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Does a 'first track' of a 'debut album' set the tone for a career. If yes, then I like it

September 12 2017 at 1:42 AM
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Mt. Oblivion   (Login Dr.Ink)
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Imaginative. Maybe self depreciating. Appreciation for traditional rhythm. Enjoys pop culture. Makes debatable choices regarding fidelity. Deep down appreciates the simple things in life. Seems set in ways and unlikely to suprise... "Suprise!!

Strikes the bell for 5 o'clock, Uncle Arthur closes shop
Screws the tops on all the bottles, turns the lights out, locks it up
Climbs across his bike and he's away
Cycles past the gasworks, past the river, down the high street
Back to mother, it's another empty day


Uncle Arthur likes his mommy
Uncle Arthur still reads comics
Uncle Arthur follows Batman

Round and round the rumours fly, how he ran away from Mum
On his 32nd birthday, told her that he'd found a chum Mother cried and raved and yelled and fussed
Arthur left her no illusion, brought the girl round, save confusion
Sally was the real thing, not just lust


Uncle Arthur vanished quickly
Uncle Arthur and his new bride
Uncle Arthur follows Sally
Round and round goes Arthur's head, hasn't eaten well for days
Little Sally may be lovely, but cooking leaves her in a maze

Uncle Arthur packed his bags and fled
Back to mother, all's forgiven, serving in the family shop

He gets his pocket money, he's well fed
Uncle Arthur past the gasworks
Uncle Arthur past the river
Uncle Arthur down the high street
Uncle Arthur follows mother
.


    
This message has been edited by Dr.Ink on Sep 12, 2017 1:44 AM


 
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Anonymous
(Login hang_man)
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Re: Does a 'first track' of a 'debut album' set the tone for a career. If yes, then I like it

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September 12 2017, 7:58 AM 

As interesting to ponder the first track on the first album as much as the much discussed last track on the last album.

 
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mikewest
(Login west406)
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Re: Does a 'first track' of a 'debut album' set the tone for a career. If yes, then I like it

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September 12 2017, 10:52 AM 

Always loved this track, yes I know it's early Bowie, it's such a childish song and I used to play this and The Laughing Gnome to my nephew and my own 2 children as they were growing up, so it has a special place in my heart.

 
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Anonymous
(Login Dr.Ink)
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14 very short stories in melody and rhyme

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September 12 2017, 12:51 PM 

The bitter sounds better on a stolen oboe.
Uncle Arthur at 32 moves out of the parents basement and
attempts an adult relationship. After that goes pear shaped
Arthur runs back to the life of little rewards or demands.
All seemingly settled before the dinner bell. Phew, what a week!

This is a crazily acerbic observation from a 19 year old. Funny, yet poignant
and sad.
Here's a rendering of one of that first album's songs that I like.
He's not crazy - he's just got ptsd.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=waBhfEmnJ0M
.

 
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Ena
(Login betty_turpin)
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Re: 14 very short stories in melody and rhyme

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September 12 2017, 2:20 PM 

It's Bowie's first gay ditty.

Sally is a Victorian male prostitute. Notice Arthur is living with mother (domineering mother absent father). Bowie refers to a 'chum' not a she or he then settles on Sally. A Sally would often wear make up and look quite feminine too. 'Bring the girl round save confusion' 'Sally was the real thing not just lust'.

I think it was Bowie's response to what was happening at that time in Britain to gay men. In the film Victim the boys are referred to as Sally.
"I feel I may be the subject of The Prettiest Star"

https://godisimaginary.com/

 
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Peter
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Re: 14 very short stories in melody and rhyme

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September 13 2017, 8:28 AM 

Interesting thread. This raises the question for me about where DB's career really begins. I like the early-mid sixties work but I feel they are a kind of apprenticeship.

I think the second 'David Bowie' album is where the career really begins. And the first song on that album very much sets the scene for the rest of his career.

 
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Anonymous
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Re: 14 very short stories in melody and rhyme

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September 13 2017, 9:15 AM 

Would be great to get an expanded release of Early On, collecting up those early sides, the alternate mixes and takes which are spread across several releases. And of course the quality bootleg material that has come out since it's it's original release.

 
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Markmywurdz
(Login Markmywurdz)
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Interesting interpretation

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September 13 2017, 4:31 PM 

Ena, listened to this song for 47 years and never picked up on that at all. Chum just seemed to be the most appropriate couplet to Mum and I thought "Brought the girl round, save confusion" was conformation it was a female plus they got married which for 2 men was as likely as flying cars being a reality in 1967.

 
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Anonymous
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Re: Interesting interpretation

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September 13 2017, 4:37 PM 

Also see She's Got Medals: Medals = slang for testicles

 
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Markmywurdz
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Re: Interesting interpretation

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September 13 2017, 4:47 PM 

There's zero doubt about the gender of Mary/Eileen in "medals"...

 
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Anonymous
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Re: Interesting interpretation

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September 13 2017, 5:34 PM 

OBVZ

 
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Ena
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Re: Interesting interpretation

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September 13 2017, 4:52 PM 

A lot of gay men refer to their partners as 'her', often to establish their roles. A lot of butch men have camp effeminate partners.

Actually a lot of secret marriages took place from the 1700s. I see 'save confusion' as a metaphor for an outing. The relationship Arthur saught was an 'outing'.

It's a VERY clever song by DB.
"I feel I may be the subject of The Prettiest Star"

https://godisimaginary.com/

 
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Markmywurdz
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Re: Interesting interpretation

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September 13 2017, 4:59 PM 

Yes it is a clever song if it was that veiled and if he and Ken Pitt were as close as Pitt has alluded to, then it well maybe the case.

 
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