Since David Bowie made his first mark on the world -- and beyond -- with 1969's "Space Oddity," decoding his music has been a prime pastime for his fans. It's also been a cottage industry for music journalists, most of whom have been content to simply rearrange the pieces in the Bowie puzzle. In essence, Peter Doggett does the same thing in The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s. Only he makes a brilliant step beyond mere analysis: He applies Bowie's method and aesthetic to the artist's own life and work.
|Peter Doggett's The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s is out now on Harper.|
Granted, the idea isn't Doggett's. The Man Who Sold the World -- a song-by-song breakdown of Bowie's output during "the long '70s" of 1969-80 -- was originally slated to be written by the late Ian MacDonald, who first used this approach in his dissection of the Beatles' songbook, Revolution in the Head. As exhaustive as Revolution is, though, The Man Who Sold the World better utilizes that fragmented format. Bowie, after all, is a man made of fragments, and his catalogue lends itself to loving deconstruction.More »