David Bowie – David Bowie Philips SBL 7912 (1969)
David Bowie’s career underwent something of a sea change between his debut and his sophomore album — curiously, both self-titled. On the debut, he charted a path firmly in line with prim and proper British folk pop, albeit with an intelligent wit and alacrity. For this, his second album, he switches sides and turns toward the counter-culture (just look at the changes in hairstyles on the album covers!), with a far more modern sound rooted in the folk-rock of Donovan and the like. Yet this album is listenable only about once, with lots of stilted, half-formed songs and rather under-developed performances. The hints of pure rock on “Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed” and elsewhere proved to be the way forward for Bowie. He would go further in that direction with his next effort, The Man Who Sold the World.