Customer Discussions > Music forum

Bowie's albums post Scary Monsters

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-25 of 74 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 9, 2012 7:16:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 9, 2012 7:17:28 PM PST
Jay Sizzle says:
I grew up in a somewhat musically oppressive household, so I'm still in the process of discovering his catalog. I'd heard the odd song on the radio & television here and there over the years, but didn't sit down and actually listen to a full album until about 2-3 years ago.

On the advice of a few friends, I started with Hunky Dory, and worked my way forward. I'm glad I did, because honestly, I really don't care for his first two albums, and I only enjoy about half of The Man Who Sold The World. Anyways, these same friends also suggested I avoid Let's Dance, and everything that came after it. I managed to do that for these last two years, but I finally came around and said to heck with it, I'll try them out, and I'm so glad I did!

So far, I honestly don't see what so many Bowie fans have against his work past 1980. I guess Let's Dance is supposed to be his "sell out" album? Maybe it is, but I truly enjoy it. It's catchy and fun, and Stevie Ray Vaughn's inclusion is a real treat. The cover of Criminal World is really good, and Cat People is as cool as it gets in my book.

I just got Heathen and Outside a few days ago, and I really like both of them too. Some of Outside is a little too out there for me, and I'm not a huge fan of the narrative tracks, but at least it's pretty interesting, and I LOVE Strangers When We Met, The Hearts Filthy Lesson, No Control, and especially the title track.

So yeah, really all I have left to listen to are:

Never Let Me Down
Black Tie White Noise

I'd appreciate your thoughts on these albums, and some suggestions on which one to get next. I already have the song "Bring Me The Disco King," and I absolutely love it (I'm a huge Maynard James Keenan fan), so if even half of Reality's tracks are of the same quality, I'm sure I'll be able to enjoy it. Feel free to talk about the rest of his catalog if you wish. It'd be great to hear some thoughts from other fans.

I appreciate your time and thoughts. BTW, just want to state that Scary Monsters is my favorite album of his at the moment, with Heroes following close behind.

Posted on Feb 9, 2012 8:17:43 PM PST
S. Stalcup says:
Glad you're enjoying the work of "The Dame," even though if he puts out another best of, I'm going to scream. Tonight isn't as bad as some people accuse it of being. It's basically Let's Dance Pt. 2. I like Reality for the reworking of "Rebel Rebel" which is one of my favorite Bowie songs.

You'd be well-advised to seek out the live discs, particularly his BBC Live performance from the early noughties (came as a bonus with the Bowie at the Beeb 2 CD set), Live at the Santa Monica Civic from the Ziggy era, and either the King Biscuit live in Montreal 2 CD set online or the Glass Spider Tour audio. You're approaching his oeuvre with an open mind and I commend you for that.

If you're feeling particularly adventurous, the great unreleased Toy album, where he went back to redo a bunch of his 1960s era songs, is brilliant. You might want to find it before the federales shut down all of the file-sharing sites.

Keep enjoying yourself. I'm happy you're able to experience Mr. Jones' canon.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2012 8:30:31 PM PST
S. Stalcup says:
P.S. If you want a decent guide to Bowie's records, Uncut ran a compilation of pieces on Bowie from various UK mags over the last forty years. It shouldn't be hard to find as it only came out a few months previous.

BOWIE Magazine. 180 Page Collectors Special. 2011.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 8:27:43 AM PST
Jay Sizzle says:
Good to know that Tonight is pretty similar to Let's Dance. I think I'll go with it next. I'll be sure to check out some live albums too. I actually downloaded that Santa Monica album quite a while ago, and quite like it. I find that I don't go back and listen to live albums very often though (unless it's Blue Oyster Cult), but I'll still look into them for sure. Not really into the file-sharing stuff, but I'll consider it if it's the only way I can listen to Toy. Most likely though I'll just hope to find the songs on youtube.

Thanks for the response, and for being so nice. I really do appreciate it. =)

Posted on Feb 10, 2012 8:51:54 AM PST
crater face says:
No love for Tin Machine? that would be number one on the avoid list.LOL

Posted on Feb 10, 2012 9:12:26 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2012 9:14:55 AM PST
I really like Let's Dance, but then I was caught up in the excitement of his early 80s mega-popularity with that album, so it's been in my collection for a long long time. That enthusiasm spilled over into "Tonight", which is one that a lot of people have poo-poo'ed. It's not fantastic, but it's got a couple of neat Iggy Pop covers (co-written by Bowie) and "Blue Jean", one of my favorite Bowie songs.

With the exception of Tin Machine (which was okay), everything Bowie's done since then has just kinda gone over my head. I try them out from time to time, but I just don't feel it any more. Can't say they're bad, in fact I have "Heathen" and it's got some neat moments (a Pixies cover?!), but otherwise it doesn't interest me much. I'm really not a huge Bowie fan even on a good day (I dislike the "Ziggy Stardust" album, for example; though I love the Berlin trilogy), so take that opinion with a grain of salt.

Posted on Feb 10, 2012 9:40:12 AM PST
vivazappa says:
I love the first Tin Machine record...the second...not so much...
Of the above I'll take Earthling and Outside...

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 10:01:14 AM PST
B. rogers says:
Van..."Let's Dance" is a great album.

"Tonight" is a really smooth and pleasurable listen.
"Never Let Me Down" is like a cross between Let's Dance and "Scary Monsters"...I've always liked it a lot.
"Black Tie, White Noise" is probably his best since "Scary Monsters".

I don't like "Earthling", "Hours" or "Reality". This is where I jumped off of the Bowie-train. Just never got where he was at this point...although I thought "Heathen" had great moments..."Slow Burn" was a mesmerizing single.

Posted on Feb 10, 2012 10:17:45 AM PST
GarionOrb says:
Outside is a masterpiece for me. "The Heart's Filthy Lesson" is one of the best songs I've heard (and the remix by Trent Reznor is outstanding). I also liked Earthling a lot as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 10:22:41 AM PST
That's a good post coming from someone who looks so bewildered.
You can hear most of those albums on Youtube.

Does your Heathen have a ghost track on it at the end?
I never noticed it before.
You can hear it here:

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 10:35:56 AM PST
Outside is a masterpiece for sure. A masterpiece of weirdness though for anyone who has never heard it and is expecting something normal.
It's a detective story and would not be the same without the narratives, which sometimes are songs in their own right.

Outside was supposed to be 3 separate volumes, but only the first one was finished.
36 more hours of tape were recorded, and 40 minutes of that missing time can be heard here:

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 10:47:58 AM PST
I am on the other side of the fence from B Rogers. I have never heard his first two albums, so to me Tonight and Never Let Me Down are his worst albums.

To see where my taste lye, Lodger would be third worst, then Man Who Sold The World would be next in line. While Buddha Of Suburbia is my most played. Tonight has 2 really good songs; Loving The Alien and Blue Jean. Never only has 1 really good song; Day-In Day-Out.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 11:17:10 AM PST
I feel Black Tie White Noise is much better as a double album. I really enjoy the longer versions of Jump, Night and the teacher of Athena. They give the album a more progressive sound.

I do not care for the songs You've Been Around, I Feel Free, Miracle Goodnight and I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday. That may seem like a lot but their time is easily replaced by those longer versions as well as Real Cool World and Lucy Can't Dance.

If you are familiar with The Buddha of Suburbia, you should find it as a true connector of styles, mating Noise and Outside. Sex and the Church and South Horizon sound like they came from Noise, while The Mysteries and Ian Fish sound like the soundtrack from Outside.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 11:46:59 AM PST
Heathen was my reemergence into Bowie. It was the first album of his I bought since Let's Dance. It was such a great album I went out and bought his best of DVD. That's how I met Earthling.

Earthling is the real trip. It is like nothing I have ever heard before. After playing the CD I was like "What do I listen to now?" Talk about bewildered. It is such a sonic assault that I had to take a break from music for awhile because everything else was so mundane.

Once I got Outside that problem was fixed. But Earthling is probably going to be the hardest for you to assimilate. Maybe not as hard on you as it was on me, since you have already taken in Outside. For most people, Earthling is a love or hate it album, not a lot of middle ground.

To me, Seven Years In Tibet is one of Bowies Greatest songs ever. Looking For Satellites is another great one, with a 2 minute lead guitar solo that is insane. Little Wonder, Dead Man Walking and Afraid Of Americans all add to this heavy layered sound. While Telling Lies adds to the spacey loneliness of it.

Like Outside, there is a lot going on all the time. Nothing simple about it.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 12:09:57 PM PST
Mike B. says:
Ditto what B. rogers said, except I like "Reality".

There's plenty of good stuff to be found in Bowie's later catalogue. Enjoy!

Posted on Feb 10, 2012 3:12:48 PM PST
Eddie H. says:
I love almost all of Bowie's catolog, 2 albums I didn't care for are White Noise and Never let me Down(it's like he slept walked thru)....I did like Heathen a lot and loved Realty.....overall one of the best catalogs in the past 50 years!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 4:59:49 PM PST
onsenkuma says:
I haven't listened to 'Hours' for some time, but on first listen I remembering it having a neo-glam feel not a million miles from what you might expect if Bowie had listened to a lot of Suede (who of course were in awe of Bowie and had grown up listening to a lot of him). It also seems like ages since I've given a listen to 'Earthling', which was his drum'n'bass album (think Roni Size, Goldie, the whole Metalheadz scene) and sounds locked in its time (mid to late '90s).

I'm most interested in the 'Berlin' phase - Low, Heroes and Lodger - and 'Scary Monsters' was great as well. Of the later things you might also give a listen (if you haven't already) to his 'Buddha of Suburbia' soundtrack. IMO 'Let's Dance' was a lightweight stab at something radio friendly, and marked the beginning of a dip in quality that plagued Bowie for more than a decade.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 5:00:04 PM PST
The first part of Hours seems like it's all about divorce. It fits together well. The second part not so much. It is a much more mellow album than the others, more like Heathen.

I would say Reality is more like Let's Dance than the others, more straight ahead rock. Disco, Days and Guy are the slow ones. New, Big, Moon and Water are all real good. David said after Heathen that he had so much fun that he was going to make an album a year. His heartattack ended all that. Our loss.

Heathen and Outside are the best of late Bowie to me, but you will still find lots of good sounds on the others.

Posted on Feb 10, 2012 5:21:00 PM PST
'The Man Who Sold The World' & 'Low' are both incredible albums. That said I have no real problems with his later work. 'Hours' was just re-released and is better than I remember. As for Tin Machine, I don't get why people don't like his 2 albums with Gabrels and the Sales brothers. When I saw Tin Machine live in NYC they kicked ass!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 6:06:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2012 6:29:47 PM PST
I'm a big Bowie fan, but I've never liked Bowie's albums past 'Scary Monsters', so I'll have to agree with your friends. I prefer the albums from 'The Man Who Sold the World' through 'Diamond Dogs' really. That's the glam-era period with his best band line-up that included Mick Ronson (except for 'Dogs'). Never got into the Berlin period much, except for 'Lodger'. And I do like 'Scary Monsters' a lot. The only track I liked on 'Let's Dance' was "Modern Love", but that was overplayed to the point that I don't care for it much anymore. ('Dance' was by far his most commercial release and the singles got a LOT of airplay.)

My personal Bowie album faves are 'Hunky Dory' and 'Ziggy'. I'm with you though, in my general dislike of his hippie-folky early stuff, much the same as I don't care much for Tyrannosaurus Rex, but do like the electrified T. Rex that followed (have you tried them yet? Recommended).

Nevertheless, as a songwriter, Bowie's been one of my main influences, particularly the 'Hunky Dory' era, and regardless of what I think of the later work, I have tremendous respect for the of the best songwriters ever and hugely influential. A unique talent to be sure.

Have fun on your Bowie journey - there's a lot of great stuff there to be had!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 7:00:28 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2012 8:07:40 PM PST
Jay Sizzle says:
I have a lot of love for Ronson. I think his piano work on Aladdin Sane is breathtaking. It's a shame he checked out as early as he did. I totally hear you concerning Bowies glam period. There for a while, it was by far my favorite Bowie, but after a while I found myself getting into the Berlin Trilogy more and more. I'd say that Low, Heroes, and Station To Station are all in my top 5 from him, with Scary Monsters and Aladdin Sane rounding out the short list.

I'm far from being an old-hand with Bowie's work, but I can say that I have tremendous respect for him as well. I don't think I've ever had an artists work hit me so hard right off the bat. I can still remember the night I listened to Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust for the first times back to back. As silly or pretentious as this may sound, I honestly got chills throughout, and even wept a little. I can't say that's happened to me any other time in my life. It was at a rough time in my life though, and I'm certain that has something to do with my strong emotional reaction.

He surely is a unique talent, and I truly am thankful that I exposed myself to his work. Thanks for the reply, and I'll certainly continue to have fun.

Posted on Feb 10, 2012 7:51:24 PM PST
Mr. Jumps says:
Scary monsters is just fabulous.
Lets dance is good but not scary monsters good.
Of his newer stuff I really like "outside" Its really interesting.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 8:05:00 PM PST
I'm glad you pointed that out about Ronson's piano work...he did a lot more for Bowie than just guitar, also contributed a lot of arrangement work. I've never understood why Bowie didn't continue with that line-up, but he's Bowie, he's a chameleon, so I guess it's understandable.

I'm curious as to what you might think of this tune I wrote, since you're a big 'Hunky Dory' fan. A lot of people have told me it sounds like something from that album, and I didn't quite make the connection until I kept hearing that, so I'd like your opinion if you don't mind?

Posted on Feb 10, 2012 8:05:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2012 8:06:12 PM PST
Jay Sizzle says:
By the way, I just wanted to say that I appreciate everyone's time, and their additions to the discussion. I have a plethora of eyesight issues, and over the last few days I've found it difficult to stare at this screen even in short bursts, otherwise I'd be much more talkative with each of you. Cheers.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 8:14:01 PM PST
@Van Hammersly

No prob just check in once in a while. Always like to know other prople's views on music I love.
‹ Previous 1 2 3 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in


This discussion

Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  30
Total posts:  74
Initial post:  Feb 9, 2012
Latest post:  Mar 13, 2013

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 2 customers

Search Customer Discussions