Features

Saturday Deluxe / 23 May 2015

heathen_frid2

Bowie vinyl

After David Bowie‘s creative nadir in the second half of the 1980s, Tin Machine kicked off a over a decade of creativity that took in soundtrack-inspired art rock (Buddha of Suburbia), experimental pop-jazz-funk fusion (Black Tie White Noise), drum and bass (Earthling) and even, a-hem, a ‘non-linear gothic drama hyper-cycle’ (Outside). The wishy-washy Hours (1999) was the exception rather than the rule, underlined by the back-to-back triumph of Heathen (2002) and Reality (2003).

What these albums had in common was that they were either not released on vinyl at all (Buddha, Hours), or the production runs were relatively small meaning they are extremely hard to get hold of (Black Tie White Noise). Of course these days they are certainly making up for lost time and in the last 12 to 18 months there has been a plethora of Bowie vinyl releases.

Bowie released so many singles in the 1970s, you don’t have to wait long for the next ’40th Anniversary’ picture disc to come along (Fame is next). Sometimes these are linked to Record Store Day (groan) and sometimes not. Not that a big anniversary needs to come around. Let’s Dance (the single) will be issued on yellow vinyl in July. The reason? To celebrate the opening of ‘David Bowie is’ at the Australian Centre For The Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne. Music On Vinyl have been working their way through some of these nineties/noughties records with limited edition coloured pressings of Heathen and Reality which give way to standard black vinyl versions. The latest for them is Hours. Meanwhile an American label, Friday Music, is putting Heathen out on blue vinyl. So much activity, but to what end?

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Let’s Dance / Yellow 7″ vinyl to be issued in July

If you’re anything like me, your Bowie ‘wish list’, when it comes to reissues, doesn’t have ‘vinyl release of Hours‘ at the top. I would like a Let’s Dance deluxe or super deluxe, but a yellow seven-inch of the single edit is just a bit…meh. It’s a like messing around with peas and carrots on the side of your plate and not getting to grips with the meat and potatoes in the middle.

Here’s an idea – don’t remaster one song and put it out on seven-inch vinyl, remaster the whole album and put it out with the original Nile Rodgers demos and lots of bonus material! The amount of stuff Bowie hasn’t properly reissued is crazy. Albums like The Man Who Sold The World, Hunky Dory, Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) and all three long-players that were the so called ‘Berlin Trilogy’. Granted, they were all part of Rykodisc/EMI remasters in 1990 – the one time Bowie has opened up the vault – but that was 25 years ago. We wait, impatiently, as always!

Read about David Bowie vinyl reissues here.


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36 responses to Saturday Deluxe / 23 May 2015

  1. Paul says:

    I agree with you Paul, there is so much quality lacking in vinyl coverage at present and so much tat put out especially for RSD (not saying these are tat), but what is the point?? Why not keep everyone happy and release titles you are suggesting and don’t do crazy limited versions, and while we’re about it Pink Floyd (if you’re listening) how about putting your whole back catalogue out again on vinyl (and you can include that poster as well)

  2. pinkfloyd says:

    Totally agreed, Paul.
    Let’s Dance missed its 30th anniversary!
    Bring on the multi discs SDE!!

  3. stg says:

    He’s always telling us that Let’s Dance and Day in Day out are crap. I hate when artists do that. I love that era.
    I think he’s trying to distance himself from Nile.

  4. Mike says:

    Wasnt Black Tie White Noise with Nile too?

  5. CJ Feeney says:

    There was an SDE for Station to Station, which was disappointing. You had to spend £100 to get the surround mix. I managed to get my money back on that, but it was an odd choice of album for the deluxe treatment when so many others are waiting a decent remaster.

    For those who didn’t see the “David Bowie is” exhibition in the V&A last year, the hardback book from the exhibition is a good item to get hold of. Rrp is £35 but it can be found for half that on some websites.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Don’t know about anyone else but I’m a bit David-Bowie-Exhibition’d out! So there’s a new exhibition in Australia? Whoopie doo. Let’s release a coloured vinyl to ‘celebrate’! All the self-congratulatory stuff is getting to almost McCartney proportions.

    • fan says:

      well that also included the coliseum show on vinyl !

      if you’re not into vinyl you should have waited for the box appearance on rutracker

  6. paul griffiths says:

    i’m waiting on a scary monsters special redux or boxset…..please!!!!

  7. DaveM says:

    Speaking of McCartney, I was hoping the next remasters would come out to tie in with his tour next week, but no such luck. There doesn’t seem to be any coordinated effort round these at all.

  8. darren Briscoe says:

    Now let’s not forget “Tonight “……can anyone list all the singles/remixes/ b sides that would make up a bonus disc?

  9. David C says:

    I guess I have a little different perspective on these Bowie reissues. My appreciation for the artist has grown more over the years.

    Growing up in the 80s and paying attention to the top 40 charts, Let’s Dance is something I remember fondly and enjoy to this day. It might also be nice to have a proper reissue of that album on vinyl and a deluxe CD treatment. On the other hand, I did not follow Bowie’s career as intently as others may have, not really knowing much about 70s period, until a friend of mine introduced me to it. Other than Tin Machine from the late 80s, I was mostly unaware of Bowie’s music in the 90s and beyond until later in life, in particular when the reissues where highlighting some of them.

    My tastes in artists and albums has become more diversified over the years and I have been rediscovering many things now that I did not know existed. Hours? I don’t recall that album at all. While it may seem like a poor choice for a reissue to some, it’s a new album to me. Since I don’t hold any attachment to it or place it in any other light, not having experienced it, maybe it would be something that will grow on me. I have listened to clips from the album and I will say that his voice is not the same and definitely has the “mature Bowie sound” whatever that means.

    For me, I’m curious to learn about whatever Bowie releases are coming out, both new an old.

  10. Chris says:

    I have been collecting Bowie stuff for years now and what I don’t have, I can’t afford. And on that note, these limited vinyl releases end up going for so high prices it’s crazy. RSD is just a way for people to make money on eBay but liviing in Canada, it’s extremely hard to find stores that sell MOV releases outside of Amazon. I managed to get Reality on green vinly through Amazon.ca even though it was not offered as a green vinyl so I lucked out there. Burning Shed managed to have both colours available for Eartimg and Reality 2 days ago but they are all gone. Manged to pick up the ones I was missing but they were not cheap.

    Of the Hours release, Amazon.ca doesn’t even have that offered yet and the UK site is for black vinyl. I love these reisuues but I really wish they would be easier to get a hold of. If somone offer up the limited versions as a pre order, I would buy it but I don’t know where tofgo. Any help would be appreciated.

    Wish list of super deluxe box set reisuues; Scary Monsters for sure, Low, Heroes and Lodger bit there is so much unreleased stuff from Outside too which would be great to have. The inclusion of Changes form the Bowie promo form Hunky Dory was a huge pleassure!

    Years ago and I mean years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Mick Ronson and he told me there were planty of other songs recorded for Pin Ups and that would be an interesting reissue – great LP that doesn’t get talked about much. I know some have been released through Ryko but from what I was told, there was enough for a Pin Ups 2 which they were considering to release back in the day.

    I also know of many video recordings of the Diamond Dogs tour (supposdedly ever show was video taped) so outisde of vinyl, there are many other goodies that us Bowie fans keep wishig for a release date.

    Last thing, the 7″ reissues are starting to get anniying and again, being in Canada, anything released for RSD in the UK, forget it. The average price for DSD picture discs is $80 – completely carzy!

    Thanks for the article and all the best to fellow Bowie collectors.

    • Chris says:

      My apologies for so many spelling mistakes. My spell check has been turned off some how!!!

    • Scott says:

      I have to use several different sites to keep up with new vinyl releases. I don’t know if it’s appropriate to mention such sites here, but New On Vinyl frequently lists new releases for order long before they are listed on Amazon. I snagged a mint copy of “Hours” there, but unfortunately both color options are now sold out.

  11. trash says:

    I didn’t realise that there was so much lack of love for Hours.

    I love that album -I prefer to to Heathen any day – I think Heathen is okay but I find it a bit dreary to be honest – much prefer Reality (and Hours).

    Survive is a Bowie classic (and being of… ahem… a certain age I find it resonates too :-)

    On another note though I would indeed love an SDE of Let’s Dance (but not as much as a Berlin trilogy SDE).

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I’m with you on Reality over Heathen. But I just could never find a way in to Hours… An irritating combination of bland and/or annoying for me. “Seven” isn’t bad but it feels a bit like Bowie doing an impression of earlier Bowie. I also hate the artwork. Number two on the list of horrible art direction after ‘Never Let Me Down’. I used to have a really good Canadian promo though, called “Hours… and Brilliant Minutes” which I wish I’d held on to
      http://www.discogs.com/David-Bowie-Hours-Brilliant-Minutes/release/608374

      • trash says:

        Ha Ha – it just shows how different we all are, I *love* the artwork to Hours – the use of type, the prominent barcode, the colour palate and even the central image. Great stuff!

        Never Let Me Down though is truly horrible! :-)

        • bob says:

          I am with you on this trash, I love the artwork to Hours. Never Let Me Down is a shocking sleeve, horrible. I cant believe Bowie of all people would release an album with such a bad sleeve.
          Thursday’s Child, a single from Hours, is one of my favourite Bowie singles.

      • Andreas says:

        What lets ‘Hours’ down is the production . . . very bland compared to Visocnti’s work post this. I also find ‘Seven’, ‘Thursday’s Child’ & ‘Surive’ fine by themselves, but they all blend/bland into one on the album (can’t believe they’re all on the latest compilation!). Artwork? Have to admit, I do love it.
        A way in you ask? ‘Pretty things are Going to Hell’ off course :-)

  12. Alan says:

    In reply to the question on Tonight;
    Extended Dance mix of Blue Jean
    Extended Dance mix of Dancing with the Big Boys
    Extended Dub mix of Dancing with the Big Boys
    Tonight (Extended Dance Mix)
    Tumble And Twirl (Extended Dance Mix)
    Tonight (Dub Mix)
    Loving The Alien (Single Version)
    Don’t Look Down (Remix)
    Loving The Alien (Extended Dance Mix)
    Loving The Alien (Extended Dub Mix)
    Don’t Look Down (Extended Dance Mix)

    Plus
    This is not America
    This is not America (instrumental)

    Dancing In The Street
    Dancing In The Street (instrumental)
    Dancing In The Street (Steve Thomson Mix)
    Dancing In The Street (Dub)

  13. Chris Brown says:

    A couple of years ago I picked up the moving-image sleeve CD of …hours in a charity shop for 99p, on RSD funnily enough. I’m just listening to it again now thanks to this thread. I agree it’s not a great album and I’m certainly not going to pay £30 for a poncy vinyl edition but I think I got my money’s worth at that price. That’s more than I could say for the copy of Tonight that I got for free.

    Still mulling over how much I’m willing to pay for the 10CD box, since I already have the main versions of three of the albums.

  14. Brian says:

    yes, Let’s Dance is indeed in need of a re-release SDE. Wasn’t there a SACD of it done in 5.1? Bonus material is apparently pretty minimal according to Nile Rodgers. Having said that, there is Shake It (remix) and he could easily do a audio release of the Serious Moonlight concert that’s currently on DVD. This could accompany the album.

  15. Eric says:

    I like the “hours..” design (especially the hologram sleeve version), much less the album itself though. As a child of the 80s, I will always defend Tonight and Never Let Me Down – even the artwork on the latter. I think there must be something wrong with me!

    Tonight’s extra material should only extend as far as Dancing In The Street; 1984-1985 in other words. The Labryinth singles spiritually belong with NLMD, and I suspect that project is where the album’s hated design concept must have stemmed from, even subconsciously?

  16. Geoff says:

    If there’s one artist that need their back catalogue sorting out, it’s Bowie. Some albums available as expanded editions, some not; some on vinyl, others not. The whole thing is a mess. I just wish that whoever owns the rights (and even that isn’t clear) would apply some consistency across the board and begin a proper reissue campaign with decent additions instead of superfluous compilations (2 in as many months recently and yes, I bought them). There’s a stack of money to be made if it’s handled correctly but the odd picture disc here and coloured vinyl there isn’t enticing to many, myself included.

  17. Paul Soper says:

    I can’t agree that Hours is “wishy washy”. I love that album, just as strong as Heathen and Reality and far better than Black Tie White Noise, Outside & Earthling

    • Catweazle says:

      Totally agree!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Value your opinion but respectfully disagree :) Black Tie and Outside in particular feel like weighty and thoughtful undertakings, where Hours… feels all a bit random to these ears.

  18. Nathan says:

    I’d like him to release a limited vinyl box of his RCA years, followed by individual releases a few months later:

    Hunky Dory
    Ziggy
    Aladdin Sane
    Pin Ups
    Diamond Dogs
    Young Americans
    Station To Station
    Low
    “Heroes”
    Lodger
    Scary Monsters

    I suspect this is probably what is most in demand right now, too.

  19. noyoucmon says:

    Buddha had a Brazilian vinyl issue upon original release.

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