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David Bowie The Next Day album cover
3.86 | 245 ratings | 13 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Next Day (3:51)
2. Dirty Boys (2:58)
3. The Stars (Are Out Tonight) (3:56)
4. Love Is Lost (3:57)
5. Where Are We Now? (4:08)
6. Valentine's Day (3:01)
7. If You Can See Me (3:15)
8. I'd Rather Be High (3:53)
9. Boss of Me (4:09)
10. Dancing Out in Space (3:24)
11. How Does the Grass Grow? (4:33)
12. (You Will) Set the World On Fire (3:30)
13. You Feel So Lonely You Could Die (4:41)
14. Heat (4:25)

Total Time: 53:41

Line-up / Musicians

- David Bowie / lead & backing vocals, electric (1,16) & acoustic (3,13-15,17) guitars, keyboards, percussion (16), string arrangements (1,3,15), co-producer

- Tony Visconti / guitar (2,13,15,17), bass (6,12,15), recorder (3,9), strings (5), string arrangements (1,3,13-15), co-producer
- David Torn / guitar
- Gerry Leonard / guitar, keyboards (15)
- Earl Slick / guitar (2,6,12)
- Henry Het / piano (5,13)
- Steve Elson/ baritone sax (2,3,9), contrabass clarinet (3)
- Antoine Silverman / violin (1,3,13-15)
- Maxim Moston / violin (1,3,13-15)
- Hiroko Taguchi / viola (1,3,13-15)
- Anja Wood / cello (1,3,13-15)
- Gail Ann Dorsey / bass, backing vocals
- Tony Levin / bass (2,5,7-9)
- Zachary Alford / drums, percussion (7)
- Sterling Campbell / drums (6,12), tambourine (12)
- Janice Pendarvis / backing vocals (3,9,12,13,17)

Releases information

Artwork: Jonathan Barnbrook (design) with Sukita (photo from "Heroes" album cover)

CD Columbia ‎- 88765 46186 2 (2013, Europe)

Box (2xCD+DVD) Columbia, ISO Records 88883787812 (Europe) (2013) (as "The Next Day Extra", different cover)
Box (2xCD+DVD) Columbia, ISO Records SICP-30411~3 (Japan) (2013) (as "The Next Day Extra", different cover)
2xLP+CD ISO Records, Columbia 88765461861, 88765461861-SV2 (US) (2013)
2xLP+CD ISO Records, Columbia, Sony Music 88765 461861 (Europe) (2013)

Thanks to el rey carmesí for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy DAVID BOWIE The Next Day Music

DAVID BOWIE The Next Day ratings distribution

(245 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

DAVID BOWIE The Next Day reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Recorded in secret with musicians sworn to secrecy, The Next Day, the first album from David Bowie in ten years came as a bit of a surprise with no indication that anything was happening until the release of the laid back single Where Are We Now? Itself a bit of a slow burner, taking a few listens before I realised that we may be onto something here. After all, if truth be told, Bowie's released little to get excited about since the early eighties. Living with this for almost 2 weeks now though I can confidently say it's his best body of work since Scary Monsters.

The word was he'd stepped back to his seventies work for influence giving rise amongst many to hopes of something along the lines of Ziggy Stardust. It's clearly not the case and if the cover wasn't a giveaway, a rather cheap copy of Heroes with a large white square containing the album title over it, then a quick listen confirms its nearest reference would be late seventies Heroes and Lodger era. It's a strong collection of songs too with a high percentage of rockers with strong riffs and hooks and only a few ballads. Bowie's on great form vocally too sounding nothing like a man of sixty six. Perhaps down to his near death heart problems ten years back there seems to be a lot of references to death - "Here I am, not quite dying" he sings on the opening title track. Best of the bunch? I'm particularly fond of Love Is Lost with its simple keyboard line and hypnotic drum pattern, the upbeat and spacey I'd Rather Be High, the dark and moody Heat and the Heroes-esque How Does The Grass Grow? And that single's pretty good too. He's assembled a strong band too including some old friends including guitarist Earl Slick and drummer Sterling Campbell and of interest to prog fans, Tony Levin on some tracks too.

Overall then, while this isn't going to compete with his greatest work of the seventies it's nevertheless a fine body of work and far better than I could have dared hope for. I'm more than happy with The Next Day.

Review by Warthur
5 stars The Next Day will go down in history as the David Bowie album that nobody expected. Nobody was even anticipating that Bowie had a new album in the pipeline, and certainly nobody expected Bowie to rediscover his art rock muse this late in the game.

Perhaps those two factors are linked: it is possible that the long delay between Reality and this is a simple factor of the Thin White Duke no longer feeling obliged to record unless he has something truly compelling to offer. Either way, the album finds Bowie off in his own sonic universe to an extent we haven't seen since Scary Monsters: his releases from Let's Dance up to Reality seem to have found him chasing fashion or other people's aesthetics rather than crafting a new aesthetic which was truly his, which was the key to his success in his classic era and which is also the secret ingredient in this album's success.

Combining glitchy bang-up-to-date electronics, some of Tony Visconti's most labyrinthine production techniques yet, vocals which have aged like fine wine and the occasional unexpected twist (check out those 60s throwback ya-yas on How Does the Grass Grow?) and the end result is a strange expedition into territory which is highly experimental even by Bowie's standards. The cover art, though ugly as sin, is also kind of appropriate: the DIY/samizdat approach suggestive of Bowie and his allies sneaking off to create this treasure in secret, and also the allusion to "Heroes" as the last time Bowie got anywhere near this odd on-record. "Heroes", of course, though it sounded otherwordly on realease now seems rather conventional; I can't imagine a world where The Next Day sounds similarly conventional, but I look forward to getting there within the next few decades.

Bowie has finally cracked the secret of how to handle the onset of his old age - the strategy seems to be to abandon the rock star role altogether and instead become an oracle, a mysterious figure issuing forth strange pronouncements from the future at irregular intervals to be received with religious ecstasy by the faithful. (Perhaps this partly explains the "facelessness" of the cover art, the new approach overwriting the various rock star poses Bowie had adopted over the years.) Nobody knows when Tony Visconti will next descend from the mountain with another tablet of Bowie tracks for us to enjoy, but for the first time in my lifetime I feel I can receive a new Bowie album without a hint of trepidation. The man has well and truly got the magic back.

Review by tarkus1980
4 stars To underscore how unlikely it seemed that Bowie would ever make a follow-up album to Reality, The Flaming Lips (with Neon Indian) wrote a song called "Is David Bowie Dying?" in 2011. After his heart attack during the Reality tour, Bowie mostly dropped off the face of the earth, aside from a small handful of guest appearances here and there (and a role as Nikolas Tesla in the movie "The Prestige"), and it seemed that Reality was going to turn out to be his swan-song. I didn't especially mind this, even if it seemingly meant that "Bring Me the Disco King" was going to turn out as the closing track to his career (which wouldn't have been bad, just a little weird), and in the back of my mind I braced myself for the inevitable news that David Bowie had been found dead.

Then, on his (66th!) birthday in January 2013, it was announced that Bowie had finished work on an album that would be released a couple of months later, and the internet exploded. I mostly went out of my way to try and avoid reading specifics about the content of the album in pre-release reviews, but there seemed to be a lot of breathless "DAVID IS BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER!!11!!" hyperbole going on, none of which I was going to buy into. I watched the video for "Where Are We Now" and thought it was decent (it's a gentle Hours-like ballad that sounds much better in the context of the album than as a single), but I also suspected that Bowie wouldn't have come back from a decade-long hiatus to release an entire album of material along those lines, so I was pretty much ready for anything.

Well, the album basically sounds like a sequel to Reality, which shouldn't be shocking considering that Tony Visconti is once again involved in the production. It's not exactly packed with great songs, but it has a lot of good ones, and the combination of (a) the diversity of style and approach in the material and (b) the way he doesn't even try to glom onto contemporary styles makes this into both a very good album and one that will age well. If there's somewhat of a recurring weakness on the album, it's that David doesn't always bother to write good vocal melodies for the more "rocking" material; the opening title track, for instance, doesn't give a great impression in this regard, even if there are some interesting details in the actual playing. "If You Can See Me" gives a similar impression of being a chaotic mess, and "Boss of Me" gets kinda stuck on rambling lyrics that aren't especially memorable. Then again, there are also hard-rocking tracks where everything (vocals and instrumentation) comes together, especially in the breathtaking "(You Will) Set the World on Fire," which goes from a simple-but-heavy riff in the verses to a catchy-as-hell chorus that's one of the best Bowie ever wrote. "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" is another up- tempo guitar-driven number (with ample use of keyboards and nice production effects in support, not to mention the buried saxophone parts for texture) with a memorable vocal part, and "How Does the Grass Grow," in addition to having an inexplicable (but entertaining) repeated tweaked quote of "Apache" by The Shadows, works really well despite having seemingly only two notes in the vocals at times.

While many reviewers have liked to give special focus on the harder songs, gushing about how this is the most hard-rocking Bowie album ever (which is, uh, I guess a good thing; that would put it above Man Who Sold the World and the two Tin Machine albums I suppose), I quite like the slower and/or gentler numbers as well. Well, I'm not thrilled with "Dirty Boys," which strikes me as tapping into the same unnecessary horn-driven faux- badass vein that Tom Waits did on the Bad As Me title track (I mean, just like that track, this one is basically ok, but it seems calculated to draw a response that it doesn't really deserve). On the other hand, the more eerie and mysterious numbers like "Love is Lost" and the closing "Heat" (an atmospheric drone that makes for a gutsy-as-hell way to end the album in much the way "Heathen" did 11 years earlier), as well as the cheery and poppy numbers like "Valentine's Day" (which combines a happy guitar-based melody with lyrics about a kid shooting up his school), "I'd Rather be High," and "Dancing Out in Space," strike me as great inclusions. I really like the two gentle ballads, the aforementioned "Where Are We Now" and the passionate "You Feel So Lonely You Could Die," as well.

In short, if you don't hate post-70s Bowie, you'll probably like this one. It does seem a little odd to me that Bowie would need until 2013 to make an album that, under more favorable circumstances, could have easily been made in 2005, but then again I don't have much illusion about Bowie's ability to do something truly amazing at this point, so what's here is quite satisfying to me. Bowie's career would have gotten by just fine without this album (I don't feel he had anything left to prove), but very good albums never hurt anybody.

PS: The album cover, in my opinion, is so awful and half-assed that it loops around to brilliant.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Ground control to Major Tom?

Ten years. We had ten years left to cry in?. Oooops?I'm wrong here!

What a long silence from dear David. Almost a miracle! I have to say that I never thought of another album from him; and I was VERY glad when I heard he was issuing a new record. Moreover, when I talked about it with my brother, he assured me that this was a really good effort. So, here we go for another review (after a very long silence of mine).

Well?Most reviews are gorgeous, but I have to say that I am not really in line. There are of course a couple of decent (even good) songs like ''The Stars Are Out Tonight'' or ''I'll Take You There'' but ''Dirty Boys'' is really unnecessary (same comment about ''If You Can See Me'' as well as ''Boss Of Me''). David might have been pleased to release this album after so many years of silence but fans (including myself) were really looking forward for a new trip, but I am overall not very enthusiastic about this work.

Some good melodies (''Where Are We Now'', ''So She''), some decent rock songs (''Love Is Lost''), some déjà vu feeling (''Dancing Out In Space'') which reminds me the ''Let's Dance'' period and some supermarket music (''Valentine's day'') cannot raise this album to the range of masterpiece. And I'm not even talking about prog of course, but that's another topic.

Still, ''The Next Day'' (the album) is a fine piece of music even if there are very few surprises and highlights in here. The title track as well as ''How Does The Grass Grow'' reminds me of good old times (''Heroes''). The ballad ''You Feel So Lonely You Could Die'' is also quite poignant and reminds me of other times (you know: the seventies?)

I am quite surprised that this work rates higher than the superb ''Low'' which is in MHHO (my humble AND honest opinion) the proggiest work from Mr. Davy Jones on this site. Actually it even surpasses such great works as ''Station To Station'', ''Scary Monsters'' or ''Aladdin Sane'' which are parts of MY old time high from the master.

My fave here is the very pop ''Set The World On Fire'': great beat and fine melody are the ingredients. A very good rock song indeed as well as ''I'll Take You There''.

All in all, ''The Next Day'' is not a bad album. But I am just disappointed with the work delivered. Three stars no more. And I cannot be considered to be unfair to the artist. This is called objectivity.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A new David Bowie album is almost irresistible, if only to check out what the old master is up to now, 10 years since his last studio effort. The album cover is tantalising, with the large white square blocking Bowie's visage, taken directly from the infamous "Heroes" album cover.

At first glance one may be mistaken for thinking "The Next Day" was a bootleg with such a cover but it is apparent, as the album gets going, that this is the new Bowie. The first song chugs with an industrial rhythm and Bowie's vocals still hold their own. The title track is not classic though and there is no prog in sight.

'Dirty Boys' is funky with some great sax and a jaunty rhythm. One of the better tracks on offer and very odd wah wah guitar like a throwback to the funk of the 70s. 'The Stars (Are Out Tonight)' has a bright tempo and some nice harmonies from Bowie with a strong drum beat and some great guitar melodies.

'Love Is Lost' utilises 80s soundalike synth pads and pounding drums on an offbeat. Bowie sounds cool as he sings of the darkest hour, your countries new, your friends are new, your house, but your fears are as old as the world. 'Where Are We Now?' is very slow and melancholy, Bowie sounds old and lonely as he croons about memories, a man lost in time, walking the dead."

'Valentine's Day' is a simple pop song with a repetitive hook and certainly one of the lowlights for me. 'If You Can See Me' has a wild raucous musical structure, a ton of drum patterns and quirky vocals. 'I'd Rather Be High' is another pop standard and 'Boss of Me' is notable for the amazing sax playing. 'Dancing Out in Space' is a dancey thing with a strong drum cadence and double layered vox. It sounds similar to 'Modern Love' but not as catchy. 'How Does the Grass Grow?' has a cool groove and forceful vocals, with an anti-war theme. I could have done without the ya-ya-ya's; it sounds a bit dated and kitsch. '(You Will) Set the World On Fire' is a fast paced rocker followed by slow cruising 'You Feel So Lonely You Could Die', another highlight on the album.

'Heat' closes it with a droning synth and wonderful bassline, Bowie is very downbeat and sings with an odd timbre in his voice. I like this a lot too and it is perhaps the best song, certainly the most progressive, even featuring spacey synth and dark atmospherics. The distorted guitar crashes are terrific, and overall soundscape is doomy, especially the drones overlayed on an acoustic and creepy violins; haunting and powerful.

Bonus Track 'So She' has a nice chiming guitar, but 'Plan' is fantastic and definitely one that should have made it to the actual album as it is a catchy instrumental. 'I'll take You There' is the heaviest song and it is a bonus! It is far better than most of the material on the album. the fast paced lyrics are great, Bowie sounds fresh and exciting, and those guitar are crashing with gleeful distortion.

I love a lot of Bowie albums, namely "Ziggy Stardust", "Aladdin Sane", "Heroes", "Scary Monsters" and side 2 of "Low", but this new album does not really hit the mark for me. Apart from 'Heat', there is too much pop and dance stuff, and not enough innovation and edgy material, or even Bowie's trademark guitar riffs and keyboard workouts. I am not saying that Bowie should give the game away, I actually admire his desire to keep creating music as it his passion, but this is a very safe effort, and a major disappointment for an artist I have admired for so many years.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Ok, now it's diggested. EVERYBODY from magazines to all the independent websites have elected Bowie and The NExt Day (2013) in their Top10 lists... Oh that big beautiful hype! This is a very good record? Yes, it is a very good record, and it's good enough as a comeback for Bowie, but best of the year.... well, this is another story.

Will not even mention comparisons to his 70's period (especially because of the cover).... because this is ridiculous!!

Talking about the cover, is worty saying that this artwork is... shameful. I know the intention was to have exactly this feeling, maybe delete himself, who knows. For me he have lost the opportunity to create an unique artwork with this silly Heroes (1977) thing.

Another thing is the drummer of the album, Zachary Alford, that looks like AC/DC drummer, all the songs are EXACTLY the same on the drums. One thing is to keep it simple to make the song work, the other is just being simplist and ruin good songs.

The album itself has some amazing songs, really interesesting like 'The Next Day', the great riff on 'The Stars (Are Out Tonight)', 'If You Can See Me' and 'The Boss Of Me'. The rest feels pretty much like ok fillers. Specially the Space Control kind of feeling in 'The Heat'.

When it comes to Bowie's music I was expecting something more daring. Good, but not quite there.

Latest members reviews

3 stars David Bowie returned with a nice comeback after 10 long years and he looks and hears to be revitalized, full of new energy and motivation. Looking at the album cover, references to former works from the 70's can be expected. After hearing an album you will confirm that but DB does not rest on th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2311971) | Posted by sgtpepper | Sunday, February 2, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Bowie released a studio album again after a decade, with a record that, despite the iconoclastic cover, satirizing "Heroes", is a good summary of the stylistic trends he has adopted over four and a half decades: the melancholy à la Low in "Where Are We Now?", the glam guitar solo of "Valentine's Day ... (read more)

Report this review (#2266450) | Posted by kaiofelipe | Saturday, October 5, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a fantastic album. Alive with detail, variety and interest. Every song flows easily to the next but a few listens informs me of the detail. First I heard the standard edition. I thought lost of great material but I didn't really get that album hit I expected. Heat is a fine number but n ... (read more)

Report this review (#1313245) | Posted by uduwudu | Friday, November 21, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I have today had the joy to enjoy David Bowie's latest recording "The Next Day" from this very year 2013. This is a very good record, a masterpiece is a little too strong word and Bowie isn't really brave enough to match that appellation. But this surprised many and me too. This music is innov ... (read more)

Report this review (#967337) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Friday, May 31, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is without any doubt at least 4/5 stars release (in my case full 5/5 stars). Vinyl version sounds very good in deed (haven´t listened cd yet...) Nowadays there´s always little doubt in buying LP:s because of weak quality overall. I´m happy to inform that Next day´s vinyl´s pressing (E.U ... (read more)

Report this review (#939720) | Posted by Muumi | Friday, April 5, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars How can you not like Bowie. It's like saying you don't like Queen. It's just impossible. Now Bowie has been MIA for a good few years now, and in all fairness, I was safe in the knowledge knowing that Bowie wasn't going to make anymore music. His stuff in the past was great and he has made his ... (read more)

Report this review (#936170) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Wednesday, March 27, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After a ten year hiatus Bowie suprised friend and foe by releasing a new single on his 66th birthday and by announcing a brand new album. And here it is! Is it any good? For a man in his sixties Bowie sounds as vital and powerful as ever. The music is strangely familiar. Typical Bowie. Sometimes m ... (read more)

Report this review (#923946) | Posted by LakesideRitchie | Monday, March 4, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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