The Fifteen Greatest Part 3


“Low” by David Bowie isn’t for everyone.  For example, it would scare my mother.  Heck, it probably would’ve scared me if I found out about the album back when I was a wee tot.  Especially that whole second side.

To make this easier, I’m breaking up this post into two parts: Side One of the album, or the “songs” side, and Side Two of the album, the “weird ambient side”.

Side One

You won’t find any Bowie greatest hits here (maybe “Sound and Vision”), but what you will find is pure artistic beauty.  The first side of “Low” is all about songs, and I use that term loosely.  Each track seems like a background track that Bowie just decided to throw random lyrics on.  Heck, some songs he doesn’t even sing (Speed of Life), other he only blurts out a line or two (Breaking Glass):

Baby, I’ve been
breaking glass
In your room again
Don’t look at the carpet,
I drew something awful on it
You’re such a wonderful person
But you got problems oh-oh-oh-oh
Let me touch you

Just a blip of lyrics.  I can see them scribbled on a bar napkin the night before Bowie wandered up to the mic and sang them.  That’s just one of the many things that makes this album wonderful.

Side Two

Bowie and Brian Eno.  Perhaps one of the greatest tag teams ever.  For the second half of the album, we get (almost) no vocals (save for the blip at the end of Subterraneans) and all mood.  Creepy, creepy mood.  I picture some kind of dark avant garde film in my head when I listen to this side.

HERE’S  A SUGGESTION! Put Side Two of “Low” (I prefer vinyl, which I guess sort of makes me snobby) and turn out all the lights.  Listen to it with headphones.  Prepare to be scared.  At least a little bit.  Or maybe I’m just a wuss.

The best part about “Low”?  It’s all very avant garde and daring, yet at the same time very listenable.

“Sound and Vision” from “Low” by David Bowie.  Probably the most commercial track on the album.  Listen to the awesome sound of the drums.


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