on 2 December 2013
Okay, so you've heard the album, so what does the collector's edition offer over the standard album? First off, the package is in a really nice box, which has tectured interior. There arevtgen 6 inserts: 1 - The Next Day album, 2 - the extra tracks (really good), 3 - DVD of 4 videos, 4 - lyrics booklet, 5 - booklet of photos, 6 - a blank booklet entitled "You". Wonderful presentation of the album. Buy it!!!
on 2 December 2013
1st point is that I think this is excellent value. 4 videos on DVD, 10 bonus tracks on a separate disc and the original album in a box for £17 is great value, IMO.
But the most important thing to consider if the quality of the music, so here is my track-by-track appraisal:
Atomica. This is a rocker, highly reminiscent of 2003's Reality. A little bit throwaway and lyrics slightly on the obvious side, but still enjoyable. As a musical composition it's no Ashes to Ashes, but it's fun and full of energy. Bowie sounds buoyant, but perhaps starting to believe his own press "I hold myself like a god".
Love is Lost remix. Adore this track. Love the chaotic percussion of the manic clapping that mutates and forms into waves of sound. Contrasting against the subtle piano flourishes and the electronic notes.. What's particularly satisfying about this remix is how it dissects Bowie's vocals by stripping out a lot of the instruments, so you get to hear his classic double octave stereo vocals (singing one octave higher in one channel than the other). Get this guy in to do more remixes!
Plan. A short instrumental that leaves no trace of any sort of melody or harmonies, but like sone of the tracks on Heroes, it's a valid piece of texture that precedes the awesome...
The Informer. Wow! Maybe the best song on either disc of TND. Compositionally sophisticated, dark lyrics, stunning backing vocals (so many layers of Bowie's voice), swirling guitars..... Vocal delivery is slightly one dimensional near the start, but soon opens up. Lyrically and musically this is a song that could have been on Diamond Dogs.
Like a Rocketman. A melodic, if derivative, rocker. Bowie does the Beatles and has a ball. Nice to hear Bowie loosening up enough to allow his guitarists a bit of space for a few solos. My criticism of TND (main album) is that it's too poised and calculated. No time for guitar solos, no indulgent cover versions, no need for memorable vocal melodies.... There's no real fun on that album. This song is highly indicative that Bowie still has a more playful side to his music. A very poppy song.. That's something you couldn't accuse Bowie of being recently.
I'll Take You There. Another Reality-sounding rocker, but again fun and upbeat. Nice middle eighth section (there are loads of those on TND, a new trend for DB) and short enough to not outstay its welcome.
I'd Rather Be High (venetian remix). Always loved the original version and felt it wasn't given the credit it deserved. The soldier character. The resignation of the chorus, the rising and falling backing vocals of the chorus, the shuffling beat, the jangly guitar riff. All perfectly conveying the young soldier's yearning to be elsewhere. The simple addition of a harpsichord seems to have given the song a new lease of life and it now sounds like a classic hit song. Over 30 million views of the video on youtube suggest it is already a hit.
Born in a UFO. Yep, does sound like a parody of the Springsteen song and the vocals sound startlingly like Bowie's on his mid-70s cover of a Springsteen song. Retro sci-fi imagery, dramatic guitars, Bowie sounding younger than he has for decades.. Can understand why Radio 6 have been playing it so much for the last month.
God Bless the Girl.. Think of the chorus of Underground (from Labyrinth) mixed with Madonna's Like a Prayer and you're halfway there. A poignant song, a celebration of someone dedicating their life to spreading the word of God. Bowie singing of his admiration for her. Touching lyrics that describe the passing of time, and again brilliant backing vocals for the chorus. I don't know what Bowie has been putting in his coffee but it's working..
So She - The best song Badly Drawn Boy never wrote. A little bit reminiscent of I Would Be Your Slave but instead of being about God this song seems to be Bowie singing of love. Not in an obvious way but little flashes of emotion. Wistful, dreamy....This song floats along but leaves too soon. I love this style of song from Bowie. I'd place it next to tracks like We All Go Through, Wood Jackson & Days.
In my opinion, the Next Day extra is a standalone new album from DB. 8 original tracks and 2 remixes. If TND is like a polished and complete collection of paintings, TND Extra is the accompanying sketchbook and has the qualities TND lacks. The fun, the indulgence, the solos, the playfulness.. I'm finding that since buying it, TND Extra is rarely far from my CD player.
on 7 January 2014
I wasn't really that impressed with the original album, to the extent that I didn't actually get round to buying it at the time even though I’m a bit of a Bowie fan. But I’m really glad I held off! This set is vastly improved by the inclusion of the extra cd and to a lesser extent by the singles dvd. Atomica, Plan, The Informer, Like a Rocket Man, to name but a few of the tracks recorded with the original album tracks but unreleased, are excellent. The addition of the couple of remixes add an extra depth to the originals, especially on James Murphy’s Love is Lost, which has added brilliant textures and improved rhythms. While the singles dvd is a bit redundant, most people have U Tube access, it's nice to have in the event Sony ever block the videos. Note the excellent promo for James Murphy’s Love is Lost is not included on this extra disk. Since buying this set I have even started to like the original album. So I think it was well worth the wait. If you’ve reneged on buying this album the first time around don’t think anymore... it's worth it. Buy and enjoy!
on 5 January 2014
Firstly The Next Day album came out, then a week later the Deluxe version and then a few months later this Collector's edition.
And although this is just to gain more money, I really don't mind paying out for them. Each brings a bit more Bowie Brilliance.
This Collectors Edition is packed with really great stuff, in a nice box all be it plain but still, two CDs, A DVD of all the Videos -love is lost, which is a shame as it is a great video!
The Next Day track is great, Bowie turns to some biblical being who tells it how it is about the Church. It was even Banned from YouTube after the Church hit back! Ten years off and his first album causes trouble!
The bonus track CD is full of Tracks that are just brilliant, and unlike some other artists who bring out bouns tracks that just aren't as good as the album they are cut from, Bowie's would fit right in with the first Next Day album! Where are we now was the first single to come out, where we see a older Bowie, that singles almost in a fragile voice, but this is a trick! The rest of the Album is remonstrant to Reality back in 2003. And there are aspects of all Bowie eras. Each listen you hear a bit more magic from the last listen! BUY IT NOW! you'll be happy with it, and you don't need to be a Bowie collector or even a huge Bowie Fan. This is 2013 Bowie! It's NME's album of the year!
The extra tracks are great - I might even prefer some of them to some of the tracks on the original album. 'Atomica', which opens the extras album has a 70s feel, as does 'Rocket Man'. All of the additional tracks, and there are 5 new ones in addition to the 3 extras on the deluxe version of the original release, are superb as are the remixes of 'Love is Lost' and 'I'd Rather be High'
The DVD collection, which includes the first 4 singles from The Next Day, is a worthwhile addition as is having a lyric sheet included which can be read easily this time.
Just great - for sure, this should have won the Mercury prize!
on 8 December 2013
So soon after the last special edition? Never mind, even if you bought the last one you need to upgrade! All the bonus tracks from the special edition are here, plus five more tracks that no self-respecting Bowie fan should live without. There are two remixes: Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix By James Murphy For The DFA) starts off like Steve Reich's "Clapping" and incorporates elements of "Ashes To Ashes" to luxuriant effect over it's epic 10 minutes. I'd Rather Be High (Venetian Mix) is less ambitious and merely incorporates a harpsichord into it's arrangement, who knows why? Never mind, you get all the promo videos on the DVD too which are for the most part up to Bowie's usual theatrical standard, artistic, disturbing and magnificent!