George Orwell's classic tale of totalitarianism, 1984, was the inspiration for a project that David Bowie hoped would further solidify his standing as a rock visionary. Bowie was a natural artist to helm a musical companion to Orwell's allegory, since his own music exhibits an innate alienation. The concept ultimately broke down, but the music didn't. "Rebel Rebel" has become a rock staple, while "Sweet Thing," "Candidate," and the forthright yet experimental title track (Bowie as puppet master) offer additional highlights. Still, despite such benchmarks and its conceptual flaws, Diamond Dogs is best listened to as a thematic collection.