David Bowie – Changes (1972)

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Bowie has said that the track “started out as a parody of a nightclub song, a kind of throwaway”. The musical arrangement featured the composer’s saxophone, Rick Wakeman’s keyboards and Mick Ronson’s strings, while the stuttering chorus has been compared to The Who. The lyrics focused on the compulsive nature of artistic reinvention (“Strange fascination, fascinating me / Changes are taking the pace I’m going through”) and distancing oneself from the rock mainstream (“Look out, you rock ‘n’ rollers”). The song has also been interpreted as touting “Modern Kids as a New Race”, a theme echoed on the following album track, “Oh! You Pretty Things”. Rolling Stone’s contemporary review of Hunky Dory considered that “Changes” could be “construed as a young man’s attempt to reckon how he’ll react when it’s his time to be on the maligned side of the generation schism”.

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