Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, May 24, 2013

David Bowie - Changesbowie (1990)

I recently picked up Bowie's new album, The Next Day, so I thought I'd go back and listen to this fantastic greatest hits compilation.  Ignore the childish collage on the cover and the absence of quality liner notes and get to the music: a definitive collection of Bowie's best work between the years 1969-1984 in a more-or-less chronological order.  Most of these tracks didn't crack the Top 40 in the US and that fact doesn't matter to me in the least.  I think Bowie is a better songwriter than vocalist, but his true strength was surrounding himself with fantastic musicians and getting the hell out of their way: Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Luther Vandross, John Lennon, Nile Rodgers, David Sanborn, etc.  Bowie has always been a musical chameleon and and a singles act more than a album act.  His record companies have released no fewer than 45 compilations of his music, but this disc is the way to go.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #39

Tracks:  I'm not a huge fan of Bowie's early work (I recall sitting through a 1983 screening of the concert film Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars with complete indifference and couldn't wait for it to end), so the tracks I skip are at the beginning (Space Oddity, John I'm Only Dancing, and Ziggy Stardust).  That leaves us with 15 great tracks, including Fashion and three tracks from Let's Dance.  The newer remix of Fame doesn't bother me as much as it does hardcore fans - I'm ok with it.  This is one of the few greatest hits CDs in my collection that I can just spin and not worry about music selection for the next 74 minutes.  I could complain about the absence of his duets with Queen (Under Pressure) or Mick Jagger (cover of Dancing In The Streets), but like I tell my sons: you get what you get and you don't throw a fit.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: one of the first CDs I ever purchased, based on the recommendation of my friend Richard.  Around the same time, I read a book by Bowie's ex-wife Angela, titled Backstage Passes: Life On The Wild Side With David Bowie.  I don't know how much of the book is factual, but it's an interesting read.

In typical New Wave fashion, I wore a lot of pinbacks on my shirts and jackets in high school.  My buddy Jim gave me a 2" square pin that duplicated the cover of Bowie's Fashion single (I've still got it, see below).  Thinking it was cool, I wore it often.  In typical poseur fashion, I had not even heard the song at the time.  I was later introduced to the song when the avant garde video was played late one night on MTV.  The song quickly grew on me and is now one of my Bowie faves.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Let's Dance (1983)

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