The Records of My Life: David Bowie – Hunky Dory –

Wake up, you sleepy head
Put on some clothes, shake up your bed
Put another log on the fire for me
I’ve made some breakfast and coffee
Look out my window, what do I see
A crack in the sky and a hand reaching down to me
All the nightmares came today
And it looks as though they’re here to stay

Oh! You Pretty Things by David Bowie

To me “Hunky Dory” start from the second song (Oh! You Pretty Things).

The first few lines of the songs and the passage to the third song of the album (Eight Line Poem), bring me inside another world and to the first time in my life I understand I become a fan of someone.

I was just 12 when I bought this album. I was very young, and more or less, I was copying what some guys older of me was listening.
I wouldn’t have an idea if it was just a way to emulate them or a real attraction for this kind of music. Also doesn’t matter too much, the fact is that in 1972, “Hunky Dory” open me the doors to something completely new in my life.

Was just a few years later that I appreciate more that the hit “Changes“, but for a long time always I start to listen to this song from the second track.
David Bowie become my real hero, and I have severe difficulties in making a serious list of his best records. Honestly, I think I have another 3 albums that I prefer in general right now from him. Still, this one was so significant in my list and this space, in the year I will become the 60s, is so important.

Hunky Dory was David Bowie’s 4th album and, much as that album was more my era, Hunky Dory was a mirror to an age that I so wanted to be a part of, a period of love, peace & hope. But I was too young to be an active part of it.

In a single word I will say that this album is magical…and so much more.

I was impressed by the cover photo…. is it a man? …is it a woman?….hinting at the gender-bending display that was about to explode and set everybody talking & asking questions.


You feel you made a revolution just holding the record and walking around the town. You think older people looked at you questioning who you was.

The eleven songs from the record are all now big Hits. When you do a compilation of the best 20 songs of Bowie you are tempted to include all the 11 tracks here added, because “Kooks“, Quicksand“, “Life on Mars?”, “Queen Bitch”, “Feel your heart” or “The Bewlay Brothers” , cannot be eluded.

Another song I have always loved is “Song for Bob Dylan“.
Regarding this song, “Song for Bob Dylan” is it a homage to Bob?…or is it criticism?…who knows? Bowie knows!!! Who cares?

Hunky Dory is one of my favourite Bowie albums because open to me another world. I feel that record change my path, I start to listen differently to the music, and I begin to discover so many artists as a consequence that till then, I didn’t know it.

I could spend hours to talk about The cleverness of the arrangements and sheer prettiness of the music (much of it thanks to Ken Scott, Rick Wakeman and Mick Ronson) and about of the surreal and occult inspired lyrics but this is not the point of this section on my blog. It’s the point of this review of the records which make me become what I am.

It’s a record warm and groovy. The sounds that come out warmer my teenager live and richer my culture as a young man.

Great songs, great band and brilliantly produced to make me happy merely exuberant every time I still play.

This is why today I even listen, and I hope everyone always still listens.

They are not the best records ever. Maybe they are too.
But that’s not the point of this page on my blog.
Once a week, every Sunday.
The records that most contributed to getting to this point in my life.
The reason why I decided to write about my music in this way is that I am turning sixty this year.
Music has been essential in my growth as a person.
It made me make life choices, some even wrong, probably.
Every Monday, I will start to listen to a record that I think has been crucial in my past.
I’ll play it until I come out with happy memories, emotions and maybe some tears.
Finally, I will leave you every Sunday to let you find the record I was listening and to discovered something more about me.

Massimo Usai

Leave a Reply