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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Hours' review, 'Earthling' next

Postby Belle Lettre » 20 Feb 2016, 16:44

Good call -
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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Hours' review, 'Earthling' next

Postby Minnie Mincepie » 20 Feb 2016, 16:58

^^^^
An outstanding contribution
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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Hours' review, 'Earthling' next

Postby yomptepi » 20 Feb 2016, 18:06

Playing Toy for the second time. i am clearly becooming fonder of the later Bowie sound, because this is pretty good so far. sound is nice too, although there do seem to be many different covers.

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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Heathen' review, 'Hours' next

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 20 Feb 2016, 19:49

yomptepi wrote:Shadow man is on the extra disc for Heathen, and it is a bit of a stunner. great vocal, and a great vocal sound.


Hm, not on my copy! ?
Strange... :?:
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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Heathen' review, 'Hours' next

Postby yomptepi » 20 Feb 2016, 20:55

ConnyOlivetti wrote:
yomptepi wrote:Shadow man is on the extra disc for Heathen, and it is a bit of a stunner. great vocal, and a great vocal sound.


Hm, not on my copy! ?
Strange... :?:


I have the two disc version from the later albums box set. All five albums are doubles with tons of extras. The Heathen set is rather good.
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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Heathen' review, 'Hours' next

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 20 Feb 2016, 20:58

yomptepi wrote:
ConnyOlivetti wrote:
yomptepi wrote:Shadow man is on the extra disc for Heathen, and it is a bit of a stunner. great vocal, and a great vocal sound.


Hm, not on my copy! ?
Strange... :?:


I have the two disc version from the later albums box set. All five albums are doubles with tons of extras. The Heathen set is rather good.


Ah, I have the limited two disc version of Heathen.
No shadow there...
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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Heathen' review, 'Hours' next

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 21 Feb 2016, 14:45

yomptepi wrote:I have played Heathen every day for week. Some days I have played it twice. I am playing it now.
I think it is fantastic. Just an amazing record. The songs unveil themselves gradually, and after maybe ten listens, they are beginning to feel like old friends. I came in with little hope. Expecting a record with a noisy band and some half written songs, and lot of posturing.
How wrong I was. This is a record of great songs. some wonderful tunes. And a band that never overplay their part. There is great subtlety here, and real respect for the material. There is atmosphere, excitement, humour and tenderness here. And Bowie's singing is absolutely superb.
I cannot believe i failed to listen to friends who said this was a real step up. Why would i? but it is. It is great, and i can see it being played a lot for a long time.
I prefer it to Reality. The songs here are stronger, and have more character, and better arrangements. Reality is more of the same, but the songs have failed to make a huge impression.
I'll have another day with this before I replace it in my CD player with Hours. My expectations are not high, but they are through the roof compared to where they were a few weeks ago.

What an excellent idea this was Anna. Working the way back through the Dames later records. I wonder when they will fail impress? And when we are done, maybe then i will feel able to face Blackstar. because i haven't been able to yet.


Glad you like it!
Upon it's release I said it was his best in ages! ;-)
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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Earthling' review, 'Outside' next

Postby Minnie Mincepie » 22 Feb 2016, 02:54

I'm a bit knackered so sorry if this skirts over the album quickly, but bed is calling. I feel duty bound to write much more seeing as it as my bloody thread idea, but I'll come back refreshed.

I've been really looking forward to this, mainly as it was one of the albums that I heard more than once (but didn't buy) when it came out, and I remember really liking it at the time. I was having a think about some of the other stuff I was listening to a lot at this time in my life - Underworld, Chemical Brothers, and lots of other danceable stuff, as were a lot of people that I was socialising with who weren't Bowie fans but had this album. It's pretty bizarre to think of now, that they had gone out and bought a Bowie album that I had just assumed I wouldn't like, and then I did. 'You've got to listen to this Bowie stuff, man', fucking hell, it's too surreal to think of. I mean they never bought anything else before or since as far as I know. Anyway, that's by the by.


Little Wonder then, barefaced cheekiness - wiki tells me (Sends kiss upwards to wiki) that there is almost no sampling on this album (of other people's stuff) and that everything was made in house and then tweaked with. I like that idea. He put Dorsey's tuning up of her bass on this, that kind of stuff. Straight out of Harry Nilsson's book! Listening on headphones, it's a hoot trying to work out what is what. I don't care at all for Looking for Satellites, but Battle for Britain is quite fucking something and then Seven Years in Tibet swans in like a big titted Jessica Rabbit all hip swayingly full-on and produces some noises and ideas that get me all shuddery.

And then! Dead Man Walking. Just the uurh uurh uurh uurh uurh uurh uurh uurh uurh guitar at the beginning grabs you like you're going to get a crack round the head. I fucking love it. And Gabrels guitar doesn't sound OTT on this one either. I could sit doing the head nod dance to this for hours. It's one of his best. It really is. And so many lyrics to grin at. And cry at, you know. 'Like a bad tempered child on a rain slicked street.' :D
Reminiscing with friends of the past: 'two young men dancing under the lamplight, shaking their sex and the boys that we were.' :(

I don't really understand 'Telling Lies' at all, not that I think understanding a song is necessary, but I don't get it. Feels like filler. 'The Last Thing You Should Do' though - fucking hell! He sounds like he's having a fucking WONDERFUL time making this. It feels very bare and honest, which of course is why it sounds so great. And what does this lead into? I'm Afraid of Americans.

I have a story about the wonderful video to this: well, any of his videos really.Baron has seen only a handful of Bowie vids, and VH1 did a four hour special after he died which we taped. All videos, with some live performances. So I was sat with him watching them and it was great watching his reactions knowing he had never seen any of them! Anyway, this was one of the videos. There are very occasional moments, here in Texas where I will see something just astonishing that I would never imagine seeing back in the UK and I always think of this video when it happens.
I love the USA in a way that sometimes surprises me, and I absolutely consider it home, but I always keep a little cynicism in reserve to pull out at times. If I meet another British person here, we can quickly reach sneer central with a pinch of hilarity and an element of being baffled about what we are surrounded by, with the total knowledge that we don't want to be anywhere else. It was the sort of thing I would imagine that on the day that I ran into Bowie in a NY coffeeshop we would talk about and understand. I'd see no crumpets on the menu and mouth to him from my table, 'no crumpets David!' and he would grin wildly and shrug his shoulders and mouth back 'what are they like!' and we'd both laugh, ha ha ha! Then we'd both look out the window at the wonder of NY shuffling and hustling past and we'd listen to some conversation from behind the cloakroom being vented at a high decibel and he'd mouth 'we wouldn't live anywhere else though eh' and I'd smile and mouth back slowly, 'No.' I'd pay for his coffee, writing on his bill 'you wrote the musical cheque to my soul all my life, the least I can do is buy your bagel' and I'd slip off out into the streets without a word.

Just ONE of the anticipated and crazily imagined encounters that won't happen now. :x


I am digressing a bit actually. Law/Earthlings on Fire is pretty good, and certainly needs to be played a few times before you feel properly warmed up by it. As with ALL this newer stuff, it sounds so much better on headphones.

Let's do the adding up: 2 tracks I don't care for,2 I love, the rest are great. That's not a bad ratio, is it?

Yeah - this is a pretty fucking great album. What's next? Outside? Bring it on, new and crazy Bowie!
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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Heathen' review, 'Hours' next

Postby Ghost of Harry Smith » 22 Feb 2016, 02:56

yomptepi wrote:Shadow man is on the extra disc for Heathen, and it is a bit of a stunner. great vocal, and a great vocal sound.


Definitely one of my favourite later Bowie tracks, I ranked it at the top of my BCB Top 20 list to try and get it in the winning results but alas, 'twas not to be. I'll be happy enough if a few more here hear it in all its majesty.

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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Earthling' review, 'Outside' next

Postby yomptepi » 28 Feb 2016, 13:49

I am still a week behind. Spent a little time with Toy, and although it is OK, I can see why it was rejected. The new versions add nothing other than bombast to the originals, and the other songs are hardly crucial. So I moved on to Hours.

Thursdays Child is a nice song. I am not sure how great a vocal it is, and certainly the first couple of stanza's are a bit shakey. It has grown on me now , and it does have a subtle beauty to it, as well as a tune I can remember. That is pretty rare on these later records. Something in the air ( something in my eye) is lovely> in fact the first four songs are all fairly low key, melody driven songs. So much so that it all gets a bit soporific after a while. If i am dreaming my life goes nowhere, and it just sort of fizzles out from there on. Certainly the least interesting (of this set of later albums) so far. Bowie by numbers. Glad he dumped Gabrels as a songwriter after this, as I am not sure Bowie did anything other than add lyrics to some rather ordinary tunes.

On to Outside, which I have already decided is good one. Hours won't be bothering my CD player again for a while...
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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Earthling' review, 'Outside' next

Postby yomptepi » 28 Feb 2016, 13:51

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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Earthling' review, 'Outside' next

Postby Goat Boy » 28 Feb 2016, 15:09

Outside is flawed but it has some of his best post Scary Monsters music. There's really great stuff on that album but I could do without the link tracks.
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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Earthling' review, 'Outside' next

Postby Minnie Mincepie » 28 Feb 2016, 16:00

I'm lagging behind on my own thread. I'll see if I can get Outside done before me stepmum lands for her month long visit...
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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Earthling' review, 'Outside' next

Postby Oscar » 28 Feb 2016, 18:57

I'm glad you've all slowed down a bit. I've done "Outside" but I think it needs to settle a while before I commit. I'm a bit worn out with it all. Time out, please. Jane has promised to bludgeon me to death in my sleep if I play any more Bowie in the house within the next 6 months (and she loves him!!). Back soon.

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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Earthling' review, 'Outside' next

Postby Minnie Mincepie » 27 Mar 2016, 03:11

Oscar52 wrote:I'm glad you've all slowed down a bit. I've done "Outside" but I think it needs to settle a while before I commit. I'm a bit worn out with it all. Time out, please. Jane has promised to bludgeon me to death in my sleep if I play any more Bowie in the house within the next 6 months (and she loves him!!). Back soon.



Yeah, a break was a good idea. I should get back into it though. I will try and get after Outside next weekend, having me ma here for three weeks threw everything into chaos, not that I minded. I've been listening to Outside a lot this week actually.
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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Tin Machine II' review, 'Tin Machine 1' next

Postby Minnie Mincepie » 25 Apr 2016, 02:36

I just sat down to write about this, and I remembered that it's nearly an hour and a half long, and it's nearly my bedtime here. So I'm going to do it next Saturday instead.
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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Outside' review, 'Buddha of Suburbia' next

Postby Minnie Mincepie » 02 May 2016, 00:27

I've been listening to this on and off for a few weeks - skipping tracks here and there. I'm just playing it all the way through now as I write.
There's absolutely nothing in this album - to me anyway - that would make you really think that it's Bowie's first reunion with Eno after so long. It was the last sound I expected after reading the liner notes and all the production blurb. I was familiar a couple of songs from the album anyway - but the album sounds to me like someone trying hard to be Eno, but not quite getting there. Maybe I'm just not familiar with the sounds Eno was making at the time of this album.

I wouldn't usually take a short cut but I did just want to concentrate on talking about the music on this album and nothing about the concept or the background but it is admittedly interesting so I'll make it easy if you want to go and find it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outside_( ... owie_album)

The album's two opening tracks, Leon Takes us Outside and Outside, are both completely listenable and vaguely Diamond Dogs in their approach and I do like the crunchy, nutty percussion-heavy wackiness of The Heart's Filthy Lesson. Q apparently said in their review 'regulars may feel short changed on the tune front' and I completely agree, though that's nothing I can't live with. I don't expect symphonies from Killing Joke either and I fucking love those bastards.
Garson's piano and the crazy Gabrels solo on' A Small Plot of Land' are not a million miles away from the building malevolence of 'Sue', but I think that comparison is probably the only thing that's positive I have to say about it. It just leaves me unmoved, and I don't know if that's because it's intentionally difficult.
I understand where he was going with ' Baby Grace' but I'm not able to go there with him with any great love.
'Hallo Spaceboy' though. Fuck. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. It storms itself in perfectly just at the right point. I certainly needed that.
'The Motel' drags horribly and isn't saved by any amount of existential angst even if it does come from his lovely old lungs.
'I Have Not Been to Oxford Town' though - oof. aaah, this is just so gorgeous. All the ingredients that flick my Bowie switch. Call and response, random spoken freakiness. Apart from his singing , I've always had a massive soft spot for his speaking voice.
I originally hated 'No Control,' but I have developed a warmer spot for it as the weeks have gone on.
' Algeria Touchshriek' sounds like what it's supposed to - a segue reiterating the concept of the album - but like Baby Grace, I feel like I'm being steered to have visions I would rather create myself. I just don't feel comfortable with such a blatant manipulation.
'The Voyeur of Utter Destruction' is a grower, and his vocals on this play a huge part in that, but then it's followed up by ' Ramona a Stone' which leaves me as cold as a fridge.

'Wishful Beginnings' is fucking awful, though it's followed by 'We Prick You' which while I don't rate it massively, is elevated by what comes before it.
'Nathan Adler' gets fast forwarded to 'I'm Deranged' which - again - does nowt for me.
'Thru These Architect's Eyes' is a different beast - and when you play the two tracks next to each other, there's not a million miles between them, yet there's something elevating about this one.
FF through another segue
I was very excited to get to 'Strangers When We Meet.' This is not my favourite version - which appears on Buddha - but there is something about this song more than almost any other of Bowie's later works that works for me on an enormous scale. I won't go on about this here as I want to talk about it more when I do Buddha next, but I'm always happy to hear this, especially now, on a sunny Sunday afternoon with my headphones on and the cats snoozing.
There's a bonus track on my copy - Get Real - I don't know when the bonus appeared, but I'm glad that it's the copy I got, as it's good enough despite the fact that this album is sooooo fucking long as it is already.

How to sum up - I didn't care for this album much, to be honest. These are the things I thought of after listening to it -

It has Eno on it, but it might as well not have. This is probably my hang up about what I expect from working with Eno, but his influence is absent.

There are couple of really good tracks on this, the rest are ok, or things I don't like at all. I understand that artists who once put out albums that contained all killer and no filler cannot necessarily do this for the rest of their lives, and I appreciate that they keep on pouring out their art anyway and I am all for that, but an hour and a quarter for an album that has 20% of something that I am going to revisit is a bit saddening and maddening given that it's an artist I love so much.

It just is too long.

There's not a reason for me to play this album ever again, and all of the other 'newer' Bowie albums I have reviewed on here I have gone back to again and again.

It might be that this is sandwiched between two albums I really love - Earthling and Buddha - and my disappointment is playing a part.

I'm fucking looking forward to getting to Buddha of Suburbia though. What an album that is. Soon, I hope...
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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards: 'Outside' review, 'Buddha of Suburbia' next

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 02 May 2016, 04:55

Gullible Punter wrote:There's absolutely nothing in this album - to me anyway - that would make you really think that it's Bowie's first reunion with Eno after so long. It was the last sound I expected after reading the liner notes and all the production blurb. I was familiar a couple of songs from the album anyway - but the album sounds to me like someone trying hard to be Eno, but not quite getting there. Maybe I'm just not familiar with the sounds Eno was making at the time of this album.

It has Eno on it, but it might as well not have. This is probably my hang up about what I expect from working with Eno, but his influence is absent.



Hm, strange!
For me, Eno is all over it!
Very strong influence, to my ears anyway. :?
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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards:'Outside' review, 'Buddha of Suburbia' next

Postby Moleskin » 02 May 2016, 10:37

There's a terrific album hidden in there with some judicious pruning. You've identified most of the bits I'd save.
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Re: Doing Bowie Backwards:'Outside' review, 'Buddha of Suburbia' next

Postby Minnie Mincepie » 02 May 2016, 14:44

Moleskin wrote:There's a terrific album hidden in there with some judicious pruning. You've identified most of the bits I'd save.


Yeah. Contrary to what I said about never listening to it again I've given it a final spin at work just now and my feelings are the same, other than the tracks I mention.
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