22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1. Outside not just for the Insider,
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This review is from: Outside (Audio CD)
I first bought this album when it came out in 1995 as a cassette tape and as many other posters mention, intially found it somewhat unapproachable and only gradually started to like it by which time my old tape machine had given up the ghost. When I ordered Bowie's superb new album The Next Day, I added 1. Outside as it was one of the few albums of his that I did not have in my CD collection. I am so pleased that I did! Having not heard it for at least 15 years, it has been an absolute joy to be re-acquainted with what must be one of DB's most innovative and interesting works and I've been playing it continuously for the last 10 days!
Together with his other albums from the late '90's (Earthling & Hours), it takes a few plays to get into but it is so worthwhile perservering with all of them as they are excellent despite being either overlooked or dismissed by the critics at the time.
When 1. Outside first came out I was not too keen on the segues as I thought they were an unneccessary distraction from the music but I've got used to them and actually like them now. I guess if Bowie had gone ahead with his intention of producing two further albums on the same Nathan Adler Diaries Hate Crime theme, these interludes would have made more sense.
There is some excellent musicianship here and I think that the criticism from some quarters that Reeves Gabrels brought an unwanted heavy, industrial guitar influence to Bowie's work of the period is unjust. The contribution of previous collaborators such as Eno, Mike Garsen and Carlos Alamor is very welcome as is the emergence of Sterling Campbell as Bowie's favoured drummer.
David Bowie has been responsible for such an extraordinary and varied body of work over the years. Despite reviewers attempts to twin one album with another, I believe part of the joy of being a Bowie fan is that no two albums sound the same, even those that were recorded back-to-back. Occasionally there might be one track that links one album with the next as in Queen Bitch on Hunky Dory linking with Ziggy Stardust or The Secret Life of Arabia on Heroes linking with Lodger but otherwise they all stand on their own.
With the exception of the weak mid/late '80's output, whichever David Bowie album I happen to be playing at the time is my favourite and I would find it impossible to rank them but if I were to, 1. Outside would certainly be close to the top.