Another one of those albums that, for some reason, I’ve never got round to buying. Perhaps the constant hype put me off; or the fact that I never liked the song Ziggy Stardust as much as I was told I should; or maybe it was the slightly off-putting image of Bowie on the front cover. What I am certain of, however, is that for years I’ve been missing out on this truly wonderful music for no good reason. So, I berate you, my younger self for being such a fool.
If ever I were tasked with choosing one example that perfectly demonstrated how to structure an album, this would be it. Yes, the songs are magnificent, but it is the way they are ordered that makes this record truly brilliant. Swap Five Years with Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide, and you’ll see what I mean. Bowie paces everything expertly, starting off with a slow-burner, and gradually building pace and momentum until penultimate track Suffragette City, before launching into one of the best closing tracks ever committed to record with Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide. This closing pair, so contrasting, demonstrate the pinnacle of Bowie’s talents, and provide an ending to one of the most impressive albums in not only his own catalogue, but in anyone’s. Everything you’ve heard about this album is true. If you haven’t already had the pleasure, don’t wait as long as I did: listen to it now.