Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The Complete David Bowie by Nicholas Pegg Review

Written by Nicholas Pegg

New and Revised Edition

Music History, Biography


The career of David Bowie has been one of the most colorful and intriguing in modern rock history. In "The Complete David Bowie", Nicholas Pegg chronicles the star's every move--from his first appearance as balladeer Davy Jones in the 60s, and his spectacular, gender-bending turn in the 70s as Ziggy Stardust, to his starring roles in films like "The Man Who fell to Earth and "The Hunger."

This definitive reference also includes a detailed production history and an analysis of all Bowie's albums, including 2003's "Reality; hundreds of entries with facts and anecdotes about all his songs, plus unreleased rarities; and set lists and histories of every live show.


'The Complete David Bowie' isn't really a book that you can read from cover to cover but does that make it a bad book?

Far from it.  In fact, it's one of the best Bowie related books that I have read in a long time.  Maybe even the best.

Here, Nicholas Pegg, has managed to not only chronicle each facet of his career but managed to cast such an interesting eye over it that not once does it come across as stale or boring.  There is an absolute wealth of information here but not once does it overload the reader.

I've read this book a couple of times now and even now I keep finding little bits here and there that I missed so it's definitely up for re-reading as well, which makes this an absolute bargain.

Another thing that I liked was the simple fact that even though I have been a bit Bowie fan for as long as I remember, there were even things in this book that I didn't know.  I loved the fact that there were little surprises spread all through the book itself.

The section about his various movie appearances absolutely shines out as well.  Not only telling you which movies he has been in but also casting a critical eye over proceedings, this section is really well written and doesn't come across as casting Bowie as someone who doesn't make mistakes like some other Bowie books have been known to.  He is only human afterall but here, all the ups and downs of both his music and movie career are all here and accounted for.

If you are a Bowie fan then this is an absolutely essential purchase.  Even the hardcore fans will find something new and interesting here.  It's true this book is pretty much for a niche market but it's one of the best written accounts of someones career that I have ever read.

Presentation 4/5
Informative 5/5
Recommended 5/5
Overall 14/15 


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