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Strange Fascination: David Bowie: The Definitive Story Paperback – March 9, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The feedback provided by associates Tony Visconti, Carlos Alomar, and Ken Pitt take us through the times when Bowie was a bit green and quite obviously searching for a direction. Some people don't like to see their hero de-constructed like this though it is quite fascinating and instructional. For example some of the new or younger fans might not appreciate how Bowie's voice changed from the screechy Anthony Newly sound to the rich Scott Walker-like baritone he cultivated in time for the Diamond Dogs tour and pretty much kept developing even till now. Or how Tony Defries masterfully manipulated Bowie during his rise to fame. Just reading about the complexities and excesses of the Diamond Dogs tour brings back vivid memories of that time.
So for those of us who were around then this is engaging reading though I could see how someone who first picked up on Bowie during the Let's Dance era might find some of this tedious. However I assure you that it is indeed important to examine if you want to better understand how Bowie got to be who he is.
Biographies of major rock stars seldom please everyone so its always a good idea to balance it out by reading several books or doing your own research.Read more ›
I'm 54 now and have been a Bowie fan for 41 years. I began reading books about Bowie in the 80's. I have read most of the major books written about him. As a long-time fan and an avid reader of Bowie-related books, I assure you: this is the best Bowie biography ever published. The only drawback is that his pre-1969 years are described rather superficiously. But once you get to "Space Oddity", you realize you're reading a worthy tome by a knowledgeable writer. Buckley is a long-time Bowie fan and he got to interview key people in David's career, most of whom were still associated with the singer at the time of writing (unlike other biographies, where only former associates are heard). But unlike some fans you may have met, Buckley has a critical, non-biased view of Bowie's life. While most biographers concentrate on secondary aspects and anecdotes, Buckley hits the nail on the head and takes you right through the spinal cord of David's career. Whether you're a diehard Bowie fan or a newcomer looking for information, this book is for you!
It is there that Buckley stops acting like a critic and finally shows how much Bowie means to him. I forgave him after his last words. The best features of the book are the quotes from the many interviews with some of Bowie's closest, long-time collaborators, especially his guitarists, on the creative process onstage and in the studio. Their insight is really important, because it puts in front of your eyes the different kind of musician mental attitudes: hit maker, genius, rock, generalist, actor, "let's play the hits" VS "let's make something different". and how they sometimes combine, or sometimes evolve in other kinds of magic, or leave something that might see the light of day, some years later.
As a hard core Bowie fan - although I never reached the extreme behaviors discussed in the book (gawd) I felt that, for the most part of the book, Bowie could do no good in Mr. Buckley's words. He did new, experimental music? He was alienating his mainstream fan base. He was doing commercial stuff? He had lost the plot and was only thinking of how to buy back his back catalog from Tony DeFries. He was always doing the opposite of what he should have been doing in his opinion. His praise almost always contains back-handed compliments. In wanting to prove his point (Bowie and his desperate quest to stay relevant) Buckley spends good part of the book desperately trying to show Bowie as an unoriginal music catalyst, a vampiric character, without respect for his fans (They have to shell thousands to get all the re-releases!), or, with the advent of the internet, who did get too close to his fans (ah no, now this demystifies the aura, the secrecy of the artist!).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A lot of facts, but written from almost historical perspective. Good info, but dry reading.Published 4 months ago by Nancy Laurel OConnell
Great book, thoroughly enjoyed it. Missing the fifth star because I think the multiple editions may have resulted in some redundancy in information (same story told multiple times... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Jordan Walker
I'm literally pages into this book and wondering if I should continue reading after the author claims Bowie didn't release any true 'rock' records until Tin Machine. Read morePublished on February 12, 2009 by E. Foreman