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Low album released 40 years ago today

Total Blam Blam's picture
on January 14, 2017

 

“It’s love back to front on two sides”

 

January 14 1977 saw the release of the first instalment of what came to be known as Bowie’s Berlin trilogy. That album was the Bowie/Visconti produced Low and it was followed later the same year by "Heroes" with the trilogy completed in 1979 by the arrival of Lodger.

 

Most of the music across the three albums wasn't even recorded in Berlin, the unifying factor actually being Bowie, Visconti and Eno.

 

Much has been written about the brilliance and braveness of the music on Low, and rightly so. It’s probably hard to imagine with the ears of today how absolutely unique the record sounded back in 1977.

 

Apart from the obvious slicing of the album into two distinct sides (reflected better in the original working title of New Music Night And Day), Visconti gifted Low that distinctive drum sound, among other things, via his latest gadget, the Evantide Harmonizer. The Eventide was a machine that Visconti described to Bowie and Eno in a conference call before the sessions, thus: “It fucks with the fabric of time.”

 

Though Low was a record purportedly informed by the likes of Kraftwerk and other German musicians of the time, it actually sounded far more organic and not at all mechanised.

 

This was in no small measure due to the nucleus of the band Bowie had favoured during this whole period (starting with Station To Station), of Carlos Alomar (guitar), Dennis Davis (drums) and George Murray (bass).

 

Despite a very mixed press reaction to Low, the album was a commercial success, peaking at #2 on the UK Albums Chart and #11 on the US Billboard Pop Albums chart. "Sound and Vision" and "Be My Wife" were released as singles; the former reaching #3 on the UK Singles Chart.

 

More recently, the album was also voted #1 on Pitchfork.com’s "Top 100 Albums of the 1970s"

 

If you've not heard Low, go listen now and prepare to be transported by its gloriously uplifting melancholia and majestic musical language from a time and place that has yet to arrive.

 

Low sounds as fresh today as it ever did...thirty nine minutes of untouchable genius.

 

 

#BowieLow

blog image: 
    14 January 2017
    Low album released 40 years ago today

     

    “It’s love back to front on two sides”

     

    January 14 1977 saw the release of the first instalment of what came to be known as Bowie’s Berlin trilogy. That album was the Bowie/Visconti produced Low and it was followed later the same year by "Heroes" with the trilogy completed in 1979 by the arrival of Lodger.

     

    Most of the music across the three albums wasn't even recorded in Berlin, the unifying factor actually being Bowie, Visconti and Eno.

     

    Much has been written about the brilliance and braveness of the music on Low, and rightly so. It’s probably hard to imagine with the ears of today how absolutely unique the record sounded back in 1977.

     

    Apart from the obvious slicing of the album into two distinct sides (reflected better in the original working title of New Music Night And Day), Visconti gifted Low that distinctive drum sound, among other things, via his latest gadget, the Evantide Harmonizer. The Eventide was a machine that Visconti described to Bowie and Eno in a conference call before the sessions, thus: “It fucks with the fabric of time.”

     

    Though Low was a record purportedly informed by the likes of Kraftwerk and other German musicians of the time, it actually sounded far more organic and not at all mechanised.

     

    This was in no small measure due to the nucleus of the band Bowie had favoured during this whole period (starting with Station To Station), of Carlos Alomar (guitar), Dennis Davis (drums) and George Murray (bass).

     

    Despite a very mixed press reaction to Low, the album was a commercial success, peaking at #2 on the UK Albums Chart and #11 on the US Billboard Pop Albums chart. "Sound and Vision" and "Be My Wife" were released as singles; the former reaching #3 on the UK Singles Chart.

     

    More recently, the album was also voted #1 on Pitchfork.com’s "Top 100 Albums of the 1970s"

     

    If you've not heard Low, go listen now and prepare to be transported by its gloriously uplifting melancholia and majestic musical language from a time and place that has yet to arrive.

     

    Low sounds as fresh today as it ever did...thirty nine minutes of untouchable genius.

     

     

    #BowieLow