On this day in 1977, David Bowie released his eleventh studio album, Low. It marked a turning point in Bowie’s career, musically, and was the first in the ‘Berlin trilogy’ of albums recorded with Brian Eno and Tony Visconti.
For Low, Bowie moved into a more avant garde, experimental sound that would become the basis of much of his later work. It came off the back of his contributions to the soundtrack for The Man Who Fell to Earth, which were subsequently rejected. It was the genesis for Low, which, despite commercial success, was met with a mixed response at the time, but is now often regarded as one Bowie’s best albums.
It was very ahead of its time, with inspiration from krautrock torchbearers, Kraftwerk and Neu! creeping into the album. With 1977 being the year that punk was born, it’s easy to see why Low was not understood upon its release. In later years, Low has been named the best album of the 1970’s by Pitchfork, and both NME and Q have listed it as the 14th greatest album of all time in separate polls.
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