David Bowie Hunky Dory :: 8-Track Throwback Thursday
It’s 8-Track Throwback Thursday time Starring the Best in 8-Tracks. Track 3, for this ongoing Feature, is David Bowie’s Hunky Dory, which includes the Hit Songs “Changes”, “Oh! You Pretty Things”, and “Life On Mars?”, among other Terrific Throwback Tunes.
Let’s go back to the Seventies in this Edition of 8-Track Throwback Thursday. The year was 1971, and David Bowie released his 4th Studio Album, Hunky Dory, in December of that year. It was his first Release through RCA, which would end up being his label for the next decade.
Time Magazine chose Hunky Dory as part of their “100 Best Albums of All Time” list, in January 2010. The Album also climbed to # 3 on the UK Album Charts, and remained their for 69 Weeks, in mid-1972 – after the commercial breakthrough of the Album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
A Re-issue of the Album in January of 1981 returned it to the UK Album Charts for 51 Weeks.
The style of the Album Cover, designed by George Underwood, was influenced by Marlene Dietrich’s photo book that David Bowie had brought along with him to the Album’s Photo Shoot.
Hunky Dory was the 1st Production to Feature all the Members of the Band that would become known as Ziggy Stardust’s Spiders From Mars the very next year. Also debuting with Bowie was another Ziggy-phase key contributor, Ken Scott. The Album’s Sleeve would bear the credit “Produced by Ken Scott (assisted by the actor)”. The “actor” was Bowie himself, of course, who often considered himself an actor.
Musical biographer David Buckley said of Hunky Dory, “Its almost easy-listening status and conventional musical sensibility has detracted from the fact that, lyrically, this record lays down the blueprint for Bowie’s future career.”
Following the Hard Rock of Bowie’s previous Album, The Man Who Sold the World, Hunky Dory saw the partial return of the Fey Pop Singer of Space Oddity, with Songs such as “Kooks” (dedicated to his young son, Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones, also known as Zowie Bowie), and the Cover Song “Fill Your Heart”.
These “Softer” Songs sit side-by-side with Heavier Material such as “Quicksand”, and the Semi-Autobiographical “The Bewlay Brothers”. Then there was “Oh! You Pretty Things”, whose Pop Sensibilities and Sounds hid the Nietzsche inspired Lyrics. “The Homo Superior” Lyrically predicted the imminent replacement of modern man, a Song which has been cited as a direct precursor to “Starman”, from Bowie’s Next Album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
David Bowie’s Hunky Dory on 8-Track:
It was not until recently, in the midst of this New Music Obsession, that I heard Hunky Dory on 8-Track Tape. That said, the Album itself has been a part of my life since about the mid-80’s, when I first started to explore Bowie’s Music beyond the Let’s Dance Album.
My quest to discover “Older” Bowie Albums was directly due to my adolescent Obsession with Duran Duran. Bowie was one of their main inspirations, and they mentioned Songs and Albums often in the barrage of interviews I read, or watched on MTV.
Though I’ve Listened to Hunky Dory in just about all Formats, from Vinyl Record, to Cassette, to CD and Digital Streaming Files, it honestly may be the 8-Track Play of this Quintessential Album that I prefer. There is something more close to the original to it, as if you are sitting in the Studio with Bowie as he laid down each Track. It truly is an Aural experience that everyone should have.
Hunky Dory is another harder-to-find 8-Track Tape, but it is well worth the effort we made to get our hands on a copy. You can also get your hands (and ears) on a copy at 8-Track Paradise, a project I’m involved with to help spread the Love of 8-Track Tapes. You’ll also be able to find other Bowie Albums on 8-Track, as well as a slew of other Genres and Throwback Sounds.
The Track Lists are As Follows:
- Track 1 = “Changes”, “Life On Mars?”, and “Kooks”
- Track 2 = “The Bewlay Brothers” and “Quicksand”
- Track 3 = “Fill Your Heart”, “Andy Warhol”, and “Queen Bitch”
- Track 4 = “Song for Bob Dylan”, “Oh! You Pretty Things”, and “Eight Line Poem”
As with Duran Duran’s Rio and The B-52’s Wild Planet, from past 8-Track Throwback Thursdays, the 8-Track Plays in a different order than the other Versions of the Album that are out there.
Both start with “Changes”, but all other formats move directly into “Oh! You Pretty Things” and “Eight Line Poem”, which both come at the very end of the 8-Track Tape. Personally, I prefer “Oh! You Pretty Things” to come towards the end, as it does on the 8-Track. I think it fits in a more linear, storytelling way.
As ever, the 8-Track Sound is Stellar. As mentioned in previous posts, on a list of what formats I prefer Hearing an Album off of, 8-Track is in 2nd place, after Vinyl – but they are becoming very close in order, almost tied for the Top. There is a warmth to 8-Tracks that you do not find on Cassette, and that definitely is missing in the more precise, yet sterile, CD and Digital file.
Favorite Song on the 8-Track? Its honestly a tie between “Life On Mars?” and “Kooks”, which play side-by-side on all Versions and Formats of the Album.
“Life On Mars?”
Be sure to Tune In Next Week to see what’s up Next from our Ever-Changing Collection. While you wait you may want to start up a Collection of your own. 8-Track Paradise can help get you started.
What did you think of David Bowie’s Hunky Dory? Do you have a request for our next 8-Track Throwback?
Maybe next week will be one of your Favorites Playing on the Tape Deck. Come back and Check it out.