Spin - p.82
"[This is] more art-folk and hippie-ish than his celebrated work. Strummed 12-string acoustic guitars and minor chords dominate..."
Q (Magazine) - p.1364 stars out of 5
-- "SPACE ODDITY was where Bowie threw off his folk-rock cloak to reveal the scrawny glam rocker beneath."
Mojo (Publisher) - 3/00, p.122
"Bowie's second album, the one on which he finally ditched all iontentions of becoming a second Anthony Newley..." n
Record Collector (magazine) - p.913 stars out of 5
-- "[I]t's mish-mash of styles and strummy experiments suggest he was still trying to settle on an identity."
Uncut (magazine)3 stars out of 5
-- "[The album] takes a folksy turn on the lovely acoustic confessionals 'Letter to Hermione' and 'An Occasional Dream'..."
SPACE ODDITY was originally released as MAN OF WORDS, MAN OF MUSIC on Mercury in 1969.
SPACE ODDITY is an Enhanced audio CD which contains regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.
Personnel: David Bowie (vocals, 12-string guitar, organ, stylophone, kalimba); Keith Christmas (acoustic guitar); Tim Renwick, Mick Wayne (guitar); Paul Buckmaster (cello); Tony Visconti (flute, recorder, bass); Benny Marshall and Friends (harmonica); Rick Wakeman (electric harpsichord, Mellotron); John Lodge, Herbie Flowers (bass); Terry Cox, John Cambridge (drums).
Producers: Gus Dudgeon, Tony Visconti.
Engineers: Ken Scott, Malcolm Toft, Barry Sheffield.
Digitally remastered by Peter Mew & Nigel Reeve (1999, Abbey Road Studios, London, England).
Personnel: David Bowie (vocals, 12-string guitar, kalimba); Tim Renwick (guitar, flute, recorder); Mick Wayne (guitar); Keith Christmas (acoustic guitar); Paul Buckmaster (cello); Tony Visconti (flute, recorder); Benny Marshall (harmonica); Rick Wakeman (electric harpsichord, Mellotron); Terry Cox, John Cambridge (drums).
Liner Note Author: Kevin Cann.
Recording information: Morgan Studios (06/1969-??/1970); Studio 2, Aeolian Hall, New Bond Street Longon (06/1969-??/1970); Trident Studio (06/1969-??/1970); Morgan Studios (06/1969/??/1970); Studio 2, Aeolian Hall, New Bond Street Longon (06/1969/??/1970); Trident Studio (06/1969/??/1970); Morgan Studios (12/20/1969); Studio 2, Aeolian Hall, New Bond Street Longon (12/20/1969); Trident Studio (12/20/1969).
Photographers: David Bebbington; Kenneth Pitt; Vernon Dewhurst.
Arrangers: David Bowie; Tony Visconti.
SPACE ODDITY was the first record on which David Bowie looked and sounded like the Bowie whom the world has come to know. One glance at the spooky, androgynous face that adorns the record was enough to signal that the Anthony Newley-influenced, light-pop singer who sang the novelty number "The Laughing Gnome" a few years earlier was a thing of the past. Leaving behind the mannered, English music hall-isms of his initial recordings, Bowie roughened up the sound, creating a ragged, eclectic mix of folk and rock tinged with electronic sounds. The record yielded his first American hit, and began the singer's soon-to-be meteoric rise to international rock icon-hood.
The title track, a sci-fi mini-epic, is an enduring classic in which Bowie squeezes every bit of drama from both his dour low range and the soaring upper reaches of his voice. Even after decades of continued airplay, "Space Oddity" is surprising for its intricate arrangement, nifty guitar playing, and palpable sense of interplanetary estrangement. Other fine and lesser-known musical moments include the sublimely subdued "Letter to Hermione," and the sprawling and strange "Memory of a Free Festival."