Record Label: Parlophone
Catch Bowie at his funkiest on the magnificent, Philly-soul inspired Young Americans. 2016 Remastered Edition.
1975's Young Americans spent almost a year on the U.S. charts, peaking at No. 9 on Billboard's Albums chart, while its single "Fame" hit No. 1 on the Pop Singles chart. Bowie's Diamond Dogs had cracked the U.S. Top 5 the previous year, so while Young Americans was not the album that initially broke Bowie in America, it was certainly the one that aligned him with Rod Stewart and Elton John in the top ranks of the decade's Stateside superstars.
Young Americans, representing the zenith of Bowie's influential soul period, contributed in no small measure to breaking white soul music into the mainstream. The album was, in theory, about "emotional drive," but came to represent much more than that, both upon its release and over time. Young Americans is Bowie's vision of and reply to a wide swath of above-board and underground musical and socio-political influences, including soul music, politics, sex, drugs, dancing, and the cultural scenes of downtown New York and uptown Philadelphia.
A No. 2 U.K. chart peak made it Bowie's first studio album in three years not to reach the top spot. Nonetheless, the album's legacy would be profound, as a new movement of U.K. soul drew inspiration from Bowie's cool version of Americana and revolutionized British pop in the process. Bowie's soul boy look and haircut, later to be known as ‘the wedge,' became the hallmarks of classic clubland cool, not just for the soul boys themselves but across the greater New Romantic era, as well.
It is not often that an album makes such a sweeping musical, cultural and subcultural impact. David Bowie's Young Americans is one of the rare, era-defining records that altered the course of both popular music and modern style.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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