Turning On the Goblin King


Ah, look at that androgynous sexyback of Jareth the Goblin King. This, for years, was my only exposure to David Bowie. Somehow, he fell completely off my musical radar. I even missed the Ziggy Stardust years!

However, a while ago I found a David Bowie CD at our library, so I decided that it was time to fix this gap in my musical knowledge. Let me rephrase that…my musical exposure. I have no musical knowledge beyond knowing what I like (which many will argue is a truly subjective cross-section of music 😉 ).

So I burned the CD to my iPod…and subsequently proceeded to forget about it. Until today. It was another long-stretch roadtrip for Sammy and me. I listened to podcasts for a good chunk of the journey, but I needed a musical interlude along with a granola bar and some cold air to shake off the unexpected sleepiness I experienced from those lovely, lulling British accents to which I was listening. So I started searching through my music lists…and there was David Bowie. The CD from the library was his 1997 release Earthling.

I really enjoyed it! I realize that this is far enough into Bowie’s career that it’s probably not considered to be one of his great releases, but I thought it was a solid collection of music. It’s only nine songs, which I dig. So many of today’s artists release CDs with a gajillion songs on them, and only nine of them are usually worth listening to. This showed me that Bowie knew what he was capable of and stuck with that number. Good call.

The music has a sound that I very much enjoy, what some might describe as the sound of a “clanking, clattering collection of kaligenous junk.” Drums, bass, electronic enhancements…I love that stuff. I think I liked “Dead Man Walking” and “I’m Afraid of Americans” the best, but each of the songs was listenable. I have to say, though, that I was already in the mood for something heavy, so this fit the bill. Had I not been in the mood for lots of bass, this might have fallen far from the mark of enjoyability.

So, here’s my question to you: Where should I go next in Bowie’s oeuvre? I’m intrigued and would like to hear more. I trust you won’t steer me wrong…