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Old 08-22-2005, 02:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 152
David Bowie - ( Low )
I bought my copy of Bowie's "Low" about 2 years ago now, purely on the back of re-hearing "Sound and Vision" on his recent Best Of . . . and wanting more.

I listened to it a few times over and quite enjoyed it, and then it got put away and not really listened to again until about three months ago, when it absolutely blew me away. It really is the most incredible record and, i would say, one that definitely benefits from being listened to as a whole.

After re-discovering "Low" I bought ""Heroes"" based on the fact that it's another Berlin-period album, and that ""Heroes"" is a fucking brilliant song! The album, however, is a bit rubbish, and certainly not a patch on "Low". While "Low" was at first quite challenging listening in places, ""Heroes"" seems to be wilfully challenging and inaccessible almost throughout. "Low", to me, has a rather angular but elegant sound, while ""Heroes"" just seems coarse and messy.

So, should i expect a re-discovery of ""Heroes"" in a couple of years time?
Where do I look for more like "Low"? (not necessarily from Bowie, but i'd like to know what his closest work is)
What are anyone elses Bowie preferences?
Old 08-22-2005, 07:26 AM
needing Diet Mountain Dew
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,896
Re: David Bowie - ( Low )
...try not to rant... try not to rant....


so yea - "Heroes" is one of those albums that you'll never say is better than Low, basically because Heroes starts off soooo strong - then the whole second half is more like background music, until you're caught off guard w/ Secret Life of Arabia. Although Heroes is still a great album. I originally only liked the title track and Moss Garden, then that was it... it was only after a few more listens that I liked more and more. Although - there are still songs on the album that I can't get into...

It's just got this very grey feel to it. And it was also a very transitory album. Lodger (the next of the 'berlin trilogy') sounds closer to the Talking Heads than anything else.

You kinda can't listen to the album in the same mentality as a compact disc, know what I mean? Like a lot of Bowie's albums from the 70's had a distinct 1/2 mark, where either the sound, the vibe, or the perspective distinctively changes. I can't remember off the top of my head, but I think that either V-2 Schneider or Sense of Doubt is the first track of the second half (probably Sense of Doubt)

but I've probably not answered any of your questions at all about the album (or Low) but if you want more of the sound f/ these two albums I'd get:
David Bowie - Station to Station (basically a transition between Young Americans and Low... so it has this weird Low-ish melancholy mixed with a sense of Philly Soul [like YA])
David Bowie - All Souls -> a compilation of instrumentals by Bowie, which I think has some tracks that were only previously available on the Ryko re-release versions of the albums - but I never bought the cd, as I already had everything on it
Bowie - 1.Outside -> this is actually the only album of bowie's produced by Brian Eno (and it's also only co-prod. credits) it was recorded in 1994, but didn't get released 'till '95... which really sucks, as the album was ahead of the curve - and it kinda has a mani-depressive take on U2's Zooropa-vibe
if you liked the first half of Heroes, then go ahead and buy Scary Monsters, and Lodger too... maybe Scary Monsters first

...and of other people's albums
U2 - Achtung Baby. They recorded in the same studio as Low, in hopes to conjure up some of the 'old ghosts' f/ when Bowie was there... and you definitely can hear it. Zooropa is also a good album, but some of the songs haven't aged nearly as well as on Achtung Baby
Depeche Mode - Songs of Faith and Devotion & probably also "Ultra"
Tricky - Pre-Millenium Tension
Nine Inch Nails - Downward Spiral -> "A Warm Place" is actually a cover of Bowie's "Crystal Japan" an instrumental made during the Scary Monsters era for a Japanese Sake commercial
basically anything and everything ever done by Joy Division and the many bands that continually rip off "their sound" (interpol et. al)

there's also, of course the Kraftwerk connection
and you might want to check out Neu!'s album "Neu 75" which influenced bowie too

and Brian Eno really didn't have much of an influence until Heroes where he's credited as a co-writter, so if you really like the 2nd half of low - check out stuff like "Apollo Atmospheres & Soundtracks"

...I'll probably post more later
Old 08-22-2005, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 152
Re: David Bowie - ( Low )
i kind of expected a response from you . thanks.

to be honest, i haven't so far particularly liked any of "Heroes" except, as you said, "Heroes" and Moss Garden. i like the idea that i might get to like it better with more listens. i shall make a bit of an effort.

i've noticed you mention the half-way mark thing with Bowie albums before, but i can't say i've noticed it myself, with Low or "Heroes", apart from the obvious "it's all instrumentals from here" thing. The feel of those records seems to me to be fairly consistent.

i'm familar-ish with Achtung Baby, 'cos my brother's a big U2 fan, but i really can't see the connection there. again, maybe a few more listens are in order

i absolutely adore both Joy Division and Eno's Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, as well as the first Interpol record, and i think my next Amazon spree might include Scary Monsters and Station to Station.

A friend of mine, when i told him of my immense love for Low, told me that he'd been unimpressed with it, and that i should listen to Ziggy Stardust. which i did. and, i mean, it's good and all, but it's really nothing more than a particularly fine pop/rock record. didn't do much for me.

Joethelion, what are your favourite Bowie records?
Old 08-22-2005, 09:37 AM
needing Diet Mountain Dew
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,896
Re: David Bowie - ( Low )
about my favorite albums... gimme a bit to think about that...

but the 1/2 way thing (although it's a bit hazy right now... haven't been listening to too much bowie recently)

On Ziggy, the personality changes half-way through it. Like the first half is talking about Ziggy from like someone in the public - like a fan, then the second half is from the perspective from the actual 'star'. Although don't quote me on that... I'll have to check online about it (and check my LP)

Low / Heroes is the vocal side instrumental side deal.

Lodger - the entire first half is about various parts of the world, trying to find a home, etc etc. The second half is more of like a slant against the US, or rather the perseption of who we are (tracks like Dj and Repetition come to mind)

...actually - I should look at my actual LP's to say more, as I am not quite that obsessed to remember how the tracks appear on LP as opposed to CD
Old 08-22-2005, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 152
Re: David Bowie - ( Low )
are they in different orders on the LPs then? that's a bit odd

also: i must be a bit of a retard, 'cos i've been listening to "Heroes" this evening and rather enjoyed it. oh well, i'm enjoying the bowie discussion regardless. i must search out scary monsters

Last edited by ceramic'cow; 08-22-2005 at 11:21 AM.
Old 08-22-2005, 12:26 PM
needing Diet Mountain Dew
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,896
Re: David Bowie - ( Low )
well no - they're not in a different order (save for 1.Outside)

but I mean, I don't want to say that like "Clearly track "y" serves as a good opener for the second half" when it may not be in that position on the album

know what I mean?

but here's one example about the importance of the separation between halves of his albums:
Scary Monsters has an opening and a closing track - "It's No Game" part one is the first song, and part two ends the album. There's an incredible song in the middle of the album called "Teenage Wildlife" ...which you could say is kinda like "Heroes" part two. But you kinda ignore the track when it's merely in the middle of the album, and I am almost positive that it's the first track on the second half of the LP.

does that make any sense?
Teenage Wildlife should be the intro track for the album, but it can't be b/c of "It's No Game", and it wouldn't make sense to have them not sandwhich the album.

but yea - Scary Monsters is a great album, and you probably already know at least two of the songs on it (Ashes to Ashes & Fashion)
Old 08-22-2005, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 202
Re: David Bowie - ( Low )
I like Scary Monsters a lot, particually the first track in which Bowie doesn't sing at all but screams instead.
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Old 08-22-2005, 12:47 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 3,788
Re: David Bowie - ( Low )
I love the Station To Station album for its variety of styles and epic tunes. I hope there's a 30th anniversary version next january... There were rumours of a Golden Years 30th but it hasnt surfaced yet.

My favourite bowie album right this moment? All Saints. Instrumental beauty. A lot comes from Heroes/Low but its all good. Especially A New Career In A New Town which is just timeless. Plus as of right now I think its the only place to get a couple of the tracks that feature on the Buddha Of Suburbia OST which is out of print.

Current fave albums: Station To Station, All Saints

and funnily enough playing right now as I came across this thread? Helden (Heroes sung in german).
UW0764 || Professor: "Underworld have never failed to disappoint me" || Yannick changed my avatar picture.
Old 08-22-2005, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 152
Re: David Bowie - ( Low )
what're anyone's opinions on Heathens? i've only given that a few listens, and as i recall it quite like it, but it's nothing mind blowing. quite mellow, overall
Old 08-22-2005, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 477
Re: David Bowie - ( Low )
"Heroes" is great, but Low works simply because it's a set of fucking great pop songs backed with a set of beautiful ambient pieces. "Heroes" tries a bit too hard to be arty, whilst Low sounds free and easy. That said, it's still got some awesome music on it.
Scary Monsters is almost as good as Low.
I find Station To Station Bowie's most overrated work and Outside his most underrated.
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