Baal is an EP by David Bowie, comprising recordings of songs written for Bertolt Brecht’s play Baal. It is also referred to as David Bowie in Bertolt Brecht’s Baal, as credited on the sleeve.

In August 1981, Bowie had begun rehearsals to appear in the BBC version of Baal. The lyrics to the songs were all translated by Ralph Manheim and John Willett. Dominic Muldowney provided all new musical settings, except for “The Drowned Girl”, which was a setting by Kurt Weill done originally for Das Berliner Requiem.
In September 1981, Bowie and Tony Viscontireturned to the Hansa studios in Berlin to re-record the five songs Baal performed in the play.

“Baal’s Hymn” is a combination of the vignettes spread throughout the play, and establishes Baal’s amoral character. “Remembering Marie A” concerns Baal’s reminiscences of a past conquest, where he can remember a cloud drifting overhead, but not the face of the girl he was with. “Ballad of the Adventurers” is Baal’s aggressive lament to the death of his mother. “The Drowned Girl” relates the suicide of one of Baal’s conquests – a video clip for this song was shot by David Mallet at the same time as the one for “Wild is the Wind”. “The Dirty Song” is a short number, with Baal humiliating his lover Sophie.

His performance as Baal was transmitted on February 2, 1982, and RCA issued the EP to coincide with this. Both the play and EP were well received, with the latter reaching #29 in the UK chart, commendable considering the unconventional tracks. As well as the 7″ edition (which came packaged in a double gatefold sleeve containing extensive notes pertaining to the musical content and a short biography of Bertolt Brecht) the EP was released as a 12″ which gained it some play in clubs as well as radio airplay.

Tracks:

A1) Baal’s Hymn
A2) Remembering Marie A
B1) Ballad Of The Adventurers
B2) The Drowned Girl
B3) Dirty Song

David Bowie in Bertolt Brecht´s “Baal” (1982)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

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