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Bowie in Berlin: A New Career in a New Town [Paperback]

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Item description for Bowie in Berlin: A New Career in a New Town by Thomas Jerome Seabrook...

Bowie in Berlin tells the fascinating story of the three years David Bowie spent in Germany in the mid-1970s, making the most extraordinary music of his career. Driven to the brink of madness by cocaine, overwork, marital strife, and a paranoid obsession with the occult, Bowie fled Los Angeles in 1975 and ended up in Berlin, the divided city on the frontline between communist East and capitalist West. There he sought anonymity, taking an apartment in a run-down district with his sometime collaborator Iggy Pop, another refugee from drugs and debauchery, while they explored the city and its notorious nightlife. In this intensely creative period, Bowie put together three classic albums - Low, "Heroes", and Lodger - with collaborators who included Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, and Tony Visconti. He also found time to produce two albums for Iggy Pop - The Idiot and Lust for Life - and to take a leading role in a movie, the ill-starred Just a Gigolo. Bowie in Berlin tells the story of that period and those records, exploring Bowie's fascination with the city, unearthing his sources of inspiration, detailing his working methods, and teasing out the elusive meanings of the songs. Painstakingly researched and vividly written, the book casts a new light on the most creative and influential era in David Bowie's career.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   272
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 7" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 17, 2008
Publisher   Jawbone Press
ISBN  1906002088  
ISBN13  9781906002084  
UPC  884088237622  

Availability  0 units.

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1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature > Entertainers
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
3Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Business
4Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > General
5Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > History & Criticism
6Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Reference > General
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Reviews - What do customers think about Bowie in Berlin: A New Career in a New Town?

The berlin years  Aug 31, 2008
Great book for all Bowie fans specialy of the berlin era.
The making of Low, Heroes, Lodger + The idiot and lust for life of Iggy pop is very detailing, the writer knew about his subject is not the case of all the books about Bowie. This book is very instuctive and easy reading
The LOW down  Aug 21, 2008
This is a book written by a fan for other fans. It's decent enough, but almost all the material (interviews, etc) is from second hand sources and subjected to much slanted speculation. The sections relating Bowie's film work are over-detailed.

I've been a Bowie fan since 1973 and revere his Spiders era material, which this author virtually dismisses even though it is the foundation of his subject's fame. I could never quite understand the fuss some people make over the "Berlin Trilogy". Bowie was always aping, and often bettering his models. But not in this case. The skewed pop and ambient music Brian Eno was making on his own before and after the collaboration with Bowie was superior. In fact, the best thing on LOW is "Warzawa" (the capital of Poland, thank you), an Eno composition marred by a histrionic Bowie vocal tacked on near the end. I've always found LOW a very flawwed, derivative effort, a poor man's ANOTHER GREEN WORLD. HEROES is more cohesive, and its magnificent title track is the last great Bowie song. Still, the instrumentals on Side 2 are even more faceless than those on its predecessor. LODGER has its moments, but thankfully, no instrumentals, for which Bowie, a consummate songsmith, had no evident talent.

The book does a service in reasserting Visconti's contribution. Rock writers still misattribute the albums' production to Eno. Fans seeking an authoritative account of this era should seek out his recent autobiography.
A fabulous book  May 13, 2008
At the time of publication of Bowie's Berlin production, I was involved with music myself and can attest on the significance/impact/impulse generated by the 3 and a half masterpieces of the epoch (Lust For Life being half a chef d'oeuvre, Lodger none at all).
The reading of this book however is my first investment into getting to know the story behind the Berlin adventure. Compared to most literature on music, this book is extremely well written and a pleasure to read. Unlike my fellow reviewer, I also enjoyed the detours into side-stories and parallel personalities. The only character that finds it hard to come off the page is Iggy. But then the book is not about him...
Thoroughly enjoyable!

P.D.: Warsaw is not the Czech capital, it is Poland's.
Bowie the Fragile Genius  Mar 27, 2008
David Bowie's albums Low, "Heroes," and Lodger are some of the most seminal pieces of popular music released in the 1970s. Two albums in the same ranks are Iggy Pop's The Idiot and Lust for Life, both of which Bowie had a large hand in creating. The years the two spent together in Berlin, each recovering from substance abuse and general mental deterioration, were a fascinating time that will interest any fan of either; and this book does an excellent job of detailing those heady days. Bowie is seen here as a fragile genius (if an opportunistic one) rather than the chameleon-like fashion plate he can be accused of being. My only quibbles are that the author sometimes gets lost in off-topic tangents that become boring history lessons - Christopher Isherwood may have played a role in Bowie's Berlin years, but we didn't need a multi-paragraph rundown on Isherwood and W.H. Auden's story (already told so many damn times!). Likewise, while the film The Man Who Fell To Earth (Bowie played the lead role) certainly had much to do with what became of Bowie in the years after its making, we didn't need a play-by-play, multi-page synopsis of the film. But once you get past those moments of excess, everything else in the book is well done, thoughtful, engaging . . . If you are interested in David Bowie in general, and particularly if you are a fan of his experimental late 70s work, or if you care to read about the friendship and working relationship between Bowie and Iggy (also Bowie and Eno, as well as Bowie and Tony Visconti), you will enjoy this book.

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