Does a 'first track' of a 'debut album' set the tone for a career. If yes, then I like it

Does a 'first track' of a 'debut album' set the tone for a career. If yes, then I like it

Joined: July 16th, 2006, 2:02 pm

September 12th, 2017, 12:42 am #1

Imaginative. Maybe self depreciating. Appreciation for traditional rhythm. Enjoys pop culture. Makes debatable choices regarding fidelity. Deep down appreciates the simple things in life. Seems set in ways and unlikely to suprise... "Suprise!!
Strikes the bell for 5 o'clock, Uncle Arthur closes shop
Screws the tops on all the bottles, turns the lights out, locks it up
Climbs across his bike and he's away
Cycles past the gasworks, past the river, down the high street
Back to mother, it's another empty day


Uncle Arthur likes his mommy
Uncle Arthur still reads comics
Uncle Arthur follows Batman

Round and round the rumours fly, how he ran away from Mum
On his 32nd birthday, told her that he'd found a chum Mother cried and raved and yelled and fussed
Arthur left her no illusion, brought the girl round, save confusion
Sally was the real thing, not just lust


Uncle Arthur vanished quickly
Uncle Arthur and his new bride
Uncle Arthur follows Sally
Round and round goes Arthur's head, hasn't eaten well for days
Little Sally may be lovely, but cooking leaves her in a maze

Uncle Arthur packed his bags and fled
Back to mother, all's forgiven, serving in the family shop

He gets his pocket money, he's well fed
Uncle Arthur past the gasworks
Uncle Arthur past the river
Uncle Arthur down the high street
Uncle Arthur follows mother
Last edited by Dr.Ink on September 12th, 2017, 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: September 14th, 2007, 8:06 pm

September 12th, 2017, 6:58 am #2

As interesting to ponder the first track on the first album as much as the much discussed last track on the last album.
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Joined: April 20th, 2014, 4:04 pm

September 12th, 2017, 9:52 am #3

Always loved this track, yes I know it's early Bowie, it's such a childish song and I used to play this and The Laughing Gnome to my nephew and my own 2 children as they were growing up, so it has a special place in my heart.
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Joined: July 16th, 2006, 2:02 pm

September 12th, 2017, 11:51 am #4

The bitter sounds better on a stolen oboe.
Uncle Arthur at 32 moves out of the parents basement and
attempts an adult relationship. After that goes pear shaped
Arthur runs back to the life of little rewards or demands.
All seemingly settled before the dinner bell. Phew, what a week!

This is a crazily acerbic observation from a 19 year old. Funny, yet poignant
and sad.
Here's a rendering of one of that first album's songs that I like.
He's not crazy - he's just got ptsd.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=waBhfEmnJ0M
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Joined: December 23rd, 2013, 4:58 pm

September 12th, 2017, 1:20 pm #5

It's Bowie's first gay ditty.

Sally is a Victorian male prostitute. Notice Arthur is living with mother (domineering mother absent father). Bowie refers to a 'chum' not a she or he then settles on Sally. A Sally would often wear make up and look quite feminine too. 'Bring the girl round save confusion' 'Sally was the real thing not just lust'.

I think it was Bowie's response to what was happening at that time in Britain to gay men. In the film Victim the boys are referred to as Sally.
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Joined: November 17th, 2012, 9:32 am

September 13th, 2017, 7:28 am #6

Interesting thread. This raises the question for me about where DB's career really begins. I like the early-mid sixties work but I feel they are a kind of apprenticeship.

I think the second 'David Bowie' album is where the career really begins. And the first song on that album very much sets the scene for the rest of his career.
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Joined: September 14th, 2007, 8:06 pm

September 13th, 2017, 8:15 am #7

Would be great to get an expanded release of Early On, collecting up those early sides, the alternate mixes and takes which are spread across several releases. And of course the quality bootleg material that has come out since it's it's original release.
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Joined: May 1st, 2017, 10:28 am

September 13th, 2017, 3:31 pm #8

It's Bowie's first gay ditty.

Sally is a Victorian male prostitute. Notice Arthur is living with mother (domineering mother absent father). Bowie refers to a 'chum' not a she or he then settles on Sally. A Sally would often wear make up and look quite feminine too. 'Bring the girl round save confusion' 'Sally was the real thing not just lust'.

I think it was Bowie's response to what was happening at that time in Britain to gay men. In the film Victim the boys are referred to as Sally.
Ena, listened to this song for 47 years and never picked up on that at all. Chum just seemed to be the most appropriate couplet to Mum and I thought "Brought the girl round, save confusion" was conformation it was a female plus they got married which for 2 men was as likely as flying cars being a reality in 1967.
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Joined: September 14th, 2007, 8:06 pm

September 13th, 2017, 3:37 pm #9

Also see She's Got Medals: Medals = slang for testicles
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Joined: May 1st, 2017, 10:28 am

September 13th, 2017, 3:47 pm #10

There's zero doubt about the gender of Mary/Eileen in "medals"...
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Joined: December 23rd, 2013, 4:58 pm

September 13th, 2017, 3:52 pm #11

Ena, listened to this song for 47 years and never picked up on that at all. Chum just seemed to be the most appropriate couplet to Mum and I thought "Brought the girl round, save confusion" was conformation it was a female plus they got married which for 2 men was as likely as flying cars being a reality in 1967.
A lot of gay men refer to their partners as 'her', often to establish their roles. A lot of butch men have camp effeminate partners.

Actually a lot of secret marriages took place from the 1700s. I see 'save confusion' as a metaphor for an outing. The relationship Arthur saught was an 'outing'.

It's a VERY clever song by DB.
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Joined: May 1st, 2017, 10:28 am

September 13th, 2017, 3:59 pm #12

Yes it is a clever song if it was that veiled and if he and Ken Pitt were as close as Pitt has alluded to, then it well maybe the case.
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Joined: September 14th, 2007, 8:06 pm

September 13th, 2017, 4:34 pm #13

There's zero doubt about the gender of Mary/Eileen in "medals"...
OBVZ
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Joined: August 28th, 2014, 11:56 am

September 27th, 2017, 6:52 am #14

It's Bowie's first gay ditty.

Sally is a Victorian male prostitute. Notice Arthur is living with mother (domineering mother absent father). Bowie refers to a 'chum' not a she or he then settles on Sally. A Sally would often wear make up and look quite feminine too. 'Bring the girl round save confusion' 'Sally was the real thing not just lust'.

I think it was Bowie's response to what was happening at that time in Britain to gay men. In the film Victim the boys are referred to as Sally.
"Sally is a Victorian male prostitute."



Interesting concept.

I had a look in a turn of the century (1909) dictionary of Victorian slang which is downloadable :

http://publicdomainreview.org/collectio ... lang-1909/

and couldn't locate it. (Sally)

Any references or pointers?

thanks.
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Joined: September 14th, 2007, 8:06 pm

September 27th, 2017, 7:05 am #15

PERVERT
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Joined: December 23rd, 2013, 4:58 pm

September 27th, 2017, 4:07 pm #16

Wilde mentions Sally, Conan Doyle mentions Sally. It'll be in the urban dictionary. A Sally is a camp OTT effeminate man, South Africans use it, sailors use it. It's referenced in Round The Horne.

It's one of those things that pops up here and there.

Sally boys hung around in Molly Houses in Ripper Street
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Joined: January 25th, 2011, 4:08 pm

September 28th, 2017, 2:58 am #17

Cheers to Ena for a very good catch. What a strange and clever boy that Bo was. In his 19 year old iteration he's still bowling us over from beyond the grave. Time!

Not unlike Robin, Uncle Arthur followed Batman too:

"Homosexual interpretations have been part of the academic study of the Batman franchise at least since psychiatrist Fredric Wertham asserted in his 1954 book Seduction of the Innocent that "Batman stories are psychologically homosexual". Wertham, as well as parodies, fans, and other independent parties, have described Batman and his sidekick Robin (Dick Grayson) as homosexual, possibly in a relationship with each other."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexua ... _franchise
Last edited by pleasecomeaway on September 28th, 2017, 3:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 23rd, 2013, 4:58 pm

September 28th, 2017, 6:44 am #18

It's littered with references.

Those early songs are clever in respect of gender,. Bowie often isn't clear whether he's addressing a girl or boy, when he does he endows them with names like Molly and Sally. Even as recently as 1.Outside when he used Ramona (oarman) an orman is a person who fingers his own ass as a broom is repeatedly shoved in and out that asshole. I think Bowie never stopped having fun with names.
Last edited by betty_turpin on September 28th, 2017, 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 1st, 2008, 5:51 pm

September 28th, 2017, 2:07 pm #19

But methinks Sally WAS actually a lady.

Methinks The Gentleman was singing about a fellow who was a real mama's boy who tries his hand at marriage and then leaves his bride due to what he perceives as a major shortcoming on said bride's part (lack of culinary skills) and returns to the regimen of his former life, with which he is more comfortable
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Joined: December 23rd, 2013, 4:58 pm

September 28th, 2017, 2:57 pm #20

You're probably right.
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