2016-01-12

 

Young Americans

It is curious to see how each country highlights different Bowie albums in their tributes. In Portugal, for instance, you can hardly find any top list with Young Americans, which has become my favorite Bowie album---though that changes with mood all the time, as the man himself. The reason for the obscurity of this album in Portugal is most likely due to the revolution going on there when it was released, as the radio ONLY played folk revolutionary crap (why do you think Punk and Disco clicked so much with me?) Interesting to note that after killing Ziggy, Bowie never again released a straight Rock album under his own name (only under Tin Machine). Young Americans sees him move to Philly Soul and Funk, and indeed a preview of Disco---listen to John, I'm Only Dancing (again) recorded in 1974 for the Young American sessions but only released in 1979 when Disco was already in full force. This was his "Rock is Dead" album; from here he went on to more Funk (Station to Station), European electronic music (The Berlin trilogy), Punk and New Romantic New Wave (Scary Monsters; see all the Blitz kids on the Ashes to Ashes video), Disco again (Let's Dance, with Nile Rodgers), Pop/Reggae/Jazz (Tonight, Never Let me Down, Black Tie White Noise), Electronica (Outside, Earthling), and settling to an all of the above melange (Hours, Heathen, Reality, The Next Day) before his final Jazz Blackstar album (his first musical interest). So Young Americans remains a pivotal album of great musicianship: Carlos Alomar on guitar, Luther Vandross on vocals and amazing vocal arrangements (see him in the video below), and John Lennon's presence everywhere (Fame, Across the Universe). So, Portugal, um album para dançar uma revolução alternativa que devem redescobrir.

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