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Forums > Music: Non-Prince > So what y'all think of Never Let Me Down 2018 (Bowie box-set)
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Thread started 10/30/18 9:33am

databank

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So what y'all think of Never Let Me Down 2018 (Bowie box-set)

I've said often in the Prince board how much I dislike the idea of people reworking P's records posthumously in any manner, and I'm still against it. Then again, I must admit the Bob Marley reworked by Bill Laswell record from 1997 is a guilty pleasure of mine. But, well, I'm much more of a Bill Laswell fan than a Bob Marley fan, so that may explain it. Now comes the strange case of a record Bowie always said he regretted making, and reportedly wished to rework before he passed, but didn't, so it was done by Bowie alumnis after he died. He didn't approve the results, but sort of approved the process.

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I must say I probably am the only person in the world who don't hate the original, including Too Dizzy (removed by Bowie from later pressings). It's not Bowie's best record, fair enough. But as Bowie historian Chris O'Leary wrote in his Pitchfork review of the box-set, it has become "so 1987" that it gives it a lovely flavour as an era piece. I can understand why 70's Bowie fans hated it (hell, they hated everything post-Scary Monsters as vividly as Prince fans hated everything post-TGE), but as someone who discovered Bowie thanks to the Labyrinth OST at age 11, and dived into his catalogue in quite a non-chronologic manner over the years, NLMD ain't no blasphemy to me. It's cute, the way 1987 records were cute for an 80's music lover like me. Well, Bowie said it was his "Phil Collins" years, but I dig Phil Collins after all, so it's OK by me lol

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Now the 2018 reworking, I must say I like it overall. It's smart. It sounds a lot like like the neo-classical Bowie from 1999-2003, with an additional Reeves Gabrels touch that any fan of 90's Bowie will enjoy. At the end of the day it's a much more dignified Bowie record than the original. Was it necessary? Absolutely not. Is it disrespectful because Bowie didn't approve it? Much less than this awful, truly disgusting Club Bowie remix album that Bowie approved for release in 2003 (it wasn't bad because he allowed modern electronic musicians to rework classic tracks: in the right hands it could have been great, it was bad because he allowed the most commercial, uninspired DJ's of that era to do it: I still have no idea how this record made it to record stores).

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So in the end NLMD2018 makes for a nice record that I'll enjoy listening. Time will tell whether I end-up liking it more the original, and I suspect I may not, but I'm happy to have it. Another guilty pleasure...

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Opinions?

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #1 posted 10/30/18 10:26am

lastdecember

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Bowie was on record as saying he was not really a fan of this time he wasn’t that crazy about Let’s Dance and he hated the Tonight record for the most part, I think he was more favorable to this album than Tonight but it was a strange time for him, I understand the Phil Collins reference because of the era but there was nothing commercial or catchy that could stick like a Phil Collins track.

"We went where our music was appreciated, and that was everywhere but the USA, we knew we had fans, but there is only so much of the world you can play at once" Magne F
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Reply #2 posted 11/05/18 1:25pm

Musze

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I really dig the production on the 2018 version. Sounds like he could have recorded it in his latter years.

I Love U, But I Don't Trust U Anymore...
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