For this week’s A Nice Pair (book and vinyl pairings), we’re featuring a circular recommendation. We recommend pairing Bowie’s Bookshelf: The Hundred Books That Changed David’s Bowie’s Life by John O’Connell with the album Diamond Dogs followed by the book Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.
Nineteen Eighty-Four had a big impact on Bowie. In 1973, he wanted to develop the book as a stage musical and then a TV show but Orwell’s widow wouldn’t approve it. So instead, he channelled his half-recorded material into Diamond Dogs. If you want to really drill down to the influence of the book, listen to the track Big Brother.