David Bowie: Sound and Vision

David Bowie: Sound and Vision

Ratings: 7.56/10 from 39 users.

David Bowie: Sound and VisionFew artists have made their rise to fame in such an unorthodox and revolutionary way as David Bowie. Known as The Chameleon Of Pop this unlikely pop star has created an enigma that has rivaled bands for over four decades.

High profile publicity has surrounded Bowie throughout his career, brought upon by his ever changing personas, appearance and music styles. Pushing gender boundaries in his early career, Bowie became a source of intrigue. He was a controversialist who explored sexuality and transvestism and developed fantastic characters and alter egos to accompany his avant-guard style of music.

David Bowie: Sound & Vision collates Bowie’s revolutionary career, troubled personal life and current achievements both in and out of the music spotlight. Candid interviews with Bowie himself along with his wife, Iman, provide personal insights and musical contemporaries Moby, Iggy Pop and Trent Razor play homage to Bowie’s work.

Footage of exhilarating live performances illuminate this rock ‘n’ roll showman and music video and film clips showcase an outstanding talent spanning over 30 years. This feature also looks at Bowie today and highlights his many passions and involvements with films, acting, design and art.

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75 Comments / User Reviews

  1. barb

    Anyone know the song at about 28 minutes into the documentary?

  2. anne

    simply wonderful

  3. DarylTJ

    Brilliant! So good to see photos of Bowie when he was a kid, and growing up.
    He is a genius!

  4. forra888

    you gotta watch this

  5. forra888

    I loved this, all of it, was an idol of mine for a long time

  6. Angela Velazquez

    I love David Bowie. He is such an innovative artist, always pushing boundaries and breaking down barriers. His lyrics are a bit nonsensical, but when I look deeply into them, they touch me on a profound level. Obviously, I idolize him and have since i was a teenager and I first heard his music.

  7. BennyB

    did anyone else notice how his voice starts off as a high tenor and gradually drops to a rich bass-baritone by the end of his career?

    1. DarylTJ

      I noticed that!

  8. hpthoroughbreds

    and if the homework brings you down, we'll throw it on the fire and take the car downtown..........

  9. Yavanna

    I guess DB had the final say on the cut with this documentary as no mention at all of one of his most famous tracks "The Laughing Gnome." (Just relived it on youtube) As a kiddy I had this on 45rpm vinyl and played it constantly but he is well known for hating it and refuses to do any interview where the topic might even come up!

    Don't understand the relevance of the discussion regarding Brighton / riots. He was born in Brixton; it says so in the first minute of the doc. Brixton is most famous for the 1981 riots and of course just recently it kicked off again there.

    Brighton is a largish seaside town infamous for being the "gay capital" of England. Brixton is a harsh inner-city area of South London.

    1. Guest

      It started with me suggesting a spelling to @knowledge...which was bound to be a disaster and then it rolled to you to clarify.
      Thank you

    2. knowledgeizpower

      LMAO....Love it! French and Potent..Flip mine to Country and POENT we wouldn't pronounce the T :P

    3. knowledgeizpower

      Brighton/Brixton are pretty close in pronounciation to me so easy to confuse the two....So the recent riots affected Both These Two cities?

      So at the time David Bowie was born in the city called Brixton, was it considered a harsh inner city area in South London? Or over time did the neighborhood change into a harsh inner-city area?

      Why is that not relevant to discuss?

      I'm trying to gain an understanding of his home background because if this is the case of him being born in an inner-city area then Personally to me that makes the information that I gathered from the Doc even More Inspiring to know that others can identify with, I mean if he came from an area like that He really is an INSPIRATION to those people who grew up around similar circumstances. No matter what kind of environment you grow up in whether it is the "Hood" That You Can Become a Great Talented Musician Touch Lives Follow Your Dreams Be Whatever You Choose To Be.

      Hopefully you might have an understanding of what I'm saying?

    4. Yavanna

      I agree it is relevant where he was born in context with the doc and his career beginnings and if it helps I'll try to help explain how Brixton relates geographically and so forth. I`m no expert on Brixton however. London is huge, sprawling and incredibly diverse. So I can mainly only generalise and must say off the bat that London and its areas have changed massively since 1947 (dob Bowie).

      Basically London is split up into Boroughs, each of which are run by town councils which manage budgets for such things as police, local health, garbage collection, housing and much more. Most boroughs are split into districts. Brixton is a district within the borough of Lambeth.

      Another way of looking at London is that it is split into North, East, South and West and yet another view is that is regarded in concentric "zones"....

      The City of London (Banking area),
      Central London (mainly business),
      The west-end (High end shopping / theatre / restaurant district.

      Then clustered around these areas are what have become termed inner-city areas. Places like Brixton, Hackney, Islington, Tottenham and so forth. Just taking these districts for example; there are parts that can be considered very rough. They have high crime rates and if I must generalise are considered quite scummy. I say "parts" because again there are areas and streets within these districts that are quite "posh" and trendy. For instance; Tony Blair lived in Islington in a street where you pretty much had to be very wealthy to own a house. There's a part of Hackney called Hoxton which over the last decade or two has become very trendy, with artsy types flocking there.

      Then going further out you have sprawling suburban areas, with a fair mixture of prosperity and poverty often inter-mixed. (There are some really scummy areas out there too.) These areas are generally described as being part of "Greater London."

      It's hard not to sound like a snob when I describe what some of these inner city areas are like but seeing as I grew up in one myself and policed some of them in my former career I feel I can do so without too much guilt. They have a high percentage of "social housing." I don't know if you are in America but I think the equivalent would be what they call the Projects? Generally crime rates are high, property values low. They can be described as tense neighbourhoods. Even a big guy like me would be very wary in parts of them. Generally they are places that inspire people to move FROM rather than TO. So in that regard it certainly can be considered that Bowie was motivated to do well for himself and aspire to better circumstances.

      But this is the modern day view and in 1947 as I said things were a lot different. Historically I suppose areas like Brixton, Hackney, Tottenham and what we these days call inner-city areas were considered poor "working class" neighbourhoods. This was just post war and things were very bleak in any case. My father is the same age as Bowie and was born in Hackney. His Xmas presents; a few fruit and nuts. Maybe a small wooden toy if he was lucky. Clothes were all hand-me-downs or home made. Families would cluster in single rooms to reduce heating costs and food was very basic. I know my grand-mother regularly went without meals so as to feed the children. These are probably similar circumstances to how Bowie grew up.

      Consider those circumstances to those nowadays in such areas where people consider themselves "poor." If kids don't get a new Xbox and Nike's they think themselves impoverished. I say this because the ethos back when Bowie (and my dad) were born was one of progression through hard work, determination and vision. They knew they were poor but maintained dignity and aspired for better. These days the "entitlement" generation growing up in places like Brixton behave like they did in the recent riots. Like mindless scum.

      "Brighton/Brixton are pretty close in pronunciation to me so easy to confuse the two....So the recent riots affected Both These Two cities?"

      Brighton is pronounced BRY-TON
      Brixton is pronounced BRICKS-TON

      It must be our weird way of spelling some stuff in England. For instance Grosvenor is a common place name; I mispronounced that for years and I was born here! (I used to say gross-vennor, whereas it's 'grove-nor.'

      The recent riots affected Brixton and several other areas in London and a few other cities. There were no disturbances in Brighton at all. Neither are cities. Brixton is a very small part of London and Brighton is a seaside town. I think the stuff that AZ pasted from google was just one of the many twitter rumours that went round and quite possibly due to that rumour the police down in Brighton went to a high stage of alert just in case it triggered riots there.

      Anyway sorry to waffle on so much. I didn't realise when I started how complicated it can be to explain how areas in London mesh together.

    5. burntashbowieandme

      What he said except Brighton Is a city as of 2000!

    6. DarylTJ

      Very very interesting post. Thank you.

    7. knowledgeizpower

      @ Yavanna... Thank You So Much! I didn't mind at all about the waffling on. I understood. Yes i'm in America, what is so interesting about all those absolutely well described points that you made is that its EXACTLY to a Tee the same thing that is over here in America. Well Explained If i could give you 5 thumbs up I would :)

    8. Guest

      That was quite interesting, @Yavanna! Thanks for that.

    9. Yavanna

      Thanks guys. Glad it was useful.

    10. Dan Kennedy

      i'd be embarassed of that song :D

    11. Yavanna

      I guess he was young and needed the money :P

  10. Guest

    @Az and @Knowledge
    Finally watched this...It turns out that, while Brighton is where the riots took place, Brixton is where Bowie was born... Az, you sneak, did you know this already?..

    1. knowledgeizpower

      solved it lol :P

    2. Guest

      *arms up in the air* Yayyy!!

    3. Guest

      Does that make us both right? I did answer her question about the riots and i haven't watched the doc yet.
      Guess what, i start caretaking a house tomorrow for a couple going on vacation. There is a cat and "her" name is Py.
      I expect this cat to be very smart.

    4. Guest

      Yeah, it does! That's what's so d*mn funny about it!

      She doesn't look like a moose, does she?!

    5. Guest

      She doesn't look like a moose but she does look like a strange cat. She has fuzzy fur instead of hair and a big belly and eyes so huge, a real sweety though.

    6. Guest

      I must say the way Knowledge wrote it, it sure did sound a lot more like Brixton than Brighton!

    7. Guest

      Brighton was the first thing I thought of, because of that old song by Queen, "Brighton Rock". But, because of the way it sounded, yeah, I just typed in Brixton, and there it was...I'd never even heard of the place before, lol.

    8. knowledgeizpower

      Yes thats the way it sounded brick-ston ...i'm sorry people have different accents i'm trying to understand Yall .. Like huh what did you say Its TOE MATO right lmao! I'm From the SOUTH NASHVILLE, TN Thank you very much:)))))

      edit: Yep ya'll are right!

    9. Guest

      accent you say? Mine is French and potent!

    10. Guest

      I know (of) Brighton for having been there a few times, i guess that's why i jumped on the wagon right off the bat.
      This whole exchanged would have lasted a minute or two if it had been live between the people but here on the net this has been a three day fun.

    11. Guest

      Do you know of the Savannah Move in roulette?

    12. Guest

      I do now, lol.

  11. greyspoppa

    No mention of the cameo on David Lynch's movie Twin Peaks:Fire Walk With Me, small part but very interesting. Also if your not familiar with David Lynch get so soon for your sake trust me you'll thank me later.

  12. Xercès Des Stèles

    its the male lady gaga of the 80s

  13. namarra

    Nice to see this. Amazing, brave cant fail on lovin it. Saw Prodigy at Milton keynes bowl recently, also blew me away

  14. shapeshiftingone

    i think it is disappointing when the film makers obviously had access to some rare early footage and to some close collaborators intermingled with various bits of bowie talking as well that they still managed to skim over the actual content of most of his work and equally make some serious omissions along the way 'the man who sold the world' for example except to say 'here bowie wore a dress on his next album cover...' there was no attention payed to any of the live albums or infact the 'heroes tour...' at times there was a mish-mashing and compression of chronological information and album releases... 'lodger' also got lost in there -as his end piece to the 'berlin trilogy' of 70's albums that he made with brian eno- i dont think we need another puff piece about bowie i think there is a real opportunity now for an exploratory documentary of a massive body of work and the creator at the centre of that... this film made me at least imagine with my square eyes 'what if...' what if a great documentary filmmaker historian did an in depth study of our alien father as he stood through the second half of the 20th century and beyond... what if they had the budget and the person to make a hbo or a pbs 6 part series - now see how square my eyes are... it seems apparent to me that as early on as the name change to bowie and the release of 'space oddity' we have this integral questioning of the construct of self and the identity of character whether thats in this song or one about dylan or warhol or himself or a myriad of invented characters along the way who become fuel for the flame... i am of the school of thought that says bowie disappeared after the release of 1980's 'scary monsters' album and didnt start to reemerge again until the release of -his wedding album- 'black tie white noise' and then fully came back into being with his character explorations and miniature plays on the album 'outside' and since then 'earthling' 'heathen' and 'hours' all hold good qualities... i think that 'reality' wanes as another attempt to launch a world tour and audience though... i am ever hopeful after all this time -the years are mounting- that there may be another good recording to come...

  15. Guest

    still have to watch this one...but it is way too late now.
    Anyone with the word Bow in his name, has to have a goal!

    1. His Forever

      Good night, Az. I'm really upset tonight about Brilly Grayam being such a compromiser! Leave it to Razor to brighten your night, eah? I need cookies and milk now.

    2. Guest

      A Graham cookie? lol
      Good day to you....mine is just starting!

  16. GoughLewis

    Love this film, but I love the Bowie. What an artist. Two thumbs up.

  17. rich_farrell

    @Greg_Mc I've always thought that it was a classic movie for all ages. However, unlike your good self, I have to say that I love the soundtrack, even to this day. My usual tastes include Iron Maiden and Joe Satriani, so it must be some sort of nostalgia. Unless it really is that good... anyone else with me?

  18. Sertsis

    You know, I really love it when Vlatko tunes into the music scene, recently Freddie Mercury and Amy Winehouse, may they rest, and now David Bowie, and I'm hoping more to come.

  19. Cyndi Cassidy

    Greg_Mc I've watched Labyrinth many times over the years, I was just surprised that my granddaughter had latched onto it too. Now that's 3 generations watching the movie together. :)

    What I hadn't known though, is that David Bowie did the stage performance of Rocky. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is another family favourite.

  20. knowledgeizpower

    Awesome Doc! What i found interesting that like stood out one of those ohh really I didn't know that... he was born in Brickston (I hope i spelled this correctly) isn't that one of the cities the recent london riots took place?

    1. Guest


    2. Guest

      Or Brixton.

    3. Guest

      Copied from Google:

      Police massing in Brighton as London riots threaten to spread #londonriots
      Posted by 100gf ? August 8, 2011 ? 78 Comments
      Filed Under Brighton, Brighton riots, London riots

      there is also one on BRixton.
      So Knowledge...you pick!

    4. knowledgeizpower

      I'm gonna go with the first choice Brighton...that looks about right...Survey Says BRIGHTON i'll stick with that.Thank You:)

    5. Guest

      You are a riot, Az.

    6. knowledgeizpower

      @ Pysmythe...Naw she is pretty much the TDF Legend..I've been coming to top doc for a year now..and just really started posting comments..I would read thru the comments and she pretty much is one of my favorites...So AZ i'm giving you a big shout out you're BAD AZZ ;P.

    7. Guest

      don't agree with being a legend. I've only been here for about a year too. i've been here a lot though, agree. TDF is quite a bit older than that.
      @Vlatko...how old is TDF? Any one?

    8. Guest

      Yes, I know that, Knowledge! I just meant it was funny what she did proving me wrong.

    9. Guest

      I think you might've misunderstood me! My reply to you was meant to be as lighthearted as my one to her was...I couldn't care less about being right all the time!

      (I actually think a lot of arguments may get started here simply because we don't have inflections in writing that clue us into the other person's mood, or intent...)

    10. Guest

      Couldn't care less about being right? Are you really human or moose?

    11. Guest

      Yes, he's one of the great ones, for good reason. (Played a few of his songs in various bands I've been in.) I haven't watched this one yet, but probably will later on this evening, or after my kid's homeschooling is finished.

    12. Guest

      They can riot all they want in Brixton or Brighton as long as they don't riot in Nelson!

    13. Guest

      Hey Pysmythe...time to go to bed...lololol
      i just got home too.
      I am happy i'm right! lolololol some more!

    14. Guest

      You just got home? You didn't happen to have a "dinner" date, did you?!

    15. Guest

      Went out dancing to digest my vegetarian meal...lol

    16. Guest

      I think you care a lot about being right to yourself.
      same same but different!

    17. Guest

      You're probably right...

    18. knowledgeizpower

      aww thats real, you're a modest person then if its alright to say that.i like honest folks down to earth you know. where I'm from i'm one of those females that talks what we say "Spicy " very opinionated strong minded, you kind of remind me of that too so thats why I complimented you :) umm i really don't know either how long top doc has been here I came across it last summer,but anyway moving along... How Bout That Damn David Bowie ehh kicks azz don't He!

    19. knowledgeizpower

      @Pysmythe..Dang alright I was just being friendly gosh I have to remember how some people are very serious about being right alot..I have what do you call it a B-personality i'm competitive to a certain extent :) I like your moose head picture though thats really neat.

    20. Guest

      See above, lol.

    21. knowledgeizpower

      @Pysmythe aww i thought i offended you..I understand I think we can be buddies now if you want too lol :))) Shake Hands :P
      So getting back to The film damn that David Bowie is the shiznit isn't He!

    22. Guest

      See above again, lol... (Keep messing up!)

  21. rich_farrell

    Without having watched it yet, all I can think of is how great Labyrinth was and is! You remind me of the babe! What babe? The babe with the power. What power? The power of voodoo. Who do? You do! Do what? Remind me of the babe!
    Hahaha... awesome...

    1. Cyndi Cassidy

      So funny! My granddaughter was telling me about this great movie she had seen and that I should watch it with her. It was Labyrinth!

    2. Greg_Mc

      Havent seen the doc yet myself but my 13 year old son got the Labrynth video when he was around 5 or 6 years old and watched it no less than 100 times. I would say I saw it 40 times with him (pretending to pay attention to it a lot of the time, I mean how many times can you watch the same movie?) so Cyndi I can honestly say if you watch the movie you will enjoy it and if you watch it with your Granddaughter who you say thought it was great that will just add to your enjoyment of it. Plus it is cool seeing Jennifer Connelly as a kid in it. The only downside was I didnt care for the soundtrack.

    3. greyspoppa

      LOL my son came home from a friends house after staying over night, eyes wide opens, stumbling over his words, tells me about this great movie he watched last night. LABYRINTH!!!!!! So about 15 mins in i put my finger up walked to my room got the movie handed it to him. He looks confused as hell and says but this was scary, so i opened to watch with him wrong movie in the case. Halloween some how got mixed in, i couldn't stop laughing. I'm 40 years old and still love that flick.

    4. Sertsis

      I kind of liked Labyrinth too!

    5. Jessica Refsnider

      There is nothing better than Bowie with a codpiece and a riding whip.

    6. Guest

      Spoken like a true Mick Jagger!