Fifty Year Friday: April 1973
David Bowie: Aladdin Sane
For those of us that were wearing out our vinyl copy of Ziggy Stardust, the next David Bowie album couldn’t come soon enough, yet who could have anticipated how different it would be, even taking into account the extreme differences between Hunky Dory and Ziggy? While not surpassing the excellence, quality, or musical appeal of Ziggy, it further supported Melody Makers 1971 characterization of him as “the ultimate pop chameleon.”
Museo Rosenbach: Zarathustra
I wish I could say I obtained this incredible album in 1973. Or even, in 1978, when I scoured the record stores in Italy for progressive rock LPs. Fortunately for all of us, Zarathustra was rescued from relative obscurity in the 1990’s by Italian record collector Giorgio Mangora, who came across a copy of the album and recognized both its quality and historical importance. He began a quest to track down the band members and eventually located lead vocalist Stefano Galifi and drummer, vocalist Giancarlo Golzi. There were two pleasant outcomes that came about from this original search: This talented, creatively-gifted band reunited and began performing again, and Mangora, after several dead-ends, finally succeeded in getting the album reissued in 1999 on the Italian Electromantic Music label. The success of the reissue and interest in the live performances caught the attention of Sony BMG, which reissued a remastered version with additional previously unreleased material around 2006.
Zarathustra is a a concept album with lyrics based on writings of German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. Such formidable intellectual material really requires seriously impressive music to be effective, and this is what makes Zarathustra, the album, a memorable work of art, musically as imaginative and as enjoyable as the best of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Van Der Graaf Generator and King Crimson. The use of keyboards, particularly the mellotron, recall early King Crimson and there are stylistic similarities to both King Crimson and VDGG — even similarities to King Crimson and VDGG material not yet released when this Zarathustra was recorded in 1972.
This level of excellence, which seamlessly blends the Italian language, the dramatic vocal delivery and vocal harmonies, the keyboard work and the broad epic essence of the congruently harmonious musical components, make this an album that I unhesitatingly on my Must Listen To Music page and recommend to any music lover with a wide range of musical preferences. The album is available either through various online retail outlets or even on youtube.
Pablo Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973)
The greatest visual artist of the twentieth century wrapped up a lifetime of impressive contributions o April 8, 1973 at the age of 91. Throughout his lifetime, Picasso made an indelible impact on the art world with his innovative techniques, bold use of color, and unparalleled creativity. He was a true pioneer who constantly pushed the boundaries of traditional art forms, and his influence can still be seen in the work of contemporary artists today.
The Picasso Museums in Paris and Barcelona are both have celebratory events this year (see links below.) These two museums offer a comprehensive look at Picasso’s life and work, showcasing his paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and other works, and providing a meaningful glimpse into Mr. Picasso’s personal life with exhibits featuring photographs, letters, and various artifacts that give visitors a deeper understanding of the individual behind the art.
A visit to the Picasso Museums is a unique opportunity to witness the evolution of Picasso’s art over the course of his lifetime. From his early, more traditional works to his later, more abstract pieces, the museums showcase the breadth and depth of Picasso’s creativity. Visitors will also gain insight into the artistic movements that inspired Picasso, such as cubism and surrealism, and see how he incorporated these styles into his own work.
If you’re a fan of art or simply interested in learning more about one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, a visit to the Picasso Museums is a must. It’s an opportunity to see some of the world’s most celebrated art up close and personal, and to gain a deeper appreciation for the creative genius that was Pablo Picasso. So make sure to add the museums to your travel itinerary this year and experience the wonder of Picasso’s art for yourself.
Picasso Celebration, Barcelona
Picasso Celebration, Paris