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Best Episodes of DAVIDBOWIE

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It's the album that, arguably, revealed more of Bowie than any other, before or since. It's a masterstroke of songwriting, melodies, esoterica and soul-searching. It's Hunky Dory and in the latest episode of Album To Album, we embark on the first of a two-part discussion of Bowie's 1971 landmark work, with our good pal Nick Pegg in the house to discuss Bovril, Andy Warhol, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Mickey Mouse, Norfolk Broads, generational angst, Peter Noone, Alley Oop, Alastair Crowley and much much more! (And that's only side one...) Thank you for listening and please do share, rate and get in touch with your thoughts as ever, I appreciate all feedback and love hearing what you make of our ramblings.
Let's primp our hair, pat our shoulder pads into place, put on our red shoes and dance the blues in this edition as we head back to 1983 and the world-beating, mainstream-baiting majesty of Let's Dance, with the Berlin-based author and critic Joachim Hentschel. In this episode of Albumtoalbum, we explore the back story of Let's Dance and talk through the uneven collection of dance, rock, r'n'b and pop, as Bowie began his uneven, perilous navigation of the hostile swamps of the 1980s. We hear from Joachim's interview with the man himself, ruefully reflecting on the aftermath of the album's phenomenal success, and debate the possibility of a revised track listing and chew over that rather dodgy China Girl video. If you know when to go out, when to stay in, or simply, just when to get things done, this is a must-listen. Enjoy!
In the year of the Diamond Dogs... while the zombie peoploids were crawling through Hunger City yowling with rage, a cheerful 13 year old lad in Wigan encountered Bowie's chilling, thrilling 'Diamond Dogs' LP. Today, Stuart Maconie, BBC DJ, critic and author joins me for a wonderfully rambling and enjoyable chat about all things Diamond Dogs. In this first episode, as well as recalling those halcyon days of the mid 1970s (and indeed they were halcyon, according to his new book The Nanny State Made Me),  we delve deep into the mid 70s world of Bowie, the rise and fall of glam, debate the Rolling Stones, why Jagger and Bowie fell out, what Paul McCartney told Stuart when he asked him about a legendary outtake, why Alan McGee inspired the 'Exactly!' game, more about Diamond Dogs, Brownie and Nidge and wonder why poor old Hallowe'en Jack only gets one line to himself. I hope you enjoy and of course, check out Stuart on BBC6 where his Freakzone show is a reliably magical pot pourri of esoteric sounds from distant shores and look out for his fantastic new book The Nanny State Made Me: A Story Of Britain And How To Save It here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nanny-State-Me-Stuart-Maconie/dp/1529102413/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1SFWPCJLJB1A6&keywords=stuart+maconie&qid=1585055403&sprefix=Stuart+%2Caps%2C144&sr=8-1
The final part of our king-sized 'Outside' chat with the MC of DB, Nicholas Pegg sweeps us up in a torrent of facts, trivia, analysis and architecture and morality. We push to the close of our investigation into this esoteric masterpiece and ask the important questions of the day including whether Oxford is actually a town or city, what track would make Bowie duck onstage when he played it live and the album's pleasing ability to be played in any old way you like. Join us!Don't forget the previous two episodes here:Part 1: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/3-nicholas-pegg-on-1-outside/id1355073030?i=1000458374296  Part 2: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/4-nicholas-pegg-on-1-outside-part-2/id1355073030?i=1000461718001
The long-delayed and oft-promised second part of my two-parter on 'Space Oddity' with Samira Ahmed is finally here, almost 50 years to the month after Part 1. It covers not only the latter half of Bowie's 1969 LP, but veers across a number of topics as we trudge through the dampened grass to approach the summer's end. Tall Venusians will be passing through. I hope you enjoy this - and don't forget to warm up with Part One: https://audioboom.com/channels/4948081.rss
1979's 'Lodger' is an often underrated album but upon further inspection, this blend of new wave, electrorock, globally-inspired music and esoteric experimentation stands the test of time. It's a shift away from the previous two 'Berlin' albums and probably the most Eno-esque of all Bowie's records, until 1995's '1. Outside'. The tough line up of Carlos Alomar, Dennis Davis and George Murray are on top form and our man Bowie sounds, in turn, edgy, expansive, impassioned and artful. Joining me to discuss this superb moment in Bowie's career is the legendary boss of the bass, Guy Pratt who since the early 80s has been boosting the bottom end with the likes of Bryan Ferry, The Smiths, Icehouse, Coverdale/Page and in a relationship spanning over thirty years, various permutations of Pink Floyd. Today, he plays with Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets band, who bring the magical era of Syd era Floyd to the stage. His 2009 autobiography, 'My Bass And Other Animals' is one of the finest, funniest and most enjoyable accounts of a life out on the wilds of the rock scene at its most debauched and delightful best. Guy has also been in the enviable position of having supported Bowie in 1983, as part of Australian art rockers Icehouse, in the midst of a fan scrum with him in Rotterdam and having Bowie meet his mum outside a caravan full of coke-deranged Australians. He also played bass on Bowie's last ever UK appearance, when he joined Dave Gilmour and band for 'Arnold Layne' and 'Comfortably Numb' in London's Royal Albert Hall in 2006. This recording, done under lockdown via Zoom, gets halfway through side one of Lodger, with many many digressions and much deviation on the way - and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it! Stay tuned for Part 2 imminently Check out guypratt.com for news, info and updates on all things Guy Pratthttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Bass-Other-Animals-Guy-Pratt-ebook/dp/B001NLKY5G/ref=sr_1_1?crid=FB2HVV7IX4UW&dchild=1&keywords=guy+pratt+my+bass+and+other+animals&qid=1587652109&sprefix=guy+Pratt%2Caps%2C133&sr=8-1
PinUps is Bowie's fond parting gift to 1960s London, with covers of classic and less-known tracks from the Who, Kinks, Yardbirds, Syd's Pink Floyd, Them and more. It's also his farewell to Ziggy - having broken up the band when the kids had killed the man in July of 1973, our little wonder was going places - inventing Orwellian rock dystopia and becoming a grand, raddled dame of despair. But first! There was this LP to do, and what a fine album it is, a rocking, reeling rolling romp through the track listing but unlike similar covers albums by contemporaries Bryan Ferry, and a few years later, Lennon, PinUps has a deliciously freaky feel to it - these aren't straight covers, they're fantastically inventive impressionistic reworkings. You hear Bowie and band deconstruct the Who's 'I Can't Explain' or Pink Floyd's 'See Emily Play' with spooky menace and dread, yelp manically through Them's 'Here Comes The Night' and the Pretty Things' 'Rosalyn' and croon beautifully in the Merseys' 'Sorrow'. It's an extraordinary album and one that stayed close to its creator's heart for many years to come. David Quantick tells me why it has stayed with him all these years in a most enjoyable chat - so come and hear for yourself and enjoy!
When Q journalist David Quantick flew to New York in 1999 to meet Bowie ahead of the release of 'Hours…' he found King Gnome in chipper form, sprightly, funny and eager to discuss almost everything other than his new album. Maybe that was because (in my opinion) it's far from being one of his best. I think it's dull and ininspiring. Not Quantick. Listen and marvel as my guest fights his corner with grace and insight, countering my rather lumpen repeated assaults on the record. He cleverly admits its shortcomings while stubbornly extolling its virtues. Can I sustain my position in the face of such eloquence? I must apologise to you, as I had a terrible cold when I recorded this, so had to subsequently dub some questions on afterwards, for clarity, instead of the snivelling sneezing mess that originally ended up on tape. So there will be a few minor glitches, echoes and weird edits. But I hope they don't distract you from this half an hours or so [arf!] of Bowie chat.
WELCOME TO THE NEW episode of Album To Album in which we meet former Labour Home Secretary and award-winning memoirist Alan Johnson, former MP for Hull West and Hessel. We met recently in his Hull offices – ‘in Spiders From Mars land!’ as he proudly informs me - to reminisce about Hunky Dory, the 1971 LP which ch-ch-changed everything, not only for Bowie, but for legions of young rock’n’rollers. In the course of course of our chat, Alan recalls his days as a shelf stacker and postman in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a new father inspired by ‘Kooks’, a songwriter in love with ‘Life On Mars’ and a fan besotted with ‘Changes’. Along the way, we touch on Alan’s other great musical love, The Beatles, the mood and atmosphere of the early 1970s and Alan even sings one of his own songs.  “It really is a remarkable record,” says Alan of Hunky Dory “And it’s an album as a whole. You can’t really think of Changes without morphing into Oh You Pretty Things, Life On Mars, Kooks – it’s all of a piece.” Thank you as ever for listening and if you enjoy this episode, please do share and review. If you would like to buy us a drink, we have a Patreon account under ‘albumtoalbum’ where all donations are very welcome indeed. And please do check out Alan’s site at www.alanjohnsonbooks.co.uk where you’ll find details of his current tour of the UK, reading from his music memoir ‘In My Life”. And Alan’s three award-winning instalments of his autobiography are all available from amazon.co.uk And if you want to hear Alan’s Spotify playlist to accompany 'In My Life', check it out here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4yds4L2hR0j5etsDtRHcpchttps://alanjohnsonbooks.co.uk/in-my-life/   
Released in September 1995, 1. Outside (The diary of Nathan Adler or the art-ritual murder of Baby Grace Blue: A non-linear Gothic Drama Hyper-cycle), was [Wikipedia says] "set in 1999, in which the government, through its arts commission, had created a new bureau to investigate the phenomenon of Art Crime". How disappointing that 1999 in fact, just brought us "...hours" instead. Anyway, 1. Outside was intended as the first in a series of releases intended to articulate a sense of dystopian tension in the air as we hurtled towards 2000. It was a return to the sort of scabrous sounds and scary monsters of 1980, much to the joy of the Bowie hardcore but given it was issued during the blearily sunny era of Britpop, the album befuddled many, not least the fiercely savage music press of the time (remember them?) who savaged the strange suite of songs, set amidst experimental collages of spoken word fragments and featuring some of Bowie's most abrasive music in ages. Having reunited with Mr B. Eno, Mr R Gabrels and Mr E Kizilcay, Bowie allowed his imagination to run riot, indulging his newly reignited love of contemporary art, sci fi and electronica in a startlingly original statement that stands up to repeated investigation to this day. 
We're back! Happy new year and a very happy birthday David Bowie... In this episode - the first in another two-parter - Bowie biographer and solid superstar Nick Pegg dissects the rich, complex tapestry of Bowie's 2002 magnum opus 'Heathen'. An album brimming with imagery, profundity, magisterial ambition and beautiful music it's amongst the very best of the canon. In this two-part episode, recorded in a subterranean cell in South London, Nick holds forth in typically entertaining manner, with erudition, insight and plenty of digressions along the way.
Released in 1979 to mixed reviews and a sense of bewilderment at the change of direction from the preceding two instalments of the 'Berlin trilogy', 'Lodger' has never quite assumed iconic status. But there is much to enjoy in this 10-track outing, from a sort of travel themed suite of songs to a more broader set of topics on side two. Containing hits such as 'DJ' and 'Boys Keep Swinging', it also referenced Bowie's long-standing love affair with Krautrock, the Middle Eastern/reggae mashup of 'Yassassin', the starkly minimal story of 'Repetition' and the proto-world music feel of 'African Night Flights' and much more. So, to get to the heart of Lodger - which was remixed last year by Tony Visconti, a mix I am a bit unsure of - I called up the one and only Nicholas Pegg, author of 'The Complete David Bowie' and went down to visit him one sunny day to get his take on all things Lodgerian. I really enjoyed this one, and hope you do too - spread the word, Albumtoalbum is back for another batch of Bowie geekery!
We return from a short international expedition with Part 2 of our Hunky Dory hoe-down in which acclaimed Bowie biographer and Albumtoalbum regular Nicholas Pegg and I sit down to try and work out what makes Bowie's 1971 album just so damn good. I can't seem to string together a coherent sentence in this episode, which I will defend, by saying Hunky Dory leaves me speechless. In this edition, we focus on side two, and cover all manner of Bowiephilia, debating the impact of his first trip to the States, his adoration of Biff Rose, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, the creepy witchy genius of 'The Bewlay Brothers' and try to avoid the use of the word 'iconic'. Plug in, tune in and turn on and enjoy!
Join me and The Complete David Bowie author Nicholas Pegg for a lengthy ramble around 1969's 'Space Oddity' and discover why this 'debut' was in fact, probably the most raw, personal and heartfelt Bowie album ever made. From breakups to breakdowns, disillusionment, bitterness and resignation, rock, folk, country and space jams  - a relative flop on release (apart from the hit title track) this remains an extraordinary breakout album from an extraordinary fellow.
Here we are, with the shimmering soulboy, Bowie '75 style and 'Young Americans', that louche blend of slow jams, dirty funk and smooth grooves. Bowie's 1975 album veered dramatically away from the trashglam-apocalypso of 1974's 'Diamond Dogs' and presaged the chilly Eurotech of 1976's 'Station To Station' with joyous verve and energy. 'Blue eyed soul', its emaciated creator later dismissed it as being, but we love it to bits and so does my guest this week, the PR main man Murray Chalmers. As a young pup in 1970s Dundee, Bowie lit up Murray's world, paving the way for a punk obsession that brought him to London and led to him today, being the PR for the likes of the Pet Shop Boys, Yoko Ono, Kate Bush, Robbie Williams, Suede and many more. Over two meetings (one in the slightly echoey surroundings of Murray's London HQ), we blether away about Bowie, Young Americans, meeting Bowie, Murray's beginnings in the London music industry of the late 70s and how one particular track from this album gets him. Every. Single. Time.. Enjoy and as ever, please do let me know what you think and spread this podcast like melting butter on internet toast. Ain't there one damn podcast that can make you…
With our tin cans and string stretching across the locked down nation, Stuart and I return to conclude our scuttle through the dark underworld of Bowie's Diamond Dogs. In this episode, we rattle through what we quaintly call 'Side 2', taking in the soul-inflected death disco vibe and pondering its debt to Orwell. Along the way, we look at the disparate influences that come into play and touch on disco, soul, claret, Stormzy, the Arctic Monkeys and Chas'n'Dave and debate the burning issue of the day - viz. Is it "reason" or "treason"? Find out more ... in NINETEEN EIGHTY FOOOURR
A multi-million selling critical smash, laden with inventiveness, melody, reflection and profoundly questioning lyrics, 'Heathen' was the album everyone was waiting for, back in 2002. As Nick Pegg and I discover, during the course of this second part of our megachat, 'Heathen' touches on many facets of Bowie's artistry over the years. It revisits familiar themes of mortality, angst, identity and God ("Come on God, buck up!") alongside perhaps some of the best music of Bowie's 2000s. Older, wiser and more comfortable in himself, Bowie could address an intransigent Higher Being and rock out exuberant Pixies covers or indeed, pay homage to the Legendary Stardust Cowboy with equal aplomb and conviction. Tony Visconti was back on board for the first time since 1980 (maybe prompting all those "best LP since Scary Monsters" accolades?) and the resulting album is definitely worthy of Visconti's heartfelt tribute, Bowie's 'magnum opus'.  Thanks as ever for listening and getting in touch with me with your thoughts on our discussions. If I could ask a favour - please do share and spread the podcast as much as possible! Thanks x
"This is not the end. This is not the beginning of the end. But it is the end of the beginning." Winston Churchill could have been talking about this episode of Albumtoalbum, in which Stuart and I continue our deep dive into the world of Bowie's* Diamond Dogs and conclude the first part of our chipper chat session. In this handy, pocket-sized episode, we marvel at Sweet Thing/Candidate and Rebel Rebel, via Bowie's eyepatch, John Lennon, Alvin Stardust and a choice of Germanic influence - 1920s Berlin Cabaret or pounding krautrock? *Have you noticed how, in 1974, it was just "Bowie"? 
Low! The 1976 masterpiece which saw our man frazzled and burned-out, on the cusp of mayhem, relocated from the madness of Los Angeles and teaming up with Brian Eno for a lot of experimental doodling and dallying and along the way, coming up with one of the most revolutionary albums in rawk history. The opening salvo of the 'Berlin Trilogy', Low is a beautiful racket of proto-electronica, effects and ambient soundscapes, that gave Bowie a new lease of life, electronic music to the mainstream and no doubt, ulcers to the good folk at Bowie's long suffering record label RCA.  In this episode, we meet the wonderful Siân Pattenden, writer, artist, co-host of the brilliant Bigmouth podcast and all-round good egg, for an illuminating wander along the Low road. Along the way, we debate the value of creative block, blues and greys, masculinity, divorce, love and depression as well as the circumstances around the making of this extraordinary album. Unfortunately, there was a car alarm outside during recording, which some of you might find annoying, but I hope you can persevere and enjoy Siân's engaging and illuminating chat, nevertheless. And should you be in the market for some quirky, fabulous lo-fi art creativity, check out her site at raw-art.co.uk for Bowie mugs and much more!
Hello! Here's a little Easter treat for you all, a couple of outtakes from my conversation with Nicholas Pegg last week in which Nick explains how he came to write 'The Complete David Bowie' and then, an interesting bit about the Glass Spider tour and Bowie at Live Aid. My mic was undergoing some sort of trauma for this section, which is why it didn't make the final cut - but it's well worth hearing. Enjoy and I'll be uploading the next edition of ALBUMTOALBUM next week!
Heaven's In Here! Under The God! Video Crime! Bus Stop! The critical consensus is one of mockery and disdain, but to paraphrase a magazine article of the time - "Are Tin Machine Crap? Discuss" - the wonderful Charlotte Hatherley and I reconvene in the kitchen to crack open a bottle of wine and do just that. We ponder the stories behind the Tin Machine project, chew over our favourite and not so favourite tracks, look at what alternatives Bowie had at the time and how the group did him a bit of good. We had a great time on this conversation, I hope you enjoy listening to it!
In this episode, we delve into the magisterial 1977 epic "Heroes" in a very entertaining chat with former Ash guitarist and composer Charlotte Hatherley. Along the way, Charlotte and I ponder Frippertronics, try to fathom the mystique and romance that the "Heroes" album holds for us, pick apart the songs, ponder Bowie's sexiness, indulge in world-class pedantry and hear about the time Bowie forgot Charlotte's name.
Spongebob Squarepants, Scott Walker, Eno, murder, murder, madness, the Pet Shop Boys, Algeria Touchshriek, Noah and Nelly, death, millennial angst and one of Bowie's finest albums, yes it's more from the dark, dangerous world of Outside, with the one and only Nicholas Pegg. 
It's back to 1969, and a repeat appearance on Albumtoalbum for Space Oddity, the second full-length Bowie LP and with me to discuss all things Oddity-esque is BBC Radio 4 presenter and journalist Samira Ahmed. In this revealing chat - again, a here a two-parter - Samira explains her love of Bowie, her particular love of this album, the influence it had on her as a young Asian child growing up in 1970s Britain and the effect it had on her peers - something she documented to fascinating effect on her Radio 4 programme "I Dressed Ziggy Stardust" in which a number of Asian women recounted their experiences of Bowie's music and style impacting on their lives. As well as that, Samira takes us on a tour through the first half of this landmark record, throwing in plenty of piquant observations, fascinating facts and insights into what made Bowie someone who "got inside my brain and messed with it - in the most wonderful way" Follow us on Instagram @albumtoalbum, Facebook and Apple Podcasts and do leave a review and share if so inclined! Thanks as ever for your feedback and love, it means a great deal.  You can check out Samira's programme here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01r91qk
Mullets! Marimbas! Multimedia arachnid mayhem! Yes it's the spidery folly of 1987's 'Never Let Me Down', with Nicholas Pegg returning to stoutly defend his choice of album to a sceptical public, in this highly entertaining ramble. The 1987 album 'Never Let Me Down' was a mishmash of styles, songs and haircuts as Bowie attempted to jumpstart his flagging career, with this confused follow up to 1984's 'Tonight'. Reflecting the uncertainty of Bowie's mindset at the time - casting around for a new direction and harking back to the theatricality of 'Diamond Dogs' a decade earlier, while trying to forge a contemporary sound. In this very entertaining conversation, The Complete David Bowie author Nicholas Pegg joins me again to chew over the album which he maintains, is not quite the car crash I always considered it to be... Plus, we hear Bowie's Iggy and Springsteen imitations and Nick explains why the Glass Spider is really a magical moment in Bowie's oeuvre...
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Podcast Details

Mar 2nd, 2018
Latest Episode
Mar 24th, 2020
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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