Fifty years ago today – on 4 November 1970 – the late great Starman DAVID BOWIE released his third LP ‘THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD’, in the United States. Six
months later, in April 1971, it came out in his home country.
The LP’s artwork – featuring a cowboy in front of a mental asylum – designed by a Bowie friend, an underground comics artist called Michael J. Weller wasn’t really a Bowie-style image. At first Bowie thought it was a ‘horrible’ idea but later in 1999 he stated that he “actually thought the cartoon cover was really cool”.
Six months later the UK front cover artwork featured the iconic image we all know with Bowie on a chaise longue in a cream and blue satin ‘man’s dress‘, an early indication of his interest in exploiting his androgynous appearance.
Despite laudatory criticisms, the album wasn’t a big commercial success at first
but went on selling more copies over the years as Bowie became a superstar.
David Bowie: “I guess, taking away all the theatrics or the costuming
and the outer layers of what I do, I’m a writer… I write.”
AllMusic wrote: “Even though it contained no hits, ‘The Man Who Sold the World’, for most intents and purposes, was the beginning of David Bowie’s classic period… Musically, there isn’t
much innovation on The Man Who Sold the World, it is almost all hard blues-rock or psychedelic folk-rock, but there’s an unsettling edge to the band’s performance, which makes the record one of Bowie’s best albums.” Full review here. Score 4.5/5
Album in full (2015 remastered version)…