November 22, 2021 3 min read

I want to thank everyone who has commented, messaged and called with praise of my posts! These have been so much fun and as long as you’re enjoying them I will keep going!

This week’s pick, much like last week’s showcases an artist in transition to what would arguably become their most ambitious and creative period. Combining the funk driven groove of his previous album along with a fascination of the then new Kraut-Rock Genre, a massive drug habit and a whole new theatrical persona, David Bowie steps out with one of the most important works of his career! Nick’s Picks Volume #4 is none other than the incredible “Station To Station.”

“Station to Station” recorded in the fall of 1975 after Bowie had just finished filming the movie “The Man Who Fell To Earth” shows one of the most inventive artists in rock music pushing the limits of his music and himself to new heights. The title track which opens the album may be the best track of his entire career, a 10 minute suite which begins with a train driving at full speed (Listen in headphones for some crazy head spinning panning effects) before transiting into a creepy and ominous piano riff as the band begins to enter one by one. The grove gets heavy and fat, almost hypnotic. Bowie doesn’t enter until over 3 minutes into the track. This is not your average rock tune! Bowie delivers a menacing vocal as the “Thin White Duke”, his new persona for a couple verses before the song begins to pick up momentum before finally turning into a disco-esque funked throw down. This track is the blue print for what Bowie would follow for the next 4 records of his career.

The title track is followed by “Golden Years”, the “Hit” from the album. Bowie claimed to have wrote the song for Elvis whom he submitted it to for recording consideration…Elvis declined but one can imagine how cool that could have been. Nonetheless Bowie delivers the goods on this classic. The 3rd track “Word on a Wing” is a piano driven rock ballad (if that’s a thing) showcasing a fantastic Bowie vocal.

Side 2 kicks off with “TVC 15”, a song about a TV eating Iggy Pop’s girlfriend (see first paragraph about Bowie’s massive drug habit at the time and this concept makes more sense) is a complex jam! Bowie twists and turns the melody throughout. “Stay” is my favorite “deep track” of the album. Another heavy/funky grove with incredible guitar work from both Carlos Alomar and Earl Slick! Personally I love the production on this album and I believe “Stay” showcases the overall sound of the album. The album closes with a cover of Nina Simone’s “Wild is the Wind”. In my opinion this is the second best vocal performance of Bowie’s career (my #1 choice is “Heroes”), it’s simply stunning! It will make the hair on your arms stand up. If you’ve never heard it, go listen to it immediately.

Bowie claimed to not even remember making this record due to his drug addiction at the time and only knew it was recorded in LA because he read it on the album sleeve later on in life. WOAH! All of that aside, this record showcases who David Bowie was, a creative artist that was never content on relying on what he had already done (Remember the Ziggy Stardust period was just 3.5 years old at this point). Bowie would go on to collaborate with Brian Eno for what would be known as the “Berlin Trilogy” which included the albums “Low”, “Heroes” and “Lodger” before completing this phase of his career with “Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)” in 1980. Most Bowie freaks will tell you this is the best period of his incredible career. I am one of those fans but it’s clear Bowie could not have got there without the stop he took on “Station to Station.” /p>

-Nick



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