When I bought this album, I knew something new was about to happen. For the past two years I have followed David Bowie and Ziggy, and when he left his band, I figured that there was going to be a change in the air. What is Bowie without Mick Ronson? "Diamond Dogs" is another step into the artist's future, but it was also the bridge between his glam world and the planet of New York City soul. The song "1984" with its Barry White instrumentation was the clue that there will be another world after this album.
At the time (in 1974) I felt that this wasn't a complete collection. Ziggy and "Aladdin Sane" sounded like a full album, as well as "Pin-Ups." "Diamond Dogs" struck me as a work in progress. I could tell by the album's scope that there will be a theatrical show to go with it, but didn't think by any means it would be a depression era Bowie look with longer hair. "Rebel Rebel" was an instant Bowie classic, and that was another puzzling piece of the puzzle. The credit goes to "Bowie" as he didn't need the "David" anymore?
From day one, I have always loved the "Sweet Thing" melody as well as "We Are The Dead." That hasn't changed with me for the past 43 years. I played the album in its entirety yesterday afternoon, and those music pieces still hold up for me. The only song I'm not fond of is "Rock n' Roll With Me." I never liked the song. It's a perfect composition of its kind, but I loved the theater aspect of "We Are The Dead" as it builds up in its intensity. "Sweet Thing" works the same way as it goes into its "Candidate" part. Those songs are the walls which contain the album's mood and set piece. "1984" is interesting in this context, because the sound is so different from the rest of this album. Side one with the "Future Legend" to "Sweet Thing" and then "Rebel Rebel" strikes me as a classic programming on a record side. I don't want to pick up the needle whatsoever! It's like a short film. A beginning, a middle, and an end. "Rock n' Roll With Me" and "1984" sticks out musically if not in theme on the side 2. Still, it's a fantastic album. And the original vinyl sounds amazing when you play this record loud.