Friday, January 23, 1976

David Bowie Station to Station released

Station to Station

David Bowie

Released: January 23, 1976

Peak: 3 US, 5 UK, 2 CN, 8 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.1 UK, 3.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Station to Station [10:11]
  2. Golden Years [4:00] (11/17/75, 10 US, 12 CB, 14 HR, 15 RR, 3 CL, 1 CO, 8 UK, 34 AU, airplay: 1 million)
  3. Word on a Wing [5:50]
  4. TVC 15 [5:31] (4/30/76, 64 US, 20 CL, 8 CO, 33 UK)
  5. Stay [6:13] (7/76, 25 CL, 31 CO)
  6. Wild Is the Wind (Tiomkin/ Washington) [6:00] (11/19/81, 38 CL, 11 CO, 24 UK)

Songs written by David Bowie unless indicated otherwise.

Total Running Time: 37:45

The Players:

  • David Bowie (vocals, guitar, saxophone, Minimoog, Mellotron)
  • Carlos Alomar, Earl Slick (guitar)
  • Roy Bittan (piano, organ)
  • Dennis Davis (drums)
  • George Murray (bass)
  • Warren Peace (backing vocals)
  • Harry Maslin (melodica, synthesizer, vibraphone)


4.303 out of 5.00 (average of 27 ratings)

Quotable: “Enormously influential on post-punk.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

For Station to Station, David Bowie introduced yet another persona – the Thin White Duke. The character has been described as “a mad aristocrat” and “amoral zombie.” WK Bowie dressed in white shirt, black trousers and waistcoat to assume the personality.

Musically, the album was a mix of the “plastic soul” or blue-eyed soul Bowie explored on Young Americans with the new influences from krautrock and electronic music of bands such as Neu! and Kraftwerk. “Bowie seemed to step back, ponder the future of rock, and then turn up the guitars and the art-rock sensibilities and make a completely engaging and evocative album.” AZ

Station to Station is a transitional album that creates its own distinctive style. Abandoning any pretense of being a soulman, yet keeping rhythmic elements of soul, David Bowie positions himself as a cold, clinical crooner and explores a variety of styles.” AMG “Everything from epic ballads and disco to synthesized avant pop is present on Station to Station, but what ties it together is Bowie’s cocaine-induced paranoia and detached musical persona.” AMG

Lyrically, he drew on his preoccupations with Friedrich Nietzsche, the occultism of Aleister Crowley, Grail mythology, and the Kabbalah. WK Author Nicholas Pegg said the album’s theme was a clash of “occultism and Christianity.” WK The Christian element was most obvious in “the hymn-like Word on a Wing.” WK Bowie said it came from “the darkest days of my life…I’m sure that it was a call for help.” WK

“At its heart, Station to Station is an avant-garde art-rock album, most explicitly on” AMG “the epic sprawl of the title trackAMG, a song which finds Bowie “introducing the Thin White Duke character and building into an incendiary rocker,” AMG and “the playful TVC 15 [which] takes the listener on a bumpy ride into unholy tech-love.” AZ

“The irresistible Golden Years,” AZ complete with “disco stylings,” AMG was the first track recorded for the album and was released as the first single. It exemplified Bowie’s new direction by infusing the sound established with Young Americans with “a harsher, grinding edge.” WK Bowie said he wrote the song initially for Elvis Presley, but he rejected it. Bowie’s wife, Angie, claimed it was written for her.

Still, “the soul of David Bowie is pretty much meshed into every track” AZ such as on the “physically wrenching and funk-drenched Stay.” AZ There’s also the “the cool crooning of Wild Is the Wind and ‘Word on a Wing.’” AMG The former was the “album’s sole cover, and has been praised as one of the finest vocal performances of Bowie’s career.” WK

“It’s not an easy album to warm to, but its epic structure and clinical sound were an impressive, individualistic achievement, as well as a style that would prove enormously influential on post-punk.” AMG In The Rolling Stone Album Guide, Rob Sheffield called it “the most intense music of his life.” WK NPR’s Jem Awad said it “paved the way not only for thousands of artists who were influenced by it, but also for the brilliant wave of experimentation that followed over the next five years.” WK

Notes: The 1990 Rykodisc reissue adds live versions of “Word on a Wing” and “Stay.” A 2010 reissue expanded the collection to a 3-CD special edition and 5-disc CD/DVD set.

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First posted 2/20/2008; last updated 7/31/2021.

Saturday, January 17, 1976

Today in Music (1966): Simon & Garfunkel Sounds of Silence released

Sounds of Silence

Simon & Garfunkel

Released: January 17, 1966

Peak: 21 US, 13 UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.1 UK, 6.0 world (includes US + UK)

Genre: folk rock


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. The Sound of Silence (electric version) (11/12/65, 12 BB, 11 CB, 11 GR, 12 HR, 50 AC, 1 CL, 7 UK, 2 CN, 2 AU, 2 DF)
  2. Leaves That Are Green
  3. Blessed
  4. Kathy’s Song
  5. Somewhere They Can’t Find Me
  6. Anji
  7. Richard Cory
  8. A Most Peculiar Man
  9. April Come She Will
  10. We’ve Got a Groovy Thing Goin’
  11. I Am a Rock (4/29/66, 3 BB, 4 CB, 2 GR, 2 HR, 2 CL, 17 UK, 20 AU, 10 DF)

Total Running Time: 29:09


3.532 out of 5.00 (average of 12 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

When the folk-rock trend kicked in, producer Tom Wilson lifted the acoustic version of The Sound of Silence from Simon & Garfunkel’s Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. album and overdubbed it with electric guitar, bass, and drums. After releasing it as a single, it took off and hit #1 and became a quintessential song of the new folk-rock movement. To capture the moment, Simon & Garfunkel reunited and recorded a second album titled Sounds of Silence, featuring the new rendition of the song.

While recorded only 18 months after the duo’s debut, “the sound here seemed a million miles away from the gentle harmonizing and unassuming acoustic accompaniment on the first record.” BE They also reworked a full half dozen songs from Paul Simon’s 1965 release The Paul Simon Songbook. Simon also rewrote “Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.” as Somewhere They Can’t Find Me. BE

“The parts that work best, Kathy’s Song and April Come She Will, two of the most personal songs in Simon’s output, were similar to the stripped-down originals Simon had cut solo in England, and among the most affecting (as opposed to affected) folk-style records of their era.” BE “But it also had flaws, some of which only became fully apparent as their audience matured: the snide, youthful sensibilities of I Am a Rock and Blessed haven’t aged well.” BE

“Though a rushed effort, this was a far stronger album than their debut, mostly thanks to Simon’s compositions; indeed, in one fell swoop, the world learned not only of the existence of a superb song-poet in Paul Simon, but, in Simon’s harmonizing with Art Garfunkel, the finest singing duo since the Everly Brothers.” BE

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 5/5/2011; last updated 10/9/2023.