UNCUT - - Contents - John Mul­vey, Ed­i­tor. Fol­low me on twit­ter @John­rMul­vey

His­tory is rarely as neat as we hope it to be, es­pe­cially when sit­ting down to write the in­tro­duc­tion to a new edi­tion of Un­cut. Pop­u­lar myth in­sists that David Bowie’s de­but al­bum sneaked out on the same day as Sgt Pep­per’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – June 1, 1967 – when in fact the Bea­tles’ opus had been rushre­leased a few days ahead of that of­fi­cial launch date. the time­lag didn’t help David Bowie’s sales fig­ures, of course. that LP, along with many more of the bold schemes and fleet­ing projects hatched by Bowie in the run-up to “space odd­ity”, have long been dis­missed as ju­ve­nilia, from a time when the singer was sup­pos­edly more of a camp fol­lower than fear­less in­no­va­tor. Ev­ery Bea­tles song can be seen to have had its own cul­tural im­pact; there are few who would ar­gue the en­dur­ing sig­nif­i­cance of, say, “Please Mr Gravedig­ger”.

Nev­er­the­less, the mu­sic that Bowie made in the ’60s crit­i­cally in­flu­enced one su­per­star in the mak­ing: David Bowie him­self. As Michael Bon­ner’s deep cover story re­veals, th­ese early years saw the in­ven­tion of David Bowie. “Ev­ery­thing David did in the ’60s led up to the ’70s,” Hermione Farthin­gale, his for­mer girl­friend, tells us. “Ev­ery­thing was an ex­per­i­men­tal part of that learn­ing curve.”

Else­where in this month’s Un­cut, you can track sim­i­lar ex­per­i­men­tal learn­ing curves in the long ca­reers of ra­dio­head and Jah Wob­ble; check through our usual en­cy­clopaedic re­views sec­tion; and find touch­ing, au­thor­i­ta­tive farewells to two more fallen heroes, Gregg All­man and Chris Cor­nell. We’re also proud to have an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Adam Gran­duciel, as the War on Drugs re­turn with fa­mous new friends, a ma­jor record deal, and an even more ex­pan­sive sound.

it’s a story about how Gran­duciel is ad­just­ing to suc­cess and the pres­sures that it brings, never more pro­nounced than when he re­counts the ges­ta­tion of the new War on Drugs sin­gle, “Hold­ing on”. the A&r team were ec­static when they heard an early ver­sion – “that’s the hit!” – but were a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed to dis­cover how it had evolved by the time the al­bum was fin­ished. Gran­duciel emerges as a qui­etly heroic fig­ure, tog­gling be­tween self-doubt and de­fi­ance in the face of po­ten­tial artis­tic com­pro­mise.

“Hey man, this is the new way!” he told his la­bel. “Bet­ter fuckin’ sad­dle up, this is how it is!’”

on the cover: David Bowie by Pic­to­rial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo

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