Bringing back Bowie

For diehard fans, 1983-88 was neither Bowie’s most fundamental nor most passionate period. It would, however, be his most fruitful, climaxing with the hit Let’s Dance.

By Marc Zisman | Video of the Day | October 12, 2018
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Three years after the excellent Scary Monsters album, Bowie plunged body and soul into the MTV era with one of his greatest commercial successes, packed with funky pop and new wave disco hits that are hard to grow tired of. Produced by Nile Rodgers from Chic and released in April 1983, Let’s Dance even welcomed on board Stevie Ray Vaughan and includes a few hidden treasures, such as the glamorous cover of China Girl (co-written five years earlier with Iggy Pop for The Idiot) or the energetic opening track, Modern Love. The Thin White Duke croons like he’s never crooned before and his single Let’s Dance got people up on the dance floors all over the world. Once again, the star caught his fans off-guard and released an album that was completely different from his previous ones. Even if some people reproached the genius for indulging in a little commercial or even opportunistic pop soul success, Let’s Dance perfectly embodies its carefree title and ages rather well. Driven by his single Blue Jean and containing an improbable cover of God Only Knows by the Beach Boys, the album Tonight which was released in 1984 climbed its way to the top of the charts in the UK and even went platinum in the States. In April 1987, Bowie carried on down this path of muscular pop rock with Never Let Me Down

This boxset Loving The Alien (1983-1988) includes three remastered studio albums, live recordings from Serious Moonlight (Live'83) and Glass Spider (Live Montreal'87), as well as a compilation called Dance that brings together contemporary remixes of tracks from this period. One of the highlights is a new version of Never Let Me Down with brand-new production and instrumentation, supervised by Mario McNulty. The album is replayed by guitarist Reeves Gabriel, drummer Sterling Campbell, bassist Tim Lefebvre (who also features on Blackstar) and composer Nico Muhly. The idea came from Bowie himself who thought that the work from 1987 had been a "bitter disappointment". This 2018 version features Laurie Anderson's participation on Shining Star (Makin' My Love).

As with the three previous volumes of the complete Bowie collection - Five Years (1969-1973), Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976) and A New Career In A New Town (1977-1982) - this rich album Loving the Alien (1983-1988) also contains a new selection entitled Re:Call 4 as well as singles, remixes and some rare compositions such as Bowie’s contributions to the soundtracks of Labyrinth, The Falcon And The Snowman, Absolute Beginners and When the Wind Blows.





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