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David Bowie Lodger album cover
3.48 | 285 ratings | 7 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fantastic Voyage (2:55)
2. African Night Flight (2:54)
3. Move On (Bowie) (3:16)
4. Yassassin (Turkish For Long Live) (Bowie) (4:10)
5. Red Sails (3:43)
6. DJ (Bowie, Eno, Carlos Alomar) (3:59)
7. Look Back In Anger (3:08)
8. Boys Keep Swinging (3:17)
9. Repetition (Bowie) (2:59)
10. Red Money (Bowie, Alomar) (4:17)

Total time 34:38

Bonus tracks on 1991 remaster:
11. I Pray, Olé (3:56)
12. Look Back In Anger (6:57)

Line-up / Musicians

- David Bowie / lead & backing vocals, guitar (8), piano (1,6), synth (4), Chamberlin (6), co-producer

- Brian Eno / synths (5,7), piano (8), prepared piano (2), Fx, guitar treatments, bugle & French horn (7)
- Adrian Belew / lead (5,6,8-10) & rhythm (3) guitars, mandolin (1)
- Carlos Alomar / lead (2,4-7,9,10) & rhythm (3) guitars, drums (8), backing vocals (4)
- Simon House / violin (4,5,8,9), mandolin (1), backing vocals (4)
- Sean Mayes / piano
- Roger Powell / synth (9,10)
- Stan Harrison / sax (5)
- George Murray / bass, backing vocals (4)
- Dennis Davis / drums, percussion (2,3,7), bass (8), backing vocals (4)
- Tony Visconti / backing vocals (1,3,7,10), guitar (3,4), mandolin (1), bass (8), co-producer
- Reeves Gabrels / guitar (12)
- Erdal Kizilcay / drums & bass (12)

Releases information

Artwork: Derek Boshier with Duffy (photo)

LP RCA Victor ‎- PL 13254 (1979, UK)

CD RCA ‎- PD 84234 (1984, Europe)
CD EMI - CDEMD 1026 (1991, Europe) Remastered by Toby Mountain with 2 bonus tracks
CD EMI ‎- 520 9090 (1999, Europe) 24-bit remaster by Nigel Reeve & Peter Mew

Thanks to micky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy DAVID BOWIE Lodger Music

DAVID BOWIE Lodger ratings distribution

(285 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

DAVID BOWIE Lodger reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars LOOK BACK with ANGER ?

The third leg of the Berlin trilogy has little to do with Berlin actually. It was written mostly during the "Stage" tour and recorded in New York and Montreux. The Berlin reference being used for its experimental angle (which is much less obvious than on his prior two albums) and the collaboration with Brian Eno (who is also less involved on "Lodger" than on "Low" or "Heroes").

Exit Fripp and welcome Belew on the guitar. An old acquaintance is also doing a come back: dear Tony Visconti is playing some bass and guitar. He is also performing some backing vocals.

This album is more pop oriented and holds several good numbers: "Fantastic Voyage", "Move On", "Red Sails" which clearly announces "Scary Monsters" but along these good moments the world music oriented "African Night Flight" or the Turkish-reggae-ish "Yassassin" sound rather flat.

The B-side opens again on a pre-Scary monsters song. The popish "DJ" which depicts a jobless DJ (disc jockey or is it David Jones?.) and can be considered as a parody of the disco way of life which is dead by then.

The rise and fall of the disco era: "I am a D.J., I am what I play. I got believers (kiss-kiss) Believing me, oh". It was released as a single in the UK only (probably due to its relatively poor scoring in the charts).

One of my fave on the album is the excellent "Look Back In Anger" and actually, this album is not as bad as often described. The next song is one of the best of the album. David wanted to convey some sort of "garage band" sound to the song and asked Carlos to play the drums while the drummer (Dennis Davis) is holding the bass.It will peak at the seventh spot of the UK charts.

I personally feel more relation between "Lodger" and "Scary Monsters" than with any of "Low" or "Heroes" album. This one is much more accessible.

One is now used to be surprised with almost each new Bowie release. This aspect is largely avoided here. It is a more conventional album.

Three stars.

Review by Dobermensch
5 stars I take great exception to the negative reviews of this album. I'm sick and tired of reviewers giving this LP a hard time. I honestly don't know why - it's one of Bowie's more experimental albums mainly due to the fact that ambient egg-head Brian Eno is on board.

5 stars flat out - it's a perfect companion to the two Berlin albums that precede it. Admittedly it's vastly different in that there are no instrumentals in the way 'Heroes' and 'Low' had. It's much more vocal driven, and I'm more than happy with that!. It's certainly more upbeat, but the tunes are really unusual and odd when compared contemporary bands.

This is far more experimental and listenable than all the guff from the 80's that Bowie released. In fact in my opinion it's bordering on 5 stars. Honestly... sometimes I think belong on another planet when I read all these negative reviews.

This is a super Bowie album. Strange tunes and melodies are present on all tracks bar the rather stagnant opener 'Fantastic Voyage', 'Lodger' is also full of Eno's electronic tweakery and playfulness, which, combined with Bowie's instantly recognisable and undiscribable vocals make this one of my favourite albums from the late 70's. So there!

Review by tarkus1980
3 stars It's hard for me to shake the feeling that Eno and Bowie decided to do a third album with each other without a second thought, only to show up for the sessions and realize they didn't really know what they wanted to do next. Even accounting for the notion that it would have been nearly impossible for them to top "Heroes", so it was just as well that they didn't try to, this album is an incredible letdown on first listen. The production is especially disappointing, and almost confusing; I guess they wanted to go for a sparser, more relaxed sound than had been featured the last two albums, but they also try to make it sound fairly slick, and the end product doesn't really work. About half of the material is pretty strong and able to withstand these production weaknesses, but some of the material is driven down from okayish to kinda sorta pretty bad by these issues.

The first four tracks, for the most part, don't do that much for me. I like the chord sequences of the opening "Fantastic Voyage" quite a bit, but neither Bowie's voice nor the instruments are done any favors by how hollow the track sounds. "African Night Flight" is an intriguing mix of contemporary styles (and a foreshadowing of styles to come), but it comes together in a headachey mess, and neither "Move On" nor the awkward venture into mid-Eastern music (crossed with reggae) that is "Yassassin" end up interesting me in the least. For all of the snipes that can be taken at previous Bowie albums, how often has a Bowie album started with four tracks where only one of them is even sorta good? What a terrible start.

The album ends up finishing way stronger, fortunately. The closing "Red Money," as decently entertaining it may be, is still just a slick update of an old Bowie/Iggy Pop collaboration (with new lyrics), but the other five tracks are all solid no-doubt-about-it winners. "Red Sails" is great slick up-tempo rocker that makes great use of having Adrian Belew hanging around the studio, and the cool upwards synth break in the middle is the coolest part of the album; it's almost the perfect synth tone for bridging between the late 70's and the 80's (fitting for something released in 1979). Funny that the song seems to be about pirates ... "D.J" briefly sounds EXACTLY like something off of Fear of Music, and it's a great cross of Bowie's re-emerging desire to make great dance pop and his lingering desire to make kinda ugly music that would drive away most people looking for dance pop. The climactic hook of Bowie singing, "I've got believers *kiss kiss* believing me," would be enough to make this a really great song (and one of the two best on the album), but everything else, including more great Belew playing, just makes the track that much better. My other favorite of the album, "Look Back in Anger," has three really great things going for it: (a) an insanely frantic drum track propelling the song forward, (b) a fantastic backing vocal hook in the "Waiting so long, I've been waiting so, waiting so" part, and (c) a great energetic Carlos Alomar solo. Much to my shock, there are apparently some people who really dislike this song, but I can't fathom why that would be.

The other two tracks are rather, um, tweaked, and I like them a lot. "Boys Keep Swinging" takes the chord sequence to "Fantastic Voyage" and dresses it in guitar-heavy, post- punkish clothes, while Bowie sings about the great life benefits that come with being a boy ("Life is a pop of the cherry when you're a boy;" "Other boys check you out" etc). The combination of the lyrics and the deepness of Bowie's voice in this song is very jarring the first couple of times through, but I got used to it. And finally, "Repetition" is another post- punkish song, this time featuring Bowie singing about domestic violence and verbal abuse (focusing on the abuser) while keeping any emotion out of his vocals. It's definitely disturbing, though for some reason hearing Bowie sing, "He could have married Anne with the blue silk blouse" in the way he does cracks me up a little bit. I'm pretty sure this means I'm a bad person, but I can't help it.

All in all, this isn't a great album, but it's still an album with some great material, so it's definitely worth having. The worst stuff is pretty bad, though, so you should probably either just seek out the best tracks individually or try to find this used somewhere. This is definitely not how I would have liked to see the Bowie/Eno 70's collaboration end.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Adrian Belew tells anecdotes about this album - how over the course of making it, it became increasingly clear that Bowie and Eno had lost interest in the idea of working with each other on another album but never actually had a personal falling-out. I can believe that; Lodger sounds like an album which was completed solely out of politeness on the part of the creative partners concerned rather than out of any real passion for the material. The best song, Look Back In Anger, is a pale imitation of the warped soul on Station to Station, and even then it doesn't measure up to the best material on that album, let alone the glories of Heroes or Low.

Bowie is so low on ideas that he ends up recycling a backing track from Iggy Pop's The Idiot for the final number. Eno is barely a presence, his usual flair for inspired engineering and production not in evidence in the slightest. Cluttered down with ugly, half-baked filler songs about Africa and domestic violence, the album is a mess: not in an endearingly shabby mess, but a pile of clutter and malformed ideas. Bowie's worst album since Young Americans, and at least on Young Americans he was making an effort.

The 2017 mix by Tony Visconti on the A New Career In a New Town boxed set does tease out more of the album's charms, mind you - and that may be one of the best reasons to obtain that particular boxed set - but even then it's likely to be the runt of the litter as far as the Berlin albums go.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Dull and Disappointing. The final installment of the 'Berlin trilogy' is a let-down after its two predecessors, Low and Heroes. The innovative lets-try-something-new approach is gone, and we are back to straight three-minute rock songs. However, Bowie is not at his best in the song-writing depart ... (read more)

Report this review (#1698194) | Posted by Walkscore | Friday, March 3, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The cover of this album always confused me. I get it, it looks like a postcard, but why is Bowie doing a weird pose on the front of it. Being the last album in the Berlin Trilogy, Bowie and Eno have slowly moved away from each other. Apparently, during the making of this album, the two creative ... (read more)

Report this review (#1114007) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Monday, January 13, 2014 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Even if you think you do know BOWIE after all those changes you're wrong; this record shows some unexpected confusing themes, which are hard to get a grip on. Before listening to this record you should take a good look to the cover; this gives a good inpression of what will happen to you by listenin ... (read more)

Report this review (#185575) | Posted by the philosopher | Tuesday, October 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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