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Context Music / HunkyDory

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1[[quoteright:350:]] ²[[caption-width-right:350: ''Oh! You pretty things, don't ya know you're driving your mamas and papas insane?'']]²²''Hunky Dory'' is the fourth studio album by Music/DavidBowie, released in 1971. His first release on Creator/RCARecords, with whom he would stick for another 11 years, it is generally considered to be one of his best and most influential. Hits and fan favourites include: "Changes," "Oh! You Pretty Things," "Life on Mars?," and "Queen Bitch."²²The album was listed at #108 in ''Music/RollingStone500GreatestAlbumsOfAllTime.'' ''Magazine/TimeMagazine'' included the album in their 2006 list of ''TimeAllTime100Albums.''²----²²!! Tracklist:²²[[AC: Side One]]²²# "Changes" (3:37)²# "Oh! You Pretty Things" (3:12)²# "Eight Line Poem" (2:55)²# "Life on Mars?" (3:53)²# "Kooks" (2:53)²# "Quicksand" (5:08)²²[[AC: Side Two]]²²# "Fill Your Heart" (3:07)²# "Andy Warhol" (3:56)²# "Song for Bob Dylan" (4:12)²# "Queen Bitch" (3:18)²# "The Bewlay Brothers" (5:22)²----²²!! Bonus Tracks (1990 Re-issue):²²# "Bombers"²# "The Supermen"²# "Quicksand (Demo)"²# "The Bewlay Brothers (Alternate Mix)"²----²²!! Take a look at the law man, beating up the wrong trope:²²* AccentuateTheNegative: "Quicksand:"²--> ''Don't believe in yourself''²--> ''Don't deceive with belief''²--> ''Knowledge comes with death's release''²* AlliterativeTitle: "The '''B'''ewlay '''B'''rothers."²* BeliefMakesYouStupid: "Quicksand:"²--> ''Can't take my eyes from the great salvation''²--> ''Of bullshit faith''²** The song also can be read as taking the stance that it's impossible to know whether an afterlife exists or what it's like if it does, as seen in the quote above under AccentuateTheNegative. This arguably qualifies it as a ReligionRantSong, although Bowie is also using the lyrics to explore concepts in UsefulNotes/{{Buddhism}} and [[Creator/AleisterCrowley Thelema]], so it's arguably more of a rant about ''some'' religions than about a rant about ''all'' religions. Another interpretation argues that the song isn't actually talking about literal death at all, nor is it talking about all kinds of belief; it is simply talking about ego death - i.e., the death of an idealised perception of oneself, which is deceptive and can actually lead to suffering and an unhealthy mental state. In this interpretation, by saying "don't believe in yourself", Bowie isn't saying you should belittle yourself; he's simply saying you shouldn't deceive yourself into believing you're anything other than what you are. Thus, knowledge comes from accepting yourself as you are, and ego death brings release and knowledge; the song consequently argues for a love of the world we share, of each other, and of life at this very moment.²* BlackAndWhiteMorality: "Quicksand" argues against this interpretation of reality; it criticises UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill, who at the time was uncritically regarded as a war hero in much of Britain. The reality was more ambiguous, as Churchill also supported imperialism and a number of reactionary social beliefs to which Bowie stood in opposition. Bowie also acknowledges in the song that he is "drawn between the light and dark" - in short, where most people see themselves uncritically as the heroes of their own stories, Bowie acknowledges his own dark side.²* UsefulNotes/BritishAccents: Bowie sings the last minute or so of "The Bewlay Brothers" in a Cockney accent.²* UsefulNotes/{{Buddhism}}: "Quicksand" refers to a state between death and rebirth known as a Bardo.²-->If I don't explain what you ought to know²-->You can tell me all about it on the next Bardo²* CallBack: "Life on Mars?" again uses space imagery, like Bowie did earlier with Music/SpaceOddity. "Oh! You Pretty Things" talks about the coming of a "Homo Superior," which is similar to the "Starman" from Bowie's next album ''Music/TheRiseAndFallOfZiggyStardustAndTheSpidersFromMars,'' which would continue the space and Mars imagery in general.²** On a darker note, it could also call back to 'After All' from the much less upbeat ''Music/TheManWhoSoldTheWorld''²* CoverVersion: "Fill Your Heart" is the one cover on the album.²* CrapsackWorld: "Oh! You Pretty Things:"²--> ''All the nightmares came today''²--> ''And it looks as though they're here to stay''²* DramaticTimpani: In "Life on Mars?" at the end.²* EverythingsBetterWithCows: The surreal line: "It's on America's tortured brow / that WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse has grown up a cow" in "Life on Mars?" got real in the 1990's when a cow was discovered with a spot resembling the silhouette of ''Mickey Mouse.'' It could [[ be seen]] in Disney World, Florida.²* FaceOnTheCover: Bowie in close-up.²* FadingIntoTheNextSong: "Oh! You Pretty Things" fades into "Eight Line Poem" and "Fill Your Heart" fades into "Andy Warhol".²* {{Homage}}: "Song for Bob Dylan," an homage to Music/BobDylan, and "Andy Warhol" to Creator/AndyWarhol.²* IJustWantToBeFree: "Fill Your Heart:"²--> ''Love cleans the mind and makes it free.''²* InTheStyleOf: "Life on Mars?," which Bowie wrote after Music/FrankSinatra's people preferred Paul Anka's translation of a French ballad [[note]] "My Way" [[/note]] to Bowie's. As Bowie later noted, his plan to get Sinatra to cover "Life on Mars?" backfired rather spectacularly when it was instead covered by Music/BarbraStreisand.²* LastNoteNightmare: "The Bewlay Brothers" changes its atmosphere after four minutes.²* LighterAndSofter: PlayedWith. The music is more melodic and poppy than the HardRock / HeavyMetal of Bowie's previous album: ''Music/TheManWhoSoldTheWorld.'' The lyrics are no less disturbing, though.²* MindScrew: "Life on Mars?" and "Quicksand" have surreal lyrics.²* MoodWhiplash: The very pessimistic "Quicksand" comes between the very lighthearted "Kooks" and "Fill Your Heart", though the latter is separated by the side break.²* NoIntelligentLifeHere: An open question in "Life on Mars?:"²--> ''Is there life on Maaaaaars?!''²* NonAppearingTitle:²** The album title doesn't appear in any of the songs.²** "Queen Bitch."²* OneWomanSong: "Queen Bitch."²* OneWordTitle: "Changes," "Kooks," and "Quicksand."²* ParentalLoveSong: "Kooks" is a ode to parental love:²--> ''We bought a lot of things''²--> ''to keep you warm and dry''²--> ''And a funny old crib on which the paint won't dry''²--> ''I bought you a pair of shoes''²--> ''A trumpet you can blow''²--> ''And a book of rules''²--> ''On what to say to people''²--> ''when they pick on you''²* PepTalkSong: "Changes:"²--> ''Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, turn and face the strain''²* PunkRock: The term wouldn't be in general use for a few years, but "Queen Bitch" sounds like it. Especially the guitar, inspired by Music/LouReed's guitar playing in Music/VelvetUnderground.²* QuestioningTitle: "Life on Mars?"²* SawStarWarsTwentySevenTimes: "Life on Mars?:"²--> ''But the film is a saddening bore''²--> ''For she's lived it ten times or more''²* ShoutOut:²** The album cover was inspired by Creator/MarleneDietrich.²** "Creator/AndyWarhol."²** "Quicksand" name drops Creator/AleisterCrowley, Heinrich Himmler, Creator/GretaGarbo, UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill. The "silent film" referred to in the first stanza may be ''Film/TheBirthOfANation1915'', of which Himmler and a number of other Nazis were quite fond. Some of these are probably closer to TakeThat²** "Song for Music/BobDylan," which references Dylan's own "Song to [[Music/WoodyGuthrie Woody.]]"²** "Life on Mars?" refers to WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse and Music/JohnLennon. The line: "Look at those cavemen go" refers to the comic strip ''ComicStrip/AlleyOop.''²** The band ''The Kooks'' named themselves after the song "Kooks."²** ''[[Series/LifeOnMars2006 Life on Mars]]'' was named after "Life on Mars?"²** The riff to "Queen Bitch" is fairly closely modeled on the Music/VelvetUnderground songs "Sweet Jane" and "Sister Ray," as noted in Bowie's liner notes ("Some VU white light returned, with thanks").²* SpecialGuest: Rick Wakeman from Music/{{Yes}} performs on piano.²* StockSoundEffects: A telephone is heard near the end of "Life on Mars?"²* StudioChatter: The ringing phone that's answered at the end of "Life on Mars?" is probably the first example of this from his work that springs to mind. Also Bowie correcting Ken Scott on the pronunciation of "Warhol."²* StutterStop: "Changes:"²--> ''Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes''²* {{Ubermensch}}:²** "Quicksand:"²--> ''I'm not a prophet or a stone age man''²--> ''Just a mortal with the potential of a superman''²--> ''I'm living on''²--> ''I'm tethered to the logic of Homo Sapien''²** "Oh! You Pretty Things:"²--> ''You gotta make way for the Homo Superior''²* WordSaladLyrics: "Life on Mars?" and "The Bewlay Brothers."²----


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