David Bowie – Changesbowie

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist

Let’s just rip this Band-Aid off:  I am not a Bowie fan. I don’t dislike Bowie, to be sure, but I certainly have no special appreciation for his work. I basically like some of it just fine, and have no desire to ever hear any more of it. His surprising death in 2016 did not affect me in the slightest, though I can understand how it devastated so many people. This “Best of” serves my needs just fine, though it is light on the liner notes. Even as I listen to it, I don’t come away with a sense of which Bowie album I might enjoy best or would be his strongest work.

What I Think of This Album

At eighteen songs spanning fifteen years, this seems like a fair and honest recap of Bowie’s career; if it isn’t, well, then I guess I really am not bothered. I like most of this, with only the unlistenable “Fame ‘90” and the slightly less annoying “Fashion” making me reach for the “skip” button. I feel like you either like these songs or you don’t; repeated listens produce no shift one way or the other, and honestly, I could easily get rid of this album. Here are some things I learned from the liner notes that I did not know before:  a) Rick Wakeman of Yes played on a couple of these songs; b) Luther Vandross sang backup on “Young Americans;” c) John Lennon co-wrote “Fame;” d) Roy Bittan of the E Street Band played drums on a couple of tracks; e) Brian Eno co-wrote and played on “Heroes”; and f) Stevie Ray Vaughn plays guitar on “Modern Love.” One thing I did know is that Tony Visconti produced some of these songs.

The Best Thing About This Album

Honestly, either “Modern Love” or “Blue Jean” is my top Bowie pick.

Release Date

March, 1990

The Cover Art

This is a ghastly cover, lazy and ill-planned to the extreme. It appears to all observers to have been made by a sullen and not particularly inspired child. This sort of record company carelessness is an insult to fans (and the artist, as well).

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