Today on Hidden gems we are going to look at an album that not only turned 50 but was also the album that showed the world of what David Bowie can do musically and that album is Hunky Dory.
Hunky Dory was the fourth album that was released by David Bowie and after the release of his 1970 album The Man Who Sold the World to mix reviews, in the US it was praised but in the UK not so much. After the release of The Man Who Sold the World, Bowie didn’t tour and record anything for a few months and focused on writing not only new songs but a new way to express himself. Later on a tour in the US, he formed a new band and went on to record Hunky Dory during the summer of 71 and was later released in December of that year.
What made this album different from his last album was everything from start to finish. Unlike The Man Who Sold the World, Hunky Dory was a mix of art rock, pop-rock, and a lot of himself. The opening track Changes and other songs such as Life on Mars?, Kooks, Queen Bitch and The Bewlay Brothers showed what Bowie had to offer and to many critics and musical historians stated that this album is where “Bowie starts to become Bowie” in terms of music, voice, and style.
In an interview in 1999 with UK magazine Uncut this is what Bowie had to say about his experience in creating and recording Hunky Dory:
“Hunky Dory gave me a fabulous groundswell. I guess it provided me, for the first time in my life, with an actual audience – I mean, people actually coming up to me and saying, ‘Good album, good songs.’ That hadn’t happened to me before.” – David Bowie 1999
After the release with Hunky Dory the following year Bowie would introduce to the world one of this most iconic rock star character of all time with Ziggy Stardust and the classic 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders of Mars.