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David Bowie - Black Tie White Noise

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Black Tie White Noise

David Bowie

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Black Tie White Noise was the beginning of David Bowie's return from the wilderness of post-Let's Dance, the first indication that he was regaining his creative spark. To say as much suggests that it's a bit of a lost classic, when it's rather a sporadically intriguing transitional album, finding Bowie balancing the commercial dance-rock of Let's Dance with artier inclinations from his Berlin period, all the while trying to draw on the past by working with former Spider from Mars guitarist Mick Ronson, collaborating with Let's Dance producer Nile Rodgers, and even covering inspiration Scott Walker's "Nite Flights." On top of that, the record was inspired by his recent marriage to supermodel Iman -- the record is bookended with "The Wedding" and "The Wedding Song" -- and then tied up and presented as a sophisticated modern urban soul record, one that draws from uptown soul (including, rather bafflingly, a duet with Al B. Sure!) and state-of-the-art dance-club techno, while adding splashy touches like solos from avant jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie and a nod to modern alt-rock via a nifty cover of Morrissey's "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday." That's a lot of stuff for one record to handle, so it shouldn't come as a great surprise that the album doesn't always work, but its stylish restlessness comes as a great relief, particularly when compared to the hermetically sealed previous solo Bowie record, 1987's Never Let Me Down. Black Tie White Noise displays greater musical ambition than any record he'd made since Scary Monsters, and while much of the record feels like unrealized ideas, there are songs where it all gels, like on the paranoid jumble of "Jump They Say," the aforementioned covers, the impassioned "You've Been Around," and the self-consciously smooth title track. Moments like these are the first in a long time to feel classically Bowie, and they point ahead toward the more interesting records he made in the second half of the '90s, but they are encased in a production that not only sounds dated years later, but sounded dated upon its release in the spring of 1993, two years into the thick of alternative rock. At that point, the club-centric, mainstream-courting Black Tie White Noise seemed as an anachronism during the guitar-heavy grunge-n-industrial glory days -- something Bowie tacitly acknowledged with its 1995 successor, Outside, which was every bit as gloomy as a Nine Inch Nails record -- but separated from the vagaries of fashion, it's an interesting first step in Bowie's creative revival.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Black Tie White Noise

David Bowie

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1
The Wedding 2003 Remaster
00:05:04

John Regan, Bass Guitar - Sterling Campbell, Drums - Michael Reisman, String Arranger, Harp, Tubular Bells - Fonzi Thornton, Background Vocals - Curtis King Jr., Background Vocals - Richard Tee, Keyboards - Dennis Collins, Background Vocals - Dave Richards, Keyboards - NILE RODGERS, Producer, Guitar - Richard Hilton, Keyboards - Tawatha Agee, Background Vocals - Brenda White-King, Background Vocals - Gerardo Velez, Percussion - PHILIPPE SAISSE, Keyboards - David Bowie, Producer, Guitar, Alto Saxophone, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Andy Smith, Engineer, AssistantEngineer - Neal Perry, AssistantEngineer - Andrew Grassi, Engineer, AssistantEngineer - Lee Anthony, Engineer, AssistantEngineer - Barry Campbell, Bass Guitar - GARY TOLE, Engineer, AssistantEngineer - Louis Alfred III, Engineer, AssistantEngineer - Jon Goldberger, Engineer - Maryl Epps, Background Vocals - Pugi Bell, Drums

© 2004 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2004 Parlophone Records Ltd ℗ 2003 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

2
You've Been Around 2003 Remaster
00:04:43

John Regan, Bass Guitar - Sterling Campbell, Drums - Michael Reisman, Bells, Harp - Reeves Gabrels, Guitar, Writer - Fonzi Thornton, Background Vocals - Curtis King Jr., Background Vocals - Richard Tee, Keyboards - Dennis Collins, Background Vocals - NILE RODGERS, Producer, Guitar - Richard Hilton, Keyboards - Tawatha Agee, Background Vocals - Brenda White-King, Background Vocals - Gerardo Velez, Percussion - PHILIPPE SAISSE, Keyboards - David Bowie, Producer, Guitar, Saxophone, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist, Miscellaneous - David Richards, Keyboards - Lester Bowie, Trumpet - Andy Smith, AssistantEngineer - Neal Perry, AssistantEngineer - Andrew Grassi, AdditionalEngineer - Lee Anthony, AssistantEngineer - Barry Campbell, Bass Guitar - GARY TOLE, AdditionalEngineer - Budd Tunick, Co-ordinator Production - Louis Alfred III, AssistantEngineer - Jon Goldberger, Engineer - Maryl Epps, Background Vocals - Pugi Bell, Drums

© 2004 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2004 Parlophone Records Ltd ℗ 2004 Digital Remaster (P) 2004 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd

3
I Feel Free 2003 Remaster
00:04:49

John Regan, Bass Guitar - Sterling Campbell, Drums - Michael Reisman, String Arranger, Bells, Harp - Fonzi Thornton, Background Vocals - Curtis King Jr., Background Vocals - Richard Tee, Keyboards - Dennis Collins, Background Vocals - Dave Richards, Keyboards - NILE RODGERS, Producer, Guitar - Richard Hilton, Keyboards - Tawatha Agee, Background Vocals - Brenda White-King, Background Vocals - Pete Brown, Writer - Gerardo Velez, Percussion - Jack Bruce, Writer - PHILIPPE SAISSE, Keyboards - David Bowie, Producer, Guitar, Alto Saxophone, Vocals, MainArtist - Andy Smith, Engineer - Neal Perry, AssistantEngineer - Andrew Grassi, Engineer - Lee Anthony, Engineer - Barry Campbell, Bass Guitar - GARY TOLE, Engineer - Budd Tunick, Co-ordinator Production - Louis Alfred III, Engineer - Jon Goldberger, Engineer - Maryl Epps, Background Vocals - Pugi Bell, Drums

© 2004 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2004 Parlophone Records Ltd ℗ 2003 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

4
Black Tie White Noise 2003 Remaster
00:04:54

John Regan, Bass Guitar - Sterling Campbell, Drums - Michael Reisman, String Arranger, Bells, Harp - Fonzi Thornton, Background Vocals - Curtis King Jr., Background Vocals - Richard Tee, Keyboards - Dennis Collins, Background Vocals - Dave Richards, Keyboards - NILE RODGERS, Producer, Guitar - Richard Hilton, Keyboards - Tawatha Agee, Background Vocals - Brenda White-King, Background Vocals - Gerardo Velez, Percussion - PHILIPPE SAISSE, Keyboards - David Bowie, Producer, Guitar, Alto Saxophone, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Andy Smith, Engineer - Al B. Sure!, Duet Vocals - Neal Perry, AssistantEngineer - Andrew Grassi, Engineer - Lee Anthony, Engineer - Barry Campbell, Bass Guitar - GARY TOLE, Engineer - Budd Tunick, Co-ordinator Production - Louis Alfred III, Engineer - Jon Goldberger, Engineer - Maryl Epps, Background Vocals - Pugi Bell, Drums

© 2004 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2004 Parlophone Records Ltd ℗ 2004 Digital Remaster (P) 2004 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd

5
Jump They Say 2003 Remaster
00:04:23

John Regan, Bass Guitar - Sterling Campbell, Drums - Michael Reisman, Bells, Harp - Fonzi Thornton, Background Vocals - Curtis King Jr., Background Vocals - Richard Tee, Keyboards - Dennis Collins, Background Vocals - NILE RODGERS, Producer, Guitar - Richard Hilton, Keyboards - Tawatha Agee, Background Vocals - Brenda White-King, Background Vocals - Gerardo Velez, Percussion - PHILIPPE SAISSE, Keyboards - David Bowie, Producer, Guitar, Saxophone, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist, Miscellaneous - David Richards, Keyboards - Lester Bowie, Trumpet - Andy Smith, AssistantEngineer - Neal Perry, AssistantEngineer - Andrew Grassi, AdditionalEngineer - Lee Anthony, AssistantEngineer - Barry Campbell, Bass Guitar - GARY TOLE, AdditionalEngineer - Budd Tunick, Co-ordinator Production - Louis Alfred III, AssistantEngineer - Jon Goldberger, Engineer - Maryl Epps, Background Vocals - Pugi Bell, Drums

© 2004 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2004 Parlophone Records Ltd ℗ 2004 Digital Remaster (P) 2004 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd

6
Nite Flights 2003 Remaster
00:04:36

John Regan, Bass Guitar - Sterling Campbell, Drums - Michael Reisman, String Arranger, Bells, Harp - Reeves Gabrels, Lead Guitar - Fonzi Thornton, Background Vocals - Curtis King Jr., Background Vocals - Richard Tee, Keyboards - Dennis Collins, Background Vocals - Dave Richards, Keyboards - NILE RODGERS, Producer, Guitar - Richard Hilton, Keyboards - Tawatha Agee, Background Vocals - Brenda White-King, Background Vocals - Gerardo Velez, Percussion - PHILIPPE SAISSE, Keyboards - David Bowie, Producer, Guitar, Alto Saxophone, Vocals, MainArtist - Andy Smith, Engineer - Neal Perry, AssistantEngineer - Andrew Grassi, Engineer - Lee Anthony, Engineer - Barry Campbell, Bass Guitar - GARY TOLE, Engineer - Budd Tunick, Co-ordinator Production - Louis Alfred III, Engineer - Jon Goldberger, Engineer - Scott Engel, Writer - Maryl Epps, Background Vocals - Pugi Bell, Drums

© 2004 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2004 Parlophone Records Ltd ℗ 2003 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

7
Pallas Athena 2003 Remaster
00:04:39

John Regan, Bass Guitar - Sterling Campbell, Drums - Michael Reisman, String Arranger, Bells, Harp - Fonzi Thornton, Background Vocals - Curtis King Jr., Background Vocals - Richard Tee, Keyboards - Dennis Collins, Background Vocals - Dave Richards, Keyboards - NILE RODGERS, Producer, Guitar - Richard Hilton, Keyboards - Tawatha Agee, Background Vocals - Brenda White-King, Background Vocals - Gerardo Velez, Percussion - PHILIPPE SAISSE, Keyboards - David Bowie, Producer, Guitar, Alto Saxophone, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Lester Bowie, Trumpet - Andy Smith, Engineer - Neal Perry, AssistantEngineer - Andrew Grassi, Engineer - Lee Anthony, Engineer - Barry Campbell, Bass Guitar - GARY TOLE, Engineer - Budd Tunick, Co-ordinator Production - Louis Alfred III, Engineer - Jon Goldberger, Engineer - Maryl Epps, Background Vocals - Pugi Bell, Drums

© 2004 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2004 Parlophone Records Ltd ℗ 2004 Digital Remaster (P) 2004 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd

8
Miracle Goodnight 2003 Remaster
00:04:12

John Regan, Bass Guitar - Sterling Campbell, Drums - Michael Reisman, String Arranger, Bells, Harp - Fonzi Thornton, Background Vocals - Curtis King Jr., Background Vocals - Richard Tee, Keyboards - Dennis Collins, Background Vocals - Dave Richards, Keyboards - NILE RODGERS, Producer, Guitar - Richard Hilton, Keyboards - Tawatha Agee, Background Vocals - Brenda White-King, Background Vocals - Gerardo Velez, Percussion - PHILIPPE SAISSE, Keyboards - David Bowie, Producer, Guitar, Alto Saxophone, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Andy Smith, Engineer - Neal Perry, AssistantEngineer - Andrew Grassi, Engineer - Lee Anthony, Engineer - Barry Campbell, Bass Guitar - GARY TOLE, Engineer - Budd Tunick, Co-ordinator Production - Louis Alfred III, Engineer - Jon Goldberger, Engineer - Maryl Epps, Background Vocals - Pugi Bell, Drums

© 2004 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2004 Parlophone Records Ltd ℗ 2004 Digital Remaster (P) 2004 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd

9
Don't Let Me Down and Down 2003 Remaster
00:04:54

NILE RODGERS, Producer - David Bowie, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Andy Smith, Engineer - Neal Perry, Engineer - Andrew Grassi, Engineer - Lee Anthony, Engineer - GARY TOLE, Engineer - Louis Alfred III, Engineer - Jon Goldberger, Engineer - Martine Valmont, Writer - Tahra Mint Hembara, Writer

© 2004 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2004 Parlophone Records Ltd ℗ 2003 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

10
Looking for Lester 2003 Remaster
00:05:37

John Regan, Bass Guitar - Sterling Campbell, Drums - Michael Reisman, String Arranger, Bells, Harp - Fonzi Thornton, Background Vocals - Curtis King Jr., Background Vocals - Richard Tee, Keyboards - Dennis Collins, Background Vocals - Dave Richards, Keyboards - NILE RODGERS, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Richard Hilton, Keyboards - Tawatha Agee, Background Vocals - Brenda White-King, Background Vocals - Gerardo Velez, Percussion - PHILIPPE SAISSE, Keyboards - David Bowie, Producer, Guitar, Alto Saxophone, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Mike Garson, Piano - Lester Bowie, Trumpet - Andy Smith, Engineer - Neal Perry, AssistantEngineer - Andrew Grassi, Engineer - Lee Anthony, Engineer - Barry Campbell, Bass Guitar - GARY TOLE, Engineer - Budd Tunick, Co-ordinator Production - Louis Alfred III, Engineer - Jon Goldberger, Engineer - Maryl Epps, Background Vocals - Pugi Bell, Drums

© 2004 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2004 Parlophone Records Ltd ℗ 2003 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

11
I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday 2003 Remaster
00:04:05

John Regan, Bass Guitar - Sterling Campbell, Drums - Michael Reisman, String Arranger, Bells, Harp - Fonzi Thornton, Background Vocals - Curtis King Jr., Background Vocals - Mark Nevin, Writer - Richard Tee, Keyboards - Dennis Collins, Background Vocals - Dave Richards, Keyboards - NILE RODGERS, Producer, Guitar, Background Vocals - Richard Hilton, Keyboards - Tawatha Agee, Background Vocals - David Spinner, Background Vocals - Frank Simms, Background Vocals - MORRISSEY, Writer - Steve Rooke, Remastering Engineer - Brenda White-King, Background Vocals - Gerardo Velez, Percussion - PHILIPPE SAISSE, Keyboards - David Bowie, Producer, Guitar, Alto Saxophone, Vocals, Background Vocals, MainArtist - Andy Smith, Engineer - Neal Perry, AssistantEngineer - Andrew Grassi, Engineer - Lee Anthony, Engineer - Barry Campbell, Bass Guitar - GARY TOLE, Engineer - Louis Alfred III, Engineer, AssistantEngineer - Jon Goldberger, Engineer - George Simms, Background Vocals - Maryl Epps, Background Vocals - Connie Petruk, Background Vocals - Pugi Bell, Drums - Wild T. Springer, Guitar - Lamya Al-Mugheiry, Background Vocals

© 2004 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2004 Parlophone Records Ltd ℗ 2004 Digital Remaster (P) 2004 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd

12
The Wedding Song 2003 Remaster
00:04:30

NILE RODGERS, Producer - David Bowie, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Andy Smith, Engineer - Neal Perry, AssistantEngineer - Andrew Grassi, Engineer - Lee Anthony, Engineer - GARY TOLE, Engineer - Louis Alfred III, Engineer - Jon Goldberger, Engineer

© 2004 Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2004 Parlophone Records Ltd ℗ 2004 Digital Remaster (P) 2004 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment Company LLC under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd

Album Description

Black Tie White Noise was the beginning of David Bowie's return from the wilderness of post-Let's Dance, the first indication that he was regaining his creative spark. To say as much suggests that it's a bit of a lost classic, when it's rather a sporadically intriguing transitional album, finding Bowie balancing the commercial dance-rock of Let's Dance with artier inclinations from his Berlin period, all the while trying to draw on the past by working with former Spider from Mars guitarist Mick Ronson, collaborating with Let's Dance producer Nile Rodgers, and even covering inspiration Scott Walker's "Nite Flights." On top of that, the record was inspired by his recent marriage to supermodel Iman -- the record is bookended with "The Wedding" and "The Wedding Song" -- and then tied up and presented as a sophisticated modern urban soul record, one that draws from uptown soul (including, rather bafflingly, a duet with Al B. Sure!) and state-of-the-art dance-club techno, while adding splashy touches like solos from avant jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie and a nod to modern alt-rock via a nifty cover of Morrissey's "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday." That's a lot of stuff for one record to handle, so it shouldn't come as a great surprise that the album doesn't always work, but its stylish restlessness comes as a great relief, particularly when compared to the hermetically sealed previous solo Bowie record, 1987's Never Let Me Down. Black Tie White Noise displays greater musical ambition than any record he'd made since Scary Monsters, and while much of the record feels like unrealized ideas, there are songs where it all gels, like on the paranoid jumble of "Jump They Say," the aforementioned covers, the impassioned "You've Been Around," and the self-consciously smooth title track. Moments like these are the first in a long time to feel classically Bowie, and they point ahead toward the more interesting records he made in the second half of the '90s, but they are encased in a production that not only sounds dated years later, but sounded dated upon its release in the spring of 1993, two years into the thick of alternative rock. At that point, the club-centric, mainstream-courting Black Tie White Noise seemed as an anachronism during the guitar-heavy grunge-n-industrial glory days -- something Bowie tacitly acknowledged with its 1995 successor, Outside, which was every bit as gloomy as a Nine Inch Nails record -- but separated from the vagaries of fashion, it's an interesting first step in Bowie's creative revival.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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