David Bowie shared its title with his now-forgotten first album, and that might have been a mistake. So might a sleeve that barely hinted at the topicality, or even the success, of its best-known song, and instead concentrated on the vaguely pop-art inflected folkie hippy that was Bowie’s latest public persona. There was an astronaut amid the tangle of hand-drawn doodling sprayed across the rear sleeve, but there was also a Pierrot, a weeping woman, a joint and a tangle of other imagery.
From the start, David Bowie regarded the song “Space Oddity” with confidence. He played a demo to The Who’s Pete Townshend, who gave it the thumbs up, and so did Marc Bolan, a longtime friend whose word, Bowie seemed to believe, was gospel.
Man took his first step onto the surface of the moon 40 years ago, and David Bowie made his first giant leap towards stardom. “Space Oddity” became one of the biggest and most distinctive hits of the summer of 1969, and although it would be another three years before Bowie ever scaled such heights again, still it remains one of the best loved songs of his entire career.
While their fans lapped up the “old” U2, the band members themselves were preparing to inaugurate the “new” band. After three albums recorded with producer Steve Lilywhite, they had already decided they needed a change, even before they realized that their musical ambitions, too, were shifting. Their choice of a new producer — and their persistence in recruiting him — astonished everybody.
Rex Ray tells what went into the making of the artwork for Bowie’s 2003 album "Reality."
In article/All_hell_breaks_loose_1968_in_review_part_II/”>part II of our look back at 1968, we reviewed the troubling historic events that marked that year, and we began to dive into the music that provided the soundtrack for life after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. In this installment, we take a closer look at the albums that marked the year, from the then-dismissed (but now oft-revered) Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks, to the heartbreak and betrayal Jeff Beck felt over Led Zeppelin I.