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Released: November 1970

Rating: 3.879 (average of 17 ratings)

Genre: glam rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. The Width of a Circle [8:05]
  2. All the Madmen [5:38]
  3. Black Country Rock [3:34]
  4. After All [3:53]
  5. Running Gun Blues [3:12]
  6. Saviour Machine [4:26]
  7. She Shook Me Cold [4:13]
  8. The Man Who Sold the World [3:57]
  9. The Supermen [3:39]
All songs written by David Bowie.

Total Running Time: 53:18


sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 2 million


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 105
peak on U.K. album chart 26

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • The Man Who Sold the World (6/22/73) --

Notes: The 1990 Rykodisc reissue added bonus tracks “Lightning Frightening,” 1970 single “Holy Holy,” and the songs “Moonage Daydream” and “Hang on to Yourself.” The latter two were originally released as a 1971 single under the Bowie alias of Arnold Corns. The songs later resurfaced on the 1972 Ziggy Stardust album.

The Man Who Sold the World
David Bowie
“Even though it contained no hits, The Man Who Sold the World, for most intents and purposes, is the beginning of David Bowie's classic period. Working with guitarist Mick Ronson and producer Tony Visconti for the first time, Bowie developed a tight, twisted heavy guitar rock that appears simple on the surface but sounds more gnarled upon each listen. The mix is off-center, with the fuzz-bass dominating the compressed, razor-thin guitars and Bowie's strangled, affected voice. The sound of The Man Who Sold the World is odd, but the music is bizarre itself, with Bowie's bizarre, paranoid futuristic tales melded to Ronson's riffing and the band's relentless attack. Musically, there isn't much innovation on The Man Who Sold the World — it is almost all hard blues-rock or psychedelic folk-rock — but there's an unsettling edge to the band's performance, which makes the record one of Bowie's best albums” (Erlewine).

Review Source(s):

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Previous Album: Space Oddity (1969) David Bowie’s DMDB page Next Album: Hunky Dory (1971)

Last updated March 31, 2008.