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Better late than...
on 13 October 2000
I wouldn't have thought such apparently primetime material could be so disappointing. What it demonstrates - particularly the wretched version of WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT - is that in the early seventies Bowie was at the beginning of a career that didn't really hit its stride until YOUNG AMERICANS in 1975, and the series of magnificent recordings that followed it: STATION TO STATION and LOW. The old Spiders and pre-Spiders material is interesting, yes, but I won't be listening to it all that much I'm afraid.
So why as many as three stars? Because of the material recorded this year. Simply, if Bowie today isn't the force he was when he recorded LOW, he's still markedly stronger than ZIGGY STARDUST. The musicians, too, are better - including Earl Slick and ex-Spider Mike Garson. The rhythm section doesn't match Alomar/Davis/Murray, but then outside of some of Miles Davis's groups, what could?