DAVID BOWIE – ” Loving The Alien ” Box Set 1983-1988

Posted: July 23, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , ,

For David Bowie, the 1980s were years of tremendous ch-ch-changes, in which the stylistic chameleon went mainstream to great success, experienced some artistic disappointments, and solidified his place in the pantheon as a legend of rock.  Now, this era is being looked back upon in the fourth annual volume of Parlophone’s ongoing series of box sets dedicated to the late superstar. Loving the Alien (1983-1988) will arrive on October 12th in 11CD and 15LP vinyl configurations.

This lavish set is filled with more exclusive material than any of its predecessors, as only three studio albums are included, all in newly remastered editions: Let’s Dance (1983), Tonight (1984), and Never Let Me Down (1987). Loving the Alien also premieres a new version of the latter album, for which Bowie’s friend and producer Mario McNulty has completely re-recorded the instrumentation with the artist’s collaborators Reeves Gabrels (guitar), David Torn (guitar), Sterling Campbell (drums), Tim Lefebvre (bass), and a string quartet with arrangements by Nico Mulhy plus an appearance by Laurie Anderson on “Shining Star (Makin’ My Love).”  This new version of Never Let Me Down is rooted in McNulty’s 2008 re-production of “Time Will Crawl” which featured new drums and strings.  Its success prompted Bowie to comment, “Oh, to redo the rest of that album.” McNulty has now made good on Bowie’s wish.  (Note that “Too Dizzy,” which Bowie requested be removed from Never Let Me Down following the original LP pressing, remains missing in action.

Additionally, the box includes the remastered live set Glass Spider: Live Montreal ’87, the previously unreleased Serious Moonlight live album recorded in Vancouver in 1983, a new collection of period remixes entitled Dance, and the fourth volume of odds-and-ends series RE:CALL.  Dance (titled after an abortive remix album once slated for release in November 1985) collects a dozen original remixes of songs from the era.  The new installment of RE:CALL has a whopping 30 tracks: original single versions, the non-LP side “Julie,” film songs from The Falcon and the Snowman, Absolute Beginners, and Labyrinth, plus duets with Tina Turner (“Tonight” and “Let’s Dance”) and Mick Jagger (what else, “Dancing in the Street”) and more.  The extended edit of B-side “Girls” is on this disc, though not the shorter version or the Japanese re-recording.

The generous book will run to 128 pages in the CD version and 84 in the LP box, with copious illustrations, original press clippings, and historical notes from producers and engineers Nile Rodgers, Hugh Padgham, Mario McNulty, and Justin Shirley-Smith.  The CDs will be packaged in the expected deluxe mini-LP replica sleeves, but in a special touch, they will be pressed in gold rather than standard silver. The vinyl release will be pressed on 180-gram vinyl.

Loving the Alien looks to be a great opportunity to revisit one of David Bowie’s most overlooked – yet most mainstream – periods.  Look for this set on CD and vinyl on October 12th


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