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The genius returns!,
This review is from: Outside [Digibook Expanded Edition] (Audio CD)
Like many Bowie followers, I was first converted on that memorable evening in June 1972, watching Top Of The Pops and the Starman had arrived.
Little was ever the same for this young teenager after this experience. I know it's become a bit of a cliche as so many have claimed the same thing since - but this is understandable - it was so amazing - no one ever performed on TV like that before.
The 'campness' of that performance made sure I got plenty of stick at school. But by the end of term, I was surrounded by a classroom full of Ziggy converts.
Disappointed with the plastic soul period, I remained a disciple and was rewarded with Station and the famous Trio now dubbed 'Berlin - period'. Scary Monsters came and I believed nothing could get better from the mainman.
But like so many others, the 1980s (a time when I could've seen him live) left me in dispair. For me it was like the end of the world.
Then Tin Machine came like a rocket, albeit flawed, and Mr Bowie had my full attention once more.
A few reviewers have called Outside a 'grower' and I have to agree. The first few plays were hard work, yet we just knew there was something under those layers of production, Eno's effects and the sampling.
To me it was like playing Dark Side Of The Moon and The Exorcist simultaneously. At level 10.
Pushing the boundaries of any and every genre, Outside is a monster album of darkness.
With tiny pinholes of light provided by Mike Garson's tinkling piano arrangements and the odd lyrical quip from the man.
Reeves Gabrels is perfectly placed to either blast his guitar to optimum effect or, just shimmer behind the scenes creating an eeriness throughout. A Small Plot Of Land for example. It is horror like Silence of the Lambs... Scary? Yes. Hypnotic? Completely.
Now I can say this is my favourite and most played of all my many Bowie albums. I never tire of listening to it as each time it reveals a little more of itself.
Like the first few hits of an addiction, uncomfortable the first two or three hits. Then 'Hallo Spaceboy', later 'Strangers When We Meet' are highs that demand going back to.
People ask now what the best David Bowie single is (they consider me some kind of authority - but it's down to personal taste of course) - no hesitation 'The Hearts Filthy Lesson'. Okay it's not Life On Mars? but for me I can play it on repeat. A slab of industrial experimental rock that worked too well for so many to truly appreciate at the time. Stunning in the literal sense. No one ever made a single like this before.
Now with this expanded version, I have numerous mixes of this, the song that reconfirmed that I wasn't wrong all those years ago. This man is an entertainer, an artist and a genius.
If your favourite Bowie single is Fame or Let's Dance, you may not find what I found in this fantasic album.
However, if you're reading this and thinking of making a purchase, you are in for a very interesting ride.
No one ever made an album sound like this before. Or since. There is no hell like an old hell. And this is an album that will get better with (even more) age.
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Initial post: 26 Jan 2014 09:20:37 GMT
Mr. N. Foord says:
I have lived with this album for many years and it does seem to give away something different on each listen. I have the deluxe version as part of the Bowie box and the 1996 version 2. I was wondering which version you prefer because some people say that the version 2 track listing disrupts the flow. Personally I like both. I'd say that a boxed set of Outside material would be great.
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