Simon Critchley first encountered David Bowie in the early '70s, when the singer appeared on Britain's most-watched music show, Top of the Pops. His performance of "Starman" mesmerized Critchley: it was "so sexual, so knowing, so strange". Two days later Critchley's mum bought a copy of the single; she liked both the song and the performer's bright orange hair (she had previously been a hairdresser). The seed of a lifelong love affair was thus planted in the mind of her son, aged 12.
In this concise and engaging excursion through the songs of one of the world's greatest pop stars, Critchley, whose writings on philosophy have garnered widespread praise, melds personal narratives of how Bowie lit up his dull life in southern England's suburbs with philosophical forays into the way concepts of authenticity and identity are turned inside out in Bowie's work. The result is nearly as provocative and mind-expanding as the artist it portrays.
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the best music culture theory book that exists
the deepest and riveting piece of music criticism i have ever read. and i sm occasionally in the music press. to come even close we're looking at work like modris eksteins rite of spring or gesualdos death in five voices or david byrnes how does music work. but everything mentioned and critchleys book as well are singularities and have only the faintest similarities insofar as they are narrative meditations about music. this is avery special book.
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- Anthony G. Dispenza
devout bowie fans will find some new insights into Bowie as a person, what he believed, as well as his music. For the price and time spent listening, you might as well. it's artistic and philosophical, not pop culture anti-intellectualism.