“The Return of The Thin White Duke: Why 2013 Needed David Bowie”
by Brett Warner, Music Editor
A pop culture icon usually has to die before he or she can see the sort of internet explosion that greeted this morning’s news that, after a clean decade away from the music industry he once perennially redefined, David Bowie would return with at least one more new album: the Tony Visconti-produced The New Day, out March 12 here in the U.S. Amidst the furor that followed—equal parts relief, excitement and reverence—it hardly even seemed to matter what the album (his first since 2003’s Reality, also produced by Visconti) would sound like or whether it could possibly quench ten years’ worth of “Will he? Won’t he?” anticipation; until now, the world didn’t know whether there would ever be another David Bowie album. Had we known going in that Reality would be the swan song, we’d surely have looked and listened to it differently. But we didn’t know, because nothing has ever been… or probably ever will be… certain when it comes to David Bowie.
Did any of your favorite records of the year make Part 2 of our year-end countdown! Find out and let us know today on Ology.com!
Find out where your favorite records ranked in Part 1 of our year-end list!
Record Rewind: U2 - Pop (1997)
U2 stretched their post-ironic ’90s reinvention to the creative and commercial limits with 1997’s Pop, an album plagued by production difficulties that, to this day, remains one of the band’s lowest selling (and criminally underrated) records. Leaping off the Zooropa diving board even further into hard dance and techno influences (while, by extent, experimenting with loops, sampling and drum programming), the band foolishly allowed manager Paul McGuinness to book the ensuing PopMart Tour before the album was finished, forcing them to quickly finish the album without the usual amount of care. That said, Pop does have its share of brilliant moments, from the aggro-tech muscle of “Do You Feel Loved” and “Mofo” through the shimmering balladry of “Staring At The Sun” and lounge fly jazz meditation of “If You Wear That Velvet Dress.” U2 had the good sense to “dream it all up again” with 2000’sAll That You Can’t Leave Behind, but on Pop, they successfully pushed the boundaries of what a U2 album could (and should) sound like, leaving behind an immensely curious (to say the least) album that more than deserves a second look.
The Top 50 Albums In Ology History: Nos. 20-11
Since January 2009, our crack team of smarter than the average bear music editors has scoured every last corner of the internet to bring you… the frustratingly smart and dazzlingly attractive readers of Ology.com… the absolute best new music in the world. From leaks to street dates, reviews to Rewinds, we’ve brought you all the latest in pop, hip-hop, indie/alternative rock and more with wit, know-how and, most of all, enough tasteless sarcasm to last two or three more lifetimes.
Three and half years and a billion cups of coffee later, we presented ourselves with a seemingly simple challenge: compile the definitive list of the 50 greatest music releases in the history of our (we think) pretty awesome web destination. What did that entail, exactly? So glad you asked. Since April, music editors Brett Warner and JT Langley have been digging through three years worth of music, checking out your suggestions, staying up sleepless nights and eventually debating, deciding and arm-wrestling the pool down to a final 50.
Half a month shy of the one-year anniversary of Amy Winehouse’s untimely death, her father Mitch (whose new book Amy, My Daughter is out now, incidentally) has promised fans at least one or two more posthumous records, compiling the numerous covers, demos and alternate versions of previously released songs Amy recorded before her alcohol-related passing last summer.
Every Wednesday here at MusicOlogy, we’ll be presenting two classic albums from the same iconic band or artist and asking you… the smart, savvy, blindingly attractive Ology readers… to debate amongst yourselves over which record reigns supreme. Individual songs, concepts, music videos, lyrics, album artwork—everything’s on the table here, folks. Give us your best argument in the comments section below. We’ll announce the winner at the beginning of next week’s Peanut Gallery face-off.
This Week’s Match-Up:
Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall (1979) vs. Bad (1987).
Dying to learn more about Green Day’s astounding trilogy of new albums, ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tre!? Um, duh, we all are. You’re going to want to pick up the new issue of Rolling Stone this Friday—Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, Tré Cool and producer Rob Cavallo all sat down for separate interviews with the landmark music rag to discuss the new albums, reactions to the band’s foray into rock opera and what fans can expect to hear, see and feel later this fall.
Last night in Glasgow, Scotland, our old favorites Bloc Party performed their first show together in three years, kicking off a string of European tour dates leading up the release of (egads!) Four, their appropriately titled fourth studio album and first since 2009’s densely electronic Intimacy. According to reports, the band played a total of seven new songs last night, two of which were graciously filmed by fans in attendance.