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Nothing Has Changed
LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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Double vinyl LP edition. 2014 collection from the Rock icon. NOTHING HAS CHANGED collects together for the first time the definitive collection of Bowie's music from 1964 to 2014. NOTHING HAS CHANGED compiles tracks from every period of Bowie's career from 'Space Oddity' right up to the new single 'SUE (or IN a SEASON OF CRIME)'. This single was especially recorded for NOTHING HAS CHANGED with long-time collaborator Tony Visconti. 20 tracks
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David Bowie's career has so many more peaks and valleys, and it's hard to pin down whether certain eras represent an ascent or a descent. There's no way I could come up with a perfect compilation for him, that's for sure. Themes of subject matter, different eras, pop vs. art, and so many more aspects - I think part of Bowie's greatness is how hard it is to pigeonhole him or whittle him down into a career-spanning collection.
I originally did not plan to buy this, since I have all of Bowie's albums, including a number of live albums and most of his b-sides and rarities. Some of the non-album tracks that might attract buyers here, like the songs from the lost Toy album, are already in my collection, so it seemed at first that all I'd need is to get the new song, "Sue," and I'd be all set. What ultimately made me take the plunge, though, was the fact that Amazon offered an auto-rip with all of the songs from the main collection even if I purchased the vinyl set. While I don't consider myself an audiophile, I do have an appreciation for vinyl and like to occasionally add to my record collection. This way, I got a collectible, a wonderful set of music on record, and the digital music, so I'm more than satisfied with this purchase. Also, these mixes are in fact noticeably different in some instances, like with Seven, which is much peppier here than the plodding original version. The other remixes/alternate versions are also welcome, like the version of Hallo Spaceboy here, which fares very well in this context, and the outstanding Time Will Crawl, which just plain sounds fantastic.
The song selections on the records is great, and I have no complaints about that whatsoever. More interesting to consider are the song selections for the main set, which span Bowie's entire career and will inevitably draw criticism from those who think that his latterday albums are overrepresented at the expense of his earlier classics. I, too, feel that's the case, which is why I've rated this 4 stars instead of 5, though it is easy enough in the modern era to supplement this set with some additional favorites in a playlist (and also easy to remove the Dancing in the Street duet, which is probably the low point of his career and can be happily traded for something else from that era, like As the World Falls Down.) I definitely need a handful of songs from Low, Heroes, and Station to Station to make any Bowie mix more satisfying, as well as Conversation Piece, Watch That Man, Teenage Wildlife, Looking for Satellites, and a number of other must-haves from all eras.
As a longtime David Bowie fan, I hope this helps draw more fans in, as there's so much wonderful music here for people to appreciate and then perhaps decide to dig deeper into his catalog. There are plenty of collections out there, and some people will be better served by something shorter and more glam-centered, but this is definitely a great overview of a tremendous career. Newcomers, this is definitely not a bad place to start. Established fans, this might not be a vital addition, but the remixes and alternate versions may make this worth it.
The only negative I have is that the CD releases have several more songs. The two CD version was at my local library, and I gave it a listen, but I think they picked the best of his best for the vinyl release. Besides, I've found the best way to listen to ANY classic rock is on vinyl.