Loving the Alien

Finally! Some good news today. This is really exciting.


Due for an October 21st release,  the new collection entitled David Bowie Loving the Alien (1983-1988) features eight albums from Bowie’s most commercially successful period and includes previously unreleased music.

Despite the fact that Bowie himself admitted this era to be his “lost” period in terms of creativity, there were still great songs in there. “Loving the Alien” (not really about spacemen) is one of the most beautiful songs he wrote I think. I also loved the song “Never let me down” with his Lennon-eque vocal treatments. “Blue Jean” was always a favorite when played live. “She’s got turned up nose” (and he would do that sassy vogue-y face). Exciting stuff that this has been ‘revisited’

This era kicked off with  Let’s Dance, the genius album which Bowie sought out maestro Nile Rodgers to produce, providing him a photo of Little Richard posed by a Cadillac saying “Nile, make the record sound like this.”   Nile always speaks fondly of Bowie, frankly I could listen to Nile tell these stories all day long.

Let’s Dance also has some hidden gems in the mere 8 songs.  Namely his cover of Metro’s “Criminal World.” and certainly the rock-Chic of the title track “Let’s Dance.”

There’s the live recording of the Serious Moonlight tour, which features one of my favorite live takes of “Scary Monsters.” I just wish someone would do something with the board tapes of the Dallas Rehearsals which featured Stevie Ray Vaughn (who quit before the tour began).

In addition to a remastered version of 1987’s Never Let Me Down, a brand new production of the record is included. Coming from Bowie producer/engineer Mario McNulty, the new version features fresh instrumentation from Bowie collaborators Reeves Gabrels (guitar), David Torn (guitar), Sterling Campbell (drums), Tim Lefebvre (bass).


Box Set Contents:
84- or 128-Page hardback book
Let’s Dance (remastered) (1LP)
Serious Moonlight (Live ’83) (previously unreleased) (2LP)*
Tonight (remastered) (1LP)
Never Let Me Down (remastered) (1LP)
Never Let Me Down (2018) (previously unreleased) (2LP – side 4 is etched)*
Glass Spider (Live Montreal ’87) (previously unreleased on vinyl) (3LP)*
Dance (2LP)*
Re:Call 4 (non-album singles, edits, single versions, b-sides and soundtrack music (remastered) (3LP)*

Curaetion25: The Cure “From there to here” and back again.



e174aec466ece727.jpgLast night in London, The Cure added a “surprise” show to close out the Robert Smith curated Meltdown Festival in London.

Featuring about two songs per album, the first set started out with “Three Imaginary Boys” and wrapped up with “It can never be the same” while the 2nd set kicked off with the new-ish “Step into the Light” which saw its live debut on the Cure US tour from a few years ago. The band ended up the 2nd set with the classic “Boys Don’t Cry.”

There’s great footage on You Tube already (it was going up as it happened on this show) including “Primary” and the rarely played “Like Cockatoos” a song that I’ve always thought was a bit of homage to one of Robert Smith’s favorite bands, The Cocteau Twins.

Although the forthcoming 40th Anniversary show in Hyde park on 7th July is billed as their only concert this year, the band did manage to wrangle their way around that claim and appear as “Curaetion25” at the South Bank Centre.  Since the Hyde park show is sold out, I don’t think anyone will mind.

Based on the somewhat obscure tunes they performed last night, I’m even more excited and looking forward to what surprises Robert, Simon, Reeves, Jason, & Roger have up their sleeves on 7th July.

Of course  other acts who performed on the Robert Smith’s Meltdown paid tribute to the Cure. Placebo during their Meltdown set covered “Let’s Go to Bed”. 

I look forward to reporting to you all the antics of the Hyde Park show first hand.


The set list (thanks to Setlist.com)

From There to Here
Three Imaginary Boys
At Night
Other Voices
A Strange Day
A Night Like This
Like Cockatoos
Pictures of You
Jupiter Crash
Us or Them
It’s Over
It Can Never Be the Same

From Here to There
Step Into the Light
The Hungry Ghost
The Last Day of Summer
From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
If Only Tonight We Could Sleep
Shake Dog Shake
One Hundred Years
A Forest
Boys Don’t Cry

Late 80’s Rock and Roll



I always group these three records together, they compliment each other so well it is difficult not to group them with the others.  Tin Machine “Tin Machine” (May 1989, EMI), The Godfathers “Birth School Work Death” (1988 Epic/Sony) and Lou Reed’s “New York” (Jan 1988 Sire) all signaled a return to the guitar rock sound. For Reed and Bowie it was reclaiming a sound that was theirs, and in many ways a return to form. The Godfathers, young London upstarts probably gave Lou and Bowie a bit of a kick in the ass to get their own musical acts together. Particularly with Bowie, you saw Tin Machine wearing suits, not unlike the vibe of the Godfathers.

Sonically, Bowie abandoned his disco-Chic of Let’s Dance, all the pageantry of Glass Spider for a far more bluesy sound, featuring another upstart from Boston named Reeves Gabrels.  Part blues guitar and part next-generation Adrian Belew, Gabrels would continue to help shape Bowie’s sound post Tin Machine through some of his most celebrated later career records such as “Earthling.”
Lyrically, Bowie went back to emulating his friend and idol, Lou Reed, singing about junkies and writing lyrics like “I can’t read shit anymore” … Gone were those red shoes for dancing the blues, for now at least.

Critics and fans were not really sure what to make of Tin Machine, which in my opinion is the best compliment.  They made a TV Debut on an awards show playing the first track on the LP, “Heavens in Here.”

Press was more on board for Lou Reed’s New York, and even rocker John Mellencamp said “Yeah, it sounds like it was produced by an eighth-grader, but I like it.” One of the standout tracks from the LP is Romeo had Juliette. Like Bowie, Lou had a great guitar player at his side in Mike Rathke.

The Godfathers went on to be one of the more successful acts of that time, darlings of MTV’s 120 minutes crowd.

The Godfathers are currently on tour . I caught them last year and they are sounding tighter than ever.  Go see them.

As for Lou and Bowie, I’d like to hope they are somewhere jamming together again. 





New Richard Barbieri music

Fantastic “mostly new” music by Barbieri (Former of Japan/Rain Tree Crow) available on Bandcamp site.

It does not look like there’s a vinyl release . Signed copies of this release are not available. There will be a deluxe box available at the same time as Variants.5 (with that CD or separately) which they can offer signed with dedications.

Includes digital pre-order of Variants.4. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.