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Free music - Best of 2009






Aladdin Sane *****

I always refer to Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane as the Triumphant Trio of Bowie albums.

I do not think that any other artist in the history of rock music has brought out three stronger albums in a row.

If Hunky Dory stands as the peak of Bowie's songwriting and Ziggy stands as the zenith of his cosmic era, then Aladdin stands as a monument to an almost crazed and apocalyptic future.

Here was an artist having the power to single-mindedly follow a direction. It is almost as if everything Bowie did before was building towards this masterly trio.

Almost 30 years after its release it still has a haunting freshness with Mike Garson's outstanding piano playing threatening at times to get out of hand but never totally losing its direction. Bowie's voice acts as a counter-point both to Garson and Mick Ronson's guitar.

Arguably it is his most expansive worldly-aware album. It has tremendous variation and tremendous power without losing the need for catchy choruses and stunning vocals.

Title Star Rating Pts Rating Comments
Watch That Man



The album kicks off with an out and out rocker with shades of Velvet Underground
Aladdin Sane



Manic jazz piano from Mike Garson, crazed lyrics and a haunting melody
Drive-In Saturday



Hauntingly simple but catchy song in the Ziggy Stardust mould
Panic In Detroit



A rather kooky song with interesting lyrics
Cracked Actor



Lascivious lyrics, above average rock feel



One of my favourite Bowie songs. Full of twists and turns and an aggressive piece.
The Prettiest Star



Beautiful guitar work, stunningly simple tune with delicate chorus. Wonderful
Let's Spend the Night Together



Cover of the Jagger/Richard song and the only really disappointing track although changes to the phrasing of the original does make it of passing interest
The Jean Genie



This one is of a particular Bowie genre and I've always found it to be strictly average
Lady Grinning Soul



Another stunning and hauntingly beautiful song with wonderful piano breaks once again

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