A Very Bowie Christmas: Dec 16th

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I am perhaps one of those strange people who likes to have a dissenting opinion. I quite like Tonight, I think it is a better follow up to Let’s Dance, but I don’t think it is a great album or even a good album.

LOVING THE ALIEN: TONIGHT (1984)

The album is basically the same musically as Let’s Dance, using the same sounds, instrumentation, and the same people. David Bowie did not perform a single instrument on this album. If you read my paragraph yesterday about Let’s Dance, re-read it, but get rid of mentions of Nile Rodgers and Let’s Dance, and it will be the same, except I like this album more. That being said, it certainly isn’t Scary Monsters, it isn’t even close to that. Many of the songs on this album are covers of Iggy Pop songs, so it really isn’t a David Bowie album; though he did co-write these songs.

Loving The Alien is original, and that is a relief, but would I call it good? No, I wouldn’t. I would not call this album good, but I do still like it. It is an original song, and musically is great, I love the instrumentation on it, as a fan of 80’s pop in general. Lyrically, however, the song is actually great, which is what makes it the best on the album. The actual lyrics of the song, a critique of religion, and a critique of humanity’s societal evolution. These are strong themes to have, and they are ruined by a mediocre 80’s Bowie album, and perhaps ruined by the music, which is technically quite good. Bowie himself admitted that saying he was disappointed with the edit, and I can say I share that sentiment.

Give Loving the Alien a listen, but try the live versions or the demo version, which is closer to the original vision. Thankfully, the duology of Let’s Dance and Tonight end the brief flirtation with pop muzak. Unthankfully, though, this brings us to perhaps the worst album that David Bowie released, at least according to many people. Do I think this as well? Tommorrow, we will see.

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Ben

Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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