David Bowie: HEATHEN - U2 Feedback

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Old 06-20-2002, 02:36 PM   #1
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David Bowie: HEATHEN

No, I'm not condemning the guy.

After hearing two songs via Yahoo's Instant Messenger "IMVironment," I was convinced that Mr. Bowie's new album might be quite nice. So, on a whim, I bought Heathen last Tuesday, the day of its release.

As did many others, apparently. According to Billboard.com: "David Bowie has his strongest sales performance on The Billboard 200 in the 12-year SoundScan era, as "Heathen" (ISO/Columbia) sold 55,000 units to land at No. 14. "Heathen" also earns Bowie his best chart position since 1984's "Tonight," which peaked at No. 11."

Impressive, given little or no airplay on radio and MTV; a single ("Slow Burn") that doesn't pander in any way to modern trends; on only a handful of appearances, including Letterman, the Today Show, and Conan this past week.

To be honest, I've liked pretty much everything of Bowie's I've ever encountered:

* Space Oddity, a damn great song
* The Man Who Sold the World, original and Nirvana's cover
* Heroes
* Golden Years (and its cute inclusion in A Knight's Tale)
* that creepy/haunting Christmas duet with Bing Crosby
* those throway songs of the 80's, China Girl and Let's Dance
* Labyrinth and its soundtrack (and Jennifer Connelly)
* and most of this decades singles: "The Heart's Filthy Lesson," "Little Wonder," "Thursday's Child," and "Dead Man Walking" - I liked DMW so much I included it in a compilation disc I ordered through a Pizza Hut/CDNow offer.

So, I took the plunge with Heathen, and my expectations were not only met, but greatly exceeded.

It's a bit like ATYCLB: the artist's signature is plastered across the disc, but it still feels fresh.

There's a sense of space - outer space and the similarly felt isolation of life in the modern world - something simultaneously beautiful and cold (not surprising, given Bowie's past work with Eno, particularly in a famous little studio in Berlin). There's "Heroes-esque" (heroic?) guitar work from Pete Townshend accompanying Bowie's confident voice. There's ironic wordplay that out-Fly's Bono. There's even a little guitarwork reminiscent of the Georgia Satellites' "Keep Your Hands To Yourself."

And there are lines that only Bowie would use - and use to great success:


Twinkle, twinkle, Uncle Floyd.

At any rate, I really like this album, and I was wondering if anyone else has discovered it.


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Old 06-20-2002, 02:39 PM   #2
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Yup!!!! I mentioned it a few days ago in a "Bowie Post" in Here. Great album, and you are right. When I try to discribe it to a friend, i use ATYCLB as a reference point. Heathen is a very good album and while I've liked most of his recent work (Outside, Earthling) Heathan is much better.

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Old 06-20-2002, 02:51 PM   #3
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long story as to why I don't have the CD yet. don't ask.

as for Bowie, I saw him perform last week in NYC. He did the whole album from start to finish live as part of a 2 and a half hour show [!] and it sounded great live. so I promise I will delay no longer and go buy it.
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Old 06-20-2002, 03:07 PM   #4
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Re: David Bowie: HEATHEN

Originally posted by Achtung Bubba
a Pizza Hut/CDNow offer.
[offtopic]i remember those![/offtopic]

anyway, i remember reading in a magazine a couple weeks ago as to how a bunch of low-performing artists have been dropped from record labels (it was in a story about when mariah carey got dropped, yes it was an old magazine lol). i've heard a little about david bowie's new album but i was wondering how is he distributing it? he's a rich guy so i assume from his own record label or something?

i'll definitely have to give it a listen.

"Because a senator - a politician - a person - who can let hang in mid-air the prospect that she might just be sticking around in part, just in case the other guy gets shot - has no business being, and no capacity to be, the President of the United States." -- Keith Olbermann
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Old 06-20-2002, 03:13 PM   #5
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**cass faints**
Your review is so tantalising. I don't have the CD(probably not availbale in the outback yet) but wow! I really want it now.

hmmmm,new plan so devilish hatching....wedding anniversary in 2 weeks, I'm sure hub wants the new Bowie CD.
Thanks for the clue.
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Old 06-20-2002, 03:16 PM   #6
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PS: Bubba, you have the avatar I was considering. That is the pic on the Tshirt i wear most often ( now my JT one is antique and fragile) I still haven't found the u2 avatar I am looking for.
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Old 06-20-2002, 10:53 PM   #7
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Bubba, I'm glad I saw your post - I've been hearing several tunes from that CD, and it sounds like some of the best stuff Bowie has done for a looooong time....and his voice sounds great. I'm seriously contemplating plunking down the bucks for his CD.....

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