David Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World

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More The Man Who Sold The World

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  • This UK RCA copy is out of this world with Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • Big space, breathy vocals, grungy guitars and the Tubey Magic is luscious throughout
  • Pretty darn quiet throughout — Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • As it says on the back of the jacket, “Many thanks to our engineer Ken (Scott, one of our favorites).”

Stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides. The sound is rich and full, just the way the Brits like it. The heavy compression that both Bowie and Scott favor works its magic at every turn, adding fatness and richness and lovely harmonics to the guitars and the drums. 

Two Amazing Sides

Mick Ronson’s guitars are wonderfully clear. The vocals can get a bit hot on the first track on side one (as is often the case), but by track two the sound has settled in and is rich and smooth, just the way we like it. Very present and lively vocals are a strong point. Listen to the big bass, richness and Tubey Magic of the third track on side two — that is some Ken Scott studio wizardry at play.

Note that the second track on the second side seems to be where Alice Cooper found his “sound.” More power to him I say. You could get away with ripping off Bowie in 1970; nobody bought this album in the states, which is why it’s so damn rare and expensive.

Over the next three years Bowie would go on to record Hunky Dory (1971), The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust (1972) and Aladdin Sane (1973). Not many bands can produce three records in a row of such staggering artistry, four if you count this one. All belong in any serious music collection, and all of them are very hard to come by with good sound. We sure have a hard time finding them, and we do this for a living.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

The Width of a Circle 
All the Madmen 
Black Country Rock 
After All

Side Two

Running Gun Blues 
Saviour Machine 
She Shook Me Cold 
The Man Who Sold the World 
The Supermen

AMG Review

Even though it contained no hits, The Man Who Sold the World, for most intents and purposes, is the beginning of David Bowie’s classic period. Working with guitarist Mick Ronson and producer Tony Visconti for the first time, Bowie developed a tight, twisted heavy guitar rock that appears simple on the surface but sounds more gnarled upon each listen.