Break­ing Glass

Low, 1977

Classic Rock - - David Bowie -

i n a su­perb and con­cise, dis­turb­ing but dance­able 112 sec­onds, Bowie ca­su­ally cap­tures mad­ness. The lyric is lit­tle more than a snapshot of the dis­in­te­gra­tion of lovers: ‘Don’t look at the car­pet, I drew some­thing aw­ful on it,’ and then, schizophreni­cally in­sis­tent, ‘See!’ So what’s drawn on the car­pet? “Kab­bal­is­tic draw­ings of the Tree Of Life,” Bowie claimed later.

He had in­deed drawn the Tree Of Life on his floor while chem­i­cally snow-blind and darkly obsessed with con­jur­ing spir­its, prior to rein­vent­ing rock in Ber­lin. So was this short, sharp, synth-slashed de­scent into in­san­ity and para­noia au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal? The clue’s in Low’s ti­tle.

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