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Reality

środa, 04 maja 2011 15:05


Reality is an album by the British singer-songwriter David Bowie, released in 2003. The album is Bowie's latest studio album to date.

Over the promotional period, the album was released in a variety of formats. The standard release was a single jewel case CD version, followed by the CD with a three track bonus CD in digipak format. The album was then released as a multichannel hybrid SACD, and then reissued with a bonus live DVD recorded in London.

All songs written by David Bowie except where noted.

   1. "New Killer Star" – 4:40
   2. "Pablo Picasso" (Jonathan Richman) – 4:06
   3. "Never Get Old" – 4:25
   4. "The Loneliest Guy" – 4:11
   5. "Looking for Water" – 3:28
   6. "She'll Drive the Big Car" – 4:35
   7. "Days" – 3:19
   8. "Fall Dog Bombs the Moon" – 4:04
   9. "Try Some, Buy Some" (George Harrison) – 4:24
  10. "Reality" – 4:23
  11. "Bring Me the Disco King" – 7:45


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Heathen

środa, 04 maja 2011 14:57

 

Heathen is an album by the British singer-songwriter David Bowie, released in 2002. It was considered something of a comeback for Bowie in the U.S. market; it was his highest charting album (#14) since Tonight (1984), and earned some of his strongest reviews since Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) (1980). Worldwide, it sold over two million copies and experienced a four-month run on the UK charts. Essentially, the album deals with Bowie's impressions of the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Heathen marked the return of record producer Tony Visconti, who co-produced (with Bowie himself) several of Bowie's classic albums. The last album Visconti had co-produced was Scary Monsters in 1980.

Originally, Bowie had recorded the album Toy for release in 2000 or 2001. This album was meant to feature some new songs and remakes of some his lesser-known songs from the 1960s. Although Toy remains officially unreleased, a few of its tracks — including "Afraid" and "Slip Away" (then titled "Uncle Floyd") — appear on Heathen. Some other re-recorded songs were included as B-sides to the singles from Heathen.

The album features guest appearances from Who guitarist Pete Townshend (who had played guitar on an earlier Bowie track, "Because You're Young" from Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)), Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess, pianist Kristeen Young and prolific bassist Tony Levin of King Crimson.

Although many of its songs was written for the album Toy, and some are cover versions, biographers and critics of the time claimed that Heathen deals with Bowie's impressions of the 11 September attacks. The lyrics of songs such as "Slow Burn", "Afraid", "A Better Future" and "Heathen (The Rays)" focus on the degradation of mankind and the world in general, recalling his earlier album Diamond Dogs and the song "Five Years".

Writing about the connection between the album and 9/11, Dave Thompson says:

    "Although we can probably credit nothing more spiritual than saturation-level television coverage for its visceral impact, 9/11 remains the single most resonant event in recent world history for many people, igniting so many thoughts, fears and conflicts within the minds of those who witnessed it that, even today, people who have never been to America, can still bond over those 102 terrifying minutes. At the time, and through the months of uncertainty that followed, the need for that bonding was even more pronounced. Heathen sounded like it understood how people felt. People automatically felt the need, then, to understand Heathen and, of all Bowie's albums of the nineties and beyond, it remains the one that is most frequently singled out as his best, because it is certainly his most direct. Even Tony Visconti referred to it as his magnum opus. I told him, 'That was more like a symphony.'"

The album contains cover versions of three songs: "Cactus" by Pixies; "I've Been Waiting for You" by Neil Young; and "I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spaceship" by Norman Odam aka the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, from whom Bowie lifted his "Ziggy Stardust" moniker in 1972.


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Hours...

środa, 04 maja 2011 14:41

 

Hours... is a 1999 album by British musician David Bowie. It was released October 4, 1999 (1999-10-04) on Virgin Records. This was Bowie's final album for the EMI sub-label.

A lot of the material that ended up on 'Hours...' was originally used, in alternate versions, for the video game Omikron: The Nomad Soul, which also featured two characters based on Bowie, as well as one on his wife Iman, one on 'Hours...' collaborator Reeves Gabrels, and one on bassist Gail Ann Dorsey.

To drum up interest in the impending album, a "Cyber Song" contest was held on Bowie's personal website BowieNet to compose lyrics to an early instrumental version of the song "What's Really Happening." The winning lyrics would be featured on 'Hours...' . Contest winner Alex Grant also won a trip to Philip Glass' Looking Glass Studios on 24 May 1999 to watch Bowie record the final vocal during a live Webcast. There, Grant contributed backing vocals to the song, along with a friend who accompanied him. Bowie also gave a "special creativity award" to Derek Donovan of Love Among Puppets for his entry, which Donovan posted on the Web after combining elements of the original instrumental track with his own new recording.

The album cover, designed by Rex Ray with photography by Tim Bret Day and Frank Ockenfels, depicts the short-haired Bowie persona from the intensely energetic previous album Earthling resting exhaustedly in the arms of a long-haired, more youthful version of Bowie. Indeed, 'Hours...' is a much mellower album than its predecessor, and features numerous references to earlier parts of Bowie's musical career (particularly the early 1970s). For the album's initial release, a number of copies featured a lenticular version of the cover, lending a three-dimensional effect to the image.

In January 2005, Bowie's new label ISO Records reissued 'Hours...' as a double CD set with the second CD comprising remixes, alternate versions, and single B-sides.

It was the first Bowie studio album to miss the US Top 40 since Ziggy Stardust and peaked at number 47.


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Earthling

środa, 04 maja 2011 13:43

 

Earthling is an album by David Bowie released in February 1997 via BMG. The album showcases an electronica-influenced sound partly inspired by the Industrial culture of the 1990s.

Though not a major commercial success, the album scored a number of positive reviews and scored a minor hit with a Trent Reznor remix of "I'm Afraid of Americans". In the 1998 Grammy awards Earthling was nominated for Best Alternative Music Performance and the song Dead Man Walking was nominated for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. The album featured elements not common to dance electronica, such as live acoustic and electric guitar, jazzy live piano, and song structures more common to pop-rock than techno. The album performed better than its highly experimental predecessor, Outside, reaching number 6 in the UK charts and number 39 in the US.

Bowie's enthusiasm for remixing reached its peak when this album was released and the numerous singles from it were also issued to clubs, as well as online: three versions of "Telling Lies" were released on Bowie's official website months prior to the album's release, constituting the first ever downloadable single by a major artist. "Little Wonder" was the album's biggest hit, reaching number 14 in the UK. Three more singles — "Dead Man Walking", "Seven Years in Tibet", and "I'm Afraid of Americans" — did not fare so well, although the latter did remain in the U.S. charts for 16 weeks, peaking at number 66.

The music videos for Earthling were elaborate. Artist and director Floria Sigismondi directed the short films for "Little Wonder" and "Dead Man Walking", while Dom and Nic directed "I'm Afraid of Americans", the latter being nominated for an MTV Video Music Award. A video was also made for "Seven Years in Tibet", composed largely of concert footage.

At the Phoenix Festival in 1997, Bowie and his band played in the Radio 1 Dance tent as Tao Jones Index. They performed in darkness with dry ice and strobe lights. Tao Jones Index was a pun based on Bowie's real name, David Jones, and the 1997 Bowie Bond issue (Tao is pronounced "Dow", as in Dow Jones Index from the US stock market).


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Outside

środa, 04 maja 2011 13:37

 

Outside is a concept album first released 26 September 1995 by David Bowie on Virgin Records. Subtitled "the Ritual Art-Murder of Baby Grace Blue: A non-linear Gothic Drama Hyper-Cycle," Outside centres around the characters of a dystopian world on the eve of the 21st century. The album put Bowie back into the mainstream scene of rock music with its singles "The Hearts Filthy Lesson", "Strangers When We Meet", and "Hallo Spaceboy" (notably remixed by the Pet Shop Boys).

The liner notes feature a short story by Bowie, the Diary of Nathan Adler, which outlines a somewhat dystopian version of the year 1999 in which the government, through its arts commission, had created a new bureau to investigate the phenomenon of Art Crime. In this future, murder and mutilation of bodies had become a new underground art craze. The main character, Nathan Adler, was in the business of deciding what of this was legally acceptable as art and what was, in a word, trash. The album is filled with references to characters and their lives as he investigates the complicated events leading up to the murder of a fourteen-year-old girl. One is meant to assume that Bowie's character, Nathan Adler, works for the British government due to several references to the cities of London and Oxford, but in the liner notes these are revealed to be, at least in some cases, London, Ontario and Oxford, New Jersey, indicating that the entire story may take place in North America—or, indeed, that the distinction between the two places has become blurred and indistinguishable.

In interviews, Bowie remarked that the album was meant to reflect the anxiety of the last five years of the millennium:

    Overall, a long-term ambition is to make it a series of albums extending to 1999—to try to capture, using this device, what the last five years of this millennium feel like. It's a diary within the diary. The narrative and the stories are not the content—the content is the spaces in between the linear bits. The queasy, strange, textures....

    Oh, I've got the fondest hopes for the fin de siecle. I see it as a symbolic sacrificial rite. I see it as a deviance, a pagan wish to appease gods, so we can move on. There's a real spiritual starvation out there being filled by these mutations of what are barely remembered rites and rituals. To take the place of the void left by a non-authoritative church. We have this panic button telling us it's gonna be a colossal madness at the end of this century.


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