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In which a martyr is made of a song called 'Too Dizzy'
on 4 February 2016
I was a very precocious fan of Bowie's music - starting, like many 1970s brats with 'Starman' on TOTP when I can only have been 8. I had a copy of the 'Jean Genie' single bought for me by a friend of my Mum's, who also happened to be a missionary priest. He came round for dinner one day and asked - randomly - if 'anyone would like a record'. We heard nothing more until a month later when a parcel arrived with my 'Jean Genie' and a copy of Elvis' 'Burning Love' for my sister. Perhaps some big wig from RCA was a member of Father Dave's parish. Who knows? Sadly, by the time Never Let Me Down was released in 1987, I had already become convinced that my musical idol was washed up and I didn't even bother to buy the album until many years later (and again recently on CD). Recent history has however seen a small 'about turn' in terms of 'Never Let Me Down' - I love Nick Pegg's write up on this album in his superb book 'The Complete David Bowie' for example. The truth is, it's not that good at all, however I would go as far as to say that most of the first half of the album counts among his best work of the 1980s (although hardly up against the stiffest of competition) One or two moments of mini magic (the bridge into the chorus of 'Beat Of Your Drum' for example is superb) do not make a great or even good album, however I have come to the conclusion that of the three solo albums released by Bowie in his 'Phil Collins' years (post Scary Monsters, pre Tin Machine) this is marginally the best. At least Bowie sounds like he is having fun on the album - far more so than on the predecessor, 'Tonight'. So, light years from his best work in terms of quality, and ultimately disposable, but a Bowie album nonetheless and therefore deserving a listen or two at very least.