Bowie's Outside: C or D?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
I really enjoyed this when it was released. Upon further listening more recently, I think it's still pretty solid. The story's a hoot, too...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 14 December 2002 20:06 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Never one for the story (something about a serial killer turning his victims into pieces of conceptual art?), but I've always thought it was pretty strong as well. At the time, Bowie would talk a load of crap about the "hyper cycles" of narrative that went into the seemingly random storytelling. Whatever. Have another line of coke, Dave. Stricly in terms of music, though, I think "The Heart's Filthy Lesson" is among the more exciting things he's done in the past two decades. There were a handful of cool moments on that record, and it's certainly a good deal more interesting than EARTHLING (Dave goes all drum'n'bassy) or HOURS (Dave goes all dull and hirsute) or what little I've heard off of HEATHAN (that's its title, right?)

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 14 December 2002 20:16 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Wasn't Outside supposed to be part one of some trilogy of works? Interesting how Bowie consumed and digested his Damien Hirst-inflected-T. Reznor-appropriated-art-ritual-murder-hypercycle schtick in the course of a year. Some really great tracks came out it it though, granted. "No Control" still sounds as heavy and foreboding as ever. "I'm Deranged" was purdy good.

maria b (maria b), Saturday, 14 December 2002 22:52 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

It's one of only *two* Bowie albums I never bought.

Heathen is good, btw.

Sean (Sean), Saturday, 14 December 2002 22:58 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, "I'm Deranged" is quite good.

"Damien Hirst-inflected-T.Reznor-appropriated-art-ritual-murder-hypercycle schtick"

Masterfully summed-up.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 14 December 2002 23:01 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

"We Prick You" = my secret favorite.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 15 December 2002 00:24 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Was listening to it just last night...material is a bit varying, but at it's best, it's excellent. "Hearts Filthy Lesson" is a great song. I also like "A Small Plot of Land" a lot.

Joe (Joe), Sunday, 15 December 2002 01:19 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

One of his most underrated albums, I think. Just ignore the dumb segues based on that "nonlinear gothic hyperdrama" shit or whatever concept he was trying for. There are some really great, really sad rock anthems buried in there.

geeta (geeta), Sunday, 15 December 2002 01:28 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

OT: Bowies's cover of Pixies'"Cactus" on the Carson Daily Show was teh suck.

Aaron A., Sunday, 15 December 2002 01:32 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

yeh - him doing that tune makes me want to PUKE. outside i would buy at the drop of the hat if for example i found it for £3.99. same goes for black tie white noise

bob snoom, Sunday, 15 December 2002 12:50 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

only buy btwn if it's £1.99

mark s (mark s), Sunday, 15 December 2002 16:34 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

BTWN was my first Bowie record because nobody told me he was good, I just saw the "jump" single on VH1 and decided, hey, that's great shit, I've heard of this guy somewhere.

I still like it a lot, minus all that trumpet silliness.

Tom Millar (Millar), Sunday, 15 December 2002 16:47 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

the trumpet silliness makes it!

bob snoom, Sunday, 15 December 2002 20:18 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

BTWN is the other one i never bought.

Sean (Sean), Sunday, 15 December 2002 21:34 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I'll have to check out Outside. I've never understood the hate for Earthling though, there are some great tunes on that record and I'm a sucker for the dn'b beats. And all the goth industrial kids love it (my friends of that persuasion were excited when I got Heathen until they realized that it was all organic shit).

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 16 December 2002 00:20 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Outside: So Classic it makes Latin look like AOL-speak. So grebt the B might as well stand for Bowie.

I'm a huge Bowie fan, but the albums I'd put on the "don't bother" list would be hours and Never Let Me Down -- followed by Black Tie White Noise (except "Jump They Say" is one of my favorite last-twenty-years Bowie songs) and, actually, Let's Dance.

And continuing to be off-topic, I love Bowie's cover of "Cactus"! Even as a Pixies fan who hates most Pixies covers.

Tep (ktepi), Monday, 16 December 2002 00:28 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I was somewhat surprised by the turnaround between EARTHLING (which, despite being flagrantly drum-n-bassy, was still interesting and had a tune or two to recommend it) and HOURS....which is just dull, dull, dull.

Is HEATHAN any good?

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 16 December 2002 00:40 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Alex is apparently going to keep misspelling that word in all caps until somebody notices.

Tom Millar (Millar), Monday, 16 December 2002 00:50 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

hours seems to be an album about middle age, which is probably why it's so miserably dull. I mean, the guy's visibly happy. He's got a hot wife. He has oodles of money. His albums sell and he gets critical respect. What the hell does he have to say about mid-life crises?

"The Pretty Things are Going to Hell" and "Thursday's Child" are decent songs, though.

Tep (ktepi), Monday, 16 December 2002 00:55 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

earthling is only really "drum-and-bassy" if you've never listened to any drum and bass: it is also better than outside

mark s (mark s), Monday, 16 December 2002 01:17 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Sure it's drum n' bass done by a pop star trying to stay hip, and most of it was done live and speeded up (which is pretty cool really), but how is Telling Lies for example not "drum-and-bassy"?

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 16 December 2002 02:55 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

"Outside" is my all time favorite album tied with "Playing with Fire." So, yeah, I think it's beyond classic. Songs that are really good on it are: We Prick You, The Motel, Strangers When We Meet, I Have Not Been To Oxford Town.

Some of the voices for the segues are great, and even if the story is confusing and weird, the tone it sets adds a lot to the album. The main reason I like it so much is that dark futuristic tone and the Eno/Bowie production. There is really no other albums that capture that as well.

(as for Black Tie White Noise, I would say that is his most underrated. Lester Bowie's trumpet silliness, and Al B Sure! combined with Bowie's jazz fusion attempt works so well. Bowie has some great sax solos too. Good songs: Wedding song, Looking for Lester, Miracle Goodnight, Nite Flights)

A Nairn (moretap), Monday, 16 December 2002 03:45 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

It is not really a Bowie/Eno album. Bowie hijacked the project at the last minute and mixed the record without Eno's input. There is a reason there was only one album in the trilogy.

From what I have come to understand, Eno wanted the record to be a lot sparser. A record can come out a million different ways when you have somebody doing the post-production and the mix-down. I think Bowie pulled a real Raw Power on Outside.

The greatest shame of all is that there are some really great songs and interesting musical ideas hidden beneath all that excessive studio bloat. Strangers When We Meet is one of Bowie best songs to date, but it got lost as the final track on the album. If the production and arrangements had been pared down it could have been a brilliant album. If only Eno had not been cut out at the last minute.

Mike Taylor (mjt), Monday, 16 December 2002 08:39 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Some of the voices for the segues are great, and even if the story is confusing and weird, the tone it sets adds a lot to the album.

That nails it for me right there. The story is incomplete, but this isn't Tommy. The tone is great. Even when I wouldn't name this as the best Bowie album, I'd call it the one that works best as an album, as opposed to a collection of songs -- for that, it's probably the best album in my collection (we had that thread, didn't we?)

Tep (ktepi), Monday, 16 December 2002 18:42 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

"All time favorite album"?? "Best album in my collection"?? Gosh! Maybe I need to get a copy after all. The bargain bin is filled with them.

Sean (Sean), Tuesday, 17 December 2002 00:54 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

this is the only bowie album i have ever bought. i can't explain why that is- i find so much of his other work superior (thats another thread)

as an "album" it pisses me off. so much of the experimental parts of the record or the segments betweek tracks are a waste of time and ruin the flow of the album.

i came to reassess it after lost highway and everyone took a liking to 'deranged'. the song in its original form is most excellent, dark and brooding in a pleasant lounge-y sort of way.

there are a bunch of tracks from this album that are excellent, but a low signal/noise ratio all together i would say. HOWEVER this album has been borrowed by several of my friends before and they invariably claim it to be an excellent album! i cannot understand the appeal of this album but obviously it is an interesting side note to bowies career and a point when we saw the very beginnings of what might be termed somewhat of a 'comeback'

Laney, Tuesday, 17 December 2002 18:16 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Revive! My own thread! Which I apparently lost interest in after starting!

I'm still struck by how much people still crap all over this record, even as it is far and away (melodically, at least) "the best thing he's done since Scary Monsters" (or, at a minimum, since this record). I remember DeRo called it embarrassing, no one could understand the story, and everyone thought he was chasing Trent Reznor or something. Which he might have.

Without having listened to it in ages (I lost it), I've always heard a very different record, I guess. You have:

A) Several really good tunes. "Heart's Filthy Lesson", "I Have Not Been To Oxford Town", "Small Plot", and two of his best songs, period, "Thru' These Architect's Eyes" and "I'm Deranged."

B) Some great production touches. "HFL" has great Eno-fication. "Small Plot", an incredible creeping arrangment. Joey Baron described the sessions for this tune to me once — said it was fascinating as Bowie just improvised the whole thing off these sheets he'd put together, shrieking through his headphones.

C) And it wins Bowie the 1995 award for "Best Deployment of a Sideman" with Mike Garson delivering an absolutely INSANE piano performance for the duration (he'd won before in 1976 for Roy Bittan).

D) The story, which I've always found to be intentionally tongue in cheek, all the way down to the cheesy Photoshopped artwork. Shame he seems to have bailed on the 2. Contamination sequel...

At any rate, poss. the last decent thing we'll get out of him...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 18:23 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Also, does anyone know if Bowie actually kicked Eno off during the mixing stage? I seem to recall a big feature in Musician or something with the two of them where Eno said it was the greatest experience he'd ever had in the studio...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 18:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

yeah I don't get the hate this album receives. earthling and heathen are good too. we have this bowie argument all the time!

eno sounds very excited about the recording of this album in A Year with Swollen Appendices

kyle (akmonday), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 18:27 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

still yet to hear the album but i have a bootleg of the tour and find it generally unlistenable. the trip hop/D&B retread of TMWSTW is something i really dont want to hear again.

splooge (thesplooge), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 18:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

arguing about classic bowie years vs current bowie years VS arguing about classic Saturday Night Live seasons vs the current season = so tiring after a while. but everyone still does it anyway.

kyle (akmonday), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 18:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

What's Bowie's new one again? (with the bad computer grahic cover?) That makes 1.Outside seem like "classic Bowie".

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 18:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

its reality. i like it though, its sort of like lets dance pt 2.

dickvandyke (dickvandyke), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 18:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i liked it when it came out, it didn't last long for me though. but at least it isn't embarrassing.

kyle (akmonday), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 18:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

funny, that was my first bowie album. it's ok. i still bought low after though. where he plays in a different league. never been a fan of bowie. there is something about his voice which really puts me off. it's snobbish and conceited somehow. extremely artificial and fake. a false croon or something. how i love ferry in comparison.

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 18:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Are you arguing that Ferry's voice isn't artificial and fake? Or just that you prefer him?

Atnevon (Atnevon), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 21:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I got to hang out with Mike Garson backstage on the Bowie tour this summer. Real nice guy, though I always feel bad when I talk to music people after shows because I feel like I am cutting into their Finding-Someone-To-Have-Sex-With Time. Who wants to talk to me about scales and mic placement when there is a blonde with big hooters standing behind me... The Drummer (I cannot remember his name for the life of me) was probably the most forthcoming regarding the recording of this album. I was really digging for specifics but they were all pretty vague. They were all pretty much parts players who did as they were told and left with their paychecks. They had some input, but it was pretty much Brian and David running the show.

It was not so much that Eno was kicked out during the mixing process so much as Bowie kind of took things over towards the end and cluttered things up. There are several good passages in A Year With... discussing there different styles in the studio, the painter vs. sculptor metaphor comes to mind at the moment. I am not going to stake my life on it, but I am not sure that Eno was still in Switzerland when the album was completed. I am in the process of rereading A Year With, and I have not gotten to the part where they mix the album.

Disco Nihilist (mjt), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 03:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

the _outside_ tour was great: i liked the album a lot, but what you can say when a concert kicks off with _look back in anger_ and ends with _moonage daydream_?
they also played tight, edgy versions of _andy warhol_, _scary monsters_, scott walker's _nite flights_ and an unbelievably cold _man who sold the world_.
great band, great show.

Marco Damiani (Marco D.), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 06:37 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Aside from Bowie dropping Reznor’s name at the time, the CD sounds absolutely nothing like NIN. I believe that it is not only a fine CD, it’s his best, most sustained work aside from (most) of Ziggy. It functions nicely as an updated summation of earlier career tropes, and as an almost ridiculously inventive mish-mosh of fully formed ideas—whole tone guitar riffery, some sort of space funk, jazz metal—there’s entire new genres here that he (and Eno) casually toss off like flaked hair gel. Even some of the spoken interludes have a nicely gloomy affect.

ian g, Wednesday, 18 August 2004 19:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Aside from Bowie dropping Reznor’s name at the time....

Yes, this was when he'd latched onto Trent (before latching onto Moby as his new sychophantic protoge).

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 19:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Aside from Bowie dropping Reznor’s name at the time, the CD sounds absolutely nothing like NIN.

I dunno. Lyrics aside, "The Heart's Filthy Lesson" is straight-up Reznor. "I'm Deranged" and "We Prick You" too.

Atnevon (Atnevon), Thursday, 19 August 2004 03:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


the bellefox, Thursday, 19 August 2004 15:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...
Does anyone have a decent boot of the Outside sessions? Apparently, Reeves Gabrels talks about this "4-hour improvised opera" that ended up being used for the interludes on the record. I dl'd something the other night on slsk which sounds like it may be part of it, but whose sound quality is crap, has tons of rough edits, and of the 9 tracks or so, appears to replay the same one at least 3 or 4 times.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 15 July 2005 16:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Its a shame that box set of those sessions never materialized. Bowie is one of those artists that tease these sorts of things and never delivers. The Eno sessions were supposed to stretch three records and that never happened, either.

Brett Hickman (Bhickman), Friday, 15 July 2005 17:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I read in "A Year With Swollen Appendices" that Eno lamented Bowie's mixing decisions. "Sometimes you need the courage to be simple" or some such truisim, which is totally true.

Outside is one of those Bowie albums I loved upon release but now think it's overbaked. "No Control" and "I'm Deranged" are marvelous, and "Strangers When We Meet" is one of his best ballads ever, not to mention his use of Colin Newman-esque non sequiturs in a moving way. The rest I can live without.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 15 July 2005 18:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

alfred, kudos for mentioning "no control"

i feel that is one of the most overlooked songs in the entire bowie catalog.

ZionTrain (ZionTrain), Friday, 15 July 2005 18:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the synth swells after his last vocal are majestic and beautiful.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 15 July 2005 19:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I liked this album and Earthling. And hours..., too - surprised that there seems to be only negativity about that one; I liked it even more than Outside or Earthling.

If I'm remembering correctly, the interludes on Outside album were recorded with the band using Eno's 'strategies for musicians' cards. I'm interested, too, in what all the band did in the full sessions for these.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 15 July 2005 19:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

no matter what bowie album seems to come out year after year- there always seems to be 2 or 3 true GEMS.

it's unfortunate but OUTSIDE's attempts (conscious or not) to revisit the magic of the berlin trilogy came up unfounded.

ZionTrain (ZionTrain), Friday, 15 July 2005 22:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I quite liked Outside when it came out, except for the interludes. "I'm Deranged," "Heart's Filthy Lesson," "I Have Not Been to Oxford Town" are all terrific.. Now that I no longer like things that make sense, I'll have to go listen to it again. Doesn't matter what the story is or whether it's finished, although throwing too much stuff in there (what's he say, a non-linear gothic something cycle?) makes it seem like he was trying to force it all to make sense.

If I remember right, the video for "Heart's Filthy Lesson" really underlined the connection to NIN, it was all creepy gothy and shot to look like it was on washed out old film stock and such.

Heathen is one of my favorite Bowie albums (Alex, did you hear it?), but I did not like Hours much and found Earthling kinda meh.

daria g (daria g), Saturday, 16 July 2005 03:57 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Also, re Gabrels, I hate this dude's guitar playing, even the sound of his guitar. I much prefer the boring ambient stuff David Torn provided Bowie.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 8 January 2018 18:16 (one year ago) Permalink

Bowie might have been the world's only Reeves Gabrels fan.

Scam jam, thank you ma’am (Sparkle Motion), Monday, 8 January 2018 20:54 (one year ago) Permalink

Robert Smith seemed to like him for a minute. Or is he still in the Cure?

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 8 January 2018 20:57 (one year ago) Permalink

I've always kinda of loved this ridiculous record. The "Leon Suites" boot is fantastic, just got hipped to it

chr1sb3singer, Monday, 8 January 2018 21:00 (one year ago) Permalink

xpost -- He's still in the Cure.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 8 January 2018 21:02 (one year ago) Permalink

And I have to say when I saw them last year that Gabrels's tendency towards 'let me art-deconstruct this 'solo' you speak of' has shifted more towards actually good, creative solos that fit well within the arrangements.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 8 January 2018 21:03 (one year ago) Permalink

so people do learn then

Scam jam, thank you ma’am (Sparkle Motion), Monday, 8 January 2018 21:08 (one year ago) Permalink

Anyway how dare you mock someone who found love

(Seriously, this is a story about Gabrels from the other day.)

Ned Raggett, Monday, 8 January 2018 21:23 (one year ago) Permalink

I just saw that on my twitter feed the other day. Good for him. I guess.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 00:11 (one year ago) Permalink

Remember when this came out some review describing "another unlovely Gabrels solo" and the phrase has stayed with me to this day.

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Friday, 12 January 2018 04:38 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Baby Grace is the victim

Let's have sensible centrist armageddon (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 12 March 2019 18:47 (two months ago) Permalink

Reeves Gabrels is my favourite of Bowie's guitarists tbh!

flamboyant goon tie included, Thursday, 14 March 2019 01:31 (two months ago) Permalink

Also for a relatively hideous middle-aged man he makes a dapper older gentleman

flamboyant goon tie included, Thursday, 14 March 2019 01:33 (two months ago) Permalink

This is his actual "best since Scary Monsters", IMO.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Thursday, 14 March 2019 13:36 (two months ago) Permalink

Between the players (Joey Baron!) and Eno on board as a full collaborator, during his '90s imperial phase (Achtung Baby!, Laid, Wah Wah, Bright Red, Zooropa, Passengers) this came as and remains to me a huge disappointment. Lots of great ideas, little I want to return to with any regularity.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 14 March 2019 13:41 (two months ago) Permalink

This was shared by bowiesongs earlier this week, on the origin of "Outside" (the song)

a new interview with Kevin Armstrong, DB/Tin Machine guitarist, which has a fascinating tidbit:

— Bowiesongs (@bowiesongs) March 12, 2019

willem, Thursday, 14 March 2019 13:52 (two months ago) Permalink

as you may know, "Outside" came out of a DB/Armstrong composition called "Now," which Tin Machine played in '89. but its origins on the Armstrong side date earlier, to a piece called "Love is Essential" written ca 1980:

— Bowiesongs (@bowiesongs) March 12, 2019

willem, Thursday, 14 March 2019 13:52 (two months ago) Permalink

That was interesting because it was the first time I met Brian Eno. Five minutes after being introduced to him I found myself standing next to him at the console with a guitar round my neck and being asked to play along to ‘Architects’ without ever having heard it before with Bowie looking on.

Eno manipulated the sound of my guitar with a multi-harmonizer as I was playing and my first impressions were what ended up on the record, so it was a collaborative effort between Brian Eno and me, really. I was a bit confused as to what was going on at first but I guess that Bowie and Eno’s method of working fitted in with the whole experimental ethos of that record. They wanted to capture the moment of discovery and mess with it at the same time. That was the last session I did with Bowie but I have since become friends with Brian and we still meet up.

Huh. This is just what Bowie and Eno did with Belew on "Lodger," right? And Fripp on "Scary Monsters?"

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 14 March 2019 14:10 (two months ago) Permalink

Come to think of it, Outside came at the peak of Eno coaxing bands into looser improvisation. Wah Wah, Zooropa ... both were famously recorded in two studios, iirc, the second one manned by Eno. The band would bash stuff out with one engineer and move on, then Eno worked and tweaked the stuff in his parallel studio. I assume much of Passengers was recorded much the same way.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 14 March 2019 14:13 (two months ago) Permalink

I believe it was.

Anyway, that’s a great story, I hadn’t heard it – Architects is the climax of the album and one of my favorites on the record. Just a soaring tune anchored by one of Bowie’s most thrilling vocals and some extraordinary Mike Garson piano.

And yeah, that’s more or less the same thing he did in the 70s (the clearest example is Manzanera’s solo on Cale’s “Gun”) but instead of running things thru an EMS Synthi A suitcase by the 90s he was using an Eventide H3000.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 16 March 2019 11:53 (two months ago) Permalink

It's difficult you see

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 16 March 2019 12:19 (two months ago) Permalink

The story I'd heard is that Manzanera is a particularly chill and ego-less lead guitarist, and that he was relatively non-plussed by Eno's aggressive Putney-tronics! I'm surprised more bands don't do stuff like this live, or at least have someone tweak their pedals while they solo.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 16 March 2019 12:41 (two months ago) Permalink

"Eno on board as a full collaborator, during his '90s imperial phase (Achtung Baby!, Laid, Wah Wah, Bright Red, Zooropa, Passengers) this came as and remains to me a huge disappointment" weird, I prefer outside by a fair margin to most of those.

akm, Saturday, 16 March 2019 15:34 (two months ago) Permalink

Ooh, I dunno. I love Outside, but Achtung Baby and Zooropa are all-time for me. I'm not arsed anywhere near as much about the James albums.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Saturday, 16 March 2019 16:25 (two months ago) Permalink

Lol I love the James albums but I love James

flamboyant goon tie included, Saturday, 16 March 2019 16:48 (two months ago) Permalink

I'm surprised more bands don't do stuff like this live, or at least have someone tweak their pedals while they solo.

Yer man Edge does. But he also has ghost guitarists offstage too.

steven, soda jerk (sic), Saturday, 16 March 2019 17:31 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I was about to say this. Edge always has someone offstage/under the stage switching his pedals for him because he can't be arsed to!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Saturday, 16 March 2019 17:41 (two months ago) Permalink

He def. has pedals, but they're not being manipulated in real time (like they are on "Gun"). So Edge has effects, yes, but always the same effects in the same place.

Speaking of which, sort of, here's a great story I recently heard from my guitar teacher, whose cousin is a Nashville producer. Way back when that shitty '70s band Firefall, who had some connection to the Burrito Brothers and/or Byrds, had a hit with or on their first album. But when it came time to record album number two, at home in Colorado, they apparently blew the entire budget on cocaine in the first few days or something and the producer/engineer had to call in someone to help them get their shit together. So they find this quiet guy named Dallas who knew everything about guitars and amps, and he helped them push through this session from hell. At the end, the producer was so impressed he goes to Dallas and says, man, if you ever need work just give me a call.

Years go by and my friend's cousin is working a session in Nashville with this other aforementioned producer, and they get a call. "Hey, man, it's Dallas, got anything going on?" They immediately fly the guy out to work with them in the studio. Apparently it goes so well that within months he's working as a (the?) guitar tech with Andy Summers, then later Paul McCartney, and not long after that The Edge c. "Joshua Tree." And apparently he's been working with The Edge ever since. This was pretty good, or at the least it gave me a little more respect for the Edge's instincts and knowledge even if I don't think very much of him as a guitarist:

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 16 March 2019 18:19 (two months ago) Permalink

Ha, just looked it up and I think the main beats of the story are pretty legit! But again in defense of the Edge and his hidden people, it sounds like the deal is that Edge is in control of his effects and stuff when he is (obv.) at his pedalboard, but when he starts roaming or moves away then Dallas takes over. Which makes sense, I guess. Otherwise Edge ain't going nowhere.

The other funny Dallas story via my teacher and his cousin was that apparently he got a call from Dallas one night, and Dallas just whispers "you hear that ...?" then lets the background noise come into focus. "That's the Beatles, man!" It turns out he was there for the "Free as a Bird" session. Found that story backed up, too!

There was the time in 1995 when Steve Miller invited him to his home studio in Idaho to service his guitar collection. Miller then warned him: He had some people coming to use his studio and Schoo had to promise to not freak out. Schoo rolled his eyes; he had seen it all.

Two days later, a fleet of SUVs pulled up and out get Paul and Linda McCartney, Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach, George and Olivia Harrison, and Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick. They were there to mix "Free As A Bird," the final new Beatles music that was made using a John Lennon demo tape of an unrecorded song, and they asked Schoo to maintain their guitars.

Schoo freaked out.

At one point, McCartney leaned over to Schoo during a break and struck up a conversation.

"So you're with that U2?"

"Yes, yes, sir, I am."

"That's meant to be a big deal, isn't it?"


"But they didn't change the world did they?"

Schoo erupts in laughter. "Then he looked at Harrison and said, 'If it wasn't for us, you'd still be walking around in Buddy Holly glasses.' That story I've taken all over the world, man, and Paul and I have remained friends to this day."

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 16 March 2019 18:28 (two months ago) Permalink

I love "Outside", but I feel sorry for Bowie: here he wanted to offer a vast vision, a whole universe around the album, yet he was forced to record "Outside" at a time when concept albums were totally pasee in the industry and there was just no room to promote something like that.

Melomane, Friday, 22 March 2019 17:58 (two months ago) Permalink

yeah no

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 22 March 2019 18:00 (two months ago) Permalink

Outside would not have sold diddly in 1985 either. He was a victim of releasing it as his First Serious Album when he had no American cachet to speak of. By 1997 the turnaround was remarkable. I was there. Suddenly Bowie went from laughing stock to a touchstone (Liv Tyler did the we're-not-worthy on Letterman when he and his band performed "Dead Man Walking"). If he'd released it in 1999 instead of hours it might have gotten a better reception.

At the same time...who cares? I loved Outside in 1995. So did lots of people. We still love it. Its cult remains intact.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 22 March 2019 18:04 (two months ago) Permalink

Alfred otm... between Nirvana's cover and NIN agreeing to open for Bowie at the height of their fame the 90s were a period of immense rehabilitation for him. "Heart's Filthy Lesson" got radio play iirc, as did "Little Wonder" and (especially) "I'm Afraid Of Americans". There was the Sound+Vision boxset followed by the big Ryko reissue, Bowie going public (and making a fortune? I seem to recall?), the Omikron thing, the marriage to Iman, and the 50th birthday celebration... the 90s was a remarkable turnaround!

flamboyant goon tie included, Saturday, 23 March 2019 00:01 (two months ago) Permalink

The Ryko box plus Belew tour was the big event (when he famously allowed fans to vote on the setlist and then struck certain songs from setlist circulation). The Bowie Bonds thing was intriguing (my friend worked on that!). But iirc the NIN tour was coheadling, and in fact I recall lots of talk at the time at Bowie's lack of ego for playing sort of second banana to Reznor.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 23 March 2019 00:07 (two months ago) Permalink

It's difficult for people to remember how delicate Bowie's reputation was in the rock canon before the Ryko reissues in 1990-1991. Because Station to Station and the Berlin Trilogy were out of print for years, his reputation rested on memories of Ziggy Stardust -- the only album of his to be a part of Rolling Stone's '87 best-of list. It took a while for young'uns like us, who were buying the reissues in mall record stores, to argue for him as a world-historic artist. By 1997, thanks to the Pumpkins, Nirvana, and NIN, it was happening.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 23 March 2019 00:43 (two months ago) Permalink

he really was the "Let's Dance" guy for too many years because nothing else was available.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 23 March 2019 00:44 (two months ago) Permalink

That's insane. Were used OOP Bowie records rare treasures?

lukas, Saturday, 23 March 2019 01:42 (two months ago) Permalink

Yes. Not everyone was shopping in used record stores. I don't remember seeing , say, Low on used vinyl during my younger, more formative years.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 23 March 2019 01:49 (two months ago) Permalink

RCA cds were— and still are, apparently— costly too

pippin drives a lambo through the gates of isengard (Sparkle Motion), Saturday, 23 March 2019 02:12 (two months ago) Permalink

RCA cds were— and still are, apparently— costly too

pippin drives a lambo through the gates of isengard (Sparkle Motion), Saturday, 23 March 2019 02:12 (two months ago) Permalink

Bowie and Elvis Costello Ryko reissues were a) essential and b) did much to rehabilitate both of these acts. '90s were the, erm, golden years of reissues.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 23 March 2019 02:42 (two months ago) Permalink

(Technically Sound + Vision was 1989, but still. The tour was 1990.)

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 23 March 2019 02:43 (two months ago) Permalink

Man, just got so wistful for they heyday of Ryko and Rhino. I used to have a Rhino promo code. I would look at the website, check out all the awesome boxed sets, type in the code, and the giant impeccably compiled box set would just show up.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 23 March 2019 02:45 (two months ago) Permalink

I don't really recognise any of this, maybe it was different in the UK, OK Tin Machine was derided but Bowie was cool in the early 90s as far as I knew. Lots of people I knew had the Changes compilations and the Ryko reissues, Black Tie White Noise was a "return to form" (although I didn't like it much), bands like Suede were aping him, etc etc.

Colonel Poo, Saturday, 23 March 2019 17:38 (two months ago) Permalink

America, yes. I remember the warmth with which the press greeted BTWN in England.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 23 March 2019 18:10 (two months ago) Permalink

I remember buying my then girlfriend the Sound & Vision box for Christmas '89 and the thing was like this luxury item.

Carly Jae Vespen (Capitaine Jay Vee), Saturday, 23 March 2019 19:34 (two months ago) Permalink

I don't recall 70's albums being scarce at all in the 80's or early 90's.

akm, Monday, 25 March 2019 17:51 (one month ago) Permalink

Also, the 'best album since Scary Monsters' talk started with Never Let Me Down from what I remember. And was then repeated for every album he released after that.

akm, Monday, 25 March 2019 17:52 (one month ago) Permalink

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 29 March 2019 15:16 (one month ago) Permalink

it's difficult, you see!

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 29 March 2019 15:22 (one month ago) Permalink

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.