After deciding to make “Young Americans” my TOTW, I went back through my posts and was surprised to see that I haven’t ever posted a Bowie track as a Track of the Week, despite the many years of writing these posts.
I think this stems from a couple of reasons. The first being that I’m more of an admirer of Bowie than his work. I like the way he continued to experiment throughout his career, creating massively varied music and personas to perform them. He was a proper artist right through to his death.
He was also and still is posthumously massively successful, with many of his tracks ingrained in the British subconscious. At this point, I’ve found the idea of talking about some of my favorite Bowie tracks inconsequential. What’s the point of promoting tracks that everyone already knows?
But on the other hand my Track Of The Week was always about the music I was listening to each week, whether it be successful or unknown. To be honest, I think the main reason Bowie has never been in my Track Of The Week is it’s been rare that I could categorise any Bowie song as a Track of the week. They have always been there, played regularly, as part of a wide balanced audio diet. Yet, they have rarely been the main course.
So, how then did Young Americans end up being my first Bowie Track on my TOTW. I doubt anyone would argue its his best track, and I’d agree with them. It lacks the more experimental nature that I find most compelling in his work. But this week, the UK has been hot. There have been warm, sunny and sometimes stuffy days spent sitting in our garden, listening to music and generally enjoying the little dry weather Manchester offers yearly.
Returning to a track is never the same as hearing it the first time. It is never going to have the surprise it did when you first heard it, and therefore having the excitement about the track to write about it in my blog becomes harder, and more nuanced then a quick take on something completely new to me.
Young Americans overall aesthetic to me is the perfect soundtrack to this current environment. Dripping with R&B swelter, grooving percussion, and simmering sax; it is soothingly steadfast and familiar. As its grooves drift out of a small Bluetooth speaker into an abundant overgrowing garden, it leaves me thinking only one thing. When the track finishes lets put it on again.