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David Bowie - Heathen

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Heathen

David Bowie

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Heathen marks a new beginning for David Bowie in some ways -- it's his first record since leaving Virgin, his first for Columbia Records, his first for his new label, ISO -- yet it's hardly a new musical direction. Like Hours, this finds Bowie sifting through the sounds of his past, completely at ease with his legacy, crafting a colorful, satisfying album that feels like a classic Bowie album. That's not to say that Heathen recalls any particular album or any era in specific, yet there's a deliberate attempt to recapture the atmosphere, the tone of his '70s work -- there's a reason that Bowie decided to reteam with Tony Visconti, the co-producer of some of his best records, for this album -- even if direct comparisons are hard to come by. Which is exactly what's so impressive about this album. Bowie and Visconti never shy away from electronic instrumentations or modern production -- if anything, they embrace it -- but it's woven into Bowie's sound subtly, never drawing attention to the drum loops, guitar synths, and washes of electronica. For that matter, guest spots by Dave Grohl and Pete Townshend (both on guitar) don't stand out either; they're merely added texture to this an album that's intricately layered, but always plays smoothly and alluringly. And, make no mistake, this is an alluring, welcoming, friendly album -- there are some moody moments, but Bowie takes Neil Young's eerie "I've Been Waiting for You" and Pixies' elusively brutal, creepy "Cactus" and turns them sweet, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, either. In the end, that's the key to Heathen -- the undercurrent of happiness, not in the lyrics, but in the making of music, a realization by Bowie and Visconti alike that they are perfect collaborators. Unlike their previous albums together, this doesn't boldly break new ground, but that's because, 22 years after their last collaboration, Scary Monsters, both Bowie and Visconti don't need to try as hard, so they just focus on the craft. The result is an understated, utterly satisfying record, his best since Scary Monsters, simply because he'd never sounded as assured and consistent since.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Heathen

David Bowie

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1
Sunday
00:04:45

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Composer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Lyricist, Main Artist, Saxophone - David Bowie and Tony Visconti, Producer - Tony Visconti, Arranger, Bass, Guitar, Producer - Matt Chamberlain, Drums, Percussion, Programmer - David Torn, Guitar, Loops

(P) 2002 ISO Records under license to Sony Music Entertainment

2
Cactus
00:02:54

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Main Artist, Saxophone - Black Francis, Composer, Lyricist - David Bowie and Tony Visconti, Producer - Tony Visconti, Arranger, Bass, Guitar, Producer, Recorder - Matt Chamberlain, Drums, Percussion, Programmer - David Torn, Guitar, Loops

(P) 2002 ISO Records under license to Sony Music Entertainment

3
Slip Away
00:06:05

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Composer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Lyricist, Main Artist, Saxophone - David Bowie and Tony Visconti, Producer - Tony Visconti, Arranger, Bass, Guitar, Producer, Recorder - Matt Chamberlain, Drums, Percussion, Programmer - David Torn, Guitar, Loops

(P) 2002 ISO Records under license to Sony Music Entertainment

4
Slow Burn
00:04:41

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Composer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Lyricist, Main Artist, Saxophone - David Bowie and Tony Visconti, Producer - Tony Visconti, Arranger, Bass, Guitar, Producer, Recorder - Pete Townshend, Guitar - Matt Chamberlain, Drums, Percussion, Programmer - David Torn, Guitar, Loops

(P) 2002 ISO Records under license to Sony Music Entertainment

5
Afraid
00:03:28

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Composer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Lyricist, Main Artist, Saxophone - David Bowie and Mark Plati, Producer - Mark Plati, Producer - Tony Visconti, Arranger, Bass, Guitar, Recorder - Matt Chamberlain, Drums, Percussion, Programmer - David Torn, Guitar, Loops

(P) 2002 ISO Records under license to Sony Music Entertainment

6
I've Been Waiting for You
00:03:00

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Main Artist, Saxophone - David Bowie and Tony Visconti, Producer - Neil Young, Composer, Lyricist - Tony Visconti, Arranger, Bass, Guitar, Producer, Recorder - Dave Grohl, Guitar - Matt Chamberlain, Drums, Percussion, Programmer - David Torn, Guitar, Loops

(P) 2002 ISO Records under license to Sony Music Entertainment

7
I Would Be Your Slave
00:05:14

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Composer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Lyricist, Main Artist, Saxophone - David Bowie and Tony Visconti, Producer - Tony Visconti, Arranger, Bass, Guitar, Producer, Recorder - Matt Chamberlain, Drums, Percussion, Programmer - David Torn, Guitar, Loops

(P) 2002 ISO Records under license to Sony Music Entertainment

8
I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spaceship
00:04:06

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Composer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Lyricist, Main Artist, Saxophone - David Bowie and Tony Visconti, Producer - Tony Visconti, Arranger, Bass, Guitar, Producer, Recorder - Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Composer, Lyricist - Matt Chamberlain, Drums, Percussion, Programmer - David Torn, Guitar, Loops

(P) 2002 ISO Records under license to Sony Music Entertainment

9
5:15 the Angels Have Gone
00:05:02

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Composer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Lyricist, Main Artist, Saxophone - David Bowie and Tony Visconti, Producer - Tony Visconti, Arranger, Bass, Guitar, Producer, Recorder - Matt Chamberlain, Drums, Percussion, Programmer - David Torn, Guitar, Loops

(P) 2002 ISO Records under license to Sony Music Entertainment

10
Everyone Says 'Hi'
00:03:58

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist - Brian Rawling and Gary Miller for Brian Rawling Productions., Producer - Gary Miller, Guitar, Producer - Carlos Alomar, Guitar - Tony Visconti (Produced Vocals & Guitars), Producer - Sola Akingbola, Percussion - John Read, Bass

(P) 2002 ISO Records under license to Sony Music Entertainment

11
A Better Future
00:04:11

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Composer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Lyricist, Main Artist, Saxophone - David Bowie and Tony Visconti, Producer - Tony Visconti, Arranger, Bass, Guitar, Producer, Recorder - Matt Chamberlain, Drums, Percussion, Programmer - David Torn, Guitar, Loops

(P) 2002 ISO Records under license to Sony Music Entertainment

12
Heathen (The Rays)
00:04:16

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Composer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Lyricist, Main Artist, Saxophone - David Bowie and Tony Visconti, Producer - Tony Visconti, Arranger, Bass, Guitar, Producer - Matt Chamberlain, Drums, Percussion, Programmer - David Torn, Guitar, Loops

(P) 2002 ISO Records under license to Sony Music Entertainment

DISC 2

1
Sunday Moby Remix
00:05:10

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist - Moby, Producer

(P) 2002 ISO Records under license to SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

2
A Better Future Remix by Air
00:04:56

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist - Air, Re-Mixer - Julien Delfaux, Re-Mixer

(P) 2002 ISO Records under license to SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

3
Conversation Piece
00:03:53

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist - David Bowie and Mark Plati, Producer - Mark Plati, Guitar, Producer - Lisa Germano, Mandolin - Earl Slick, Guitar - Tony Visconti, Mixing Engineer - Sterling Campbell, Drums - Mike Garson, Piano - Gail Ann Dorsey, Bass

(P) 2002 ISO Records under license to Sony Music Entertainment

4
Panic In Detroit Outtake from a 1979 Recording
00:02:59

David Bowie, Associated Performer, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist, Main Artist - Tony Visconti, Guitar, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Andy Duncan, Drums - Zaine Griff, Bass

(P) 1979, 1997 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Co., LLC Under exclusive license to EMI Records UK.

Album Description

Heathen marks a new beginning for David Bowie in some ways -- it's his first record since leaving Virgin, his first for Columbia Records, his first for his new label, ISO -- yet it's hardly a new musical direction. Like Hours, this finds Bowie sifting through the sounds of his past, completely at ease with his legacy, crafting a colorful, satisfying album that feels like a classic Bowie album. That's not to say that Heathen recalls any particular album or any era in specific, yet there's a deliberate attempt to recapture the atmosphere, the tone of his '70s work -- there's a reason that Bowie decided to reteam with Tony Visconti, the co-producer of some of his best records, for this album -- even if direct comparisons are hard to come by. Which is exactly what's so impressive about this album. Bowie and Visconti never shy away from electronic instrumentations or modern production -- if anything, they embrace it -- but it's woven into Bowie's sound subtly, never drawing attention to the drum loops, guitar synths, and washes of electronica. For that matter, guest spots by Dave Grohl and Pete Townshend (both on guitar) don't stand out either; they're merely added texture to this an album that's intricately layered, but always plays smoothly and alluringly. And, make no mistake, this is an alluring, welcoming, friendly album -- there are some moody moments, but Bowie takes Neil Young's eerie "I've Been Waiting for You" and Pixies' elusively brutal, creepy "Cactus" and turns them sweet, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, either. In the end, that's the key to Heathen -- the undercurrent of happiness, not in the lyrics, but in the making of music, a realization by Bowie and Visconti alike that they are perfect collaborators. Unlike their previous albums together, this doesn't boldly break new ground, but that's because, 22 years after their last collaboration, Scary Monsters, both Bowie and Visconti don't need to try as hard, so they just focus on the craft. The result is an understated, utterly satisfying record, his best since Scary Monsters, simply because he'd never sounded as assured and consistent since.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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