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David Bowie - Never Let Me Down CD (album) cover


David Bowie


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2.24 | 118 ratings

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2 stars Not even Bowie himself was keen on the original version of Never Let Me Down; as he explained it, he wasn't really feeling engaged at the time and didn't really pay that much attention to the production, with poor results - in particular, the drums from Erdal Kizilšay are entirely too intrusive. According to Reeves Gabriels, Bowie wanted a do- over on some of the songs almost as soon as the album had come out, but eventually decided that it was a bit too soon.

However, Bowie kept toying with the idea of revising the album, and completed a radically reworked version of Time Will Crawl as a taster for the project. He never got around to doing the rest of the songs before he died, but in early 2018 Gabriels assembled a team of Bowie collaborators to produce a brand-new version of the album which was a bit more worthy of the Thin White Duke's legacy, following the lead of the reworked TIme Will Crawl and what else was known about Bowie's intentions for the do-over.

Having emerged on the Loving the Alien boxed set, Never Let Me Down 2018 is pretty decent - we can certainly hope it will see a separate release soon, and it'd be a good thing if it displaced the original album altogether. In particular, that intrusive drum sound is toned down remarkably, allowing the intros to songs like Time Will Crawl to finally breathe. So, tack on an extra star and a half if you're looking at that version - but as far as the bungled original goes, avoid.

Warthur | 2/5 |


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