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The Man Who Sold The World

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Brilliant musical critique; biographical insight and acute cultural analysis, The Man Who Sold The World is a unique study of David Bowie and the 1970s.


About the Author

Peter Doggett has been writing about popular music and social and cultural history for more than thirty years. His most recent publication, You Never Give Me Your Money, a study of the Beatles' break-up and its traumatic aftermath, was chosen by the Los Angeles Times as one of the 10 Best Books of 2010. His other critically-acclaimed books include his history of rock music's collision with revolutionary politics, There's A Riot Going On; and Are You Ready For The Country, which explored five decades of the relationship between country music and rock. Aside from his writing career, Peter was the Green Party candidate for the Fareham constituency in the 2010 General Election.


We have recently been blessed with a banquet of enlightening and entertaining books about David Bowie, several of which have been well endorsed in these pages (Paul Trynka's David Bowie: Starman and Marc Spitz's Bowie, in particular). With 1969's Space Oddity as a launching point, Doggett (You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup) details a decade of styles and influences of one of rock's most enigmatic personalities. The author examines close to 250 songs and provides a critical view regarding content, an expert analysis of recording techniques, a comprehensive account of the musicians involved, and firm social, political, and cultural context in which to view the work of the former David Jones. VERDICT There is much to enjoy here, and fans will find a complete treat in this song-by-song examination, in the decade of his greatest work, of this musical and cultural icon.-Bill Baars, Lake Oswego P.L., OR (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Taking for his unabashed model Revolution in the Head, the late Ian MacDonald's seminal work on the Beatles, Doggett's meticulous song-by-song analysis of David Bowie's "long decade" (1969-1980) is a captivating look at an artist who defined an era. Best read while listening to the Bowie songs in question-for appropriate ambience and because Doggett's analysis gets technical when dissecting the chord structure of favorites such as "Changes"-Doggett's nontraditional rock biography traces Bowie's early life and career through the 1980 release of his Scary Monsters LP. Throughout, he emphasizes the singer's infatuation with shifting personae, from Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke, with Bowie constantly fragmenting himself and incorporating bits and pieces from other media: for example, his Spiders from Mars band is an homage to Jack Kerouac's On the Road. Each song Bowie released during this period is given careful attention-from the tonal structure to Bowie's fellow musicians and his (often cocaine-addled) state of mind-not just the "greatest hits," though it's especially illuminating that the "decade" is loosely bookended by "Space Oddity" and "Ashes to Ashes." The songs' Major Tom, adrift above Earth, Doggett convincingly argues, is not unlike the Bowie of today: an observer rather than a performer in the modern-day artistic world upon which he certainly left his indelible imprint. Agent: Dan Conaway. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

"Thrilling...takes its place next to Revolution in the Head on the short shelf of necessary reading about pop. Praise doesn't come any higher" * Observer * "A meticulous and engaging insight into the golden years of one of pop's true innovators. For those who love Bowie - a must" -- Mark Radcliffe "An astonishing and absorbing work that expertly unpicks this explosively creative time in Bowie's life... Ultimately, Doggett's insight and enthusiasm should send you back to the music. If you do so the book will ensure you experience something entirely new" * Sunday Times * "Compels you to listen to Bowie's best-known songs afresh and his less obvious songs anew" * Time Out * "This is a book, which can be dipped into as a fine song-by-song guide, but even more so, as an excellent cultural history" * Mojo *

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