David Bowie - in 1971, at the threshold of gender-bending.

David Bowie - in 1971, at the threshold of gender-bending.
David Bowie – in 1971, at the threshold of glitter, gender-bending and shapes of things to come.

David Bowie – In Concert with John Peel – June 20,1971 – BBC Radio 1 –

David Bowie’s breakthrough album Hunky Dory wouldn’t come out until December, but this concert gives a lot of previews of coming attractions. Big changes were coming down. The Man Who Sold World, which had been released only months before, laid the groundwork for what was to come. It could be said this concert, hosted by none other than John Peel and recorded at the BBC’s Paris Theatre in London, was a gestation period for Glam as it was to become. Six months later, the whole scene would change.

So this could be considered historic – probably on the par with David Bowie’s Glastonbury performance, which occurred three days later, on June 23, 1971. It has often been said that the Glastonbury appearance literally changed Bowie’s career and it’s interesting to note this concert for John Peel occurred three days earlier. It’s also important to note that David Bowie was not an overnight success, and that even the prior Man Who Sold The World was considered a commercial failure at the time, even though time has placed it in one of the pivotal albums of the early 70s – we wouldn’t get around to acknowledging that until the 1990s.

As for this concert, part of the series of concerts put on by John Peel, David Bowie enthusiasts have probably heard this one thousands of times. It’s still exciting to listen to, just to know what was around the corner.

I know I say it a lot, but you really do need to play this one loud.


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