiant sense of self-conscious camp, cut through the mix like a razor-blade, and in doing so, bring to life the song's dark, apocalyptic imagery. One of the less heralded gems on the album is the T. Rex tribute "Black Country Rock," which contains some the best guitar riffing- Glam or otherwise- you're likely to hear, but unlike some of Ronson's better-known contemporaries, he understood the beauty of subtlety. The Man Who Sold the World concludes with "The Supermen," whose Nietzschean themes and strange background choral effects lend the song an eerie darkness, which sets the stage for one of Bowie's most exaggerated and effective performances on the album. This is probably Bowie's most under-appreciated album, especially since it plays such a foundational role in his discography. As Visconti has stated, "The Man Who Sold the World became the blueprint for the rest of David's career. Virtually everything he's done since, you can trace back to something on that album."

The Man Who Sold the World (Ryko Au20 Remastered Edition)

 1. The Width of a Circle  (8:05)
 2. All the Madmen  (5:38)
 3. Black Country Rock  (3:32)
 4. After All  (3:51)
 5. Running Gun Blues  (3:11)
 6. Saviour Machine  (4:25)
 7. She Shook Me Cold  (4:13)
 8. The Man Who Sold the World  (3:55)
 9. The Supermen  (3:38)
-Bonus Tracks-
10. Lightning Frightening  (3:38)
11. Holy Holy (Single)  (2:20)
12. Moonage Daydream (Arnold Corns Single, 1971)  (3:52)
13. Hang onto Yourself (Arnold Corns Single, 1971)  (2:51)

The Man Who Sold the World (2009 Japanese SHM-CD Remaster)

1. The Width of a Circle  (8:05)
2. All the Madmen  (5:41)
3. Black Country Rock  (3:36)
4. After All  (3:55)
5. Running Gun Blues  (3:15)
6. Saviour Machine  (4:29)
7. She Shook Me Cold  (4:17)
8. The Man Who Sold the World  (4:00)
9. The Supermen  (3:40)


  1. Ah Mr. Bowie.My favorite is Hunky Dory with a nod to Ziggy Stardust, of course. I'm surprised to see this one here. I think it's an excellent album but I thought I'd be seeing Ziggy first. What do I know, eh?

    I'll be off-line for a month and a half. I got suckered into an archeological excavation so I'll be sleeping on the ground and staring at dirt for a while. Thank God for iPods.

    I thought I'd drop you a line and let you know that I will return. I know how much you like your followers.

    I really enjoyed Wappinschaw. I got hammered drunk and threw up. It was like I was sixteen again, as promised. I laughed, I cried, I threw up...Ah, the memories.

  2. Ol' Foggy, I'll certainly miss you. Take care of yourself and don't forget about luna! I posted "The Man Who Sold the World" because it deserves more exposure. I'll post the othyers as the weeks go by. I think "Space Oddity" is next. Okay, I guess we'll talk in mid-August. Let me know if you come up with any requests while sleeping under the stars :)

  3. Voixautre will you be posting Mick Ronson's solo albums?

  4. This is Bowie's best album. I agree with the review: Everything that comes after this album has some representation in The Man Who Sold... A fabulous album, and it's in my list of the 10 best albums every made. Thanks a bunch for the post.

  5. scurfie, I hadn't planned on it, but that's an intriguing idea :)

  6. tesl424, you're welcome! I have always thought this album is ridiculously underrated. Thanks for the comment!

  7. Thanks for writing about this album voixautre! Don't know why I like to listen to Bowie so much at the moment (ignored him far too long maybe ...)

  8. Issi, you're welcome. I'm planning on posting several more early Bowie albums. He's always been a favorite of mine

  9. I had 'Man of Words..' and a 'Best Of' but it was my wife who forced me to REALLY appreciate Bowie. Although I'm sorry to admit that I'm not a fan of 'Ziggy..' or 'Young Americans', I really latched onto "man Who Sold..". It, along with 'Earthling' are my absolute favorite Bowie albums and I remember thinking that this album sort of invented Heavy Metal and Goth and I always wondered why the only song represented on all the comps. was the title track, which is the least interesting song on the album.

    I already have most of his albums, so I don't need this one from you but I HAD to comment on your spot on review of this great album. The 'Best of' Comps. don't encourage anyone to investigate this album, so word of mouth is important here. I just wondered if you have as high an opinion on 'Earthling' as I have? Another ignored album in my opinion.

  10. Wolfgang Press, although I like the title track more than you do, I agree that it tends to be the only song ever mentioned from this amazing album. I think it is because of Nirvana's cover version, which is on the "MTV- Unplugged" album. I have found that this is the frame of reference most people have for Bowie's version. "Ziggy," "Hunky Dory," and the Berlin Trilogy are my favorites, but it's interesting that you bring up "Earthling." While I wouldn't personally group it with his best work, I do think it is vastly underrated. I've always wondered what that album might have sounded like without the then-trendy Jungle rhythmic affects, which tended to obscure some of the songs and that now date the album a bit. Definitely top 5 in Bowie's post-RCA career.

  11. Links are dead!! pls reupload!!


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