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Earthling Import


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Audio CD, Import, June 4, 2003
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Biography

Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The cliché about David Bowie says he's a musical chameleon, adapting himself according to fashion and trends. While such a criticism is too glib, there's no denying that Bowie demonstrated remarkable skill for perceiving musical trends at his peak in the '70s. After spending several years in the late '60s as a mod and as an ... Read more in Amazon's David Bowie Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Earthling + Heathen + The Next Day (Deluxe Edition)
Price for all three: $30.28

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 4, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Columbia Europe
  • ASIN: B0000AKP2J
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,507 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Little Wonder
2. Looking for Satellites
3. Battle for Britain (The Letter)
4. Seven Years in Tibet
5. Dead Man Walking
6. Telling Lies
7. The Last Thing You Should Do
8. I'm Afraid of Americans
9. Law (Earthlings on Fire)

Editorial Reviews

2003 budget price reissue of 1997 album features nine tracks. Columbia.

Customer Reviews

The bass and rythems are amazing.
N. Ackerman
Bowie flirts heavily with a Trent Reznor-like sound, but with his amazing voice, this experimental album works very well.
M.M.
I put on the CD because my uncle kept asking me if I had listened to it yet, and the 15 seconds of music was ok.
Brixton Hokkiado

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M.M. on January 2, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I am always constantly impressed with how David Bowie easily slips out of one form of music and into another. In a day and age when techo beats are popular but lame, and I spend hours cowering in my room stuck musically in the 70's, this album pops out and suddenly I am back in the 90's again. Bowie flirts heavily with a Trent Reznor-like sound, but with his amazing voice, this experimental album works very well. The best track is "I'm Afraid of Americans." It just starts off and builds to this LOUD chorus. This is a good album to get if you are like me, not really into the 90's sound, but still are able to appreciate genius when you hear it (although I will always love the 70's Bowie glam more).
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cortaigne on January 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD
... and I mean that. I'm not gushing unjustly. This is a perfect package from the bottom up.

Most of the criticisms of this album take into account that Bowie was 50 years old at the time, like techno is strictly a young person's game. It's sad to think that, had a 20-year-old recorded EXACTLY this album, in the same time and place, I'm almost certain it would have been huge. HUGE. But because it was done by Bowie, people attached the weight of his age and his musical history to it, which is missing the point entirely. Take this album on its own, as it is, without any preconceived notions or ageism or anything, and this is a real firecracker.

Frankly, if anything, Bowie's experience only makes the album better than what a 20-year-old could have done. The songs are actually structured like pop-rock, with moving chord progressions, ice-water piano, live drums mixed seamlessly with programmed ones, and some of the best vocals of Bowie's career (or, for that matter, anyone's). This is not like any other techno out there, at all. There's literally NOTHING ELSE LIKE THIS ALBUM. It's entirely unique. That really makes me sad, because this album is so spectacular, I want more like it.

One thing I find particularly interesting about this album is that there is a subtle A-side/B-side quality. It may not be apparent right away, because the division is not nearly as obvious as it is on Low or "Heroes", but it's there. All the songs in the first half of the album, from "Little Wonder" through "Dead Man Walking," are positively-charged and upbeat - with the exception of "Seven Years In Tibet," which is venomous, a sizzling acid burn. Then, from "Telling Lies" through "LAW (Earthlings On Fire)", the album takes a dark, ominous turn.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian Fried on March 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Having exhausted the digital remaster and enhanced CD routes already, Bowie moves on to another -- and definitely fan-friendly -- reissue program with his deluxe anniversary editions. Thankfuly EARTHLING, which was reissued simultaneously with OUTSIDE and HOURS, doesn't need to wait to 2007 to get the reissue it deserves.

When first released in 1997, this album was a definite departure from the grunge-inspired OUTSIDE. Unlike that hypernarrative, EARTHLING takes its inspiration from earlier albums like HUNKY DORY for its non-sensical lyrics and puts them in the (then new) techno-surroundings. The result is nine very strong songs, many of which are certainly strong contenders for singles including those chosen ("Little Wonder" and the still topical "I'm Afraid of Americans").

Now, it gets the same digital perfection that the enhanced edition had without the Bowienet connection. Instead, this limited edition comes with a second CD containing many of the remixes that appeared on singles and promotional releases. True, you get the same song twice (or even three times) in a row but the versions are different enough to stand out on their own while still giving an overall fluid flow. The highlight of this disc is a new look at the old classic "V-2 Schneider."

This is a definite must for all Bowie fans, and for all fans of this album. It's recommended, but if you're indifferent, try the bonus track version released six months earlier.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By michael on December 15, 1999
Format: Audio CD
The frightening, ghostly brand of spaced-out rock which has defined Bowie in the 90s was best represented by 1995's 'Outside'. At once ethereal and industrial, the formula worked with Bowie's big, dramatic stylings. 'Outside' was one of his better efforts in years.
'Earthling' is the natural evolution of Bowie's industrial forray - to where else but electronica could the relentless, mechanical tempos arrive? The layered, dense instrumentation of 'Outside' has been replaced, or usurped, by a supremely dark cocktail of synthesized beats, blips and riffs. Reeves Gabrel's guitar mastery is almost overshadowed by the electronic elements, which threaten to drown out otherwise interesting tracks 'telling lies' and 'dead man walking'.
Among the album's best tracks, 'battle for britain (the letter)' encapsulates the surreal, energetic sense of drama which makes Bowie great: "on a better day i'll take you by the hand and walk you through the doors / don't you let my letter get you down". 'dead man walking' recalls the chilly, glamorous futurism of 'Outside's 'hallo spaceboy'.
Unfortunately, one can't help but wish to hear these tracks without the synthesized accents. While promoting 'Earthling', Bowie performed many of these songs live with a compliment of instruments similar to those used on 'Outside' - they sounded incerdible. The techno effects on 'Earthling' are interesting, but ultimately, they feel like a distraction.
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