David Bowie – Hunky Dory (1971)

Artist Credit
Mark Adams Photo Scanning, Retouching
Jo Blair Project Producer
Trevor Bolder Bass, Trumpet
David Bowie Composer, Guitar, Phasing, Piano, Primary Artist, Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor), Vocals
Aisha Cohen Associate Project Coordinator
Scott Minshall Design
Gavin O’Neill Photo Scanning, Retouching
Terry Pastor Artwork, Paintings
Nigel Reeve Project Producer
Michael Ronson Guitar, String Arrangements
Mick Ronson Arranger, Guest Artist, Guitar, Mellotron, String Arrangements, Vocals
Biff Rose Composer
Ken Scott ARP Synthesizer, Engineer, Producer, Remixing, Spoken Word
Ray Staff Mastering, Transfers
Richard Wakeman Piano
Rick Wakeman Guest Artist
Brian Ward Back Cover Photo, Cover Photo, Photography
John Webber Mastering, Transfers
Paul Williams Composer
Mick “Woody” Woodmansey Brushes, Drums

After the freakish hard rock of The Man Who Sold the World, David Bowie returned to singer/songwriter territory on Hunky Dory. Not only did the album boast more folky songs (“Song for Bob Dylan,” “The Bewlay Brothers”), but he again flirted with Anthony Newley-esque dancehall music (“Kooks,” “Fill Your Heart”), seemingly leaving heavy metal behind. As a result, Hunky Dory is a kaleidoscopic array of pop styles, tied together only by Bowie’s sense of vision: a sweeping, cinematic mélange of high and low art, ambiguous sexuality, kitsch, and class. Mick Ronson’s guitar is pushed to the back, leaving Rick Wakeman’s cabaret piano to dominate the sound of the album. The subdued support accentuates the depth of Bowie’s material, whether it’s the revamped Tin Pan Alley of “Changes,” the Neil Young homage “Quicksand,” the soaring “Life on Mars?,” the rolling, vaguely homosexual anthem “Oh! You Pretty Things,” or the dark acoustic rocker “Andy Warhol.” On the surface, such a wide range of styles and sounds would make an album incoherent, but Bowie’s improved songwriting and determined sense of style instead made Hunky Dory a touchstone for reinterpreting pop’s traditions into fresh, postmodern pop music.

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