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The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s Paperback – August 13, 2013
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“Packed with insight, a go-to text for anyone who wants to understanding what Doggett calls ‘the uncanny strangeness of the seventies Bowie,’ and the creative process that led to his artistic breakthroughs.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“Explores themes in Bowie’s most inventive period - from sexual identity to the nature of fame. Doggett’s song-by-song analysis will make obsessive fans of the ‘Ziggy Stardust’ days want to pull out their old vinyl.” (USA Today)
“Details a decade of styles and influences of one of rock’s most enigmatic personalities….A complete treat.” (Library Journal)
“Meticulous….A captivating look at an artist who defined an era.” (Publishers Weekly)
“A thoughtful combination of critical observation and biographical digging….Doggett’s sparkling work of biocriticism is full of entertaining anecdotes and flashes of insight.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Astonishing and absorbing…Expertly unpicks this explosively creative time in Bowie’s life…. [Doggett intercuts] the individually tailored song biographies with essays on everything from glam rock, minimalism and punk, to radical left-wing politics, music video and a mass of other subjects that helped shape the ideas behind Bowie’s songs.” (R
“Doggett’s previous book, You Never Give Me Your Money: the Battle for the Soul of the Beatles, was the perfect preparation for writing about both the Seventies and Bowie.” (T
“There aren’t many writers who have the combination of classic-rock knowledge, reverence for an artist and sheer patience to successfully pull off this sort of project.” (Kirkus)
From the Back Cover
No artist offered a more compelling portrayal of the landscape of the 1970s than David Bowie. From his first hit, "Space Oddity," in 1969 to the release of the LP Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) in 1980, Bowie cultivated an innovative and shocking brand of performance, a mesmerizing blend of high-concept science fiction and old-fashioned rock 'n' roll, delivered in skintight spandex and operatic alien makeup. Through songs at once prescient and esoteric, beautiful and haunting, Bowie cut hard against the grain of '60s and '70s pop music, replacing it with something far more intriguing: a dark, fantastical vision that heralded the dawn of a new decade.
In The Man Who Sold the World, acclaimed journalist Peter Doggett explores the rich heritage of Bowie's most productive and inspired decade. Viewing the artist through the lens of his music and his many guises, Doggett offers a detailed analysis—musical, lyrical, conceptual, social—of every song Bowie wrote and recorded during that period, as well as a brilliant exploration of the development of a performer who profoundly affected popular music and the idea of stardom itself.
Top Customer Reviews
Thereafter, painstakingly, I acquired every Long Player that Bowie ever released. I learned every word and every chord. Convention wisdom, and I, will tell you the most fertile period in David Bowie's career was the "RCA" period from Space Oddity in 1969 to Scary Monsters in 1980. And that period is what this new book is mostly about.
Peter Doggett has done us aficionados the service of biographing that period through the lens of every song Bowie wrote and recorded in it. Lyrics and song composition are analysed and contextualised. It's a smart way to ensure Doggett's subject's history is integrated with its creative output: an important job many biographies fail manifestly to do.
That said, it's a fraught one: we all have our own Bowies, and it isn't edifying to encounter a radically different interpretation.Read more ›
When he is on target, there is much to admire in this book, especially if you have followed Bowie's career closely and are already strangely fascinated. Most of his observations are spot on, told Doggett style, and supported by a wealth of well researched and provocative information. The Man Who Sold The World is an apt title because Bowie was practically the inventor of self promotion, of branding and selling yourself as a product, and when sales began to sag, of reinventing yourself. Madonna and Lady Gaga took note. This book chronicles several phases that Bowie's music went through, from his early rock bands to his Anthony Newley inspired show tunes, his creation of the doomed rock star, the leper messiah, Ziggy Stardust, through his experimental and ambient music with Eno and Fripp, his "disco phase" and beyond. It makes short shrift of his 80s music though, his greatest success being the Let's Dance album produced by Chic's Nile Rodgers.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thorough, beautifully written and meticulously reaearched Bible on Bowie's songs. Perfect gift for all Bowie lovers!Published 1 month ago by Gale Chevalier
When David Bowie died this past January, it was awful. Bowie was one of those artists that seemed like he'd always been there, and always would be there. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Trevor Seigler
A fascinating look into the life of Bowie distilled into coverage of his songs throughout the 70s. Essential reading for fans of great music.Published 6 months ago by Iowa Writer
My earlier review was written in my grief at Bowie's recent passing. I didn't like the author's criticisms but now I accept them, because of the breadth of his musical knowledge... Read morePublished 7 months ago by aspidistra
Song by song oh yeah! I haven't listened to any of Bowie's music pre Ziggy Stardust without realizing it. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Desert_Wind