David Bowie - Station to Station, Remastered Special Edition
by Donny Kutzbach
Station to Station, Remastered Special Edition
As the saying goes, from dark times come great art. David Bowie’s mid-1970s were pretty grim. Still reeling from his separation from wife Angela, crippled by cocaine dependence, haunted by an unhealthy obsession with the occult, and bent on continually destroying and reconstructing his musical persona, the man who had redefined the concept of rock stardom would again challenge the label and unleash a masterpiece. Station to Station is the apex of Bowie’s Thin White Duke invention: a coolly wide-eyed character crooning his own creation of plastic soul and fractured funk in front of a band of ace musicians willing to let the artist lead them to new places. Thirty-five years on, the album’s status is cemented as another classic in the string of the changeling’s continued remanufacture of self. Station to Station never gets the due accorded to groundbreaking early records like The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Hunky Dory, or the “Berlin Trilogy” of albums that followed it: Low, “Heroes,” and Lodger with Brian Eno. However, it arguably represents Bowie at his most willfully experimental and boundary pushing. Station to Station exhibits a cohesive and tempered sound, but at the core represent a textural collage of the guitarists Carlos Alomar and Earl Slick’s stylistic dare, Bowie’s taste for krautrock rhythms, and the crafty melding of pianos and synths throughout. The six tracks—from the epic title track to the otherworldly “Word on a Wing,” to the funky and the abstract pop groove “TVC15” and the eerily majestic cover “Wild Is the Wind”—represent what could be the finest, most realized two sides Bowie ever recorded. Station to Station plays like the summation of so much that came before it and a totem of where the artist would head.
This new special edition includes the 2010 remastered version of the original record, plus a two-disc bootleg of the 1976 Nassau Coliseum show on the Station to Station tour—considered by Bowie adherents to be one of his greatest performances—available for the first time ever commercially and in its entirety. While most fans will be happy with the three-disc version that includes the original album and the live concert, Bowie obsessives and audiophiles will need the deluxe edition (pictured here) that includes two extra CDs, a DVD, and three LPs, and is packed with so much fascinating ephemera that this could win the mantle as the mother of all box sets, at least in terms of a collection dedicated to one single album.
—donny kutzbachblog comments powered by Disqus
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