David Bowie – Hunky Dory

Hunky Dory is David Bowie's fourth album, released by RCA in 1971. It is described by AllMusic.com as having "a kaleidoscopic array of pop styles, tied together only by Bowie's sense of vision: a sweeping, cinematic mélange of high and low art, ambiguous sexuality, kitsch, and class."

The album saw the partial return of the fey pop singer of Space Oddity, with light fare such as "Kooks" (dedicated to his young son known to the world as Zowie Bowie but legally named Duncan Zowie Heywood Jones) and the cover "Fill Your Heart" sitting alongside heavier material like the Buddhist-tinged "Quicksand" and semi-autobiographical "The Bewlay Brothers". Somewhere in between the two extremes was "Oh! You Pretty Things", whose pop tune hid lyrics predicting the imminent replacement of modern man by "the Homo Superior", and which has been seen by some critics as a direct precursor to "Starman" from Bowie's next album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

On Hunky Dory, the composer also took time to pay tribute to his influences in the songs "Song for Bob Dylan", "Andy Warhol" and the Velvet Underground inspired "Queen Bitch". Supported by the single "Changes", the album scored generally favourable reviews and was reasonably successful on its initial release, without being a major hit. However, after the commercial breakthrough of Ziggy Stardust, it sold tremendously well, climbing to #3 in the UK charts. In 1973, RCA released "Life on Mars?" as a single, also a #3 UK hit.

In 1998 Q magazine readers voted Hunky Dory the 43rd greatest album of all time; in 2003 the TV network VH1 placed it at number 47. In 2003, the album was ranked number 107 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.


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