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David Bowie - Black Tie White Noise CD (album) cover


David Bowie


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3.08 | 129 ratings

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2 stars Six years without a Bowie album. This is the gap between "Never Let Me Down" and "Black Tie, White Noise". But there are some explanations to this.

David put his solo career into bracket for a while and concentrated on a rock band called "Tin Machine". The band, in which full democracy is respected (we are far from the Spiders of course) has released two albums, of which their first one was a good hard-rocking one, peaking at the third spot of the charts in the UK.

They will tour together and this will be the occasion to see Bowie from a closer angle since they will play relatively small concert halls. But after their second album, released in 1991 they just called it quit.

Between these two albums, David will do the Sound+Vision tour which will visit no less than twenty- seven countries. In the UK only, ten dates attracted approximately an audience of a quarter million people. Things are going well for him, thank you very much.

The hungry fans rushed out and bought the album like crazy. It will reach the highest position of the UK chart.

A year prior to this release, David married with the Somali top model Iman Abdulmajid. Several tracks (like ."Wedding" for instance) are inspired by this event.

The mood is on the funky side, which is not my cup of tea. Especially "I Feel Free". It is interesting to mention, not because it is a good song, but because a very old mate is coming back: Mick Ronson, one of The Spiders From Mars holds the guitar on this track. He will sadly die of cancer later in 1993. RIP Mick, we miss you.

The soul-ish title track is again inspired by a personal experience while being in L.A. This characteristics was already noticed during the recordings of "A Lad Insane" while touring the US for the Ziggy tour.

It concerns the incident of a cab driver (Rodney King) which was beaten by the L.A. police after having refused to stop his car. Unfortunately for them, someone taped the scene and it was shown on the television and the policemen were tried. They will be acquitted which resulted in serious rioting in the L.A. streets during four days.

This album is also a step back in time. The song "Jump They Say" is related to his half-brother Terry who committed suicide in 85 and highlights his schizophrenia. They were really close to each other and David was very affected by this drama.

Nile Rodgers in again in charge of the production, so these funky and soul beats almost all the way through are closely linked to his work of course. At times it is combined with electro/techno sounds which is not necessarily a good thing for my delicate ears. The worse being achieved with "Pallas Athena".

I really wonder why it was decided to release "Miracle Goodnight" as a single. It is a below average track and it will fail to chart completely. It is a gift to his new bride as the whole album is a present that David wanted to give to her. It is another of his very few love songs.

The next song is a cover from an acquaintance of Iman. Originally written in Arabic, the song will be translated into English. David will even record an .Indonesian version of Don't Let Me Down. Apart of these details, there is nothing to report about this syrupy and weak song.

The second instrumental piece of music is no better than the first one (which is the opening number by the way). You can easily press nextT to avoid five useless minutes.

I don't really like this album. Of course, funky music has never been a fave of mine. The best song from this album is probably "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday". A cover from Morrissey. An emotional crescendo piece of music including an excellent guitar break. The song is maybe a bit mellowish but I far much prefer this mood than the global one that can be felt on this album.

And to loop the loop of this album, the closing number is a vocal version of the instrumental opener. Again, I am not really convinced with the beat and overall texture of this song.

I can't be laudatory about this release. Two stars. Very average.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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