Album of the Day
The fast life in Los Angeles was taking a serious toll on David Bowie by the mid-1970s; fortunately the singer-songwriter saw the danger signs and opted for a new career in a new town, moving to Europe. Recorded in France and Berlin, LOW reflects the influence of krautrock and ambient music, with Brian Eno a key collaborator along with producer Tony Visconti (whose use of an Eventide H910 Harmonizer created the set's distinctive drum sound). The 1977 collection is split between a side of shorter art-rock songs (the classic “Sound and Vision”) and a side of atmospheric, predominantly instrumental tracks (“Warszawa”), a combination that label executives initially balked at releasing. Yet the album reached the Top 10 in England and just missed it in America, and outlets such as Pitchfork, Q and Paste now cite it as one of the decade's greatest. David Bowie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on this day in 1996, and the radical self-reinvention of LOW is one of the reasons why.