Speed Of Life: David Bowie Song-by-Song Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by prymel, Apr 30, 2023.

  1. Daniel Plainview

    Daniel Plainview God's Lonely Man

    Jean Genie

    Popular with the fans, but not a personal favorite. I'm sorry.

    alugjk, Ken.e., KangaMom and 13 others like this.
  2. hutlock

    hutlock Forever Breathing

    Cleveland, OH, USA
    No need to apologize, amigo!
    Ken.e., KangaMom, prymel and 3 others like this.
  3. 22 ziggies

    22 ziggies Forum Resident

    Hamburg germany
    Jean Genie

    If the album has a low point than for me it is this one....

    But still 5/5
    alugjk, Ken.e., KangaMom and 8 others like this.
  4. richard a

    richard a Forum Resident

    borley, essex, uk
    This packs such a punch doesn't it?
    Right from the start it pounds away, until, after four wonderful minutes it comes to a crashing dead stop, leaving the breathless listener desperate for more.
    There's not a lot I can say really, other than - it's just fabulous.

    Interestingly for such a Bowie classic, it kind of got left on the shelf towards the end of his live career. A staple of his live shows until the end of the Glass Spider tour, but it only made occasional appearances after that. Some late period Earthling shows, some Reality shows, and not at all in the 'lets do all the hits' Glastonbury 2000 gig. Maybe DB had tired of it?
    But I never have. It grips me everytime I hear it.

    5/5 - Let yourself go!
    alugjk, Ken.e., KangaMom and 16 others like this.
  5. Beachedboy

    Beachedboy Forum Resident

    But then Blockbuster nicked the drums from Rock n Roll Part 2 out just before that so....
    Ken.e., NekoM, prymel and 2 others like this.
  6. CN211276

    CN211276 Forum Resident

    Cardiff, UK
    This is the song that got me into Bowie big time, following the lost and found TOTP appearance. I bought the Ziggy Stardust album shortly afterwards and bought all his albums on release up until and including Scary Monsters. I had caught up on his back catalogue by the end of 73. My liking for hard rock can be traced back to this song. 4.8/5
    alugjk, Ken.e., KangaMom and 15 others like this.
  7. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer The Great CD in the Sky

    Málaga, Spain
    Thanks for reminding me about "Block Buster"! I was thinking about which other song used the same riff around the same time and that was it. Nice story btw.
  8. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    With that glam stomp it’s clearly a 5/5.
    alugjk, Ken.e., KangaMom and 12 others like this.
  9. Brian x

    Brian x the beautiful ones are not yet born

    Los Angeles
    Jean Genie

    Well we're back in a time-warp '70s American urban grunge world with dead hair, capsules, modules (and domes?), reveling in decadence, returning to the theme/concept/vibe of the LP. In retrospect, after The Prettiest Star plays in the pre-apocalyptic cabaret, the compère tunes into a time machine quantum-distorted radio for a cover of an ancient Rolling Stones song before the band gets back on stage for this absolute raver.

    Great all the way around and brings in just a taste of avant garde dissonance to leaven the straight-up rock n roll blues (particularly on the Top of the Pops and Stage versions).

    I have a dream-interpretation that I'm sure wasn't DB's intent but it's what I picture: A little Laughing Gnome type (but much more sinister and glam, "she/Jean/genie"), a trickster demon-muse, hitches a ride on a young man ("he/you/Greenie") as he's heading into the big city, driving him to screaming bawling fits, neon/razor eating, and the inability to drive his module (poor little Greenie).
    alugjk, Ken.e., KangaMom and 11 others like this.
  10. Putrifiers II

    Putrifiers II Forum Resident

    London, UK
    The Jean Genie

  11. NightGoatToCairo

    NightGoatToCairo That's my Wookey Hole, Chewbacca!

    Hampshire, UK
    The Jean Genie - Tricky one. Sometimes I dig it, sometimes it's meh. It certainly is a relief after the last 2 songs on the album. Maybe it's the anticipation of the next song that makes me feel good about it, when listening to Aladdin Sane. The best live versions were Earthling and Reality Tours.
    Brian x, alugjk, Ken.e. and 13 others like this.
  12. Lars Medley

    Lars Medley I lost on Jeopardy!


    This isn't my favorite song to name check Jean Genet (Actor's Opprobrium by of Montreal embedded below), but it's still pretty great.


  13. MicSmith

    MicSmith Forum Resident

    Let’s Spend the Night Together

    The energy is certainly there. It rocks along at a great pace and the playing it top drawer - but the ending really lets it down when it falls into an embarrassment of self indulgence. My least favourite on the album which ruins what would have been an almost perfect record.

    Brian x, alugjk, Ken.e. and 7 others like this.
  14. The Jean Genie is a 5/5.
    alugjk, Ken.e., KangaMom and 5 others like this.
  15. Piiijiii

    Piiijiii Hundalasiliah

    Ruhr Area, Germany
    The Jean Genie

    Another rocker that suffers from a weak chorus and standard riffs. The verses are mildly promising. A generous 3/5
    Brian x, alugjk, Ken.e. and 4 others like this.
  16. omikron

    omikron Avid contributor to Paul McCartney's bank account

    Lexington, KY
    I'm lurking, gang. Dipping in here and there and sadly too busy to properly participate. Hoping to get involved more once we get to Low.

    In the meanwhile, I'm enjoying this thread!
  17. pocketcalculator

    pocketcalculator Forum Resident

    New York City
    "Jean Genie" - Part of me is bored to the point of aggravation by this song. It's a stupid, cliched riff, played over and over. But the Spiders really elevate it with their playing, creating a tension that builds precisely because of the moronic repetition, Ronson's crunchy chords and stinging fills, Woody's stomping beat, and Trevor's bouncing bass shifting into overdrive to push us towards the end, when we shift gears into the key change and lift off. 4/5
    Lars Medley, alugjk, Ken.e. and 8 others like this.
  18. sillyboyblue

    sillyboyblue Forum Resident

    Busy working weekend, better late than never…?

    Prettiest Star

    It’s not a stand-out track, bring surrounded by so many absolute classics but, after repeated plays in isolation, I feel it’s underrated…

    It’s a great tune, so catchy that it’s still a terrific, fun little earworm, even days later!

    It’s a great recording with the spiders, suits the sonic signature of the album, fits perfectly in the running order and I love the addition of the sax!

    4/5 All because of what you are
  19. sillyboyblue

    sillyboyblue Forum Resident

    Let’s Spend the Night Together

    I’m not moved by the original so it’s fairly predictable to say I think this is an improvement.

    It’s always been my least favourite track on the album, but then it’s surrounded by top drawer classic Bowie…

    Great little rocker, nicely picks up the pace to lead into the majestic Jean Genie.

    Brian x, alugjk, Ken.e. and 5 others like this.
  20. J. Frank Parnell

    J. Frank Parnell Forum Resident

    Auburn, MA
    The Jean Genie

    Not much to add to the rave reviews here. It was the song that caused me to buy the Aladdin Sane album 50 years ago and sparked my interest in Bowie so for that it will always hold a special place for me. I still really enjoy the song, especially Mick Ronson and the band. 5/5
  21. Cat People

    Cat People Forum Resident

    West Midlands

    Well, we are in the realms of brilliant pop here. I hear the critiques, but hey, the whole thing, put together as it is, the production, the crunchy guitar, the band interaction, bowie vocals and mad lyrics - who else was this good at that point? I kinda hear some of those criticisms but some people were scoring some of his earlier demos and half written attempts at 3s and even 4s! So,...

    This is 5/5 It is uber-glam Bowie. It is everything he is, it reeks his attitude and swagger at this stage.
  22. ArpMoog

    ArpMoog Forum Resident

    5/5 trance like groove , cool ending , good fun. I love it!!!
  23. moomoomoomoo

    moomoomoomoo WhoNeedsRealityWhenThere'sMoreSleepToLookForwardTo

    3.75/5 Fun rocker that I've heard too many times. I slightly prefer some of the live versions.
  24. moomoomoomoo

    moomoomoomoo WhoNeedsRealityWhenThere'sMoreSleepToLookForwardTo

    It would have been nice, but Ian Hunter's solo career sure would have been damaged!
    I'm neutral on the slow start live versions
    Putrifiers II, Ken.e. and prymel like this.
  25. richard a

    richard a Forum Resident

    borley, essex, uk
    There’s an issue I have with this point in side two. The gap between Let’s Spend The Night… and Jean Genie is WAY too long. It may only be a few seconds but it feels like an age. Surely it’d be so much better to end with that climatic ‘Now’ and go straight into Jean Genie?

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