With the release of Station to Station in 1976, Bowie introduces yet another persona: the Thin White Duke. But things aren’t going well to say the least. Drugs are taking him over the edge and he is starting to worry for his life. He and his friend Iggy Pop – who’s not doing great either – thus decide to leave Hollywood’s insanity and clean up their act in Berlin.
After producing an album for Iggy, he encounters producer Brian Eno. Eno takes Bowie to new ground and their collaboration will end up producing one of Bowie’s most acclaimed and influential pieces: Low, the first album of the so-called “Berlin Trilogy”. He finally sees the end of the tunnel.
This is the second part of The Great Bleep Forward, a BBC 6 documentary series about the history of electronic music. Listen to the previous part here: Part 1: The Pioneers.
In the late 70s, the punk revolution showed everyone that you didn’t need to be a great musician to make great music. But technology pushed things even further. As synthesizers were becoming more advanced and finally affordable, many bands started using them to create new sounds. People didn’t need musical training to use them, and it allowed them to liberate their ideas in a way that those using conventional instruments couldn’t.
Andrew Collins recalls the ups and downs of this exciting era through its influencial people including Brian Eno, David Bowie, bands from the New Romantics scene like The Human League and Ultravox, Depeche Mode, and New Order.