Getting The Spins: David Bowie – Station to Station

(RCA, 1976)

Which is your favorite Bowie record? It’s a fun question that brings out all sorts of answers due to the extensiveness of David Bowie’s catalog. Station to Station might not be my number one Bowie record (that might go to The Man Who Sold the World), but it is easily in my top three. Ask me next week, and I’m sure I’ll give you a completely different answer. Station to Station marks a pretty significant transition for Bowie, as it combines the funk and soul influences of his previous record Young Americans, while nodding toward the German electronic influence that would shape Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy, starting with 1977’s Low. Bowie infamously doesn’t recall the recording of this album, partly due to his heavy cocaine use at the time, evidenced by this 1974 interview with Dick Cavett, as well as this fantastic and fantastical film, which Bowie starred in before recording Station to Station.

Oh yeah…the record! “Golden Years” was a big single for Bowie, one that even landed him an appearance on Soul Train, in which he lip-synced…again, sorta awkward and coke-up. It’s a fantastic song. And the title-track is one of my favorite all-time Bowie songs–a 10-minute, spaced-out disco inferno, which showcases the hot-shit rhythm section of bassist George Murray and drummer Dennis Davis. “Word On a Wing” is one of Bowie’s most aching songs, both lyrically and vocally. I listened to it over and over after Bowie’s death in 2016, and it absolutely crushed me. Still does. Welp, this got sad real quick. Soooo…what’s your favorite Bowie record?