David Bowie: Low

David Bowie Low cover art
Cover art for Low by David Bowie

Low is the eleventh stu­dio album by British musi­cian David Bowie, co-pro­duced by Bowie and Tony Vis­con­ti. Wide­ly regard­ed as one of Bowie’s most influ­en­tial releas­es, Low was the first of the “Berlin Tril­o­gy”, a series of col­lab­o­ra­tions with Bri­an Eno (though the album was main­ly record­ed in France and only mixed in West Berlin). The exper­i­men­tal, avant-garde style would be fur­ther explored on “Heroes” and Lodger. The album’s work­ing title was New Music Night and Day.

As a child, born in the late ’80s, I nev­er real­ly lis­tened to Bowie’s music that much, I know him best for his role as Gob­lin King Jareth in the movie Labyrinth. I’m much more famil­iar with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. His music ranges from the most beau­ti­ful, soft­est instru­men­tals to the loud­est bang­ing melodies that inspired me to write music in the first place.

As a Nine Inch Nails fan, I’m always look­ing to find unseen inter­views of Trent Reznor. I noticed that in a lot of inter­views, Trent Reznor idol­izes Bowie and his music. Trent even claims that his 1994 album “The Down­ward Spi­ral” was heav­i­ly inspired by David Bowie’s album Low. I nev­er real­ly under­stood how Bowie’s music inspired him to make the most beau­ti­ful songs I’ve ever heard. That’s when I decid­ed to immerse myself in Bowie’s music, start­ing with Low.

The first track “Speed Of Life” is very dif­fer­ent from what I imag­ined it to be. The instru­men­tal intro con­tains a lot of syn­the­siz­ers, as well as most of the tracks on this album. As I progress through the album, it only gets bet­ter. Low con­tains a lot of beau­ti­ful instru­men­tal tracks that I couldn’t believe that was pos­si­ble to cre­ate in the late ’70s. It reminds me of some of the recent work of Nine Inch Nails and some of the movies that I know from the ’80s mixed together.

It takes a few lis­tens to real­ly appre­ci­ate the extent of the music, slow­ly pick­ing up pieces of lyrics and glue them togeth­er.
Low is with­out a doubt one of the most ground­break­ing album of its time, and it made it very clear where Trent Reznor draws his inspi­ra­tion from.

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