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    RockChat Rewind with Joe Milliken.
    On this day (May 24) in 1974, David Bowie released his eighth studio album on the RCA label titled “Diamond Dogs.” The album’s theme combined George Orwell’s novel, “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” with Bowie’s own glam-vision of a post-apocalyptic existence. Bowie wanted to create a theatrical production of the concept as well, but the author’s estate denied the request. The songs he had been writing for the production were included in the second half of the album.
    It was his first album in five years that did not include the “Spiders From Mars” band, although some of the songs had already been included in Bowie’s live set with guitarist Mick Ronson. Other musicians on the album included Herbie Flowers on guitar, Aynsley Dunbar and Tony Newman on drums, and Mike Garson on keyboards. Bowie also played guitar, saxophone, and Moog synthesizer.
    The album also reunited Bowie with producer Tony Visconti, who provided string arrangements and helped mix the album in his London studio. Visconti would go on to produce most of Bowie’s music for the rest of the 70s. The album cover featured a weird painting of Bowie as a half man-half dog, created by Belguin artist Guy Peellaert and based from photographs of Bowie by Terry O’Neill.
    The album was Bowie’s last “glam-rock” album, and he also stated at the time that it was a “very political album… my protest, more than anything I’ve done previously.” “Diamond Dogs” was well received by the critics and many stated it was his best effort since the “Ziggy Stardust” album. Many reviews received four and five stars, and original copies of the album (which featured the hybrid dog’s genitalia, which was later airbrushed out) are expensive collector’s items.
    “Diamond Dogs” hit #1 on the UK album chart, and peaked at #5 on the US Billboard album chart. It also hit #1 in Canada and climbed into the top 5 in several other countries. The album was remastered in 1990 by Rykodisc and 30th anniversary, two-CD edition was released in 204, including previously unreleased tracks from the sessions. “Diamond Dogs” has gone on to sell over a million copies worldwide.