David Bowie: Station to Station (Deluxe Edition)

David Bowie: Station to Station (Deluxe Edition)
David Bowie‘s 1976 album, Station to Station is largely considered one of his most important albums. Perhaps that is why it is getting it’s fourth re-release. The 2010 deluxe edition not only includes a Dolby 5.1 mix of the album and the entire 1976 Nassau Coliseum show.
In the career arc of Bowie, Station to Station holds some pretty important significance. It introduced the world to David Bowie’s “last great character”. David Bowie had anointed himself “The Thin White Duke” by the mid-70s. The Duke was describe by Bowie as being “a nasty character indeed”. The Duke was a soulless albeit impeccably dressed man. The character is seen by many as reflecting Bowie during this period of time when his body and mind was ravaged by a heavy cocaine dependency. Bowie has commented that he remembers nothing about the Station to Station recording sessions.
By all accounts, Station to Station was recorded in a 10 day fury in Los Angeles. The recording process included several all night sessions fueled by cocaine. The result of these sessions ended up in one of the most accessible records of Bowie’s career.
The opening track “Station to Station” is a 10+ minute epic. The track starts off as a blues-inspired jam but around the six minute mark it changes drastically. The track morphs into a disco/funk dance tune complete with oogie-boogie piano and Chuck Berry-esque walking guitar. The track sounds even better in the re-released Dolby 5.1 mix. The sound is quite crisp which some audiophiles will have a problem with. It definitely lacks the warmness of vinyl but still seems to not fall victim to the loudness war.
The second and third CD of 1976 Nassau Coliseum show do fall a little more victim to the loudness war. The guitars seem sometimes unbearably crisp especially on tracks like “Suffragette City”. But besides that small complaint, the 1976 Nassau Coliseum show really showcases David Bowie at his best. The track list reads like a greatest hits of the first half of Bowie’s career. The track listing includes “Fame, “Queen Bitch”, “Life on Mars?”, “Five Years”, “Changes”, “Diamond Dogs”, “Rebel Rebel”, and a cover of The Velvet Underground classic “Waiting for the Man” among selections from Station to Station.
Overall, I can not imagine a more definitive version of Station to Station being released. The 2010 deluxe edition sounds great and includes as much material from the era as possible. Until new sound processing equipment is released to make the sound even better (if that can happen), 2010’s Station to Station should be as good as you can get.
Rating: 9.8/10
MP3: David Bowie “Station to Station”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!