Saturday, July 30, 2011

David Bowie - Rock 'n' Roll Suicide

Picked up what looks like a late 70's/early 80's re-release of this vintage single (1974) in Columbus, OH at Magnolia Thunderpussy while traveling for work. It's the last track off of one of my favorite albums of all time, and probably the most important album in terms of forging some sort of taste in music in a young me. My mother owned a copy of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars and I played it a lot when I was maybe 10 or 11. It's really never grown old to me either; it's an album that I go back to almost annually, and I've never tired of it, unlike some of the other albums I've loved obsessively through the years. Anyway, this single was released 2 full years after The Rise and Fall... came out, as the label was trying to milk it for everything it could while waiting for Bowie to release something new.

The A-side is a classic, starting with an acoustic guitar and a simply sung opening and it builds into this massive, over the top crescendo with strings and horns and desperate vocals. It's a hell of a way to cap off a great album, and it works on its own too.

The B-side was pulled from 1971's Hunky Dory, and was recorded about a year and a half before "Suicide". Bowie went with the same acoustic-to-electric-to-orchestra approach back then, with the volume and drama slowly rising. It's not bad, but he clearly perfected the technique a little later with the A-side.

1/11/2016 update. David Bowie has left us.

A: Rock N' Roll Suicide
B: Quicksand

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Not dead yet, just busy. Been on the road a lot for work the last few weeks, traveling all over the midwest. Haven't had much time for fun stuff, though I did find a great record store in Columbus OH  called Magnolia Thunderpussy. Grabbed some 70's  7" (Bowie and an Alice Cooper) there as well as a Black Flag t-shirt for a friend and for myself. Also got a few more old Sub Pop singles to rip, just haven't had the time. A couple more weeks of this and things will settle down and I'll start ripping stuff again.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Swamp Oaf

The Bags' alter-ego band, a mythical rock-monster band along the lines of Spinal Tap, according to Trouser Press. It's meant to be a bit more more psychedelic and experimental than the normal Bags stuff, so it's a little all over the place. It's sort of a Stooges meets Sabbath mish-mash, both in good and not-so-good ways. Some tracks venture into the ridiculous "Mama Swine", noodly jazz/rock instrumental, "Brain Masseuse" and others into straightforward heavy-duty-rock-n-roll "Steamroller", "(Howl at) The Moon".
Extremely rare, I've been looking for this album for years, and bought myself a copy online for my birthday last month. Had to buy it from someone in Denmark, so I'm happy to welcome the album home to the Boston area.

Definitely worth a listen. Most of these tracks are great, and this lends some credence to my earlier statement that this band could have and should have been big, or at least much bigger than they were.

While I'm on this Bags kick, I may just have to rip "Rock Starve" even though I already have it in digital format.