Bowie's 80's work - OPO

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The 80's are when some feel that it all went wrong...but are there moments of bliss and joy among "Labyrinth" and the "Coffee Achiever" ads? My votes --

Film -- "The Hunger"

Song -- "Loving The Alien"


Erick H (Erick H), Friday, 21 March 2003 00:02 (seventeen years ago) link

Film: None
Song: "Ashes To Ashes"

(The latter was not at all a difficult choice, although "China Girl" was quite nice too)

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 21 March 2003 00:03 (seventeen years ago) link

Eighties, eh?

Film - "The Hunger"

Song - "Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)" - Soundtrack version, not the Let's Dance rendition which Stevie Ray Vaughn ejaculated all over.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 21 March 2003 00:47 (seventeen years ago) link

Even better than the soundtrack version is that weird version that starts the film where his only vocals are wordless moans and hums. Wondrous.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 21 March 2003 00:48 (seventeen years ago) link

On both counts, film and music: "Jazzin' For Blue Jean"

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 21 March 2003 01:52 (seventeen years ago) link

Ashes to Ashes

Millar (Millar), Friday, 21 March 2003 01:58 (seventeen years ago) link

Film: Merry Xmas Mr Lawrence

Song: Ba Ba Ba-WOOOOOH Absolute Beginners

Nobody suggested it was his most fruitful period.

Gatinha (rwillmsen), Friday, 21 March 2003 02:21 (seventeen years ago) link

Film: The Hunger

Song: "Let's Dance" for Nile Rodgers playing disco delay guitar like he's in Pink Floyd

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Friday, 21 March 2003 02:26 (seventeen years ago) link

gurrr....Blue Jean

girl scout heroin (iamamonkey), Friday, 21 March 2003 02:31 (seventeen years ago) link

But really, should anything from "Scary Monsters" count? I don't consider 1980 part of the "80's," but that could just be nitpicking. And do we like the Ryko reissue of "Scary Monsters" with the skeletal remake of "Space Oddity" or do we like the original that ends after "It's No Game" with the tape a'fluttering?

Erick H (Erick H), Friday, 21 March 2003 02:33 (seventeen years ago) link

I was gonna say "Absolute Beginners", but "Ashes to Ashes" was 80's? Definitely that.

Vinnie (vprabhu), Friday, 21 March 2003 02:37 (seventeen years ago) link

See, this is where I nitpick. "80's Bowie" was capped teeth and blonde dye on blonde dye, "Tonight" and "Never Let Me Down," and ersatz James Dean photo shoots for "Rolling Stone"...I'd never lump "Scary Monsters" in with his 80's output. And why not "Fashion" as a fave from that record?

Erick H (Erick H), Friday, 21 March 2003 02:43 (seventeen years ago) link

What time does the Tin Machine revival start? Precursors to Nirvana, right? In fact, doesn't Kurt Cobain say somthing in his diaries about...

Gatinha (rwillmsen), Friday, 21 March 2003 02:46 (seventeen years ago) link

"Heaven's In Here" - Tin Machine (was that 80s?)

Joe (Joe), Friday, 21 March 2003 02:53 (seventeen years ago) link

1989, I believe.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 21 March 2003 03:15 (seventeen years ago) link

Or perhaps "Your loves amazing...go go go"

Joe (Joe), Friday, 21 March 2003 03:33 (seventeen years ago) link

Film: Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, runner-up: Underground (have never seen the Hunger tho)

Song: Blue Jean, runner-up: I Can't Read (i can't read/i can't read shit/ooh!)

willem (willem), Friday, 21 March 2003 08:09 (seventeen years ago) link

"Modern Love"

Kenan Hebert (kenan), Friday, 21 March 2003 08:10 (seventeen years ago) link

have never seen the Hunger tho)

Cripes! You're missing out. Easily the man's finest acting job.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 21 March 2003 08:11 (seventeen years ago) link

Alright, alright! I will go try and check the Hunger out! If I'm able to locate a copy...

willem (willem), Friday, 21 March 2003 08:38 (seventeen years ago) link

ah, someone else remembers those david bowie "coffee achiever" ads, too! kurt vonnegut was also in them. though personally -- and to steal a phrase from hanle y -- i prefer to refer to that Bowie period as the "blonde-hair explosion king" period.

favorite eighties bowie song -- "absolute beginners." and i have a soft spot for the bowie/mick jagger "dancing in the streets" video -- campier than rob halford, sylvester, the village people, and turbonegro put together!

Tad (llamasfur), Friday, 21 March 2003 08:39 (seventeen years ago) link

i have a soft spot for the bowie/mick jagger "dancing in the streets" video -- campier than rob halford, sylvester, the village people, and turbonegro put together!

Bowie's outfit in that video! brrrr

willem (willem), Friday, 21 March 2003 09:02 (seventeen years ago) link

'it's no game'

but if we exclude 1980 then 'modern love'

geeta (geeta), Friday, 21 March 2003 10:01 (seventeen years ago) link

'Lets Dance' - for the intro alone

stevem (blueski), Friday, 21 March 2003 10:05 (seventeen years ago) link

Am I really alone in the world? Film: definately Labyrinth!!! Song: A lot of '80's songs were pretty nice, save for the dreadful Blue Jean... which is often mentioned above already. My pick is Loving The Alien

Tijn, Friday, 21 March 2003 10:11 (seventeen years ago) link

what, in heaven's name is 'coffee achiever' when it's at home ?

piscesboy, Friday, 21 March 2003 10:29 (seventeen years ago) link

Tijn, I mentioned Labyrinth as well, except I called it Underground...

willem (willem), Friday, 21 March 2003 10:50 (seventeen years ago) link

All the fantastic singles from Scary Monsters - what an incredible record.

Some of Let's Dance, too.

As unpopular as this will be, too, I loved the Baal song he did, and also the spoken intro from the Glass Spider album - he has the most amazing speaking voice.Shit album, though, apart from Time Will Crawl.

Film..... The Hunger was a great, if dated, classic.

russ t, Friday, 21 March 2003 11:00 (seventeen years ago) link

>Tijn, I mentioned Labyrinth as well, except I called it Underground...

Oh yeah, that's why the search missed it.

>Shit album, though, apart from Time Will Crawl

With most of Bowie's '80s albums I feel they work very well as a whole, but the individual tracks hardly stand out. Never Let Me Down: great atmosphere/mood and it sort of rocks, but indeed, apart from Time Will Crawl and the spoken intro no song would stand on its own. Tonight: nice and easy album, but play a single track (apart from Loving The Alien) and you'll find yourself reaching for any of his 70s albums to convince yourself he IS amazing.
However, Scary Monsters is a singles album and hasn't got much beside those.

By the way, is there anyone else who thinks Tin Machine II is a very good album? The first was far too much of the same, and lots of chaotic noise, but the second... Amlapura, Shopping For Girls... great stuff.

Tijn, Friday, 21 March 2003 11:08 (seventeen years ago) link

Tijn, despite all the negative reviews I recall on TM II, I liked it a lot when it came out. However, I gave it a spin abt. 2 years back and was amazed that I had been so enthousiastic about it back then. More specifically, the way he sings on that album is really...uhm...ugly IMO. It all sounds so forced. Which is not the case with I can't read. Some of the guitarwork on TM II is quite good, tho. (on shopping for girls, indeed)

willem (willem), Friday, 21 March 2003 11:57 (seventeen years ago) link

I agree that Scary Monsters is brilliant.

If we exclude 1980, then "This Is Not America" which I believe was released in 1984.

Jonathan, Friday, 21 March 2003 12:51 (seventeen years ago) link

TS: DB in "The Hunger" vs DB in "The Man Who Fell to Earth"?

Lord Custos Epsilon (Lord Custos Epsilon), Friday, 21 March 2003 13:26 (seventeen years ago) link

S: "Time Will Crawl"

dave q, Friday, 21 March 2003 15:03 (seventeen years ago) link

I too reckon 'Scary Monsters' is sort of cheating. Yes, it's the eighties chronologically, but it belongs more with his late 70s albums (unless you count the fact that Steve Strange appears in the 'Ashes to Ashes' video).

So, 'Let's Dance'.

Film, 'Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture'!

James Ball (James Ball), Friday, 21 March 2003 15:44 (seventeen years ago) link

If we exclude Tony Visconti productions, then my vote would be for "China Girl", which is a terrific song, sounding better with Bowie than with Iggy.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 21 March 2003 16:01 (seventeen years ago) link

geir, you are nutz.

Mike Taylor (mjt), Saturday, 22 March 2003 03:51 (seventeen years ago) link

Search: "Modern Love" and "Time Will Crawl," possibly because I associated them with wonderful Leos Carax movies. (Other Bowie song featured in a Carax movie: "When I Live My Dream," from his Deram period.) Though I liked "Modern Love" a lot before I saw Mauvais sang--especially that guitar scratch at the beginning and the huge drums.

Amateurist (amateurist), Saturday, 22 March 2003 04:24 (seventeen years ago) link

Guess the commentator...
Now let it be known that I don't really think much of 'soul' as a genre. It's a pretty limited and cliched one, and it never places the emphasis on melodies, instead concentrating on image and vocal power and, well, 'sincerity' (gee; should we say 'emulation of sincerity'?) and 'passion'. I don't give a damn about Motown, and I don't plan on buying any Aretha Franklin records in the near future.

Lord Custos Epsilon (Lord Custos Epsilon), Saturday, 22 March 2003 13:22 (seventeen years ago) link

Berry Gordy!

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Saturday, 22 March 2003 13:23 (seventeen years ago) link

Under Pressure, the pinnacle of his work.

jel -- (jel), Saturday, 22 March 2003 13:30 (seventeen years ago) link

Hang on, rewind...

the skeletal remake of "Space Oddity"

I used to think that I was a bit of a Bowie fan but I've never heard of this. Any good?

Mike (mratford), Sunday, 23 March 2003 21:29 (seventeen years ago) link

I agree with those saying 'Scary Monsters' is the last of the great 70s albums.

I agree with the lone voice mentioning the Baal EP as a highlight. A very important record for me personally.

And I agree that Tin Machine was somewhat better than people at the time were prepared to admit. Take 'Bus Stop':

There's a cry that is heard in the city
From Vivian at Pentecost Lane
A shrieking and dancing till 4 a.m.
Another night of muscles and pain
I love you despite your convictions
That God never laughs at my jokes

I'm a young man at odds with the Bible
But I don't pretend faith never works
When we're down on our knees
Praying at the bus stop

Now Jesus he came in a vision
And offered you redemption from sin
I'm not saying that I don't believe you
But are you sure that it really was him
I've been told that it couldn've been blue cheese
Or the meal that we ate down the road

Quality vaudeville, and a salient warning to believers in the talking fish.

Momus (Momus), Monday, 24 March 2003 04:54 (seventeen years ago) link

three years pass...
this is not america
has that fantastic vice city/ miami vice vibe.

so that one.

pisces (piscesx), Tuesday, 29 August 2006 12:55 (fourteen years ago) link

haha, you're right about that Miami Vice vibe - funny how time screws with your contextualisation, at that time I never would've made that connection.

And I'm now finally able to see what the coffee achievers fuzz was all about :-)
(still haven't seen the Hunger though...)

willem -- (willem), Tuesday, 29 August 2006 16:31 (fourteen years ago) link

film: can i throw out 'the linguini incident' just so it gets mentioned here? no? well, i did, but in all truth: 'labyrinth', no doubt. not his finest acting job, sure, but i loved it before i even really knew who bowie was. and it's jim henson, which would make it wonderful with or without bowie. and he's evil, humbert humbert-lite-and-in-a-fright-wig-and-tights sexy in it.

song: loving the alien. his most thoughtful 80's pop song.

scary monsters belongs with low/heroes/lodger.

Emily B (Emily B), Wednesday, 30 August 2006 03:27 (fourteen years ago) link

three years pass...

we did a Loving The Alien edit if anyone fancies it:

piscesx, Monday, 7 June 2010 01:31 (ten years ago) link

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