40th anniversary of David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs.
The Monolith Cocktail celebrates the great dane of avant-lite rock’n’roll, David Bowie and his canine hybrid Orwellian nightmare on wax, Diamond Dogs. For it is just over 40 years since its release upon the unsuspecting public; the transitional interlude from Pin Ups, to the plastic soul crooning of Young Americans.
“As they pulled you out of the oxygen tent, you asked for the latest party…” And with that the future dystopian, biota canine, leapt from its slumber “onto the streets below”, howling for more.
Bowie never really wanted to be a musician as such. His destiny lied with the grease paint of theatre and allure of cinema. Diamond Dogs of course allowed him to create a spectacle, melding the two disciplines together.
Fate would force the original concept to morph into the achingly morbid and glam-pop genius we’ve now come to love: a planned avant-garde, ‘moonage’, treatment of Orwell’s revered novel 1984 was rebuked by the authors estate.
Still those augural references to state control and totalitarianism are adhered to throughout – both lyrically and in the song titles –, but attached to visions of a new poetic hell!
The loose, all-encompassing, metaphysical language may promise melancholy and despair, yet it also knows when to anthemically sound the rock’n’roll clarion call too.
Decreed as the leading highlight’s of the album by the majority –
Diamond Dogs (single), Rebel Rebel (single), 1984
Pay attention to these often overlooked beauties –
Rock’n’Roll With Me (single), Sweet Thing
(Originally part of a full Bowie retrospective to celebrate the release of The Next Day in 2013 for God Is In The TV. You can find the four-part survey of every album here…)