David Bowie | Storytellers

Virgin (2009)
By JEFF TAMARKIN  |  July 7, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars

090710_bowie-main
Bowie was particularly relaxed and reflective when he took his star turn on VH1's Storytellers program 10 years ago next month. As the program's format demanded, he preceded each number — a couple of classics, some not-so-classics, and a few selections from his then-new Hours — with a tale of its origin.

Then, in front of a Manhattan audience, he launched into a straightforward take backed by a competent if not especially exciting band. Intro'd by Mike Garson's jazzy piano, "China Girl" is ushered in by a recollection of an incident from Bowie's Berlin days with Iggy Pop, when a punk-club audience erected and then tore down its own Berlin Wall. Station to Station's "Word on a Wing" is, its author reveals, "from the darkest days of my life," the mid '70s. And the new "Thursday's Child," Bowie explains, was inspired by his favorite bedtime reading as a teen, singer/actress Eartha Kitt's 1950s autobiography of the same name.

The DVD includes all of the original broadcast and four bonus tracks (minus the gab); the accompanying audio CD omits the extra tunes. Silly, really, because it's difficult to imagine why any but the most obsessed Bowiephile would need to hear the stories more than once, whereas the music on its own is a worthy, though hardly essential, addition to the catalogue.
Related: David Bowie | Space Oddity: 40th Anniversary Edition, Same old song, The Big Hurt: ICP take on magnets, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Celebrity News, Entertainment, Music Stars,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY JEFF TAMARKIN
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   NEW YORK DOLLS | DANCING BACKWARDS IN HIGH HEELS  |  March 17, 2011
    The new New York Dolls have now been around longer - and released more albums (three) - than the old New York Dolls, and they're commemorating that new longevity by letting go of any compulsion they may have still harbored to honor their designation as "punk-rock progenitors."
  •   BLACK JOE LEWIS & THE HONEYBEARS | SCANDALOUS  |  March 09, 2011
    The soul revival has been going on long enough now that maybe it's a not a bad idea to stop calling it a revival at all.
  •   BRYAN FERRY | OLYMPIA  |  October 19, 2010
    From the Kate Moss cover pic to the A-list of guest stars to the reunion with original Roxy Music members Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera, and Andy Mackay, Olympia screams, "EVENT!"
  •   OLD 97'S | THE GRAND THEATRE  |  October 12, 2010
    When Old 97's are on — which they are most of the time on their eighth studio album — they're very, very on.
  •   DAR WILLIAMS | MANY GREAT COMPANIONS  |  October 05, 2010
    The companions of the title are Dar Williams's songs, which the singer-songwriter revisits here two different ways.

 See all articles by: JEFF TAMARKIN