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Rock - Released March 8, 2013 | Columbia

Hi-Res Distinctions 3F de Télérama - 5 étoiles Rock and Folk - 5/6 de Magic - Sélection du Mercury Prize

Rock - Released January 8, 2016 | Columbia

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Rumors were rife: Definitive hibernation or even incurable disease - and then no - David Bowie made a blazing comeback in 2013 with the album The Next Day. Hardly time to fully digest this record and Ziggy is back already with the fascinating Blackstar, his 25th studio album published the day of his 69th birthday! 48 hours later, the shock is total as we learned of the death of the artist, carried away by a cancer after struggling against the disease for 18 months ... With Blackstar, once again we are tempted to say, Bowie surprises and amazes with a bold, and rather protean, experimental work (sometimes harking back to the likes of Station To Station/Low). A beautiful musical UFO that he designed with brilliant jazzmen in New York (including Maria Schneider and her orchestra but also guitarist Ben Monder and saxophonist Donny McCaslin) without forgetting the loyal Tony Visconti, ever behind the console to produce this beautiful black star. The star today is Bowie. Up there. Eternal and obviously immortal ... © CM/Qobuz

Rock - Released November 1, 2013 | Columbia

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio

Film Soundtracks - Released October 21, 2016 | Columbia


Rock - Released June 1, 1967 | Universal Records

David Bowie's first ever LP -- the 1967 set that introduced the world to the likes of "Rubber Band" and "There Is a Happy Land" -- is an intriguing collection, as much in its own right as for the light it sheds on Bowie's future career. Nobody hearing "She's Got Medals," for instance, can fail to marvel at the sheer prescience displayed by a song about gender-bending. Even within Bowie's subsequent world of alligators, starmen, and astronettes, however, there are no parallels for the likes of "Please Mr. Gravedigger," with its storm-swept lament for a murdered little girl, or "Uncle Arthur," the archetypal mommy's boy, whose one stab at snapping the apron strings shatters when he realizes his new love cannot cook. There's also a frightening glimpse into future Bowie universes, served up by "We Are Hungry Men," a tale of a world in which food is so scarce that the people have resorted to cannibalism. Not all of the songs are such sharp observations of human frailties and failings, while the distinctly family-entertainment style arrangements make it clear that, whatever audience Bowie was aiming for, rock fans were not included among them. But songs like "Love You Till Tuesday" and "Maid of Bond Street" have a catchy irresistibility to them all the same, and though this material has been repackaged with such mind-numbing frequency as to seem all but irrelevant today, David Bowie still remains a remarkable piece of work. And it sounds less like anything else he's ever done than any subsequent record in his catalog. © Dave Thompson /TiVo

Pop - Released June 9, 1997 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

In 1973, at the height of David Bowie's Ziggy-shaped excess, a small, smirking skeleton came creeping out of his closet, paused to adjust its merry pointy hat, then rocketed to number eight on the U.K. chart. It was, of course, "The Laughing Gnome," a reminder of his days directionlessly drifting through the '60s, and a cause for ribald amusement wherever it played. Today, of course, Bowie is no stranger to embarrassment...nor to "The Laughing Gnome." What, after all, was his role in the Labyrinthe movie but a twisted reprise of the Gnome's naughtier excesses, while his Earthling album even offered its own return to the same kind of basics, including the varispeed vocals that made the Gnome laugh. But Bowie still remains acutely aware of the nature of his musical roots. Initial intentions for this compilation included a second disc packed with outtakes and oddities; these plans were abandoned at Bowie's own request (the bootleg The Forgotten Songs of David Robert Jones celebrates his demands), and Anthology suffers accordingly. Of its 27 tracks, a mere handful can be missing from even a disinterested Bowie collection -- the Love You Till Tuesday soundtrack version of "Ching A Ling," and a handful of re-recordings made for 45 release. Everything else has now been repackaged so many times that even fresh remastering at first seems academic. And then you play the album. And then you play "The Laughing Gnome." Though Bowie plotted a similar course through the mundane backwaters of nostalgic Englishness as fired Ray Davies' best contemporary efforts, it's not difficult to understand why this work was doomed to commercial failure. He was, at this time, targeting most of his energy directly into the heart of the Hip Easy Listening Intelligentsia -- without pausing to wonder whether that crowd actually existed. Of course it didn't, and Bowie was doomed before he got started. Too twee for mainstream rock tastes, and way too heavy for the Anthony Newley crowd with which subsequent critics have most gleefully allied him, Bowie's subject matter was essentially little different to anything he has written about in the decades since then. If anything, in fact, it was even darker -- child abuse ("Little Bombardier"), cannibalism (the magnificently apocalyptic "We Are Hungry Men"), and infanticide ("Please, Mr. Gravedigger") vied with what might now be called the more characteristic themes of transvestism ("She's Got Medals") and sci-fi inflected utopia ("There Is a Happy Land"). Rearrange the songs a little and, thematically, "The London Boys" -- a tale of betrayed modishness that takes the Kinks' similarly themed "Big Black Smoke" to its inevitable, lonely conclusion -- would not have been out of place on Bowie's own Pin-Ups. The soaring, soulful "When I Live My Dream" could easily have lived with Young Americans, while the impulsive "Let Me Sleep Beside You" still demands a modern reprise. Elsewhere, "Ching A Ling" lent part of its melody line to the subsequent "Saviour Machine"; "Karma Man" was still appearing in Bowie's live set into the early '70s; and "Space Oddity," present here in early demo form, would of course become one of his most enduring hits ever. But in allying all this incipient brilliance to a distinctly MOR soundtrack of piano, strings, and orchestral arrangements, Bowie was shooting himself in the foot, and today, excellent liner notes and a topnotch remastering job do not disguise the sheer unconventionality of this material. Even now, with his subsequent reputation as a musical chameleon firmly a part of his legend, "Silly Boy Blue," "Maid of Bond Street," and "There Is a Happy Land" remain disconcerting members of his canon. At the time, they were positively alien, and even Bowie would take another five years before he learned to understand that. © Dave Thompson /TiVo

Rock - Released December 17, 2015 | Columbia


Pop - Released January 1, 1995 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Yet another repackaging of David Bowie's late-'60s sides for English Decca's Deram label, presenting him as a kind of psychedelic-era pop/rock singer. The material is attractive in a somewhat derivative pop/rock vein -- curiously, Deram also had Cat Stevens signed at the time, as a pop/rock singer/songwriter, and Bowie's work here is remarkably similar to Stevens' music of the same era, at its best quirkily melodic with clever lyrical twists, such as "Let Me Sleep Beside You," and at its worst predictable soft rock. The songs are drawn from singles such as "Rubber Band" (think of an attempt at psychedelic Noël Coward) and "The Laughing Gnome," and LP sides like "Join the Gang." Some of it is too precious for words, but the best of it has endured across the decades, including "Sell Me a Coat," "Love You Till Tuesday," "London Boys," and the original version of "Space Oddity." © Bruce Eder /TiVo

Rock - Released November 21, 2015 | Columbia


Rock - Released June 4, 2010 | Parlophone UK

David Bowie was getting himself into a side career of providing peppy ditties for movies for a while there, giving all kinds of films a little coating of coolness. Cool World was one of those to benefit, though it seems not to have done much good for the movie itself. The song is basically a mix of heartfelt Bowie-ism (Pop Mode Duke) with electronic beats masterminded by Nile Rodgers. For extra flavor, he also plays bursts of sax throughout the track. The end result is ... okay. The remixes vary from an fairly ordinary radio remix to stripped beat baths that show off the odd bit of flair here and there. © Steven McDonald /TiVo

Rock - Released November 11, 2016 | Rhino

Not the first posthumous compilation from David Bowie -- that would be the lavish box Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976), which was planned prior to his January 10, 2016 death -- Legacy is nevertheless the first designed with his, well, legacy in mind. That much can be gleaned from the title of the compilation, but that's a bit of a feint since this set essentially repackages the simplest incarnation of a previous Bowie hits compilation, 2014's Nothing Has Changed. Legacy is available as a single and a double-disc, both carrying sequencings that mirror those on Nothing Has Changed (and both featuring a new mix of "Life on Mars?"). On the single disc, the first 12 songs are the same, then the back sequence is different, discarding "Absolute Beginners" and "Hallo Spaceboy" and concluding with "Where Are We Now?" and "Lazarus." Similarly, the double-disc has a nearly identical sequencing on its first disc -- "Ashes to Ashes" and "Fashion" are swapped -- with the differences arriving in the comp's final six songs, so Heathen's "Everyone Says Hi" is here, and this concludes with "Lazarus" and "I Can't Give Everything Away." In both cases, the Legacy sequencing is slightly better than that on Nothing Has Changed, since it winds up ending on the elegiac note that Bowie gave Blackstar. Still, it's splitting hairs: the 2016 and 2014 compilations are similar to each other, and they're also similar to the many Bowie comps that came before, and they're all just as likely to satisfy and pique interest. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo


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