The first of Bowie's monumental classics. Although I will forever associate Hunky Dory with Bowie's subsequent Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, the albums are really quite different. Hunky Dory is clearly Bowie's attempt at a "singer-songwriter" album, replete with quaint story-songs and piano-driven instrumentals. And what an attempt! The music on Hunky Dory is also a bit more varied in both sound and quality than the consistently-sublime glam rock of Ziggy Stardust. Here there are a few tracks that are merely great ("Kooks", "Fill Your Heart"), as well as several undeniable classics that hold their own against anything Bowie has done ("Life on Mars", "Changes"). If I want Bowie's immense talent to blow me away I reach for Ziggy Stardust; if I want to be pleasantly comforted by that talent I reach for Hunky Dory.