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David Bowie - the last thirty years

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Poll Question: Which of these Bowie albums do you prefer?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
3 [11.54%]
0 [0.00%]
2 [7.69%]
0 [0.00%]
0 [0.00%]
0 [0.00%]
10 [38.46%]
2 [7.69%]
3 [11.54%]
4 [15.38%]
1 [3.85%]
1 [3.85%]
You can not vote in this poll

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lucas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lucas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: David Bowie - the last thirty years
    Posted: March 18 2013 at 16:29
Originally posted by Stool Man

What's indus rock?  Abbreviation of industrial?
indus rock = industrial rock
"Magma was the very first gothic rock band" (Didier Lockwood)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2013 at 18:31
Originally posted by lucas

Originally posted by Stool Man

What's indus rock?  Abbreviation of industrial?
indus rock = industrial rock
But only in French. Wink


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Post Options Post Options   Quote LinusW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2013 at 10:24
Indus rock = Pakistani rock? Tongue

I like Heathen and 1. Outside. The Next Day doesn't sound bad. But to be honest I haven't really listened to any of these albums enough to really crown a favourite. Some I haven't even heard. And I'm a Bowie fan.

3 Play


Shame on me.




Edited by LinusW - March 19 2013 at 10:24
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Doctor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2013 at 10:32
^Yes shame on you.  Wink
 
He's produced some brilliant stuff, and ok, some not so brilliant stuff, over the past 30 years.  If you liked Outside, Earthling in sort of in the same vein, but not as long or as strange and it has some great tracks on it.  Although I seem to be alone in this, I think hours is his peak of the last 30, but it is much more mellow than Outside or Earthling. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LinusW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2013 at 10:35
Originally posted by The Doctor

^Yes shame on you.  Wink
 
He's produced some brilliant stuff, and ok, some not so brilliant stuff, over the past 30 years.  If you liked Outside, Earthling in sort of in the same vein, but not as long or as strange and it has some great tracks on it.  Although I seem to be alone in this, I think hours is his peak of the last 30, but it is much more mellow than Outside or Earthling. 


I'll do better in the future, starting with those two LOL



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Post Options Post Options   Quote refugee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2013 at 13:54
Iím a bit like Linus here Ė I sort of lost interest in Bowie after Letís Dance (which is OK, but a lot weaker than Scary Monsters imo). 1st Outside was a very pleasant surprise, and Bowie looked so young and enthusiastic on the tour. But I canít vote since there are too many albums I never really cared to listen to.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mirkwood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2013 at 10:56
Not Bowie solo, but I liked the Tin Machine albums, the second one especially.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HarbouringTheSoul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2013 at 16:53
Originally posted by ole-the-first

Originally posted by Guldbamsen

Earthling for me. I really don't get the rating it has here on PAErmm

Same here. Melodically Earthling is fairly close to perfection: 'Battle for Britain (The Letter)' and 'Dead Man Walking' are amongst my favourite Bowie songs, 'Seven Years in Tibet' contains a very nice jazzy atmosphere. The production in quite excellent too, it just doesn't sound like some wanted it to be, but heck, time ain't standing still, Bowie couldn't play 'Changes' for 25 years without any changes.

Well, you were very careful to mention only the better songs. Wink I would hardly call stuff like "The Last Thing You Should Do" or "Law (Earthlings on Fire)" melodic at all (and I hate that random-words "chorus" that is repeated ad nauseam in "Looking for Satellites", but that's a different story). I mean, I like some of the stuff on the album ("Dead Man Walking", "Seven Years in Tibet", "I'm Afraid of Americans" and even "Little Wonder" a bit), but overall I think it's fairly crass and contrived. Kind of like Bowie took some regular songs of varying quality and slapped some drum'n'bass rhythms over it in an attempt to stay hip. And this is coming from somebody who thinks Outside is one of his best albums.

There are worse Bowie albums though. Like Hours, whose rather positive reception on PA absolutely puzzles me considering it's much further away from prog than the preceding few albums. I think it's very mediocre - not because of the low prog concentration, I couldn't care less about that - but because I can find only two good tracks on it: "Thursday's Child", which is recorded like a schmaltzy adult contemporary ballad, but you can't deny that melody, and "Brilliant Adventure". The rest suffers from horrible singing (listen to the flaccid, tone-deaf vocals on "Survive" and "Seven" or the caterwauling on "What's Really Happening?") and extremely dull songwriting. There are some tracks I could theoretically get behind: "Something in the Air" starts off with a similar mood as "Seven Years in Tibet", and although it lacks the melody, I do find some entertainment in Bowie disoriented vocals (the way he sings "I know you hold your head up high" in the second chorus is brilliant) and the alien-like thing that accompanies him. "If I'm Dreaming My Life" is really dull, uneventful and overlong, but I guess it's basically pleasant. And "The Dreamers" might struggle for a majesty that isn't there, but I do enjoy the overdriven vocals in the verse ("shallow man"). As for the rest, especially that stretch from "Seven" to "New Angels of Promise", it's among the worst I have heard from Bowie. And two good tracks, three average ones and five awful ones just don't make even a decent album.

Triggered by the new album, I've recently been going through the whole Bowie catalog again, especially the post-Scary Monsters stuff which I was only partially acquainted with. On the whole it's been uneven, and sadly the better albums are the ones I had already heard. But still, it was interesting to delve into even the weaker albums. I should write some reviews when I have the time.

Edit: By the way, just today I found a concert recording on Youtube from a 1996 appearance at the German Loreley Festival that I had on CD as a kid. In retrospect it's a pretty dismal concert (the bass is almost completely inaudible, Reeves Gabrels is more interested in noisemaking than playing the actual guitar riffs, and as much as I like Mike Garson's piano playing, he does clutter up an already cluttered mix at times), but it was fun to hear it again because that's how I first got acquainted with these songs. There were some nice (and not so nice) surprises though, like the way the introductory guitar riff is played in "Diamond Dogs" (gives a bit of a melancholic twang to it), the head-smashingly awful Earthling-like rendition of "Andy Warhol" which turned me off a good song for years, and a similarly odd rendition of "The Man Who Sold the World" which I guess Bowie felt obligated to play again because Nirvana had made it so popular.


Edited by HarbouringTheSoul - March 23 2013 at 02:22
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Melomaniac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 03 2013 at 15:33
Outside was utterly amazing.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Barbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2013 at 19:40
Heathen
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Post Options Post Options   Quote humor4u1959 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2013 at 01:41
Bowie hasn't done a truly good album since Low and Heroes, so who cares? He's finished as an artist. He takes a 10 year break and comes out with this crap?! Forget him. He's done. And, I used to love Bowie.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stool Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2013 at 01:59
Originally posted by humor4u1959

Bowie hasn't done a truly good album since Low and Heroes, so who cares? He's finished as an artist. He takes a 10 year break and comes out with this crap?! Forget him. He's done. And, I used to love Bowie.
 
This is exactly the point of this poll - omitting his greatest period, which of his later labums is best?  Just because you like none of them doesn't mean they're equally bad.   I don't like any Bob Dylan albums, but I'm willing to concede that some are less horrible than others.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ole-the-first Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 02 2013 at 20:46
Originally posted by humor4u1959

Bowie hasn't done a truly good album since Low and Heroes, so who cares? He's finished as an artist. He takes a 10 year break and comes out with this crap?! Forget him. He's done. And, I used to love Bowie.

So 'Scary Monsters' and 'Outside' are not truly good? Dead
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Post Options Post Options   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2013 at 01:42
Let's Dance is totally commercial and beongs to a genre of music that I usually dislike, but it has many good moments so I put it in the "good" column. The only thing of that album that I don't like is the cover of Criminal World because the original version featuring Duncan Browne is really better.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Mystical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 12 2013 at 04:44
Let's Dance is my favourite, but I also love Tonight, and Never Let Me Down is one of my favourite albums.
I am currently digging:

Hawkwind, Rare Bird, Gong, Tangerine Dream, Khan, Iron Butterfly, and all things canterbury and hard-psych. I also love jazz!

Please drop me a message with album suggestions.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Green Shield Stamp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2013 at 15:13
Hours for me, but The Next Day comes a close second.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Intruder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2013 at 10:13

His Tin Machine albums are, IMO, the best things he's done since Scary Monsters, which isn't saying much.  I liked Hours because it wasn't a blatant attempt to maintain his arty airs or remain on the hip list.  Still, none of his albums over the past 30 years add much to his legacy, not like some of his peers like Lou Reed or Brian Eno.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The.Crimson.King Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2013 at 16:17
^ I love the 2nd Tin Machine album...some great songs and Reeves Gabrels is a fantastic guitarist.  Anyway, went with Labyrinth LOL 
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