All Things Bowie

  • He went right out of fashion by the mid eighties until his Glastonbury performance in 2000. . Never out of fashion with me I hasten to add . That Glastonbury show was one of my "I was there" moments. There I Just had to find an excuse to fit that one in!!

    He certainly became less fashionable, if that's the right word. He returned to no1 singles with Let's Dance but personally I don't like the sequence that began with that album. I think he felt the urge to sort of purge himself with his subsequent Tin Machine phase, back-to-basic rocks and touring in a van to small venues. Some mocked him at the time for that, but I say good for him. He's David Bowie, he should do whatever he feels like!


    Many also look askance at his 90s phase but I really like it, as I generally do all his subsequent work.


    I think you're right in that he had fewer big hit singles than most probably assume. I suppose that perception is partly a consequence of how big a cultural presence and influence he was, and still is.


    If you were at Glasto 2000 you don't need an excuse to mention it, just go ahead. I would.

    Abandon all reason

  • I don't agree the singles themselves became patchy. If that's how you're describing Beauty and the Beast then I'm afraid I'm going to have to fight you.


    You often see the same archive clips appear over and over. Don't forget that rock music shows were extremely sparse on tv during the 70s so when they featured big names those clips will be endlessly recycled. As you say, it's nevertheless good to see them. One show ran the superb TOTP clip of Jean Genie thought lost until rediscovered 10 years ago.

    That would be a pointless fight - Beauty & the Beast was from the late 70s. I maintain the 80s were patchy, as he released some very good singles then, but none after Absolute Beginners, & some before that weren’t up to the standard of the 1970s unbroken good run that lasted from Changes until Scary Monsters in 1980.


    Re the clips, yes it’s a shame the BBC don’t have any contemporary film of Genesis with sound or vision half as good as their Bowie handful from 1972, leaving us with only those few clips from the early 70s on Youtube that have been immaculately refurbished by devoted fans.

  • That would be a pointless fight - Beauty & the Beast was from the late 70s. I maintain the 80s were patchy, as he released some very good singles then, but none after Absolute Beginners, & some before that weren’t up to the standard of the 1970s unbroken good run that lasted from Changes until Scary Monsters in 1980.

    I misunderstood your 'patchy' comment which I thought referred to the late 70s period I was talking about, but I realise you picked up on my reference to the 80s. As I subsequently said, yes his 80s output is my least favourite.


    Therefore, sorry everyone, the fight is not going to happen. Not yet and not over this at any rate. (I'd win anyway).

    Abandon all reason

  • I misunderstood your 'patchy' comment which I thought referred to the late 70s period I was talking about, but I realise you picked up on my reference to the 80s. As I subsequently said, yes his 80s output is my least favourite.


    Therefore, sorry everyone, the fight is not going to happen. Not yet and not over this at any rate. (I'd win anyway).

    And it wouldn't be a very gentlemanly victory anyway. :)

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • I have finally listened to the tracks


    The Dylan cover version is quite good, but the Lennon tracks is something I don't really need.

    Nevertheless nice to see some stuff from his archive sees the light of day ...


  • Following on from previous posts here what do people think of his later work? Personally I see his seventies stuff as almost faultless although Heroes was the first album I never got into except the title track .Never keen on SM Let's Dance or Tonight. ( A few songs) I seem to be the only person in the world ( inc. Bowie) that thought NLMD was an improvement. Love Day In Day Out. I thought Tin Machine was brilliant. 1 Outside good and I have developed more and more a liking for BTWN over the years .Earthling brilliant. I lump Hours and Heathen much the same as Ok a good listen with Reality back to great again better for me than Next though still really like it. I think Blackstar was the best thing he did since DD which is my favourite Bowie album. Blackstar was/ just tremendous.

  • Following on from previous posts here what do people think of his later work? Personally I see his seventies stuff as almost faultless although Heroes was the first album I never got into except the title track .Never keen on SM Let's Dance or Tonight. ( A few songs) I seem to be the only person in the world ( inc. Bowie) that thought NLMD was an improvement. Love Day In Day Out. I thought Tin Machine was brilliant. 1 Outside good and I have developed more and more a liking for BTWN over the years .Earthling brilliant. I lump Hours and Heathen much the same as Ok a good listen with Reality back to great again better for me than Next though still really like it. I think Blackstar was the best thing he did since DD which is my favourite Bowie album. Blackstar was/ just tremendous.

    Yes the ground he covered in his 70s output is astonishing. I'd agree with 'almost faultless' - in fact I wouldn't like my favourite artists to be faultless, and none of them are. Interesting about your reaction to Heroes (which I don't share). I do like Scary but I too found myself drifting away during the 80s. However, I might revisit those, ditto Tin Machine which I didn't like much at the time but have a feeling it might have improved on me. But I always liked that he did it, even if the results didn't excite me back then. I absolutely love a track from the 2nd TM album, You Belong In Rock 'N' Roll.


    With Black Tie, at the time I sensed the seeds of an upturn but never returned to that album, so I'd like to go back to it now. I then started to really enjoy his stuff again during the 90s and onwards, I like everything from then until the end.


    EDIT - By the way, what do you chaps think of The Buddha of Suburbia? It seems to be generally well spoken of, but it's one that for some reason I've never become familiar with despite liking the one or two tracks I do know.

    Abandon all reason

    Edited once, last by Backdrifter ().

  • Yes the ground he covered in his 70s output is astonishing. I'd agree with 'almost faultless' - in fact I wouldn't like my favourite artists to be faultless, and none of them are. Interesting about your reaction to Heroes (which I don't share). I do like Scary but I too found myself drifting away during the 80s. However, I might revisit those, ditto Tin Machine which I didn't like much at the time but have a feeling it might have improved on me. But I always liked that he did it, even if the results didn't excite me back then. I absolutely love a track from the 2nd TM album, You Belong In Rock 'N' Roll.


    With Black Tie, at the time I sensed the seeds of an upturn but never returned to that album, so I'd like to go back to it now. I then started to really enjoy his stuff again during the 90s and onwards, I like everything from then until the end.


    EDIT - By the way, what do you chaps think of The Buddha of Suburbia? It seems to be generally well spoken of, but it's one that for some reason I've never become familiar with despite liking the one or two tracks I do know.

    BTWN has a laid back jazzy feel . I really like. I have forgotten much of the BUDDA . I enjoyed the series at the time , it's never been repeated. I used to to have the album on cassette and quite enjoyed it but can't remember it much now. One of the things of his I don't have. (My cassette was taped from a tape on tape to tape player! ) No

  • My momma said, to get things done, you better not mess with Major Tom,

    My momma said, to get things done, you'd better not mess with Major Tom.

    I've always loved the muttered responses


    I've never done good things (never done good things)

    I've never done bad things (never done bad things)

    I never did anything out of the blue... woah-woah (woah-woah)


    😂


    The 15yo me had a major thing about that blonde in the video

    Abandon all reason

  • I love how the melody shifts across the repeated couplets in the outro, so the emphasis shifts as the lines repeat. It feels as though the lyrics are going at one tempo and the melody at a different one. Like an aural zoetrope if you will.

  • I had the pleasure of seeing Bowie 4 times: (1) Isolar II (the "Heroes" tour) in May '78; (2) Serious Moonlight in September 1983; (3) Glass Spider in August 1987 and (4) Sound + Vision in July '90. All were drastically different shows. I would have given my left nut to see Station to Station at the Montreal Forum in '76 but I was a tad bit too young. I always really liked that whole Berlin period so the first show was awesome in that regard. It was very casual and Bowie seemed quite content actually (as my then 15 year old brain can remember). Moonlight was the huge commercial tour and in fact I saw him in a stadium in Syracuse, NY. It was really a "greatest hits" tour though I wish that SRV had stayed around. It was fun but diametrically opposed to the previous tour. Glass Spider was "Diamond Dogs Part II" so again, drastically different (incredible visuals on that one). Peter Frampton on guitar was a nice touch as they were apparently schoolmates growing up. I remember Bowie being overwhelmed by the crowd's response and promising to "definitely come back to Ottawa" (it was at Landsdowne Park or Frank Claire Stadium). Sound and Vision was a disaster.... The crowd was very small (no more than 5000 in a 10,000 seat arena) which did not go over well with Bowie. He seemed generally annoyed and they rushed through the setlist - wham, bang, thank you 'mam!". I never saw him post 1990 but have fond memories of each of the 4 shows I saw, despite the last one.

  • I had the pleasure of seeing Bowie 4 times: (1) Isolar II (the "Heroes" tour) in May '78; (2) Serious Moonlight in September 1983; (3) Glass Spider in August 1987 and (4) Sound + Vision in July '90. All were drastically different shows. I would have given my left nut to see Station to Station at the Montreal Forum in '76 but I was a tad bit too young. I always really liked that whole Berlin period so the first show was awesome in that regard. It was very casual and Bowie seemed quite content actually (as my then 15 year old brain can remember). Moonlight was the huge commercial tour and in fact I saw him in a stadium in Syracuse, NY. It was really a "greatest hits" tour though I wish that SRV had stayed around. It was fun but diametrically opposed to the previous tour. Glass Spider was "Diamond Dogs Part II" so again, drastically different (incredible visuals on that one). Peter Frampton on guitar was a nice touch as they were apparently schoolmates growing up. I remember Bowie being overwhelmed by the crowd's response and promising to "definitely come back to Ottawa" (it was at Landsdowne Park or Frank Claire Stadium). Sound and Vision was a disaster.... The crowd was very small (no more than 5000 in a 10,000 seat arena) which did not go over well with Bowie. He seemed generally annoyed and they rushed through the setlist - wham, bang, thank you 'mam!". I never saw him post 1990 but have fond memories of each of the 4 shows I saw, despite the last one.

    Interesting what you say about the Sound and Vision tour. I saw that show with former Mrs Farmer who's also I give Bowie fan at Maine Rd ( football stadium) . First time seeing him ( o had been a major fan since I was 11) and a major disappointment. The tour was intended for him to do his best known songs then put them behind him, so he could move on and concentrate on new material. So we believed it was out first and last chance to see the great man do his classics. The stage show was minimal and Bowie seemed bored. I don't think the show you went to was bad because just the stadium was half full. I suspect the whole tour was like that. I've read about it recently and we were not the only ones to feel like that although others did love it . He made up for it though, Glastonbury 2000 and Reality were great

  • Interesting what you say about the Sound and Vision tour. I saw that show with former Mrs Farmer who's also I give Bowie fan at Maine Rd ( football stadium) . First time seeing him ( o had been a major fan since I was 11) and a major disappointment. The tour was intended for him to do his best known songs then put them behind him, so he could move on and concentrate on new material. So we believed it was out first and last chance to see the great man do his classics. The stage show was minimal and Bowie seemed bored. I don't think the show you went to was bad because just the stadium was half full. I suspect the whole tour was like that. I've read about it recently and we were not the only ones to feel like that although others did love it . He made up for it though, Glastonbury 2000 and Reality were great

    Interesting comment regarding Sound + Vision... Yes, it was meant to be a farewell tour of sorts, I remember that. And he and the band were most definitely rushing through the setlist with very little chatter. It was so different than '87 or any other previous show that I saw. Given his propensity to "transform" every couple of years, he may have been really fed up with the '70s material at this point and just wanted to put it to rest. Anyway, incredible performer and also a shrewd businessman (he made his money from buying publishing catalogues). RIP.

  • S&V was my first time seeing him so it had the buzz of that, although in retrospect and in light of subsequent tours it lost a lot of its sheen in my memory. Also it was at Milton Keynes Bowl which didn't help, a soulless outdoor venue rather like an emptied-out reservoir or some other kind of utilitarian council site. (It's where the Six Of The Best show took place).


    I recall fans were asked ahead of the tour to nominate their favourite songs to be included in the set, leading to a coordinated campaign to vote for The Laughing Gnome. Or am I imagining all that?


    Either way, at the time I didn't twig it was intended as a "goodbye to the old material" show. He certainly minimised the classic stuff on subsequent tours but it crept back in. Perhaps he needed to do it as a psychological or symbolic exercise if not an actual catharsis, possibly leading to his feeling more at ease with that material. Together with his Tin Machine years and the shot of life his main output had in the 90s, maybe he'd felt a bit stale by the end of the 80s and needed a shake-up. If so, I'd say it worked.


    By the way, on a tangent. I'm seeing this thread and the Moby one on the dashboard. I thought it was now given over entirely to Genesis-related threads.

    Abandon all reason

  • Interesting comment regarding Sound + Vision... Yes, it was meant to be a farewell tour of sorts, I remember that. And he and the band were most definitely rushing through the setlist with very little chatter. It was so different than '87 or any other previous show that I saw. Given his propensity to "transform" every couple of years, he may have been really fed up with the '70s material at this point and just wanted to put it to rest. Anyway, incredible performer and also a shrewd businessman (he made his money from buying publishing catalogues).

    Back to your previous post , quite envious of you seeing Bowie on those tours. Looking back I went off him a bit with Let's Dance and Tonight so didn't bother trying. ( Should have) Didn't do gigs until '79 when I was 16/17, so SM tour would have been my first chance. Tried for the Glass Spider tour , one of the few gigs I couldn't get a ticket .( I'm the only person I know who thought Never Let Me Down was an improvement. ) Turned up without one in an attempt to get one from a tout. First and only time that method failed . And I think he was fed up with it with the material he did on S+V, don't think he left it a secret I'd read of heard he didn't want to the same old stuff for the rest of his life, but he really should've made a bit of an effort.


    Milton Keynes bowl was definitely a rubbish place for a concert but as you say Six of the Best was there and that certainly didn't lack atmosphere. And it rained. And it was cold .

    You're right about it being a symbolic exercise. I thought Tin Machine was great . No you are not imagining the fan vote and Laughing Gnome winning. I remember it well. I have a feeling Bowie did not see the humour in it. Perhaps he was really grumpy about it. ! He may have been cheered of he could have said " this was voted for by you" as I assume was the plan. It really would have been brilliant if he did laughing Gnome.


    (Just in case there is any confusion the former Mrs Farmer is fine and I remain very happily married to the current Mrs Farmer.!!)

  • Yes, I also remember the "fan request" component. Curiously, Roger Waters did the same thing on his Radio Kaos tour in '88? I was there and I remember a phone booth where people would go in and talk to him on stage. I also remember some stoner asking him why he wasn't reuniting with Pink Floyd and that set him off quite significantly. I had the "pleasure" of doing a group interview of RW on Sirius XM about 10 years (?) ago in NYC and he was definitely an odd character. All politics when he was on air and then he would crack jokes once the red light went off (i.e. during breaks). That made me think that this was all one big act (his left wing politics) - his diamond encrusted Rolex also seemed to clash with the Marxism lol. Anyway, sorry for the tangent.