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4.3 out of 5 stars
44
4.3 out of 5 stars
Tin Machine
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 5 March 2017
I'm somewhat aghast that this album (and indeed the band) weren't huge. I'm at a loss to find a reason for this, or for the predominantly negative reviews it received in the music press at the time. Having re-purchased this recently (where the hell is my original copy?!) and listening to it again with fresh perspective after an absence of several years, I have to say it's outstanding. This album rocks from start to finish and has a very original and quirky style all of its own.

It seemed to be the done thing to slate Tin Machine at the time, but I wonder if many of the journos doing so had actually listened to this, or were just jumping on the popular opinion bandwagon? Did they object to David Bowie kicking the be-suited and peroxided perfect rock star persona (complete with the formulaic pop sound) to the kerb and were taking out their ire by undermining this venture? Who knows?

This is a triumphant return to David Bowie the rock star, from the insipid waters of top-selling pop stardom.

If you're a Bowie fan, this is an absolute must.
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on 5 March 2014
For me it says everything about what was wrong in the 1980's that the critics at the time panned Tin Machine....what were they thinking?! Were they the same critics that would have been praising Genesis, Pet Shop Boys and Sonia?!

And it says everything about current lazy journalism that the Tin machine period is STILL said to be Bowie's worst era! Have any of those critics even listened to the record????

For me this is and was Bowies rebirth and the start of the second chapter of his career, as a mature artist. After the disasters that were Tonight and Never Let Me Down - Tin Machine is Bowie screamingly getting back to basics, doing what the hell he wants and playing Rock and Roll again.

And good on him. He'd peaked as a popstar with Let's Dance, he'd done it, he'd been the Glam rock god of the Seventies, He'd been the Avant Garde experimentalist of the early Electo era...he'd even been the Platinum blonde pop star of the 80's....He'd even dare I say sold out to the mid 80's excesses...but this is him regaining his aura as an enigma and credible artist.

For me, the Record sounds amazing....and for me, it reminds me at times of his live stuff with the Spiders and Mick Ronson. For me, some of his best Rock sounds of the early 70's were on the BBC live recording of "White Light/White Heat" and "I'm Waiting for the Man"....Tin Machine seem to be in a similar vein as those moments...

It's raucous, the playings relentless and even off the scale at times... The songs aren't ALL successes but there is more than enough to keep you excited throughout. There are some great songs here too though....

For what, £6...it's well worth it. If anything just to form your own opinion...it's potentially the most criminally treated Album ever by the critics.
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on 9 August 2005
Bowie kicked off his new suited rock-man persona by going down to his record label, playing his new album and watching the big men in suits squirm. Bowie's output for the past 5 years had been inconsistent and sometimes insipid. This is where it changed.
Some fans liked the change, some fans even liked the music. However, if it wasn't for Bowie's unbelievable musical history, he would have lost a lot of fans during Tin Machine.
Firstly, the band is fantastic. Hunt and Tony Sales were Iggy Pop's band during the 70's, and Bowie met them whilst collaborating with Iggy on "Lust For Life". They provide a fantastic rhythm section. To complete the band, Bowie invites his new friend, Reeves Gabrel to have a go at lead guitar. So strong is Reeves as a guitarist, that he would remain with Bowie for 10 years. Bowie ends up on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, and at the front of a great band.
Fortunately, there was great music to go with the band. The best tracks on Tin Machine are "Heaven's In Here", "Prisoner of Love" and "I Can't Read". When the band is playing, you can actually feel the energy, and that is so important. Not once does the music feel flat, even at its weakest moments ("Crack City", for example).
Shame it didn't work out.
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on 23 August 2006
This was a big moment in David Bowie's career. He had just come to the end of a blind ally that his record comany were happy to exploit while it lasted, however, his previous effort Never Let Me Down was the biggest let down I had ever suffered on putting a Bowie disc on the turntable for the first time although I was not altogether surprised. Let's Dance had been a good Bowie twist on that 1980's dance orientated sound but the follow up Tonight had been more patchy.

Tin Machine was a new dawn for Bowie and I loved it from the first I heard it. It was challenging rock music with some great songs (although some of the lyrics and ideas are a bit over simplistic) The music press initially loved it, however one the fans who wanted Bowie to be remain more pop song orientated started to swtich off some of the music press took the hump. Q Magazine in particular seemed to take umbridge at having initially hailed this new direction but then when the fashion police didn't approve they started to take every opportunity to slag off Tin Machine. I just find it so pathetic that the Bowie was villified for taking a different musical direction that was way different to what he had done before. This might be understandable for the fans of anyone but Bowie but this is what we all loved about him, the anticipation of what his new sound was going to be was a major plus the and impending Bowie release.

Some of the songs on both Tin Machine albums stand out and would hold up to any other Bowie songs. If you put this on a random play mode with all his other albums there are many who would be humming along happily to many of these before they realised that it was a Tin Machine rather than David Bowie song.

Another thing that annoys me about peoples reaction to this band, Hunt and Tony Sales are scapegoated as the weak link here by the same "right on" people who said that Iggy's The Idiot and Lust for Life were so much better than Low and Heroes.

Don't worry about the style police, you can get both Tine Machine and Tin Machine II really cheap on Amazon, buy them and enjoy!
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on 15 January 2016
After constant dismissal by just about every critic Tin Machines 'big' rock album didn't fair well when released.

So wrong , it's an album of pure joy , an album that just bury's itself inside you head , an album that celebrates the majesty of all that was alternative rock in the late 80's.

Ok the band did have one very famous lead singer and like someone else had mentioned if this album had been released as a 'Bowie' album it may have faired better.

Now we have a chance again to re-evaluate this wonderful record.

Play it loud and revel in the glory that Mr Bowie was willing to take so many left turns during his life...

Sadly he died after an 18 month battle with cancer Jan 2016 two days after his birthday.

R.I.P Mr Jones ...you were a true Starman.
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on 1 September 2006
Tin Machine was the album that turned my perception of music on its head. Up until then, I was an undescerning teen, who couldn't tell the difference between Money For Nothing, and Money for Old Rope. For that reason alone, this slice of flawed genius is very special to me.

There are some fantastic tracks - starting with Heaven's In Here; Reeves Gabrels and Hunt Sales make an opening statement on behalf of the album that is sustained throughout, and kicks Bowie into life again. The outro solo is an awesome blend of raw, punky viciousness, and absolute virtuosity. Having played guitar for twenty years, I am still impressed: I have never gotten close, although I have tried. There are some songs that don't pass muster: Crack City is flabby, Prisoner of Love is lyrically ham-fisted, and I've never gotten my head around Working Class Hero - a fine centiment, but why? It spoils the Plastic Ono Band album, and it spoils this one, too.

Lyrically, this is not Bowie's best moment, although I have always found him hit and miss. This is an album of performances, including Tim Palmer, who, as producer, gets some of the best skins sounds on track, in my opinion. The way everything is layered, so dense, yet so clear, is one of the key elements.

So, the best moments; Heaven's in Here's raucous intent and wild solo, Tin Machine - wacky bagpipe guitar overdub, and a great lyric, I Can't Read's weary insanity, the luscious Amazing, which is the most complete track, and even one I simply had to cover in a former band, even though the audience never got it! I love Bus Stop, for the cheeky lyrics and music that complements them perfectly, and Baby Can Dance, which was always an on-off one for me, but has such a great, lurching relationship between drums and guitar, which sums up the whole album's intent, that some of the wan lyrics can be forgiven.

I want to give this five stars, but can't. It's flawed, certainly; but one that should be cosied up to by everyone, and treasured as a very special - and pre-emptive - moment in Bowie's and rock's history.
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on 30 July 2008
If this exact self same album has been released by Bowie (after the heap of crap he had put out throughout the 80s) as a David Bowie album (backed by Iggy's rhythm section and a new guitarist) not as 'Tin Machine' the band, it would have been treated a whole lot better then and now. What has given it such a bad reputation was the attitude adopted at the time by Bowie himself; bearded, chain smoking, brash cockney geezer - 'I'm just one of the boys in a band' 'It's a democracy' all of that crap basically. As an album it's not that bad at all - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't - but as an album it doesn't deserve the hypocrisy and hate it constantly receives. Time has revealed that Bowie had to take a drastic step of this kind to move away from the soulless 80's stadium pop icon he was turning into, and get back to being Bowie again - it clearly did the trick. By no means a Bowie classic, but worth investigating nevertheless........
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on 12 September 2004
Bought this album when it came out 15 years ago-and (probably because I was on another planet) thought it was mediocre and subsequently dismissed it as boring, never listening to it again.
Have just put it on - WHAT HAVE I BEEN MISSING!!?? This stuff is brilliant and way ahead of its time.
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on 1 May 2011
Having been nothing less than THE icon of the 70s - Bowie arrived at the end of a rather tumultuous 80s clearly somewhat tired of being 'it'. So never one to do anything by halves he got together some of his old mates (the Sales Brothers and Reeves Gabrels - who had worked with him in the past) and started a band.

Not so much the Spiders from Mars - more the Expensive Suits from Saville Row - Tin Machine were billed as a no-nonsense back to basics rock'n'roll band. Albeit with a rather famous singer.

This is where my review doesn't follow the script. I bought this on its release - the first Bowie product to come out in my 'purchasing' lifetime. I loved it. Heavens in Here has enormous swagger - and a great riff - the title track rocks and stops and starts along with the best of them. And along with the extraordinarily angular guitar playing - the whole set has a sweaty bluesy small-club feeling that is possibly only let down by the ill-advised cover of Working Class Hero. If this album were a foodstuff it would definately be Marmite. But love it or hate it - you can't ignore it.

Re-apraise this album soon - and admit to yourself that it REALLY isn't so bad after all.
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on 13 December 2007
I bought this on a whim when it 1st came out, being more into rock at the time it immeadiately appealed to the angsty young man in me, that's not to say there aren't some touching heartfelt songs and lyrics on here! I somehow missed out on this being rubbished pretty uniformally ever since by the critics? what gives? it's raw, crackles with a live energy you can feel.
The Iggy influence is apparent on here, the swagger, attitude and tone in the songs really gives the album something.
Much maligned, but what do they know anyway? critics...meh!! Yes, the critics, the very same who slated Bladerunner (sorry going off on a slight tangent here) who now fawn over it... if there was ever a case for deciding yourself, than here it is, this album rocks.
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