Best track on David Bowie's LODGER album

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Is THE LODGER David Bowie's best record?

Not sure how you'd even determine the consensus view.

It's true, ILM hasn't polled the album yet apparently.

― Miami weisse (WmC), Thursday, February 27, 2020 11:12 AM (fourteen minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

!!!

― sleeve

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Fantastic Voyage 20
Look Back In Anger 18
Red Sails 12
D.J. 10
Boys Keep Swinging 9
Yassassin (Turkish For Long Live) 6
Move On 6
African Night Flight 4
Red Money 1
Repetition 0


sleeve, Thursday, 27 February 2020 19:29 (one month ago) link

'Fantastic Voyage' without hesitation.

I do sometimes think this is my favorite Bowie album. It does something to me.

Expart of Languidge (Old Lunch), Thursday, 27 February 2020 19:31 (one month ago) link

I think I'll just have to re-listen to this

sleeve, Thursday, 27 February 2020 19:40 (one month ago) link

impossible.
its my favourite bowie album.
no doubt about it.

mark e, Thursday, 27 February 2020 19:40 (one month ago) link

Fantastic Voyage or Yassassin for me

justice 4 CCR (Sparkle Motion), Thursday, 27 February 2020 19:45 (one month ago) link

'Fantastic Voyage' is one of those songs that I find it very hard to get all the way through without tearing up. Like every time. I thought surely I would become inured eventually, but no.

Expart of Languidge (Old Lunch), Thursday, 27 February 2020 19:47 (one month ago) link

Boys Keep Swinging

Darin, Thursday, 27 February 2020 19:50 (one month ago) link

I think once this poll is complete, I may do a Bowie album openers poll. Because many of those are among his very best.

Expart of Languidge (Old Lunch), Thursday, 27 February 2020 19:51 (one month ago) link

I'M NOT
A MOODY GUY

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 27 February 2020 19:52 (one month ago) link

This album never really clicked for me until I heard Shearwater's track-by-track cover version, which made me completely reassess it. Look Back in Anger gets my vote, partly thanks to Shearwater's barnstorming take:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1QP3T8_810

the grateful dead can dance (anagram), Thursday, 27 February 2020 19:57 (one month ago) link

"red sails." though i considered "look back in anger" just for the drums

american bradass (BradNelson), Thursday, 27 February 2020 20:08 (one month ago) link

The hinterland, the hinterland, I'm gonna vote for the hinterland

Dunty Reggae party 🎉 (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 27 February 2020 20:10 (one month ago) link

Look Back in Anger. Never saw why this album was considered as any less than any others.

dan selzer, Thursday, 27 February 2020 22:57 (one month ago) link

Fantastic Voyage vs. Red Sails vs. Look Back in Anger. I need to pray on this

J. Sam, Thursday, 27 February 2020 23:00 (one month ago) link

Since buying the Ryko reissue in a mall record store in fall '93, I've wondered why the hell this album was underestimated. He took the Low and Heroes experiments and distilled/refracted them into his idea of pop.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 27 February 2020 23:06 (one month ago) link

Oh, you meant ILMs concensus. I thought you meant the wider world.

It's "Boys Keep Swinging" for me, hooked me and never let go. The tongue in cheek and double meaning still makes me smile.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 27 February 2020 23:33 (one month ago) link

not gonna lie, i'm tempted to vote for yassassin.

ooga booga-ing for the bourgeoisie (voodoo chili), Thursday, 27 February 2020 23:35 (one month ago) link

I meant the wider world too -- the joke was that they don't know what the best song is until ILM tells them.

Miami weisse (WmC), Thursday, 27 February 2020 23:47 (one month ago) link

felt like criticism of the mix/sound was a big part of its rep? like, it is a famously "muddy" album and i suppose i hear that - although none of those late 70s albums are pristine audiophile delight or anything

(IMO and FWIW the man who sold the world is the best sounding Bowie LP)

umsworth (emsworth), Friday, 28 February 2020 00:23 (one month ago) link

(also, Fantastic Voyage by a long way)

umsworth (emsworth), Friday, 28 February 2020 00:24 (one month ago) link

"Sometimes I feel the need to move on. So I pack a bag, and move on."

Perfect song, perfect lyrics.

Zelda Zonk, Friday, 28 February 2020 01:18 (one month ago) link

YAYA

OOOHHH

YAAAAYA

OOOOHH

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 28 February 2020 01:21 (one month ago) link

African Night Flight....cos of David Baddiel’s dismissal of it and cos it’s so fucking malarial...

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Friday, 28 February 2020 10:31 (one month ago) link

David Baddiel’s dismissal

What is this? I hate Baddiel and love African Night Flight.

chap, Friday, 28 February 2020 10:34 (one month ago) link

This is Red Sails vs Anger for me but really imo the sequence from Sails and Repetition is one of the great album runs of the 70s

hooper (Drugs A. Money), Friday, 28 February 2020 11:24 (one month ago) link

"Look back" runs away with this at top speed for me…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gCUBRFkvvU

veronica moser, Friday, 28 February 2020 14:50 (one month ago) link

and…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q81NoZY4Gm8&t=130s

veronica moser, Friday, 28 February 2020 14:51 (one month ago) link

uhh…whaa haapen?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q81NoZY4Gm8&t=130s

veronica moser, Friday, 28 February 2020 14:52 (one month ago) link

What is this? I hate Baddiel and love African Night Flight.

― chap

see the other Lodger thread, it was the bump that got me to make this poll

sleeve, Friday, 28 February 2020 15:46 (one month ago) link

but our lives are valuable too

she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Friday, 28 February 2020 15:59 (one month ago) link

see the other thread anyway, it's my only good one

mark s, Friday, 28 February 2020 16:04 (one month ago) link

OK seen it now. Baddiel definitely the "Rap music... more like crap music!" type.

This did indeed tempt me to go for African Night Flight, but my clicking finger strayed to Yassassin at the last second.

chap, Friday, 28 February 2020 16:13 (one month ago) link

I think the reason this is my favourite Bowie album is because in some way it acts like a Fall album, the way Bowie and Eno engage with pop at its least fashionable points and then allow it to be corrupted by these almost-incompatible avant garde notions...

doktor forstus (Drugs A. Money), Saturday, 29 February 2020 03:55 (one month ago) link

This is kinda neat:

https://youtu.be/aUHHs0ZsPa4

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 29 February 2020 21:11 (one month ago) link

I like how all over the place everyone's preferences are on this one. I voted Boys Keep Swinging because it's the catchiest tune.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Saturday, 29 February 2020 21:57 (one month ago) link

oh my god that LBIA drum track, maybe the best isolation I've heard - it's just a dense texture in the mix but the timing and fills are blinding when you hear it up front. DD was ON FIRE.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Sunday, 1 March 2020 07:09 (one month ago) link

Voted for "Move On". Always loved the way it (imo) starts off sounding like it's going to be a filler track to cool down after the insanity that was "African Night Flight" but then it's like "nah, let's explode into transcendence again".

cwkiii, Sunday, 1 March 2020 23:24 (one month ago) link

I was really into "Red Sails" last time I played this.

geoffreyess, Monday, 2 March 2020 01:25 (one month ago) link

‘Move On’ is one of my favourite Bowie vocals...makes a fairly average song absolutely compelling

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Monday, 2 March 2020 01:53 (one month ago) link

omg the video with dennis davis' kid is fantastic. what's the other video you were trying to post, veronica m?

fact checking cuz, Monday, 2 March 2020 02:00 (one month ago) link

Tempted to vote for Repetition as so far it doesn't sound like anyone else is going to. Bowie did this amazing acoustic set for BBC Radio for his 50th birthday which included a great performance of the track.

Real answer is probably Fantastic Voyage though...

Valentijn, Monday, 2 March 2020 13:22 (one month ago) link

I like how all over the place everyone's preferences are on this one. I voted Boys Keep Swinging because it's the catchiest tune.

― Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Saturday, 29 February 2020 21:57 (two days ago) bookmarkflaglink

this is bcz it's bowie's best LP, proof by science

mark s, Monday, 2 March 2020 13:24 (one month ago) link

"Red Sails" for me.

Load up your rubber wallets (Tom D.), Monday, 2 March 2020 14:34 (one month ago) link

I've given the album two thorough listens since this poll was started and still can't decide.

Miami weisse (WmC), Monday, 2 March 2020 20:42 (one month ago) link

^^^ learning to live with somebody's depression imo

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 2 March 2020 20:42 (one month ago) link

Red Money ends the album with a woozy swagger. Love the rhythm guitar (sounds like Belew to me, yeah) amping up toward the end as Bowie attacks the vocal. You can hear him get bored with his own work, but he still throws in couple flourishes. Sister Midnight who?

lukas, Monday, 2 March 2020 21:51 (one month ago) link

I've long gravitated toward "Look Back in Anger." It's like an aggro version of one of Low's miniatures.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 2 March 2020 22:30 (one month ago) link

Fantastic Voyage for me. This album took a while to click for me. I bought it after Low and Heroes, cos "trilogy" and didn't like it. After a few years I dug it out again and - nah. A few years later I played it and boom!

Duke, Tuesday, 3 March 2020 22:22 (one month ago) link

I ended up voting for D.J., very curious to see the results. I shoulda made the poll close sooner, sorry.

sleeve, Tuesday, 3 March 2020 22:45 (one month ago) link

"Move On" has always spoken to me the most on this album. Not my fave of the trilogy anyway.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 4 March 2020 00:36 (one month ago) link

Oddly enough "Red Sails" might be the first DB song I decided I liked as a wee bairn. It was on a compilation my uncle had that I I'm not sure I've ever seen again. So, maybe that!

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 03:31 (one month ago) link

^ I guess it must have been this. It doesn't seem especially uncommon from that evidence!

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 03:36 (one month ago) link

Somehow it's the only "classic era" Bowie album that I don't know at all.
I have tried to listen to it every now and then over the years but never got into it (the production ? the songs ?).
Trying again now following this thread and the love this album is getting from every one here : maybe I'll finally get it (which would be great since I would "discover" a new classic Bowie album !).

AlXTC from Paris, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 09:47 (one month ago) link

it's his best!

mark s, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 13:24 (one month ago) link

This was a grower for me, too. A good number of my favorite albums are those whose appeal was not immediately apparent to me.

At this point, the only element that doesn't quite gel for me is the reworking of 'Sister Midnight' into 'Red Money'.

Lake Meat (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 4 March 2020 13:52 (one month ago) link

obvious choice but the part in Boys Keep Swinging where he reaches up a register "Boys keep swinging, boys al-ways work...it....OUT!" gets me every time

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 4 March 2020 14:02 (one month ago) link

to expand a bit on my choice, I find "D.J." to be the most catchy number on here along with "Boys" and it also has an undercurrent of dread, the submerging of identity into a label

sleeve, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 15:31 (one month ago) link

at the "david bowie is" exhibit, i parked in front of the video screen showing the "dj" and "boys" videos for what seemed like hours*, mesmerized. so fucking perfect.

*it probably wasn't actually hours

fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 20:51 (one month ago) link

Oddly enough "Red Sails" might be the first DB song I decided I liked as a wee bairn. It was on a compilation my uncle had that I I'm not sure I've ever seen again. So, maybe that!

― Nag! Nag! Nag!, Wednesday, March 4, 2020 4:31 AM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

^ I guess it must have been this. It doesn't seem especially uncommon from that evidence!

― Nag! Nag! Nag!, Wednesday, March 4, 2020 4:36 AM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink


That cassette was a holiday staple in my family, I think my mom bought it at a gas station. It's ingrained so much that still now I expect/hum the soaring saxophone intro to "I Can't Explain" when hearing the fade out ending of "Look Back In Anger"

willem, Thursday, 5 March 2020 15:59 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

Listening to this album right now and it's fkn awesome.

God gave toilets rolls to you, gave toilet rolls to you (Tom D.), Friday, 20 March 2020 13:54 (two weeks ago) link

first time?

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 20 March 2020 13:56 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah I played this the other night (first front-to-back listen in a long time) and it sounded so great.

Gavin, Leeds, Friday, 20 March 2020 13:58 (two weeks ago) link

(xp) Far from it!

God gave toilets rolls to you, gave toilet rolls to you (Tom D.), Friday, 20 March 2020 13:58 (two weeks ago) link

I played a Box Tops compilation (also great) just before it and this was in the general vicinity.

God gave toilets rolls to you, gave toilet rolls to you (Tom D.), Friday, 20 March 2020 13:59 (two weeks ago) link

as noted by me 17 years ago on this very message board, it's DB's best!

mark s, Friday, 20 March 2020 14:03 (two weeks ago) link

I played a Box Tops compilation (also great) just before it and this was in the general vicinity.

Took me a second to realize you meant alphabetically.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 20 March 2020 14:12 (two weeks ago) link

I already voted, but I should listen to this again

sleeve, Friday, 20 March 2020 14:59 (two weeks ago) link

Red Sails and Look Back In Anger both kept closing in but I Went with Fantastic Voyage anyway. I'll be a bit sorry if Repetition won't get any votes.

Valentijn, Friday, 20 March 2020 15:56 (two weeks ago) link

"Boys Keep Swinging"

https://vimeo.com/330637434

birdistheword, Saturday, 21 March 2020 17:08 (two weeks ago) link

fantastic voyage is a masterpiece

treeship., Saturday, 21 March 2020 17:52 (two weeks ago) link

this is a weird ass album

brimstead, Saturday, 21 March 2020 17:55 (two weeks ago) link

it's so different, to me, than the two that preceded it, which makes the "trilogy" classification interesting.

treeship., Saturday, 21 March 2020 18:00 (two weeks ago) link

D.J. was always the standout for me. Weird yet immediate too

octobeard, Saturday, 21 March 2020 18:56 (two weeks ago) link

we are all the lodger now

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Saturday, 21 March 2020 18:58 (two weeks ago) link

D.J. is probably my least favourite track, too conventional, definitely catchy though.

Bridge Over Thorley Waters (Tom D.), Saturday, 21 March 2020 19:07 (two weeks ago) link

it's so different, to me, than the two that preceded it, which makes the "trilogy" classification interesting.

Chris O'Leary thinks the "real" Berlin trilogy is The Idiot/Low/"Heroes" & that Lodger works best as a coda to the whole Berlin period

doktor forstus (Drugs A. Money), Sunday, 22 March 2020 11:05 (two weeks ago) link

I thought it was me who said that on ILM?

Bridge Over Thorley Waters (Tom D.), Sunday, 22 March 2020 11:28 (two weeks ago) link

https://bowiesongs.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/sister-midnight/

Iggy Pop’s first solo record, The Idiot, is equally a David Bowie album with a guest singer/composer; Bowie co-wrote all of the songs, played many of the instruments and produced it (rather chaotically, requiring Tony Visconti to try and salvage the often over-modulated tapes at the mixing stage). Though once considered a footnote (it gets dismissed in one line in the ’90s Bowie bio Living On the Brink), it’s an essential piece of Bowie’s ’70s work, and I’d argue that the real “Berlin” trilogy is The Idiot, Low and “Heroes,” with Pop’s Lust For Life as a supplement and Lodger as an afterword.

doktor forstus (Drugs A. Money), Sunday, 22 March 2020 11:45 (two weeks ago) link

To be pedantic about it, "Lust for Life" was recorded entirely in Berlin, "The Idiot" wasn't. "Heroes" was begun the month after "Lust For Life" was finished - again, entirely in Berlin.

Bridge Over Thorley Waters (Tom D.), Sunday, 22 March 2020 12:02 (two weeks ago) link

They are in fact two pairs, "The Idiot"/"Low" and "Lust For Life"/"Heroes".

Bridge Over Thorley Waters (Tom D.), Sunday, 22 March 2020 12:04 (two weeks ago) link

I've always mentally filed Lodger in a slightly different category than Low/"Heroes" (my faves of those three being Low and Lodger with "Heroes" being the one I listen to the least). Anyway, Fantastic Voyage works as a fantasting opening song so that gets my vote.

jvc, Sunday, 22 March 2020 12:24 (two weeks ago) link

To me Lodger feels more of a precursor to the sound of Scary Monsters than a continuation of Low/Heroes.

Gavin, Leeds, Sunday, 22 March 2020 14:41 (two weeks ago) link

When you're a boy
You can buy a home of your own

Bowie calling out gender discrimination in mortgage lending practices

Brad C., Sunday, 22 March 2020 14:44 (two weeks ago) link

I am The Lodger
I am where I stay

triggercut, Sunday, 22 March 2020 14:58 (two weeks ago) link

Lodger has an Eno-solo record vibe to me, an artist touring around different approaches to production. The only criticism I have about it is that the lyrics get corny. I voted "Look Back In Anger" which is arguably my favourite track of the trilogy as a whole

meaner stinks meat bake it cone (flamboyant goon tie included), Sunday, 22 March 2020 16:13 (two weeks ago) link

It's funny I always got a kind of David Byrne vibe off some of the lyrics - for instance, "Move On" reminds me of "Cities" from "Fear of Music", except "Fear of Music" was recorded and released after "Lodger", so maybe it was the other way round or maybe Eno's just the link.

Bridge Over Thorley Waters (Tom D.), Sunday, 22 March 2020 16:30 (two weeks ago) link

Yes! I think there’s a similar vibe to Lodger and Fear of Music, and both are records I was kinda disappointed by on release that I now love.

A perfect transcript of a routine post (Dan Peterson), Sunday, 22 March 2020 16:44 (two weeks ago) link

I def can hear the artistic progression from Taking Tiger Mountain through Lodger/Fear of Music to Bush of Ghosts (& prob Remain in Light too?)

doktor forstus (Drugs A. Money), Sunday, 22 March 2020 19:56 (two weeks ago) link

Change rather than progression imo.

Bridge Over Thorley Waters (Tom D.), Sunday, 22 March 2020 19:58 (two weeks ago) link

Red Money is sounding awesome rn

went it Yassassin if only for having the vivid and fondest of memories of seeing/hearing Pilooski spinning it somewhere in 08. mind you might have been a re-edit, extended chorus gave it away iirc, but that's how i hear Yassassin since then, so

gaudio, Monday, 23 March 2020 18:58 (two weeks ago) link

that sounds awesome

sleeve, Monday, 23 March 2020 18:59 (two weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 29 March 2020 00:01 (one week ago) link

this is "Red Sails" vs "Look Back In Anger" for me too. just gave them a headphones listen and "Red Sails" edged it.

both fantastic tracks but I feel there's something off in the mix. maybe it's cos I'm hearing it from a DJ perspective (and I first noticed when checking them to play out) but both tracks seem to be overdriven mids with next to no bass presence.

course this gives amazing screaming rushy sonics to "Red Sails" but I think if they could have resolved the mix both tracks would sound better in clubs n bars. as is, there's a jarring combination of thinness yet over-denseness. messing with the mix might take away something though...
thought "Red Sails" sister song "The Great Curve" fixed this, but again the bass is thinner than I expected/remembered. (I must be spoiled by boogie)

Paul, Sunday, 29 March 2020 02:50 (one week ago) link

I tried several times to listen to this album following this thread and while I enjoy it more than I did previously, it (still) hasn't clicked and I fail to see how this is his best album. To me it's still one of his 70s albums I like the least (with Young Americans maybe).
That said, a good thing about revisiting this period is that another album I never particularly liked, Scary Monsters, is now one of my favourites since THAT one finally clicked !

AlXTC from Paris, Sunday, 29 March 2020 11:15 (one week ago) link

As for this poll I think I might go with "Fantastic Voyage".

AlXTC from Paris, Sunday, 29 March 2020 11:17 (one week ago) link

this is "Red Sails" vs "Look Back In Anger" for me too. just gave them a headphones listen and "Red Sails" edged it.

both fantastic tracks but I feel there's something off in the mix. maybe it's cos I'm hearing it from a DJ perspective (and I first noticed when checking them to play out) but both tracks seem to be overdriven mids with next to no bass presence.

course this gives amazing screaming rushy sonics to "Red Sails" but I think if they could have resolved the mix both tracks would sound better in clubs n bars. as is, there's a jarring combination of thinness yet over-denseness. messing with the mix might take away something though...
thought "Red Sails" sister song "The Great Curve" fixed this, but again the bass is thinner than I expected/remembered. (I must be spoiled by boogie)

There's also howling bum/missed note (on guitar) in "Red Sails" which they left in and I'm so glad they did.

Bridge Over Thorley Waters (Tom D.), Sunday, 29 March 2020 12:07 (one week ago) link

The big honking box set from this period has a new mix of Lodger by Visconti that attempts to correct the muddiness. Apparently the original mixing was stressful and rushed and Bowie was very distracted at the time. It was his suggestion that Visconti revisit it and he approved of some of the work before he passed.

I like hearing a different version, it definitely brings out a lot of details that had been loss and sounds more balanced overall. But I like the original album so much that I never thought it needed work.

Cow_Art, Sunday, 29 March 2020 14:41 (one week ago) link

good to know! must check.

[didn’t work for Raw Power though? not sure as I didn’t spend time with the other mix(es)]

Paul, Sunday, 29 March 2020 16:00 (one week ago) link

RE: the Visconti remix from a couple of years ago, it's a super fun listen, all sorts of minute details brought to the fore (the mandolins on Fantastic Voyage! The drums on Look Back in Anger!), etc etc. But it sounds super artificial in spots, there's lots of incongruous-sounding modern delay effects and such, and he utterly ruined "Move On" and "Red Sails" imho... I'll stick with the muddy, imperfect charm of the original most of the time and listen to the remix when the mood strikes.

Davey D, Sunday, 29 March 2020 16:08 (one week ago) link

The Raw Power tapes were fucked from the get-go.

Per Bowie: "...the most absurd situation I encountered when I was recording was the first time I worked with Iggy Pop. He wanted me to mix Raw Power, so he brought the 24-track tape in, and he put it up. He had the band on one track, lead guitar on another and him on a third. Out of 24 tracks there were just three tracks that were used. He said 'see what you can do with this'. I said, 'Jim, there's nothing to mix'. So we just pushed the vocal up and down a lot. On at least four or five songs that was the situation, including "Search and Destroy." That's got such a peculiar sound because all we did was occasionally bring the lead guitar up and take it out."

The Lodger tracks were done very well according to Visconti, it was the mixing and mastering stages that didn't go so well.

Cow_Art, Sunday, 29 March 2020 16:47 (one week ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Monday, 30 March 2020 00:01 (one week ago) link

that's a lot of votes, good work all

sleeve, Monday, 30 March 2020 00:03 (one week ago) link

Didn't Bowie once pick out Repetition (0) as his favourite from this album?

chap, Monday, 30 March 2020 10:08 (one week ago) link

I should really have tossed it a vote seeing as "Red Sails" didn't really need it. It would have been my second choice.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Monday, 30 March 2020 13:05 (one week ago) link


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