Exhaustive survey of David Bowie and his music.
Recent years have seen the publication of a variety of Bowie books, most notably the lengthy, impressive biographies by Marc Spitz (Bowie: A Biography, 2009) and Paul Trynka (David Bowie: Starman, 2011). Bowie is an unquestionably influential artist. However, considering all the detailed Bowie-centric material available, what else do we need to know about him? According to Doggett (You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup, 2010, etc.), too much Bowie information isn't enough. The author so reveres his subject that he decided to dissect each lyric and every note played by the Thin White Duke. The result is as comprehensive, and exhausting, as one might expect from a 450-page examination of a prolific artist's entire recorded output. This isn't to say that Doggett isn't a competent analyst. In fact, there aren’t many writers who have the combination of classic-rock knowledge, reverence for an artist and sheer patience to successfully pull off this sort of project. Doggett clearly conducted massive amounts of research on his subject, offering both historical context for Bowie's albums and the genesis of nearly every tune, and he’s undyingly passionate about his subject, proudly trumpeting the hits and coolly dissing the misses. For those Bowie-heads who didn't get what they needed from Spitz and Trynka, there are plenty of biographical tidbits sprinkled throughout the book. However, Doggett’s book will have a limited audience.
Well-executed, but for hardcore Bowie fans only.