News Catch-up 27 July 2022

Author: Alex White  Date Posted:27 July 2022 

News Catch-up 27 July 2022

Welcome back everyone! Hope you're all enjoying this icy cold Winter. And if you're not, I have a little tip on how to endure it better. Hint: it involves spinning some hot records on the turntable. And what could be hotter than - not one but - six Bowie re-releases?!

Following on from last years Brilliant Adventures box set, the powers-that-be are issuing standalone editions of the studio albums from the set. Some of these have not been on vinyl for an age, but now all of them will be readily available. And as a proud owner of the aforementioned Brilliant Adventures box set, I can safely say that the remastered sound on these records is utterly sublime. Now let's take a look at them shall we?

First up is Bowie's 1993 album, Black Tie White Noise. This was Bowie's first solo studio album in almost six years, having devoted his artistic energies to the project band, Tin Machine since 1987's Never Let Me Down. Black Tie White Noise was a revival in sorts for Bowie. Having stripped himself of the pop sound of the 80's, Bowie chose a more introspective sound for this album. As well as paying homage to his personal love of soul and jazz, many of the tracks included saxophone - the first instrument that the man himself learnt to play as a child. Black Tie White Noise is filled with themes of love and contentment (a result of his recent marriage to Iman), as well as racial divides (triggered by Bowie having witnessed the Los Angeles riots first-hand). Back in the mix with Bowie was producer Nile Rodgers (who co-produced 1983's Let's Dance), as well as Mick Ronson and Mike Garson (who had both played lead guitar and piano, respectively, with Bowie during the Ziggy Stardust glam days). 

Black Tie White Noise is available for pre-order HERE

Originally released in the same year as Black Tie White NoiseThe Buddha Of Suburbia started out as a soundtrack album to the BBC mini-series of the same name. Although the title track takes themes from the show (and original novel) itself, the other tracks on the album were deliberately influenced by a myriad of themes that reminded Bowie of his childhood. What transpired was a ten track collection of avant garde, electonic, dance, and general strangeness. The Buddha Of Suburbia couldn't be any further from the pop sound of Let's Dance, and only did more to cement the fact that Bowie was a true chameleon of sound. A highlight of the album is the reprise of the title track with lead guitar laid down by Lenny Kravitz.

The Buddha Of Suburbia is available for pre-order HERE

If The Buddha Of Suburbia sounded alien to casual listeners, then 1995's Outside was darn right intergalactic. Subtitled as The Nathan Adler Diaries: A Hyper-CycleOutside was an experimental album, taking cues from 'outsider' art. It follows a loose narrative of a detective (Nathan Adler) travelling to a small town to investigate a young girl's murder. Parts of the story are told through spoken-word tracks (showcasing Bowie's voice impersonations) segueing the songs. Brian Eno (Bowie's collaborator from the 'Berlin Trilogy' days) joined him on this album to help with the unique blend of jazz, ambient, industrial, and everything in between. To call Outside bizarre may be an understatement (and may not be the go-to album for a dance party), but it's uniqueness and production values are truly special.

Outside is available for pre-order HERE

Turning 50 is a big event for a person, and, more often than not, the point at which they decide to take things easy in life. For Bowie though, he decided to produce one of the most fast-paced techno, industrial and drum & bass albums of the 90's. Earthling is a true highlight - from the iconic Union Jack coat on the cover, to the massive hits, Little Wonder and I'm Afraid Of Americans. Produced by Bowie himself, the album also saw the amazing lineup of Reeves Gabrels and Carlos Alomar (guitars), Gail Ann Dorsey (bass), Mike Garson (piano), and Zack Alford (drums). Earthling is a powerhouse of a Bowie album and playing it anywhere below highest volume does it an absolute disservice.

Earthling is available for pre-order HERE

In 1999, Bowie decided to put the fast pace of Earthling to rest when he produced Hours. In fact, the cover artwork even depicts the more recent long-haired Bowie cradling the exhausted, limp body of his former Earthling self. Hours presents a more introspective and spiritual body of work: Thursday's Child and Seven are two of Bowie's most sombre ballads. Although it was recieved negatively upon release (even failing to reach the Billboard 200 Top 40), Hours has been looked on fondly in the years since and the easy listening pop rock tracks on it have been given a new lease on life with several of them recieving remixes from the likes of Beck and Marius De Vries. Film buffs will surely recognize two of the tracks from Hours, as Something In The Air and The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell were used in the soundtracks to American Psycho and Stigmata respectively.

Hours is available for pre-order HERE

Last - and definitely not least - is the elusive album-that-never-was (at least until last year's Brilliant Adventures box set),Toy. Recorded in 2000, all tracks were completed but never released due to Bowie's seperation with the label EMI. Most of the tracks on Toy were re-workings of some of Bowie's earliest compositions, some dated as far back as 1966. With the musical talents of Earl Slick, Gail Ann Dorsey and Mike Garson, the re-recordings breathed fresh life into those early tracks. The fact that the album sat on a shelf away from the public for over twenty years is mind boggling. Still, the main thing is that it is here now and will be readily available. 

Toy is available for pre-order HERE

For those of you who feel a little cheeky and just can't decide on any one album, why not get all of them with our store exclusive bundle (available HERE). 

Hope these new releases quench your Bowie thirst for just a little while. We'll be back in a few days to shine the light on some more upcoming releases. Stay tuned.


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