Bowie In Berlin

New Paperback Tells All.      11/07/08

Buying Choices

A new paperback by Thomas Jerome Seabrook chronicles David Bowie’s three year sojourn in Berlin and the resulting albums, Low, Heroes and Lodger. Bowie In Berlin also documents his relationship with Brian Eno, Robert Fripp and Tony Visconti, discussing many of their recording techniques including Eno’s Oblique Strategies and Visconi’s love affair with the Eventide.

The book deconstructs each track on Low and Heroes with musicians and gear listed in some detail. It highlights the extensive use of the Chamberlin, Mini Moog and ARP 2600 as well as Eno’s EMS processing of Fripp’s guitar.

Bowie’s vocal inspirations,Syd Barrett and Anthony Newley come in for examination as do the influence of Kraftwerk and Can. The book also finds time to detail Bowie’s relationship with Iggy Pop and his reinvention as The Idiot and provides a track by track analysis of Lust For Life.
But the overriding message is Bowie’s desire to shake off the spectre of Ziggy Stardust while forging this New Career In A New Town.

It’s worth pointing out that much of Low was recorded in France and Lodger was ostensibly a New York album, but Seabrook appears to be offering ‘Berlin’ as ‘a state of mind’ rather than a physical place.
Although some of the content may be common knowledge to ardent fans, the book works as an overview of an intensely creative period set as a paradox to the excesses of Bowie’s drug fuelled L.A. psychosis.

For a cattle prod reminder of the Thin White Duke's interstellar X factor check out this clip from cult 80’s film Christian F below and Heroes from his 2006 Glastonbury set above.

Simon Power

Jawbone Press also publish a wide range of muso friendly books including The Sound Reinforcement Handbook, Make Money With Your Studio, Music For New Media and The Musician’s Ultimate Joke Book. Check out their summer catalogue through their site or from Jawbone Press, 2a Union Court, 20-22 Union Road, London SW4 6JP.

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