David Bowie and Tony Visconti

Tony Visconti & Opinions on David Bowie

Bowie is back! Jim and Greg review the new David Bowie album The Next Day, and speak with Bowie's longtime producer Tony Visconti.

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Music News

Changes are afoot at Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Not only will Donna Summer, Rush, and Public Enemy take their places in the Hall this April, but the institution also has a new CEO. Greg Harris started his career at the Baseball Hall of Fame, and assumed the Rock Hall's top job this January. The appointment earned him a shout-out from none other than The Roots' drummer Questlove, who whiled away his youth combing the bins at Harris's record store, the Philadelphia Record Exchange. Harris talks to Jim and Greg about the Rock Hall's notoriously-secretive induction process, why he doesn't mind Johnny Rotten bashing the Hall, and why Rush fans are the most polite fans in rock.

interview

Tony Visconti

While the performer gets all the glory, sometimes it's the producer who shares the guts. This week Jim and Greg revisit their conversation with one of rock's great behind-the-scenes men, Tony Visconti. Visconti has worked with everyone from The Moody Blues to Alejandro Escovedo, but is primarily known for the albums did with glam rockers T. Rex and David Bowie. Visconti relays how he was lucky enough to meet both men shortly after moving from Brooklyn to the UK; both were relatively young and undiscovered. Marc Bolan of T. Rex was still performing hippy folk songs as a member of Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Bowie was beginning song writing but had no direction. Visconti established long-term relationships with both Bowie and Bolan and helped them carve out their identities. In fact, he was tapped to produce Bowie's latest release, The Next Day which Jim and Greg review below.

reviewThe Next DayThe Next Day available on iTunes

Bowie The Next Day

Tony Visconti is back with Bowie on the singer's first album in ten years: The Next Day. And both are back in top form, according to Greg. He thinks it's Bowie's most consistent record since the 1980's and again hears that sweet spot between pop music and the avant garde. Jim has always found Bowie something of a charlatan, and can't recommend The Next Day. So the gentlemen are split: Buy It for Greg, Trash It for Jim.

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“Sylvia Plath”Peter Laughner

Recently, our own Jim's mood was descending into Bell Jar territory, so his wife told him to "Snap out of it, Sylvia Plath!" So, he looked to another "Sylvia Plath," to cheer himself up. That would be the 1982 track by Peter Laughner. The Cleveland singer/songwriter worked in the same scene as Pere Ubu, and it's a welcome addition to the Desert Island Jukebox.

Featured Songs

  1. Donna Summer, I Feel Love, I Remember Yesterday, Casablanca, 1977
  2. Whole Lotta Shakin‘ Goin’ On, Whole Lotta Shakin‘ Goin’ On, Single, Sun, 1957
  3. Kraftwerk, Komentenmelodie 2, Autobahn, Philips, 1974
  4. Rush, Tom Sawyer, Moving Pictures, Anthem, 1981
  5. David Bowie, The Stars (Are Out Tonight), The Next Day, Iso, 2013
  6. David Bowie, The Man Who Sold the World, The Man Who Sold the World, Mercury, 1970
  7. Procol Harum, Whiter Shade of Pale, Procol Harum, Regal Zonophone, 1967
  8. Georgie Fame, The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde, The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde, CBS, 1968
  9. T. Rex, Metal Guru, The Slider, EMI, 1972
  10. Tyrannosaurus Rex, Strange Orchestras, My People Were Fair…, Regal Zonophone, 1968
  11. T. Rex, Ride a White Swan, Bolan Boogie, Fly, 1972
  12. T. Rex, Bang a Gong (Get it On), Electric Warrior, Reprise, 1971
  13. T. Rex, Cosmic Dancer, Electric Warrior, Reprise, 1971
  14. The Moody Blues, Your Wildest Dreams, The Other Side of Life, Polydor, 1986
  15. Gentle Giant, Giant, Gentle Giant, Vertigo, 1970
  16. David Bowie, Space Oddity, Space Oddity, Phillips, 1972
  17. David Bowie, Heroes, Heroes, RCA, 1977
  18. Phoenix, Long Distance Call, It's Never Been Like That, EMI, 2006
  19. Satanic Surfers, What Ever, Going Nowhere Fast, Epitaph, 1999
  20. The Radio Dept., Heaven's On Fire, Clinging to a Scheme, Labrador, 2010
  21. Ultravox, Rise, Brilliant, Chrysalis, 2012
  22. Aimee Mann, Charmer, Charmer, SuperEgo, 2012

Footnotes

rockhall.com Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame cleveland.com Greg Harris philarecx.com Philadelphia Record Exchange lettersofnote.com Johnny Rotten on R&R Hall of Fame jdmanagement.com Tony Visconti amazon.co.uk Tony Visconti's Autobiography davidbowie.com David Bowie chicagotribune.com Greg's David Bowie Review goodreads.com The Bell Jar