When it was first released Hunky Dory didn’t sell that well, it was really only when Ziggy Stardust went stellar that people caught up with this brilliant album.
Hunky Dory is something of an uncompromising album. It’s chock full of great songs. The musicianship is excellent but sparse and Bowie sings in clear English accent which, at the time, marked him out different. The stand out track was Life On Mars which was a top 10 hit. Tracks like Changes and Oh You Pretty Things are now well known but it’s tracks like Queen Bitch and The Bewlay Brothers that herald what Bowie was later to do with albums like Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane.
It’s the range of different styles and genres that make Hunky Dory such an interesting album. It’s almost as if each song was performed by different people and produced in different studios with different producers. The fact that it was the band that became the Spiders From Mars with some help from Rick Wakeman makes the album quite remarkable and demonstrates a versatility which is rare.
Bowie never again released such an eclectic album, from then on stardom beckoned and was delivered.