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David Bowie The Buddha Of Suburbia (OST) album cover
3.24 | 92 ratings | 6 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Buddha Of Suburbia (4:29)
2. Sex And The Church (6:23)
3. South Horizon (5:24)
4. The Mysteries (7:11)
5. Bleed Like A Craze Dad (5:23)
6. Strangers When We Meet (4:58)
7. Dead Against It (5:47)
8. Untitled No. 1 (5:02)
9. Ian Fish, UK Heir (6:29)
10. Buddha Of Suburbia (4:20)

Total Time 55:06

Line-up / Musicians

- David Bowie / vocals, guitar, sax, keyboards, synth, percussion, co-producer

- Dave Richards / programming, co-producer
- Erdal Kizilcay / keyboards, trumpet, bass, drums, percussion, guitar, co-producer
- Mike Garson / piano (3,5)
- 3D Echo (Rob Clydesdale, Paul Davidson) / drum, bass & guitar (5)
- Lenny Kravitz / guitar (10)

Releases information

Soundtrack to a 4-part serial for BBC2 of the same name written by Hanif Kureishi, and based on his book, The Buddha of Suburbia.

Artwork: David and Anne Hardy with John Jefford, BBC (photo)

CD BMG ‎- 74321 170042 (1993, Europe)
CD Virgin ‎- 7243 8 40988 2 7 (1995, US) Different cover art

Thanks to tuxon for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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DAVID BOWIE The Buddha Of Suburbia (OST) ratings distribution

(92 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(21%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (21%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

DAVID BOWIE The Buddha Of Suburbia (OST) reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars The music written here should have been used as a soundtrack for a mini serie produced by the Beeb. Actually, only the title track belonged to the TV play and therefore, this album can't really be recalled as a soundtrack. It is actually more a true Bowie album with a complete lack of promotion.

Funny enough some songs dig in the early Bowie repertoire like the opening and title track "Buddha Of Suburbia" which ends up with the famous "Zane Zane, ouvre le chien" phrase which could be found on "All The Madmen" from "The Man Who Sold The World". Back to 1970.

Unfortunately not all songs available here are of interest (to say the least). The awful house style tune "Sex & The Church", the jazzy "South Horizon" are rather difficult to swallow. Even if the latter brought me back to the "A Lad Insane" atmosphere thanks to Garson's piano work.

Some tracks like the long "The Mysteries" will remind you the "Low" or "Heroes" days and are keeping this album in the interesting territories. But this album can't really be associated to the best of his work, even if David feels that way. But this often is the case. Completely ignored works (for whatever reasons), turn to be the preferred ones of the artist. Strange, strange, strange: ouvre le chien.

Of course, there are some excellent moments available (this is a Bowie album, right?). Like the very much "Roxy Music" oriented "Strangers When We Meet" (re-written on "Outside"), the upbeat "Dead Against It", or the ambient "Ian Fish UK Heir".

In all, this is a good Bowie album. No more. No masterpiece of course; let's be serious. It can only be of interest to devoted fans, but deserve probably this extra star I generously grant.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars There are some strange things happened with Bowie albums and his fans. I think everyone agrees that Bowie has some musical periods in his career ( in fact-plenty of them), and they strongly differs between each other. But for me the strange thing is that many of his fans ( and often serious music lovers!) like his old , early music ( which in fact was evolution from rock'n'roll to glam-rock, to r'n'b, to soul-rock, etc), which often was far away from progresive rock and experimental music ( I'm not speakin' 'bout theatrical show and glam-pose of David himself, I'm speaking about THE MUSIC). And same fans can't accept his later, after 80-th period, when he started heavy use of more modern music ( as synth/house/acid/techno) in his works. And I'm sure, that that period isn't less experimental, or music by itself isn't less interesting.

The reason of this paradox I can see in "old school"fans psychology only! We saw similar things with UK punk music in late seventies, when punks at the short peak of their stardom hated synthesizers as capitalism spies. So, many of "real rock " ( read - "old fashioned rock cliches") purists hate post-eightees electronical sounds as pop- invasion to their music.

This album is instrumental in big part, with use of electronic sounds, as well. In fact, it's a mix of Bowie's soul-rock with his music from "Berlin Trylogy" period, nice melodies. Don't think is one of his best albums, but serious change of direction and the beginning of "modern period".

I believe, that this album could be interesting not only for collectors, but is good bridge for all "old period"Bowie fans to his more modern experiments.

Review by tarkus1980
3 stars Now that's more like it. While Bowie was working on BTWN in an attempt to return to mainstream stardom, he was also working on the soundtrack to a BBC miniseries. This album is not actually the soundtrack to that miniseries, but is instead a reworking of many of the ideas that went into that soundtrack. Interestingly, Bowie once said this album was his favorite of all that he'd done, and given that this statement was made ten years after the release of the album, and the album was out of print at the time, I see no reason to doubt Bowie's sincerity in this. I wouldn't quite go that far, but it's a remarkably enjoyable album, and it boggles my mind that people reacted favorably to BTWN but mostly ignored this.

The most unusual aspect of the album is the slight return of Bowie's artsy-fartsy side, though the tracks in this vein aren't terrific. "Sex and the Church" sounded ok to me the first couple of times, but the combination of the monotonous underpinning, the repetitive encoded vocals and the uninteresting embellishments was enough to make me drop the grade from a low **** to a high ***. "South Horizon" is an odd attempt at what I can only describe as jazz-ambient, and "The Mysteries" goes full-blown in the direction of ambient. I'm a lot more tolerant towards ambient than a lot of people are (I've heard me a whole lot of Brian Eno ambient albums in my life, and liked more than my share), and these are ok examples of it, but they're not fantastic, and these two tracks last almost a combined 13 minutes. I'm fine hearing them individually once in a while, but it might have been a good idea to split them up better. There's another one of these instrumentals near the end ("Ian Fish, UK Heir"), and it kinda sounds like a Passion outtake (albeit with acoustic guitar), which means I don't mind it, but it's from the half of Passion where my mind starts to drift off a bit.

Ah well, the good news is that the other tracks make for the most solid collection of songs found on a Bowie solo album since, I dunno, Scary Monsters. The album is bookended by two versions of the title track (the latter with a barely noticable Lenny Kravitz on guitar), and it's just a marvelous pop ballad. This is what I love in pop music; a solid melody, graced with an arrangement that's not too soft/loud/hip/stodgy, and with a genuine, unforced build in emotional intensity into rousing climaxes. "Bleed Like a Craze, Dad" is early 90's disco-rock (!!) at its best, with a killer bassline, and Bowie's vocals have power and atmosphere to spare. "Strangers When We Meet" goes for the ""Heroes""/"Teenage Wildlife" vibe of years ago, and it manages to tap into that vibe well without sounding like a clone of either track. And then there's my favorite, "Dead Against It," which will almost certainly make a list of my ten favorite Bowie songs from now on. The onslaught of speedy synth layers works to make an instrumental melody that's just beautiful, and Bowie comes up with an almost perfect vocal melody to layer on top of it.

The album rounds out with "Untitled No. 1," which probably could have fit in on BTWN without too much difficulty, but it would have been a highlight there, so I'm not going to complain. Overall, then, the best half of this is a MUST GET for any serious Bowie fan. Besides, the album finally went back into print in 2007, and who knows, it might get pulled again someday.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Originally presented as the soundtrack to a BBC television drama, one might have expected the Buddha of Suburbia to be a rather inessential entry in Bowie's discography, but I actually think its incorporation of early 1990s electronic dance influences into a chill art-pop context is rather neat.

At points reminiscent of an early take on trip-hop, the album is very much its best in its middle section - the title track is actually the song here I like least - and offers a more placid and peaceful exploration of this sort of territory than the subsequent Outside, which would take this sort of rock-electronic blend in a harsher direction by injecting a mainline dose of industrial. Here, it puts me in mind of a more capable and more focused take on Black Tie White Noise. The Bowie comeback process was clearly still a work in progress here, but The Buddha of Suburbia gave good reason to think that it was on more or less the right track.

Latest members reviews

5 stars With a discography as extensive as Bowie's there's bound to be one or two hidden gems in there. The Buddha of Suburbia is certainly one of them. A common misconception that this album is the soundtrack for a TV drama of the same name. Yes, the title track is the theme song from the programme, but ... (read more)

Report this review (#182602) | Posted by burtonrulez | Tuesday, September 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Often overlooked album, originally David wrote the title song for the soundtrack of the BBC serial with the same name. Afterwards he decided to follow it up with an album. Unfortunatly the record company didn't market it properly so the album never really got to the public. A real shame as it is ... (read more)

Report this review (#175459) | Posted by tuxon | Friday, June 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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