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English, Music, 4 seasons, 49 episodes, 1 day, 20 hours, 58 minutes
Each David Bowie album is unique. Some are universally lionised, some regarded as merely legendary, some, pretentious codswallop. But we all have our favourites. In this series of podcasts, I meet up with writers, musicians, critics and assorted woodland folk, to explore their choice of album in rambling roundelays of free-form facting, anorak-grade geekery, pompous pontification, impassioned argument and highly-contentious chat. I like to think these podcasts exercise the minds of some of the world’s (well, at least the bit I am in) most eminent Bowiebores, my lugubrious interrogations spurring them to wax lyrical and entertainingly - just for you. I hope you enjoy listening to them. Presented and produced by Arsalan Mohammad Music by
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S4 Ep7: Earl Slick on Station to Station

Back in 1974, Earl Slick was a 22-year old jobbing session guitarist fast developing a reputation for his supple, searing style and versatility in all idioms. Hired by Bowie to join his Diamond Dogs tour, Slick then had to suddenly pivot from apocalypto-rock to sleek Philly soul at a moment's notice - but acquitted himself so well, he was invited to play on tracks destined for Young Americans before forming the core band, alongside Carlos Alomar, Dennis Davis, George Murray and Roy Bittan to cut the extraordinary Station to Station, in LA, during October 1975. Bringing his charismatic flair to the sessions, Slick rose each time to Bowie's demands for an esoteric sonic palette, turning in one bravura performance after another despite, by his own admission, almost matching Bowie's ridiculous drug consumption levels at the time. Although his boss's directions could be at times gnomic - Bowie instructed him on one occasion to simply play a Chuck Berry riff repeatedly throughout a track - the pair sparked off each other, forging a deep bond. Despite a contretemps between Bowie's management and Slick at the end of the sessions, Earl returned to the Bowie band in 1983 for Serious Moonlight and then again during the early 2000s, when he became again, a key member of the group, up to The Next Day.  Today, Station to Station stands out as one of Bowie's finest records, the pivot from Young Americans' funk and soul to the electronic abstractions and experimental textures which would emerge fully with Low. Despite the frenzied sessions, the album's six tracks are each mini-masterpieces. In this episode, the first of two devoted to the album, we take a leisurely stroll down memory lane and begin with Earl's reminiscences of pre-Beatles America, his first audition for Bowie and Visconti, bafflement at the Philly soul era, meeting and forgetting (and then meeting again) John Lennon, and the intense sessions that made up the first side of Station to Station. Thanks to Earl, Oliver and of course the regal Tank for all their time and help in assembling this episode and as ever, please do let me know what you think of our chat and share this podcast far and wide! Follow Earl Slick on Instagram and Facebook Intro/Outro music by Leah Kardos
1/28/202457 minutes, 19 seconds
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S4 Ep6: Leah Kardos on The Next Day Part 4

In this episode we analyse The Next Day Extra, November 2013's accompanying min-album chock-full of tasty treats, rambunctious remixes and some songs that inexplicably never made it onto the album proper. Never mind. Now they get their moment in the sun and thanks to Leah Kardos's encyclopaedic knowledge of all things late-era Bowie, a fascinating conversation ensues in which we gallop across this collection and appreciate anew the understated and undersung treasures that await within. Thanks again to Leah for all her time and insights and for making this conversation so enjoyable and illuminating. You can find out more about her work here and follow her here on Twittex. The opening and closing music on this and previous episodes is also composed by Leah - follow her musical adventures here! 
12/31/202333 minutes, 30 seconds
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S4 Ep5: Leah Kardos on The Next Day Part 3

Stadium rock! Ziggy! Morrissey? John Cooper Clarke? The Singing Detective! Join author of Blackstar Theory: The Last Works of David Bowie, musician and director of The Visconti Studio Dr Leah Kardos as she continues her full-spectrum analysis of The Next Day, David Bowie's masterful penultimate album from 2013. In this episode, we look at the final three songs of the album - (You Will) Set The World On Fire, You Feel So Lonely You Could Die and brooding closer Heat.  This is the third of four episodes devoted to The Next Day and its unruly children on The Next Day Extra. 
12/26/202344 minutes, 3 seconds
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S4 Ep4: Leah Kardos on The Next Day Part 2

We're back! And by we, I mean me and musician, writer and academic Leah Kardos, amongst whose many achievements is the critically-acclaimed book 'Blackstar Theory: The Last Works of David Bowie' which takes a thoughtful and informed view of Bowie's final projects. She is also a friend and trusted collaborator of Tony Visconti's, founding The Visconti Studio at London's Kingston University. Currently, Leah's working on her next book, exploring Kate Bush's 'Hounds of Love' album. In this conversation, we continue our deep dive into The Next Day, with anecdotes, opinions, random theories and what we hope are facts, all of which will hopefully  entertain you as much as they did us, in the making of this podcast. Huge thanks this episode to for tons of helpful information, a shoutout to our writing hero Chris O'Leary and thanks again to Leah for her custom-made theme music for this episode. 
8/28/20231 hour, 16 minutes, 11 seconds
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S4 Ep3: Leah Kardos on The Next Day Part 1

The Next Day is 10. And what a sprawling, dense forest of darkness, enervation and guttural thrills it is. The perfect halfway point between the charismatic rock of Reality and ethereal elusive Blackstar, it's often overlooked and overshadowed by that monumental successor. But there is a lot here to unpack and to do it, I could think of no one better than Leah Kardos, senior lecturer in music at Kingston University where she co-founded the Visconti Studio with Tony Visconti, the leader of The Stylophone Orchestra, a frequent contributor to The Wire magazine and author of the universally acclaimed Blackstar Theory: The Last Works of David Bowie a wonderfully engaging tome that offers a rich reading of Bowie's final works through the eyes of a musician, musicologist, historian and fan. In this, the first part of our conversation about The Next Day, Leah and I discuss the background to the album's recording, the uniquely long timespan of sessions that indicated a very different approach from Bowie and Visconti, the wealth of themes emerging in the text and quite a bit of tangential chat too along the way. And as you'll hear, this is an album that really does fascinate Kardos - she has oodles of Bowie related material including performances, talks, podcast and song analyses on YouTube that are really worth checking out too.
3/24/20231 hour, 21 minutes, 27 seconds
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S4 Ep2: Mike Garson on Aladdin Sane

In this episode we talk to the one and only Mike Garson, pianist extraordinaire! From playing with the Spiders from Mars to improvising one of the most extraordinary passages in pop music – that utterly frenetic piano solo in Aladdin Sane – to the elegance of 2003’s Reality - Garson was one of the only musicians to have played with Bowie across decades, sculpting the sound for Aladdin Sane, Pin Ups, Diamond Dogs, Young Americans, Black Tie White Noise, Outside, Earthling, Heathen and Reality. And, as he explains here, he was originally only hired for eight weeks…! In this episode, Mike talks us through his story, demonstrates his process live and reflects on how, almost half a century later, people still love that solo.  Check out everything Garson here
10/9/202232 minutes, 47 seconds
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S4 Ep1: Brett Morgen on Moonage Daydream

The auteur responsible for one of the most talked-about Bowie events in years, Brett Morgen, joins me for this episode of albumtoalbum - the first of a new season! - to discuss the ideas behind, meanings within and reaction to, his film Moonage Daydream. In a wide ranging talk, Brett talks about the acclaim and complaints the film has garnered, why he made it the way he did, why he didn't include your personal favourite Bowie moments and what he might do next.  Recorded over Zoom (apologies for the poor sound quality) in September 2022, our conversation was incredibly insightful and answered a lot of questions I had about the film. We only got started when we had to sign off. But despite warning me before tape rolled, that he wouldn't choose his favourite album, he rather sweetly did, at the end. And it was a semi surprise.  Please enjoy this episode and let me know what you think! 
10/1/202252 minutes, 43 seconds